How To – Dusty Halo

20151104 190141 IMG_9664 t2i_DxO max2_DCE sharpened

For my favorite X-T1 accessories post, I thought that I would try something different for its photo. Something fun and quick. What I had in mind was something back-lit with a magical feel.

I wanted something with a shallow depth of field, so my 50mm f/1.8 plastic fantastic was called to duty.

About this shot: 

  • Camera: Canon t2i + 50mm f/1.8 (Unfortunately, since the Fuji was the subject, it couldn’t shoot the photo.)
  • Background was a black bedsheet.
  • Flash used was an old Vivitar 285HV at max zoom positioned directly behind the X-T1
  • Generic radio trigger
  • Fuji X-T1 was on a Yunteng 288 self-standing monopod
  • Dust was from a crumpled up tissue
  • All the light on the front of the camera came from the flash bouncing off the ceiling and walls (otherwise it was jet black indoors at ISO100 1/200 f/1.8-2.5 flash at 1/4-1/2 power).

Fuji X-T1 backlit dusty

The 50mm f/1.8 had some softness and chromatic aberration at f/1.8 which mostly disappeared at f/2.5.

20151104 190141 IMG_9664 t2i_Crop_DCE 20151104 185553 IMG_9658 t2i f2.5_Crop_DCE

But at f/2.5, we lost:

  • the lovely round bokeh (you could see the aperture blades)
  • and some lovely shallow depth of field.

20151104 190141 IMG_9664 t2i_Crop_2_DCE 20151104 185553 IMG_9658 t2i f2.5_Crop_2_DCE

And yes, I could remove chromatic aberration through software, but it doesn’t deal with the softness.

20151104 190141 IMG_9664 t2i_Crop_3_DCE 20151104 190141 IMG_9664 t2i_DxO max3_Crop_DCE

This was with maximum chromatic aberration and lens softness correction in DxO Optics Pro. You can see that this also reduced color.

Junk in. (Slightly better) junk out.

In the future:

  • For tighter results, I would try a flash snoot (I made one out of cut up straws)
  • And maybe hide the monopod with some fabric (velvet?) or make it look hovering by mounting it on a double ended metal bar (but this will require a tripod which loses the quick-and-dirty approach).

FYI Without the black sheet, it looked like this (this was a test shot):

Fuji X-T1 backlit dusty

A flash snoot might be enough to black out the ground (by not providing as much side and bounce lighting)

I’m not sure if it looks more dusty because the focus was off (more behind the camera (where the dust was?)) or some other factor.

Anyhoo, this was quick and fun to do.

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