After our sunrise photo shoot collaboration last year, Hannah came back for another shoot, indoors this time, and at a much more reasonable time of day. Hannah’s prototypical redhead features look amazing in natural light, especially her red hair which has some great copper tones. Aside from a full frame Nikon DSLR and a portrait lens, the natural light did all the work here without any modifiers.
Full frame DSLR for shallow depth of field
One thing I love about full frame cameras (especially the Nikon D750) over crop frame cameras are their ability to produce images with greater depth of field. It’s not a huge difference in all instances, but indoors in cramped spaces it can make all the difference in the world when working distances are short. Indoors I tend to stick with 50mm and 85mm focal lengths (and would use 35mm if I had a suitable lens), but walls, furniture, and other elements around my shooting space are in close quarters. Full frame’s ability to blur these elements out more effectively than crop frame means background elements are less distracting.
Medium format digital is even better still at achieving this look, but as the sensor size increases, so does the difficulty of pinpointing your focus. The depth of field can be so slim and shallow with larger sensors that the in focus areas can be measured in fractions of a millimetre. I’d had the opportunity to shoot with medium format digital in the past, but did so in a studio environment with the lens stopped down, so I didn’t really get to push the depth of field to its shallowest extremes.
This cute t-shirt, which I don’t think is even close to being grammatically correct, came from Forever 21. I also don’t think Hannah speaks French.
The background in these next photos is a bit deceiving. It’s one you’ll recognize from some photos I’ve posted here before, and despite what it looks like at first glance, it’s not entirely a result of shallow depth of field from a full frame DSLR. The background is actually a large, sliding, frosted glass door which does a great job of reflecting the room it faces. So all the objects in the background behind Hannah are actually objects behind me, reflected in the glass. Luckily I was able to hide my own reflection pretty well.
One of the best Nikon full frame lenses for the D750 is the Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G lens (VIEW ON AMAZON), which I used here at an aperture of ƒ/2.8.
Hannah wears lingerie from La Vie En Rose.
This final set of images made me realize for the first time how lousy the paint job by the previous owners was. Look at those walls and those awful patchwork brushstrokes! Ugh. Anyway, Hannah looks good so I suppose that’s all that matters.
Shop Amazon for the gear I used for these redhead portraits
- Nikon D750 Full Frame DSLR Camera Body with Meike MK-DR750 Battery Grip
- Nikon 50mm FX ƒ/1.4G AF-S Lens for full frame cameras
- Nikon 85mm FX ƒ/1.8G AF-S Lens for full frame cameras
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