Every once and a while the photography gods smile down on you and give you a great subject, soft light and pleasing backgrounds. That is what I had the other day when I took some photos of Sarah. I do not think anyone can take a bad photo of Sarah. She is a natural in front of anyone’s camera. She is so relaxed and has an easy way about her that readily comes through.
Because of the subject and the soft light, I decided that I wanted to shoot a lot of natural light with shallow dept of field. I felt that the shallow depth of field would really set Sarah off from the background. I also believed that the natural light would make Sarah's photo look as good as she looks in real life.
I shot this photo at f/1.4, f/2 and f/2.8. I felt that the photo at f/1.4 had too narrow depth of field while the one at f/2.8 showed too many unwanted details, especially in the brick wall to the left. This photo at f/2 seemed to provide adequate details of Sarah's face while allowing the unwanted details to go soft.
Camera settings: Nikon D3, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 shot at ISO 200, f/2 and 1/180th of a second.
Lightroom 3—Set black and white points, added clarity, vibrance, mid-tone contrast and vignetting.
Photoshop CS5—removed a few distracting elements within the photo.