Thursday, February 5, 2015

Close-up photography with a Fuji X camera and 35mm f/1.4 lens

We had a hand model in the studio today to do some conceptual lifestyle images primarily centered around the themes of technology and R&D with a few other topics thrown in for good measure. I wanted the get in close and also maintain a very shallow depth of field with both foreground and background objects completely out of focus. Normally, the lens to use here would be a macro, but most macros have an f/2.8 maximum aperture and that would have been too much with a normal focal length lens.  Since the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 has a very close focus range, I decided to shoot with the X-T1.

Most of the medium close-ups were taken with the combo of an X-T1 and 35mm f/1.4 with the aperture varying from f/1.4 to f/2. Occasionally, when I wanted to get in really tight, I switched over to the Zeiss 50mm f/2.8 macro. All the images were back lit with window light and no front fill at all. I simply opened the exposure to lighten the shadow and brighten the over-all scene.

The whole trick to this type of shooting is to choose a depth of field that is soft enough not to be intrusive, but does not lose its story-telling detail in the out-of-focus areas. The normal focal length adds more of a candid look that takes the viewer right into the scene.  A long focal length would have added the separation of viewing from a distant perspective.

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