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What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-16-2004, 08:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What do you guys who shoot fashion normaly shoot at? 2.8? 22?
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Re: What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-16-2004, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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there is no one f-stop for fashion; or two, or three. it depends on how much depth of field you want in your image...

get past that "one-technique" mentality, people...shoot according to the final image.


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Re: What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-16-2004, 10:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Casey

Sean's right -- you need to pick the f-stop for the effect you're going after. However, I understand your question and I'd answer that I try and keep the depth of field low most of the time. I find that f1.4 - 2.8 is pretty narrow -- so I keep that for beauty shots. I usually use F4 - f5.6 for general shooting.

Remember that depth of field is a percentage of the subject distance. When you're 1 meter from the subject, f1.4 can even get you only one eye in focus if the model has her head turned. If you're 3 meters away, you'll have the model's entire face in focus.

Bob

Something at f1.4 and 1 meter or closer.

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Re: What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-16-2004, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK... your stuff rocks so.... Can you give some general rules for shooting fashion... if you don't know what they are...you can't break them.....
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Re: What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-16-2004, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It really depends tfor me on what the shot is about..and what I am trying to convey with the shot in mind... mind you that I am not the world's greatest fashion photographer, but I try..

Outdoors, I am often trying to shoot as wide open as I can... like anywhere between f1.8-f2.8 to make the backgrounds a bit soft so the model stands out against it../ so there aren't any distracting elements within the photo to compete with the model..or what she is wearing.. In the studio,...I am often shooting at around f5.6 + 1/2 or "f6.7" ...to f11. I can shoot at f16-22 or so but I'm not much of a fan of that much light...for one, the recycle times are longer..and with my style of shooting,..I shoot a lot..and I am always looking for "that look"..and I can't stand seeing it and losing it when the lights are powering up.....in addition, I just don't like to not blast so much light at a model..it's just not for me.. I don't mind so much if I am blasting it around them with grids, or strip lights....or scrims.. and make them stand out against the background.. Oh, and perspective..I shoot at about hmmm...just above waiste level for most of my fashion related stuff..so that the eye goes right to what they are wearing..

As always, have fun learning new things.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

JP



 
 
rules?
Old 12-17-2004, 12:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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rules? the only rule i know is shooting for the subject according to the final purpose or use of the image. talking about f-stops and lighting is really pointless, because exposure settings are going to be dictated by personal style, subject matter and the final depiction thereof. if that's what you were expecting, then you can stop reading [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

fashion photography is a pretty broad category. but to oversimplify things, the subject of fashion photography is ... fashion. the clothes. you're shooting the clothes, not the model, because it's the clothes you're trying to sell, and not the girl wearing them. even with editorial fashion, where you're selling the "feeling" or image of the clothes rather than the clothes per se, you're still selling the clothes. the model is just something to put the clothes on.

let's go with beauty photography. this time, substitute the clothes for makeup or lotion, or some other beauty product. editorial beauty? you're selling the feeling or image of that particular beauty product. again, NOT about the model. she/he is just a canvas to put the product on.

okay, so let's say you're shooting for a model's portfolio. it's all about the model this time, right? nope. it's about showing how well the model can sell clothes or beauty products or whatever other product as well as the image or feeling associated with them. again, nothing to do with the model per se.

flip through fashion magazines. real ones. not maxim. not stuff or fhm. pick up vogue, w, bazaar, surface, i-d, flaunt, or zink for example. study the photographs and editorials and see if you can understand why it was lit that way, or why the model's pose is like that, or why the depth of field is shallow or not. what stands out in the images? what is the unifying theme in each editorial? what are they selling in the photographs? can you pick out the key element/s of a particular article of clothing? what feeling are they trying to project or associate with the clothes? with beauty shots -- why did they pick that model? study the facial/bone structure that makes a good beauty model.

if you can understand the above... you can shoot fashion. if you know the "why", you can do the "how".

there's a few gg members who know much more than i when it comes to fashion: chung lee, eric striffler, christian behr, and jerry avenaim immediately come to mind. i've learned a lot from them just by reading their posts and critiques of not just my work but others' work as well.


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I agree
Old 12-17-2004, 04:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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with everything Sean said, but would add the further category of "glamour", which IMO is different than fashion or beauty (as Sean well described them). Glamour, unlike fashion, IS selling the model. Whether its a B/W celebrity portrait, or a bikini babe on the beach, or lingerie, or a nude, or some old fabric wrapped around the model, if the purpose of the shot is to show off the model (which IS what you're seeing in Maxim, et al) than in my book it falls into the category of glamour, even though magazines like Maxim DO try to use trendy fashions, because they get them for free (on loan to the stylist). For example, stylists working on a fashion shoot usually have to use current "fashionable" clothes, and make sure they look good so they'll sell (whether in an ad or as editorial). Stylists working on a glamour shoot can use anything - or nothing - they want, whether its in or out of style, from competing manufacturers, worn as intended or twisted and torn up. The whole point is to make a statement about the person, not the clothes.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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rules? fstop?
Old 12-17-2004, 05:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the only rule with fashion is there are no rules, but your work has to look like other similarly done campaigns.

In other words, original, to a point, but not so far out as to be off the wall.

As a few have mentioned, its commercial photography, for a client and trying to get paying people to buy stuff.

So whatever the client wants works, and most fashion shoots have a story board and a look, so you match the look and the storyboard and the art director (AD) is happy and the client is happy and folks buy the stuff you shot and you get paid.

I can't think that any clients ASK about fstops..its just not done, and most wouldn't even know the term. You shoot to capture the look the AD wants and thats all you do.

It's not rocket science, fashion is big money shooting with a very commercial end result in mind..get ladies (90% of the fashion sutomers are ladies) with money to like the mood your images evoke and want to buy the product you shot because they envision themselves in the story you shot.

Every single fashion campaign and photo shoot revolves around that concept.

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Re: What fstop for Fashion?
Old 12-17-2004, 07:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sean is right, it all depends on what you're going for, but most do shoot near the wide open to -2 stops area to keep the emphasis on the subject and the clothing. Hyper focus is more for scenics. JMHO

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Don\'t Box Yourself In!
Old 12-18-2004, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Do what works for you.
Remember, photography is an art form, not a science.
You learn the physics, the chemistry, the techical so you can
master the look that you want.
Use the f-stop and shutter speed that creates the image you want.
There is no magic combination. Just a magic vision.

Greg.

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