One Picture - One Story

In the Mood for Thoughts

Shot under natural light with Panasonic Lumix GM-5 ISO100 1/250s with prime lens Panasonic 25mm f/1.4@ f/1.4

Shot under natural light with Panasonic Lumix GM-5 ISO100 1/250s with prime lens Panasonic 25mm f/1.4@ f/1.4

Another “making of” of a shot for you to learn from my motivations behind my decision making in term of technical set up and creativity. This time Apolline on the Chair, in the mood for thoughts.
By Franc Peret

Shot under natural light with Panasonic Lumix GM-5 ISO100 1/250s with prime lens Panasonic 25mm f/1.4@ f/1.4

2 – LIGHT:
The source of light is a big window behind the mini model. Shot on early morning (at least for me).

Another shot, same time, another pose. Apolline is turning her face to the opposite side. You can notice that the reflected light is stronger from there.

As I am shooting against the source of light, I set one white board on both side of the model. The board on her left side is actually bouncing light to the board on her right side which finally light up her face. This board serves my purpose as she actually try to reach it, a move that created her pose.

I am using my favorite tiny camera and a great Panasonic 25mm f/1.4.
On my sensor, this lens offer the same field of view than a 50mm on a full frame camera (or 35mm on a DX/APS-C camera), which means human eyes vision.

5 – ISO:
Light was enough to keep ISO 100 as I was working with a very bright lens. Due to the quietness of the mini model 1/250s was very safe and I could work at 1/125s if I needed to close down the Aperture one stop.

Brainstorming, Apolline on the position as the first shot. ISO100 1/160s with prime Olympus 45mm f/1.8 @ f/2.2.
Another mood for thoughts. Apolline is facing the main source of light this time and still receive the reflectors addition. ISO200 1/320s with zoom Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 12mm f/4.

I open up my Aperture maximum to reduce depth of field, as I wanted to treat this composition as a portrait with thin Depth of field.
I usually do not open that much for close up baby shots as they are always moving and therefore easily leaving the thin “in focus” zone.
For APS-C, I would suggest, at least, f/2.8 – f/4 and for Full frame camera f/4 – f/5.6 for close up and baby portrait to be sure to get both eyes in focus.
As you can see, I set up a safety belt around her body so that she would not fell down from the chair. This belt is limiting her movement, so f/1.4 was an option.
On this shot, her left eyes is not as sharp as her right eyes, where the focus is done. f/2 would have been a safer set up on my camera, but as I pull back, I thought the depth of field would be enough at f/1.4. Remember Depth of field increase with distance to subject.
My little one kept her pose just for this shot so I didn’t have another chance. I usually always do several shots with different Aperture or slight focus change as this is the most critical choice for baby shots without forgetting shutter speed.
But as I explained in the ISO chapter, with the light available and my reflectors, I had room to close down my aperture 1 stop (f/2 instead of f/1.4).

Cool Attitude: I could add a cigarette in her right hand with some smoke going out from her mouth. ISO200 1/250s with zoom Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 21mm f/4.7
I called this couple of shot “Fighting Spirit, due to her attitude.Panasonic GM5 ISO200 1/200s with zoom Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 12mm f/4.5

I wanted to be as close as possible to her level as she was turning her head and eyes down. I wanted to grab her facial expression and I lower myself as much as I could to do so.
My limit was the window behind her as I didn’t want it to enter my shot to be too disturbing or to create flares in my lens as the source of light might enter directly into my lens if I sat lower.

As a reminder I post here the original shot again. Shot with Panasonic Lumix GM-5 ISO100 1/250s with prime lens Panasonic 25mm f/1.4@ f/1.4

Does the cropped foot on the right side of the shot is important?
Not at all as this is a snap shot took before it is gone.
It is what I am used to call an emergency shot.
Also, the complete movement and point of attraction of the picture is on the right side of the image.
Apolline who just wake up was still wearing her “sleeping bag” which as not a definite shape and i am sure many viewer didn’t notice the foot on the right side of the shot.
In a word, it is not important…

Former photo journalist, Film maker and ELC Shanghai Photography teacher, Franc Peret is teaching Essential Photography Classes, Advanced Photography Workshop and Film Making Classes in Shanghai, for the last 11 years.
If you wish to contact Franc, just drop an email to