sean astin portrait dc photographers

Sean Astin – October 27th 2014
// by sam hurd

The Gear

Lens: Nikon 58 1.4 w/ ND Filter

Camera: Nikon D750

Light Sources: Paul C Buff Einstein

Light Modifiers: Parabolic Light Modifier

Technique: 3 Shot Pano

The Goal

Create a timeless and stoic portrait in a boring corner of a room in less than 30 seconds.

The Story

I’d never photographed in this room and it presented itself with a unique challenge. It’s the newest renovated space in the facility and though the photo (posted below) of the space looks like there’s plenty of room to move around – there wasn’t by the time I started photographing Sean. There were upwards of 50 people in this tiny little space all while I was to make my portrait of him. I was particularly excited to photograph Sean because I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I didn’t make this known to him, but I was beaming with excitement. I’ve been to New Zealand a few times and even went on a LOTR tour, which I blogged about. Anyway, I wasn’t able to kill the lights in the room so to get rid of the nasty ambient light in the space I shot through a very dark ND filter. This is essentially like shooting through a lens from sunglasses. It means I have to crank up the power of my Einstein light more, but the benefit is that the ambient light in the room goes completely dark and doesn’t even become a factor in my exposure. It’s a pretty straight forward shot with 3 vertical frames stitched together in post to create the ultra shallow depth of field that is impossible to achieve without a larger format camera. I was very excited to do this with the brand new Nikon D750 because of it’s large number of mega pixels combined with it’s great colors and tones. I used the Nikon 58 1.4 for its reliable auto focus and unique character. The resulting stitched file on my computer is 7445 pixels wide, which is HUGE. I could print this the side of a building if I wanted to! Anyway, afterwards I immediately went home and watched LOTR and the Goonies.

behind the scenes portarit on location

The Lesson

Have a plan, even if it’s a simple one.

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