I had access to studio equipment last weekend, hence I thought why not do something completely different, something I have not done before for my blog reviews. Friend Carmen was generous enough to "volunteer" (more appropriately, becoming my victim of this experiment) as the model of the day. Kudos to being such a sport, Carmen!
E-M10 and 75mm F1.8
E-M10 and 45mm F1.8
During the shoot, some thoughts came into my mind:
1) I suck at shooting portraits, that is no secret. Yes, I do a lot of street portraits but that is an entirely different animal. I just needed to connect to my street subjects, and rarely had to worry about how they pose or look at me, usually things just happened on the spot spontaneously all I had to do was shoot that moment. That very brief moment, when things were mostly unplanned. For studio portraits, I was merely getting my feet wet, and boy did I realize I still have a long, long way to go,
2) I initially wanted to do comparison tests of the Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 against the new Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 based on this studio setup, or at least using part of the photos in my coming review part. Then I realized the impracticality of doing so: I could not even shoot wide open (everything was stopped down to F8 or beyond). Furthermore, my habit of zooming into strangers eyes could be done without a second thought, but a friend, I have to be more careful, and there was that feeling of "wrongness" if I just blow up Carmen's eyes and show it here 100% view. Not sure how to describe this but I did not feel it was the right thing to do.
3) I know nuts about lighting control. I think it would have been a better idea to start with something friendlier like LED lights, as strongly encouraged by Kirk Tuck and his amazing books (which I should be buying some and spend my time reading if I ever want to go anywhere with my lighting). I have participated in actual studio shoots before, but participating was completely different from setting everything up myself and being the one in control.
4) While spending so much time figuring out the lights and technicalities, less effort was placed in communication with Carmen. Bad, bad thing to do. Not sure how the other pro photographers do it, I just don't seem to be able to replicate that.
Nonetheless, the most important thing was, despite all the hiccups and difficulties, I did enjoy myself thoroughly! There was something about studio shooting that gets me, though I am no where good at it, I still want to do it. In time, with a whole load more reading and real experimentation, I hope I will be able to go somewhere.
Special thanks to Carmen. Maybe I will do better next time.
E-M10 and 25mm F1.8
E-M10 and 14-42mm Pancake Zoom lens