Even once in a while I receive interesting emails from my readers with photography related questions that can be inspiring for other photographers too, like the question below from Darian. I got permission to share the email so we can all learn together!
Darian: “Your work is so inspirational and your blog was a blessing to come across! I’ve been looking nonstop for an inspirational blog that teaches more about the basic fundamentals of fashion photography, but with a more modern appeal and yours is definitely that! As an aspiring fashion photographer myself I have a few questions for you that I hope you dont mind answering. I currently own a 5D mark III with a 24-70mm and a 50mm 1.4 lens, but I just had know how you achieve results like your “Print Perfect” and “Take Me Anywhere” editorial spreads just as an example. What lens did you rely on for these shoots? I also checked out your blog advice for aperture settings, but I’m curious to know for fashion photography specifically, what aperture do you personally prefer to shoot at? I’ve noticed a lot of industry standard works have a lot of detail on the subject with slight background blur while still managing to encompass the entirety of the scene. I’d like to achieve this in the cleanest way possible. Would you recommend smaller apertures like f/4.0 or f/5.6? Thanks for your time and your feedback! Best regards, Darian H.”
Thanks for the compliments! I can understand your question because with fashion photography on location, you want to have details and sharpness on the model’s face and eyes, but also on the clothes and jewelry. With an aperture like f/1.4 (to get a super blurred background) it will be impossible to achieve this, because your point of sharpness is very selective. Personally I love to shoot at f/2.8 but when I noticed that I need more details in the clothes or I have to show the location like in the editorials you mentioned, I attend to shoot at f/4.0 till f/8.0. So I think you already understand how it all works! To answer your other questions about the lenses I used: for the editorial with the two girls (Print Perfect) I mostly used the Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4 because I love the 35mm angle and sharpness of this lens! For the other shoot (Take Me Anywhere) I used different prime lenses like the Sigma ART 35mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f.1.4, Canon 85mm f/1.8 and the Canon 100mm L f/2.8. Besides my prime lenses, I prefer to work with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II for studio shoots or at locations where I don’t what to switch lenses all the time (at the beach for example to avoid dust and sand in the sensor). I would recommend to start at f/2.8 and check the details and sharpness, if it’s not enough, go a step higher every time and check it again till you and/or your client are satisfied, that is something I do when the stylist or makeup artist are still checking their work right before we start shooting. And did you see the jewelry campaign I did for Wildthings Collectables? For the tiny jewelry we had to capture, I used an aperture of f/11 and f/13 to make sure everything was super sharp! So I start with a small number because that is what I love the most, but I go a little higher till I achieve the best results, depending on every shoot/client/location/concept :) Well I hope this helps clear things up a bit!
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