Portrait of wrestler Breanna Egloff

Posted by ryanjackson on Feb 25, 2010 in lighting, photos, portrait


M.E. LaZerte High School female wrestler Breanna Egloff, 17, poses for a photo outside her school in Edmonton on February 24, 2010.

rj_Breanna_Egloff_240210_02-lightingI shot Breanna wrestling for a story by Chris O’Leary for the Journal.

After the match the sky was beautiful and I knew she was hot from the match so I asked her if she would pop outside for a quick portrait. I already had my lights set up and there was a nice flat football field just outside the gym.

I used my DIY Tilt-Shift lens which is fixed at f2.8 and shot with my Canon 5D at 1/50 sec, ISO200.

Since I was shooting wide open at f2.8 I had to set my flashes to minimum power at 1/128.

If I could have done this again I would have asked her to not smile so much and not look at the camera. With that being said though, her smile really showed her friendly character. I wish her well in her wrestling career.

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DIY Tilt-Shift Lens

Posted by ryanjackson on Oct 1, 2009 in DIY

Here is my DIY Tilt-Shift lens. It is a 75mm f2.8 medium format lens I bought off ebay for $30 plus a $5 toilet plunger that I cut down.
I inserted the lens inside the plunger and wrapped black hockey tape around it. I then superglued a Canon EOS body cap on the back of it.

If you build this yourself be sure to cut small holes in the bellows to allow air to escape. The first time I used this lens I wrecked the shutter in my Mark-II because of the air pressure! I didn’t use it for two years because of that. I finally just cut two holes and now it works fine.

You have to use a medium format lens for this (35mm lenses won’t work) because MF lenses produce a larger imaging circle and are meant to be positioned farther away from the “film” (sensor) of the camera.

I learned how to build it on Keith Loh’s blog.

I used this lens for this and this picture. Notice how the face is in focus and the rest is out of focus. That is because I tilted the lens so that so that the plane of focus crosses the face. Since nothing else falls in the plane of focus it goes out of focus ( a.k.a. bokeh).
It’s an artsy effect and can come in handy but this isn’t a lens you can use all the time.

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Dion Lizotte

Posted by ryanjackson on Sep 30, 2009 in DIY, lighting, photos


Dion Lizotte was charged by wildlife officers who refused to accept his Metis settlement card as proof of his ancestry after he shot a moose near the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement in northern Alberta two years ago. Photo by Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal.

I used my handy DIY Tilt-Shift lens to make this photo. It was a cloudy day so I set a Canon 550EX flash set at 24mm zooom off to the right of Dion.  I then pointed set it bout 2 feet lower than his head and tilted it away from him a bit so that the flash wasn’t pointed directly at his face (basically feathering the light on him).

I backed away into some tree branches and focused on him with my 75mm f2.8 DIY Tilt-Shift lens which gives the stange blurring effect since the plane of focus crosses his face and the branches but nothing else = everything is in bohek except his face.

I’ll write about how I built this lens tomorrow.

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