Jackie’s Victoria Park Portrait

It was a beautiful day in Victoria Park, Kitchener. Jackie and I were having a walk-through on our way downtown for times and dress shopping.

She is a friend of mine with plenty of natural beauty. She was all done up that day, and should have known photographs would happen if she was seeing me for the morning!

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Canon 80D | Sigma f/1.8 18mm – 35mm art at 35mm | Canon 430EXIII-RT flash with stoffen f/2.5 | 1/80sec | iso 100 | Displayed at 10inch long side and 85dpi | Jackie poses for a photograph on Victoria Park’s island as we pass through to downtown.

Now, our trip was not about taking a new picture for Jackie, we wanted to explore downtown a little and get a dress for a wedding she had coming up. With that in mind, this was not a full session and we really only got one or two images that we were both happy with as we passed through the park.

This is what we had time for. It’s a beautiful image, Jackie and her friends love it, and I’m happy with it as well.

Getting tech-y, had we more time, I would have liked to experiment more with my new lens and camera. I’m really interested in its wide-angle, wide-aperture ability for scenic shots that previously I needed to create as composites to maintain quality.

In exposing the image I knew I wanted a close up to get lots of light in her dark brown eyes from my flash. I left the flash on TTL, pointed it almost perpendicular to her face, opened my lens up all the way and then closed a stop (three clicks up.)

The reason I closed down one stop from the lens’ maximum is in a previous shoot I found that at similar distance for portraits f/1.8 did not perform well. Depth of field was a bit too complicated, and we were in a hurry. Also, I wanted to see if there was a noticeable difference to the sharpness of the lens at f1.8 and f/2.5, unrelated to depth of field. I did not notice a difference in quality in the opposing apertures.

In hindsight, I would have also set my camera to record the ambient image one stop under-exposed. Working quickly, 1/80sec of a second is a bit slow and could cause motion blur from my hands combined with any of Jackie’s movements. Closing to 1/160sec may have made a sharper image, and Jackie would have been just as bright since she was flash-lit.

In Post-Production, I opened the image in Camera Raw first for some global and spot adjustments. I touched sharpness a little, because I wasn’t happy with the eyes, and adjusted the image to taste. I also did a spot adjustment on the eyes to raise them 1 stop, since she has very dark brown eyes.

After Camera Raw, I loaded the image into Photoshop and brushed her face to even the skin tone, remove some flashed-out portions, and touch up blemishes. Her dress saw a little work as well for a crease or two and what looked to be an iron mark.

I think I used a high-pass filter for extra sharpening. Ask if you’re curious about that!

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