Shallow depth of field always brings a lot charm to an image. We use it constantly when photographing with natural light. In the studio it gets a little bit more tricky due to the power of your strobes.
I took up his technique to produce portraits and wanted to share the results with you.
The Lighting Setup
In the second photo I added a powerful spotlight to brighten up the background. The background spotlight is powerful enough that the light spills onto the model creating the very nice reflections on her cheekbones.
To achieve a shallow depth of field I pushed the camera’s ISO down to 50 and opened up the aperture to f3,5. It’s tricky getting your focus right with such a low aperture, but if you concentrate, everything is possible!
The main light was a Profoto 600W head reduced to its minimum power. Due to the large aperture I needed as little light as possible. So I kept the power low and played with the distance of the strobe to the model, thus allowing me to keep my large aperture without overexposing the image. Here is a picture of the setup (please note that the background light was only used in the second picture):
For those of you interested in the technical details:
- Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 100mm 2,8L USM II
I am very happy with the results and I will certainly produce more picture with a shallow depth of field. The bigger your sensor the easier it is and nicer your depth of field. With a 5Dm2 the results are good but imagine using a middle format digital camera!
What do you think about shallow depth of field? Have you tried it in the studio? Show me results!