Friday, November 30, 2012

The Digital Boudoir: a Look at Photography Equipment

JJT: First of all, you work with Nikkon cameras.  Why do you like Nikkon?

NS: I went with Nikkon early in my college days because they had a reputation for really sharp lenses with the Nikkor series.  Then, once you commit, you kind of have to stick with it.  You collect the lenses and they're expensive.  Plus, you get used to where the buttons are.  Once you get used to the way Nikkons feel, you can really be intuitive with the camera.

JJT: What are your favorite lenses to use in boudoir photography?  What do they do that's special?

NS: I use a 24-70mm lens with a 2.8 aperture, and an 85mm prime lens with a 1.4 aperture.  I like to work with a shallow depth of field.  With these lenses I'm able to use less flash.  I really only want to use flash as a fill, not to create some dramatic contrasts, or anything.  I like to create a soft and even light.

JJT: What kind of lights do you prefer to work with, and how do you like to use them?

NS: I use a speedlight hooked up to a soft-box.  This gives a nice off-camera flash look, that is subtle.  I often bounce the flash off of the ceiling in order to just flood the room with light without directly blasting the subject.

JJT: What do you like most about your new camera?

NS: Well, I got the D800E, and the main thing it helps with is flexibility in cropping.  I know that when I'm editing, it will be no problem for me to recompose the shot with a crop without losing any quality.  Plus, it just has an overall nice sharpness and clarity to the image.  Also, it takes great pictures with the higher ISO settings, like 1000 or 2000 with no problem.

JJT: How many photos do you take, and how many are you hoping to keep, in a typical boudoir session?

NS: I usually take 200-500, and I try to get 50-100 keepers.  The goal is to get at least 40 great photos for an album, and this usually takes 2 hours.  I'll compose anywhere between 50 -100 compositions and take several frames of each shot to try and get the model to warm up and to capitalize on those subtle little differences.

JJT: What kind of look are you going for in your boudoir photography?

NS: In general, I'm going for a sense of elegance.  I want to make photos that are subtle but drop-dead gorgeous.  I want there to be an element of glamor, too, so I try to achieve a nice soft and glowing light.  I don't want the pictures to be too dark or contrasty.  Mainly I want them to be bright, clear, soft, and elegant photos of women looking their best.

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