Category: Portraits

Photographer: Steve Lavelle – Vietnamese Lady

Since I’m a new contributor here at PhotoFocus, I’ve been perusing the Photofocus Flickr community in order to highlight some of the group’s fantastic portrait photographers. At our DC portrait studio, we shoot portraits every day, but this one totally stood out! Steve Lavelle has hit it out of the park with this one!

All too often, portrait photographers go a little too far when smoothing skin in portraits. The reason why we love this image, is because of the overall gritty nature and the amazing detail in the subject’s skin. The image’s ‘cherry on top,’ is the hand rolled cigarette casually perched in the woman’s mouth. The cigarette is so haphazardly placed there, it makes this portrait feel like it was a fleeting moment that was captured by Steve’s camera, and will now be forever immortalized.

There’s also a black and white version of this shot, but we love the color version because it brings so much vibrancy and warmth to it! But it’s nice to be able to see both versions.

The image was taken with a Nikon D600 and a Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5 lens. His aperture was set at f/8.0 and his focal length was all the way zoomed in at 300mm. This is what creates the beautiful bokeh. The shutter speed was 1/50th and the ISO was at 200. I’m amazed at how sharp this image is for shooting at a 300mm focal length with a shutter speed of 1/50th of a second! Steve, you must have exceptionally un-shaky hands! That’s amazing!

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