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Take a Deep Breath! Portraits with the RhinoCam Vertex

Take a Deep Breath! Portraits with the RhinoCam Vertex

In a previous post, we introduced the RhinoCam Vertex as a means to create medium-format-style images using images from your full-frame mirrorless camera. Right off the bat, it should be noted right that medium format doesn’t really tie to a specific genre of photography. No matter what format you prefer (be it Micro Four-Thirds, APS-C, full-frame, medium format, large-format), each is a means to create images. It’s just how any vehicle, no matter the size, would get you from point A to point B. Just as some vehicles have features that make them well suited to certain conditions, the RhinoCam Vertex is better suited for particular genres of photography:

Action/sports is automatically out. With the right shutter speed, you could certainly freeze motion. No problem if you’re only dealing with a single image, but it would be nearly impossible to do a fast-moving shot for a four-image stitch.

Similarly, wildlife photography isn’t terribly viable, unless your subject was asleep. It should also be noted that the available lenses for medium format aren’t particularly long by wildlife photography standards, so you wouldn’t have the same reach as using a standard set-up (though a teleconverter could help the situation).

Landscape photography is where the RhinoCam Vertex shines, considering mountains, trees, and lakes aren’t prone to moving all by themselves. The RhinoCam Vertex has been simplified for ease of use. Rather than carefully adjusting the rear plate of a regular RhinoCam, all you need to do is spin the camera mount a few times. To me, it’s a lot less stressful.

But what about portraiture? Sure, portraiture could prove to be a challenge, as the subject could move. If you wanted the subject at the center of the stitched image, composition may be tricky, since your subject would likely be on the edge of at least two (if not all) of the images

Still, there’s no way it’s impossible, right? So we decided to try it. For the least amount of headaches and swear words during post-processing, we put the camera setup on a tripod to prevent any unnecessary camera movement:

With the possibility of camera movement removed, the number one challenge for this project is keeping the subject still. If the subject isn’t staying completely still (or avoiding major movements at the very least), you can end up with strange ghost images like in the picture above. After that mishap, we figured the best course of action was to tell anyone getting their picture taken to be prepared to stay as still as possible.

A few deep breaths later and we were able to come up with some fun images:

Final Thoughts

The RhinoCam Vertex for portraiture sounds like a wacky idea on paper, but I’ll be honest, it exceeded my expectations. At first, I didn’t actually expect to get easily workable images, but Vertex works surprisingly well, as long as you’re willing to work through its challenges.

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