I'm borrowing Bob Latham's 45mm TS-E lens at the moment with the intention of trying some portraits with it soon. In the absence of a model, I thought I'd try a statue!
I took a series of 5 bracketed shots on the 1DsII and chose three of them to merge into an HDR. I wasn't happy with the grey-look of the statue so I used the adjustment brush in Lightroom (with help from the auto-mask option) to lighten the statue. The pre-Lightroom adjust (but post HDR) version is below for comparison!
Notice how the horizontal tilt on the lens has rendered the left hand side of the shot out of focus, but a plane of sharp focus has extended to the background on the right hand side.
I'm impressed with the quality of the output of the X100 at ISO 3200. I've added a little noise reduction in Lightroom, but to be honest, quality was impressive straight out of camera! This was handheld with a slow shutter speed.
FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/2 @ 23 mm, 1/17, ISO 3200, No Flash
I really could have done with my Canon DSLR + off-camera flash guns or Lencarta lights for this shot. However, I had my Fuji X100, the little EF-20 gun and a Canon off-camera cord that happens to work with the Fuji.
I tried direct flash and the lighting was horrid and harsh with deep shadows cast on the wall behind. I couldn't really mix flash and ambient because the background lighting was so low.
Solution? Tape a sheet of A4 paper around the flashgun and use that to soften the light. Lighting softness is dependent on the effective size of the light - by bouncing off the paper, the light gets softer. As you'll see in future posts I could position the light to get different effects as well!
The result is some nice soft shadows around the nose and on the background. I removed some of the saturation to give a colder feel to the shot.
FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/4 @ 23 mm, 1/1000, ISO 400, Flash
The lens allows you to tilt the front element to change the plane of focus (either to drastically increase or decrease depth of field) and a shift facility which is especially useful in capturing architecture whilst keeping parallel lines looking parallel.
The lens rotates and this combined with tilting the lens can give some interesting selective focus effects which I intend to try on portraiture.
Anyhow, one effect you can achieve with a tilted lens is to make real-life scenes look like models. Todays pic is not a great example of this - taken at night in miserable weather & a fairly boring subject, but it hints at what is possible. The blurring of the top and bottom of the frame (made possible with the tilt) gives the effect.
Probably best to click and see large to get the full effect, although I intend to take some more convincing examples soon.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, f/5 @ 90 mm, 2s, ISO 100
Although I was keen to post something about the TS-E, the above shot is not the most exciting on the planet so I thought I'd add a portrait of my father taken at the New Forest last month. It is cropped from the full frame and was taken on the X100.
FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/2.8 @ 23 mm, 1/125, ISO 500, Flash
I decided to have some fun with a shot I took of some fireworks. I extracted the colour from the black, copied it on to several layers and rotated the contents of the layers seperately to make this pattern:
This was the original image:
Canon EOS-1D Mark III, f/9 @ 40 mm, 1.3s, ISO 100, No Flash
Simple setup here - one large octabox close-in to subject gives a diffuse window-like light. We had little space to work in so I extended the black background in Photoshop to balance the composition and applied 'creamtone' preset in lightroom to convert to a warm monochrome.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, f/11 @ 85 mm, 1/200, ISO 100
In this shot I tried to emulate an old colour-photo by using the 'yesteryear 1' preset which uses split toning to adjust the colours and adds a little vignette. To emphasize the effect further I added some grain.
FUJIFILM FinePix X100, f/5.6 @ 23 mm, 1/125, ISO 320, No Flash