Shot this today of my son while we were outside on the front porch watching a rainstorm. The light was dreary but nice so I told him to look at the camera. As usual with my son he cant just look and smile, he has to make some kind of face. No problem as I figured I would just be doing another test shot to see how sharp this lens is at F2. I focused on his eyes and took the shot. I opened it up in Photoshop and cropped it to square format, desaturated it a bit and sharpened the eyes only. To me, this has a medium format “look” to it and I like it.
I have had emails asking how I was able to achieve this look with an M9 and “soft” Noctilux. Well, my Noct is not soft at F2! Also, I sharpened the eyes a bit. Others have told me the portrait looks creepy and un-natural. Well, congratulations! You get it! That is the whole point of this image! My son gave me a sort of “evil” look. I wanted to take this one step further by making those eyes stand out and this is what helps give the image more 3D pop.
If he were giving me a sweet smile the eyes would have been left alone, but I am a fan of “out of the ordinary” and the way I sharpened the eyes was intentional to give it this unique look.
Back to the Noct. This classic Noctilux is pretty killer at F2 for portraits on the M9. Man, I can not wait to shoot the .95 version and will be testing it out in about 10 days. In my review for the new Noctilux I will do side by sides with the classic. Should be fun and very interesting!
Click on the image to see a better and larger version, how it is meant to be viewed. BTW, my son my look sly and mean in this image but he is actually an insanely sweet kid 🙂