July 9, 2010

A quick informal portrait of a photographer friend of mine, Sarah Smith.

While walking in Manhattan, I saw what would make a great background when viewed from a certain angle.  I asked Sarah to stop, and then asked her to turn her gaze slightly outwards to the light coming from the street side of the Manhattan sidewalk. I carefully framed the image in my camera’s viewfinder, using shallow depth of field. A great background, beautiful light and a very photogenic subject.  Sometimes it’s this easy, and this quick.

Nikon D700 (B&H);  Nikon 85mm f1.4 AF-D (B&H)
1/640 @ f2 @ 640 ISO

 

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{ 15 comments. } Add a Comment

1 RON LEMISH July 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Was the photo taken at night lit by the light of the theater marquis

What was the white balance set to

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2 Neil vN July 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Hi there Ron, I don’t recall which theater it was, but it was just off Times Square. Middle of the day. My WB was set to Cloudy, but it was still too cool, so I adjusted it as part of my RAW workflow.

Neil vN

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3 Nigel July 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Hi Neil

Just goes to show, when all the technical stuff is taken away, you can’t beat a good composition and the ‘eye’ for seeing a good image opportunity which in my opinion can’t be taught.

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4 Lou July 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Hey Neil
Great shoot I have use this same spot if am correct it is the mcdonalds on brodway. You need to go in there!

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5 Neil vN July 9, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Lou .. you’re right, it was the McDonalds. Not a theater.

Neil vN

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6 DW July 9, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I’m working my way through your book which is quite helpful. But in this example where you aren’t using any flash, did you have to use any exposure compensation to make sure that her face was properly exposed? Thanks.

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7 Neil vN July 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Nope, because I nearly always shoot in manual exposure mode.

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8 Corby Chapin July 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Hi Neil,
Long time follower, first time poster (and master of cliches).

I have to ask why you shot her at ISO 640 when you were probably able to get a suitable shutter speed from a lower ISO? Just curious.

PS – I credit you frequently when breaking down my shooting techniques on my blog….you’re the man!

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9 Neil vN July 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Corby .. no real reason for the ISO being specifically at 640. I don’t have the steadiest of hands. It’s a hereditary thing – a slight tremble in my hands. So I always favor higher shutter speeds. So I was at 640 ISO … and just cranked the shutter speed for correct exposure at f2

I checked out your blog. Thank you for the kind mention. : )

Neil vN

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10 Sarah Smith July 9, 2010 at 10:28 pm

thank you so much Neil, i love this shot and had a great time that afternoon!

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11 George July 11, 2010 at 6:09 pm

She is smoking hot. WOW love it.

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12 Shutterbug Studios July 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

This is gorgeous. I really love it. What a fun little portrait– and a pretty photographer.

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13 Zach July 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Lovely shot Neil! Did you use any flash for this or no?

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14 Neil vN July 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Zach, nope, available light only. But it wasn’t just a random shot. I considered the background, and the direction of available light.

Neil vN

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15 Matt Heath July 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Great shot, I sure hope to develop the skills to spot such opportunities!

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