In my first video, I shot a roll of Fuji 400H. But felt I didn't do it justice. I developed the roll myself. It was my first time trying and it didn't turn out as good as I thought. I also felt my method was too inconsistent. Many frames were out of focus. This time I made a commitment to slow down and be more intentional with each frame. I think it payed off.
When scouting, I was looking for areas where the subject could stand in an area with a higher EI than the background. Since the weather was overcast, this made it a little more challenging as everything is evenly lit. This first location, was in a back alley right off downtown city centre. The alley had a apparent light drop off. Standing on the edge, the light metered F4, 1\125th at 250 ISO. The wooden fence metered at 1.4 - 1.8. So a 2 or 3 stop difference from where our subject would be placed. This helps create contrast between the subject and the background.
I chose this second location because I wanted to use one of the skyscrapers as background itself. Once we got there it became apparent I wouldn't be able to fill the frame with one of the towers. The 110mm on the 6 X 7 is equivalent to a 53mm in 35mm format terms. Thus, the lens didn't give me enough compression to allow for one of the skyscrapers to fill the frame. I ended framing the subject in between two adjacent skyscrapers. At the aperture we're shooting, the background is completely out of focus. So, it doesn't really matter anyway. Then the building on the right of us had some really nice architecture. I thought it would be nice to try to incorporate it in a bull body shot. I don't really like that shot though. I should of had the subject a lot closer in the frame. The frame is too busy with not enough focus being brought on the subject. Also, it seems like the building is backwards. The camera was probably not properly balanced throwing off the perspective.
As our subject and her mom were starting to freeze because of the cold temperature, we then sought an indoor location. It can sometimes be challenging to find indoor spots to shoot in downtown without getting thrown out by security. Luckily, there was an LRT entrance down the street with some large window. When standing on the edge of the windows, we barely achieved 2.8 at 1\60th. This made me nervous, as I know I am terrible at focusing this camera. For each frame we shot, I took my time and made sure the subject understood she had to stand absolutely still. The poses might seem a little stiff because of this. It seems like the focus on these shots were on the furthest eye. But since the exposure is lower on the closest eye, it doesn't seem to throw off the viewing experience.
The first image on left up above has the nicest "eye". It reflects the light coming through the windows and looks awesome. Unfortunately, the closest eye is out of focus. Rendering the image useless. The next image is completely out of focus.
When interacting with my subjects, I always strive to get certain reactions, without directly asking them for it. Instead of asking someone to smile, say something funny. Instead of asking them to be serious, ask them something meaningful. I like this "method acting" approach as it seem to yield the most authentic expressions. The problem with this approach of mine, especially when it comes to shooting medium format and I image would be even more true if shooting large format, is that the subject doesn't know I am doing this to get a reaction from them. So they start moving back and forth, laughing, thinking or whatever. That's when I try to shoot the picture. But, with medium format having such a small margin for error with focusing, it makes actually getting the shot quite a challenge. It's probably best I stop doing this when shooting with the RZ. Looking at most of the out of focus shots from this shoots, this was the cause.
Here again, I tried to make the subject laugh. As you can see from the last 3 frames, she was moving back and forth and I was trying to capture some authentic joy. The two first frames were out of focus. But, luckily, I got the last one. Sometime I think this makes it worth it. But at the cost of 120 rolls, and having only 10 frames per roll... maybe I should keep that style of shooting for 35mm or digital. In any case, I'm really happy with how the shoot turned out. My keeper ratio was way higher than normal on this camera. It is for sure attributed to:
- Slowing down and think about the frame and composition
- Using a tripod. (even the one I used is a little shaky, should try to find sturdier one)
- Using a 7X loupe for focusing instead of the 1.5X magnifier from the WLV