A Sample Of Portraits With Dallas Artists

Over the last few years I settled into a comfort zone with my photography of mostly shooting concerts and sports. As much as I love those two genres of photography I wanted to branch out this year and add portraiture to the repertoire. So, as concert season slowed down over the winter and football season ended I invested in some lighting equipment (1 monolight, 1 strobe, 1 speedlight, several light stands, backdrop kit and seamless rolls of paper) and taught myself how to shoot this style of photography. Fortunately some artists I've worked with in the past were willing to help me out. Special thanks to Lord Byron, Pat Ron and The Outfit, TX!

The biggest adjustment from shooting journalistic type photos to portraiture has been getting used to creating the whole image. With concert or sports photography I'm used to having to make do with the available light, the setting and keeping up with the subject. With studio photography or portraiture I'm in control of all of that and it's a lot more difficult to create the whole image from the lighting technique to the backdrop color/setting and posing the subjects. But it's all part of the learning process and just like I had no idea how to shoot sports a few years ago I'll learn and get used to this too. 

Lord Byron

Pat Ron

The Outfit, TX

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Studio Photography: Birthday Portraits With Adreanna

This photo shoot with Adreanna was a fun one. She wanted to do a photoset celebrating her upcoming birthday so we grabbed a dozen balloons and a beautiful roll of seamless to do some bright, fun portraits. I'm still in the infancy of getting comfortable shooting in a studio setting with lights so I kept things simple with just a two-light setup for these shots. The first one was  a clamshell lighting with an octabox and strip box underneath to fill shadows. We used this for the first four shots here. The rest of the shots I used the octabox as a key light just off camera and the stripbox as fill. That setup offered nice even lighting and some great accents or catch light in the balloons. 

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Concert Photos With The Canon 5D Mark IV

When the Canon 5D Mark IV was announced I pre-ordered it right away. I had been preparing to buy a new camera the whole year and was hoping to purchase a 1DX Mark II but when I saw this I pounced on it because even it were only slightly better than my wonderful Mark III I'd be happy. I was a little worried though because I wondering how much better the ISO performance would be because from the announcement the ISO range wasn't anything close to what Nikon offers with its brand-new line of cameras. So I was excited/nervous to shoot my first show with the camera. But ... from the images below it's obvious that the ISO performance and dynamic range is amazing. I'm so happy with this camera. The most important thing I'd like to point is how sharp these photos are even with heavy cropping because I was shooting from at least 100 yards away. That 30MP sensor is fantastic but if you miss the focus it will make you pay. Also it was great to take advantage of the wifi and transfer photos to my phone right away. So far, I haven't found any issues with this camera.    

First Images With Canon 5D Mark IV

This weekend I tested out my new Canon 5D Mark IV at a football game between SMU and Baylor in Waco, TX. I've owned a Canon 5D Mark III for several years now so there wasn't too much of an adjustment other than one new toggle switch on the back to change auto-focus settings. It was also fun playing with the new touch screen that allows you to tap to change settings, swipe through photos and pinch to zoom. Pretty cool stuff.

The new 30.4 MP sensor is awesome. For something like football it really allowed me to shoot action across the field and still be able to crop the photo down for a clean shot of the action that was pretty far away. With the new sensor is you really have to the focus properly on your subject. If you miss the focus it's really apparent and you might notice that in some of my photos. But when it hits it is really sharp even with the ancient 100-400L IS lens I was using. The focus was fast and it's just a matter of user error for missed shots.

Now I know the 5D4 isn't exactly made for sports photography but for me it's the perfect compromise. The only options for "sports photography" are the Canon 1DX Mark II (Just too expensive for me), the Canon 1DX (Too old for me -- I like Wifi and touch screen) and the Canon 7D Mark II (Not impressed with the sensor, dynamic range or ISO abilities). The 5D4 comes in right in the middle with a fair price of $3500, similar auto-focusing system to the Canon 1DX Mark II, great sensor and 7 frames per second, which is one more FPS than I was getting on the 5D3. It's an all-around shooter and everything I'm looking for. 

One thing to keep in mind when looking at these photos is most of them are heavily cropped and even at an images size of 2000px these are still pretty damn sharp. I could've used a better lens but I just don't have one right now. (p.s. a couple of these were shot with my old 5D3)