This week I give tips on getting your subject in sharp focus when shooting with a wide aperture, I reveal some images from my not so distant past, and I give my take on the 70-200mm 2.8 vs the 24-70mm 2.8 lens. Check back next Monday when I'll be taking more questions! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated!
How do you get multiple people in sharp focus with wide apertures? Where do you put the focus point? Do you leave it in the center and recompose or move it with your controller?
Achieving a sharp focus on multiple subjects in an image when using a wide aperture can be very tricky. A "wide aperture" is referring to an aperture setting like 1.2 or 2.8. The smaller the number, the wider the aperture. This was so confusing to me when I first started! Shooting wide open can create really beautiful results with a dreamy blurred background, or "bokeh." The only downside is that it can be hard to get all your subjects in focus. A technique for posing that I have found to be really helpful is placing all my subjects on an even plain. The images below are all examples of when I posed subjects on an even plain, but shot at a very wide aperture. I typically place my focal point on the eye of the subject in the middle, focus, and recompose for the shot. I actually don't mind when all subjects aren't in sharp focus. Sometimes I think this technique can have a nostalgic, almost film look that I really love.
Do you ever look back at your old photos and hate the way you edited them or took them?
I LOVE this question because I think that, as artists, we tend to compare ourselves to those who have been doing this for a long time and end up feeling discouraged. For this question, I went way back into my archives for some of my work from the VERY beginning. As embarrassing as it is for me to show these, I think it's so important for people to know that getting good at your craft takes time, practice, and passion.
At the time, I thought these images were AWESOME! In fact, people paid me to take some of these images. I will be forever grateful to those who believed in me before I believed in myself. Below are some before and afters of my old work alongside my current work. When I look back at my old work I totally cringe...the over saturation, the poor composition, bad angles, etc. Like I said though, at the time I was totally passionate about just creating a photograph I was excited about... and I think that's what is most important. I'm absolutely positive that 5 years from now, a year from now, even a month from now I'll look back on my current editing style and hate how the images look. As artists we grow and evolve as our skill improves and trends change, and I think that's such a beautiful thing.
Do you like shooting weddings with the 24-70mm 2.8 or the 70-200mm 2.8 better? I'm definitely going to be getting these eventually but I'm currently on a budget.
If I really had to choose between either of these lenses I'd definitely go with the 70-200mm 2.8L lens. This lens is a MUST for shooting a wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, you want to be able to capture emotion without being too invasive or blocking the guest's view. This lens is perfect for getting up close and personal from a distance. Plus, it creates a fantastic depth of field when it's at 200mm and wide open. It's my sneaky, ninja lens.
You definitely can't shoot an entire wedding on this lens though! If I had to buy only ONE lens right now, I'd buy a 50mm 1.2 or 1.4 lens. If I really had to, I could shoot an entire wedding on this.