Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/02

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Subject: [Leica] Color print portrait film
From: Bill Bain <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 11:20:19 -0400

I have been drafted into doing my daughter's soccer team portraits (the
commercial photographer that was hired did a less than adequate job (no,
he did not use a Leica!)).  Each girl will have an individual portrait
and then the obligatory group picture.  These will be done just prior to
their end-of-season party at our pool.  I'm thinking, since my yard has
some nice areas with a variety of shade, that my M-3 with my 90mm
Elmarit on a tripod and perhaps my Vivitar 285 set on 1/16 power would
be a reasonable set-up for the individual potraits.  While a lot of
folks would say use a 90mm Summicron to have more variety in DOF, I've
got to dance with what brung me.  I think the soft lighting of open
shade would be quite pleasing and the electronic flash could provide a
mild 'catch-light' in their eyes and open up any shadows just a little
bit.  I usually use the flash with a bounce diffuser to avoid the "deer
in the headlights" look.  Just to be on the safe side I will have my
Canon EOS with a 28-105 zoom available as a backup and for the group


Any film recommendations?  Since I do expect these to be enlarged, fine
grain would be nice.  Color print film would be preferred since I can
get the portrait proofs back during the party, but to use any sort of
fill flash with an M3, it'll have to be pretty slow.  If I can't use
electronic flash, I'll try to use some sort of reflector and bounce some
light  into the faces.  I will have the opportunity to shoot a test roll
using my daughter as the model and refine exposure, fill ratios,
etc.before having to do it "for real."

Any thoughts on the setup in general?  I don't usually do portrait work
at all, but I've been "drafted" to make the best of a truly fubared
situation (would you take portraits of 10 year old girls in bright
noonday sun?  They look like old women squinting and the harsh light
does nothing to capture the paradox of both the softness of them as
little girls and their toughness as competitors).  I think the photog's
goals was to get it done as quickly as possible

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!