Bridal Portraits with the 24-105mm f/4
We started with the 24-105mm f/4 lens to showcase something more environmental. I wanted to show off the scene: The trees framing the subject and the grass in the foreground with a full body shot at first.
Now, granted, we can do this with any lens. I would just need to move further away or closer to my subject (depending on the lens you decide to use). But with the 24-105mm f/4, I’ve got a really nice range. This gives me the ability to move closer or get a wider shot and allow her to really pop in the frame. I photographed this at f/4.0 to get her in focus and have some of that nice fall off in the background.
Lowering my position down to one knee, I was able to strategically place her head in the brightest spot of the image, with her head framed in with the leaves in the trees around her. Your eye is always going to go to the brightest part of the image, so I want to put her head in that spot, vs. burying her in the greenery behind her.
Environmental Bridal Portraits with the 50mm f/1.4
For the second scene, we used a vintage peacock chair and framed it up by two trees. For this scene, we’re going to be using the 50mm f/1.4. This lens is gorgeous and it's very solid in your hands.
The 50mm has T-stops, which allow you to control your aperture. You can either control it on the lens, or you can put it in A for auto, and then you're controlling it through your camera body. But because of that, it's actually a manual-focus lens. Now, you might be freaking out thinking, “Is he really going shoot at 1.4 with manual focus?” You’re damn right I did.
Because of the Panasonic technology, we've got focus peaking. As we start zooming in to our subject, we can see that focus peaking showing you part of the image is in focus. The Panasonic S1R has a zoom-in window and the focus peaking starts showing me if I'm in focus or not. That tech is insane. Not only is that tech insane, it's showing me all of that through the viewfinder. Now, I can shoot with confidence and know that even at f/1.4 I still am going to get a sharp, in-focus shot.
We had a beautiful scene here in an open field framed up with two trees. I didn't like what I saw behind her when I was initially standing up, so, again, change your perspective. I took a low-angle approach here and made sure she's was positioned in the middle of the trees. I also chose to use a leaf in my foreground for a few shots to give me a little bit of a blur. Then, I moved her to the bottom of the frame, and when I looked through my viewfinder I could see the focus on both her lips and on her eyes. The final images turned out absolutely incredible, as you can see below.
High-Fashion Bridal Portraits with the 70-200mm f/4
For the final scene and final lens, we jumped to the 70-200mm and put our model on a gorgeous backdrop on-location. I love this lens because it compresses the background. When you have a 200mm or 400mm lens, you're really going to make your subject and the background become one.
You'll see in the video that I took a wide shot, but then moved really far away to compress the two of them. I then took a nice portrait of her using that same 200mm focal length, and you can see the difference in the way it looks and feels. Ultimately, you’ve got to figure out what your own style is.
One thing I can tell you about this lens is that it's pretty lightweight for a 70-200mm, which is kind of shocking. It feels nice in your hand, and it has really great ergonomics. Now, this is an f/4.0 lens, so that's probably why it's a little bit lighter. You don't have to have the same amount of glass, but we're going to get a nice looking shot here at f/4.0, so that's what we're going to shoot it at.
During this part of the shoot, it started to rain, and using the 70-200mm in a situation like this is absolutely critical, because now I've got a big range to work with, and I don't have to be changing lenses in the rain. Not only was I able to compress that background, but I was also able to work very quickly.
I hope you enjoyed seeing the Panasonic S1R in action, and I hope you enjoyed the images we created. The takeaway here is understanding how your focal length can absolutely change the way your images look. Panasonic has nailed it. Their glass is on point, and we were able to create some epic images today.