Fort Point - April

This is Part Two of the Fort Point shoot, organized by Marebeth Gromer, who runs the Meetup Group that I'm a part of.

For all of my shots with April, I left my 56mm f/1.2 prime lens on my Fuji X-T1.  The 56mm lens on an APS-C crop sensor body has the same field of view as an 85mm lens on a full frame body.  The compression is really nice and the effect is quite flattering on the face.  All of the photos were taken in natural light, mostly window light.  I left my flashes in the car because the guards at the gate didn't want us wandering around with a whole bunch of gear that might get in the way of the visitors to the fort.

This first shot of April was just a simple headshot.

ISO 800   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/125sec

I guess it seems kinda strange, having your first photo of someone who you've never worked with before, be a headshot portrait because you really have to get into their personal space.  But I liked how the natural window light fell on her hair and how it made the color of her left eye really pop out.

With the lack of proper lighting in the fort, I was pushing my X-T1's ISO limits to the max, as you'll see in succeeding photos.  In fact, for the entire shoot indoors, I don't think I went below 800 ISO.

For this second shot, I wanted to take advantage of the natural lines as they made a nice complement to April's costume.

800 ISO   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/60sec

Her blond hair really stands out in this shot, and the black trim on her costume makes a nice contrast to the plain white wall.

I love the effect in the next shot. For some reason, I thought she was Belle from Beauty & the Beast.

ISO 3200   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/60sec

You'll notice here that the ISO is at a really high number.  6400 ISO is the top ISO setting if you want to shoot RAW on the X-T1.  Up to 1600 ISO, most images are fine with minimal grain.  But beyond that you really take your chances.

I made some additional adjustments to give it the look and feel that I was after: I took the temperature down in the photo to give it that bluish tint.  And some noise reduction was done in Lightroom to get rid of the graininess that's associated with such high ISO shots.  The actual RAW image of this photo is really dark, so it's a testament to the high dynamic range of the Fuji X-T1 that it was able to capture so much detail!

The next one is my personal favorite, being a fan of leading lines.

ISO 800   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/100sec

The hallway is actually quite long, going back over a hundred feet, but the wide open aperture and the distance of the hallway further add to the feeling of the depth of the hallway.

The photo is just slightly out of focus, and I'm not exactly sure why.  I may have not held the camera steady enough, but then again my shutter speed was high enough to compensate for camera shake.  What's the general rule?  Twice the focal length to avoid camera shake?  (Note to self: Use a monopod next time if it's dark. Though the facility staff may not have allowed it in here.)  But other than the focus, everything else about this photo is just perfect, from April's smile, to the costume, to the depth of the hallway, and even April's pose.  For some shots, you know you've nailed it right away, and this was it for me.

This next shot appears to be everyone's favorite, and it's my second favorite of the shots I took of April.

ISO 800   56mm lens   f/1.2   1/250sec

I took a succession of shots because the wind was whipping around and taking April's veil and hair in all different directions.  But this shot ... when I saw it, I knew right away that it was going to be black and white, or sepia.  Sometimes you just know it when you see it in the live view or the viewfinder of your camera.  I love the old west or turn-of-the-century feeling this photo imparts.  And once again, you have the sense of depth because of the arches falling into the distance and the darkness.  And the veil lining up just right brought all of the elements together.

All photos were edited in Lightroom.  And kudos to April for the great work she did.  She was absolutely freezing!  With the windchill, it must have been 45 degrees during the shoot!

Gear used:  Fuji X-T1 with 56mm f/1.2 prime lens.