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Author Topic: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait  (Read 28801 times)

Vivid Color

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2013, 10:07:17 AM »
Here's the link to the National Geographic video on how the President's photographer and his staff do their work: http://www.pbs.org/programs/presidents-photographer/
It also contains interviews with prior WH photographers as well.

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2013, 10:07:17 AM »

Patrick

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2013, 11:48:50 AM »
Thanks for the link - interesting video! Here in Ireland we are mostly fans of Mr Obama - a poll taken just before your recent election showed 85% for him Vs 15% for his opponent. I like the shot enough separation of the subject from the backgrouns whilst also allowing sufficient detail to show it was made in the Oval office rather than in some studio somewhere.

bdunbar79

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2013, 12:15:08 PM »
I'm just jealous I can't afford the 85L, but can get the exact same shot with my 70-200 L f/4....
Actually, you CAN'T get the exact same shot.  There's a reason he has the photography job he does and you, well...

You seem to be very sure of yourself (which is probably a success recipe for a pro photog) but if you write something like this, would you please care to enlighten us why 85L@f7.1 != 70-200/x@f.71 ?

It's not a personal attack, geez, it's just a joke. 

Anyways, my personal feelings on the photo, is that maybe the cameraman to president, to background items, distances were such that f/7.1 gave him the exact DOF he desired for this photo.  Any wider and the background items, based upon distances, were not in the focus he wanted.  I don't know, I'm just guessing here.  As for the lens, that doesn't matter.  Maybe he doesn't own a 70-200L I don't know.  I don't think anybody was saying he chose the WRONG lens, but I can say that about many photographic situations in which there are 15 different lens/settings combinations to get a photo.  I'm not sure if the 85L at f/7.1 is sharper or better at anything than the 70-200L at the same settings, but I'm sure it's not worse.

And you'd be surprised at how unsure I am of myself.  I have plenty of bad photos to share, and I definitely cannot shoot a level shot and I probably can't even level them in post correctly.
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2013, 03:04:28 PM »
.
I suppose you get used to it, but the pressure of photographing the president every day in every situation....

Wow, just the idea overwhelms me.

Hell, I still get nervous when someone just asks me to take their picture!
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2013, 03:15:48 PM »
.
I suppose you get used to it, but the pressure of photographing the president every day in every situation....

Wow, just the idea overwhelms me.

Hell, I still get nervous when someone just asks me to take their picture!
My thoughts exactly when I saw that video (Presidents Photographer) ... imagine taking almost 3000 photos daily of the same person! That too for 4 years continuously (in Pete Souza's case 8 years with Ronald Reagan and another 8 more with Obama) ... How does one motivate themselves in such situations, ... Damn I get bored after shooting the same subject a dozen times ... much respect to people like Pete Souza ... no wonder they are at the top of the game.
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2013, 03:24:29 PM »
I have been getting complaints about the off topic posts and offensive posts here all day.  This is not a political forum.

I've removed a ton of posts, and one like the Nazi post gets a automatic ban.


RS2021

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2013, 04:10:16 PM »
Thank you :)
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2013, 04:10:16 PM »

infared

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #52 on: January 20, 2013, 04:26:13 PM »
I have been getting complaints about the off topic posts and offensive posts here all day.  This is not a political forum.

I've removed a ton of posts, and one like the Nazi post gets a automatic ban.

Thank You !!!!
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #53 on: January 20, 2013, 05:30:41 PM »
I think it's good that they left the telephone on the desk behind him.  It implies that it is a working office, not just a decoration.  It's kind of a 'people in their workplaces' type photo.
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2013, 06:00:31 PM »
White balance a bit cold I think.

Yes, Obama has orange teeth IRL.

Robert Welch

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2013, 06:01:41 PM »
If you think about the job this photographer has, 99% of the time he is taking photos and having to be as discrete as possible, that means he probably often has to work sans flash I'm sure. But he as to always be able to get a shot, no matter the lighting conditions, so having an f/1.2 lens as your standard working lens is probably mandatory. It's a great lens, and I doubt the results would have been meaningfully better with any other lens, even though this lens probably isn't optimized for shooting as such a small aperture.

As far as the DOF, it seems proper for such a photos, as has been mentioned the flags are a compositional element, with meaning in this photo. I think the amount they are in focus, and the amount of separation between the president and the background is just about as perfect as can be. Job well done, IMO.

RS2021

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2013, 06:02:34 PM »
In the PBS/Nat Geo documentary on presidential photographers:

http://www.pbs.org/programs/presidents-photographer/

It is clear that the 35L is on the camera ~90% of the time we see his camera, and when he runs out of space on his disk and fumbles...he is switching between 35L and the 135L bodies. 
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2013, 06:28:47 PM »
It is clear that the 35L is on the camera ~90% of the time we see his camera, and when he runs out of space on his disk and fumbles...he is switching between 35L and the 135L bodies.
Yes, if you look at his photo stream on Flickr, the 35L gets a very large share of the photos, probably more than any other lens.  It's a great focal length, with a very natural perspective, and good in all kinds of light.  He also uses the 24-70/2.8L II quite a lot, as well as the 24L, 50L, 85L, 135L and 70-200/2.8L II.  On rare occasions, he has used the 100/2.8L macro, 70-200/4L and the 300/4L.  He has also used the Fuji X100 when around TV cameras, apparently for its quiet shutter, but this may be when he was still using the 5DII which lacked a quiet shutter mode.  The 5DIII has a wonderful quiet shutter mode, so I'm guessing the X100 is no longer needed.

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2013, 06:28:47 PM »

ZEROrhythm

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #58 on: January 20, 2013, 06:39:40 PM »
Well, anyway, as Vincent Laforet says in his blog, there is NO reason to own the 85L if you're not shooting it between 1.2 - 2.0, as you might as well own the 70-200 II for only a few hundred $ more, with the ability to have the versatility of the zoom, much faster auto-focus, IS and pretty much equal sharpness.

If you can afford both, well, I'm jealous of you.
What I understood from the video (Presidents Photographer) is that he follows the President all day long and takes 20000 photos a week, so carrying a big heavy like 70-200, all day long, would be a bit too much (especially for a 59 year old like Pete Souza) ... also in that video I saw him work mostly with a 35 f/1.4 & 85 f/1.2 lenses ... the only other lens I saw him use in that video was 24-70 (if I am not wrong it was mostly used outdoors).
So don't be jealous ... be happy that you are a strong young person with the muscles and strength to carry a 70-200 all day long ;D

The 85 f1.2 isn't a light lens, I would say it's almost the same weight as the 70-200 2.8 with out the collar. I know it's a lot heavier than my 24-105 f4. I know carrying a 70-200 more than 4 hrs non stop will do a number on your arms, but i think it would be the same for the 85 f1.2 since you would need to walk around more to get your shot. Both lens would have  done a great on the portrait so what ever you have on you, you will learn to use it to your best ability.

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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #59 on: January 20, 2013, 06:51:20 PM »
The 85 f1.2 isn't a light lens, I would say it's almost the same weight as the 70-200 2.8 with out the collar. I know it's a lot heavier than my 24-105 f4. I know carrying a 70-200 more than 4 hrs non stop will do a number on your arms, but i think it would be the same for the 85 f1.2 since you would need to walk around more to get your shot. Both lens would have  done a great on the portrait so what ever you have on you, you will learn to use it to your best ability.

The use of the 85L is just for the official portrait here, perhaps a rare one-off situation; as I said in the last post, it is clear from the documentary the whole team of photographers (Souza for the prez, his female assistant who photographs the first lady, and the other susbstitutes) use 35L primarily to document events.
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Re: FYI: This Is The Gear Used To Take Obama’s New Official Portrait
« Reply #59 on: January 20, 2013, 06:51:20 PM »