You cannot shoot a portrait handheld at 1/15th second. And you cannot shoot a portrait at f/1.4.


Portrait at f/1.4 (Photo: Michael Willems)

So that was shot as follows:

  • Canon 1D Mk4
  • 35mm prime lens (equivalent, therefore, to around 45mm)
  • TTL Flash (580EX) bounced 45 degrees up, behind me
  • Flash equipped with a half CTO gel; white balance set to “Tungsten”
  • 1/15th second at f/1.4, ISO 400

Wonderful background bokeh, no? And don’t you love the vignetting that this lens gives me wide open?

Of course, if you shoot at f/1.4, be careful that what you need in focus is in one plain (the camera and the face, here). And at 1/15th, handhold carefully and use fl;ash (1/1000th) to light your subjext.

So yes you can do it, and it’s probably best to sometimes push boundaries a little, and let go of rules of thumb, useful as they may generally be.


1 thought on “Cannot.

  1. Michael – what effect were you trying to accomplish with the half CTO gel / Tungsten setting? Or were you trying to adjust to the light in the room?

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