Originally Posted by Mwarren
Can;t we agree that bokeh or rather background blur is personal preference? Some people like the hexagonal painting type of bokeh that the lower blade lenses give out while some like the smoother finer background blur or rather "bokeh" that higher blade apertures give out. Again, its personal preference. On a picture like this one I prefer the hexagonal almost oil painting like bokeh that you can see towards the highlights on the bottom and upper left. These would have turned out to be very smooth with a lens with more aperture blades which still might look good too, its personal preference.
I have yet to meet anyone that enjoys pentagons in their out-of-focus areas. If you prefer it, that's completely fine -- though if you're shooting portraits for pay, you might want to put that sort of feeling aside as more people prefer a smooth background than hard-edged shapes.
For someone harping on lighting, you seem to have missed the execution by a mile. That's terribly over-exposed in key areas, you could have avoided this by using an incident meter to measure the EV delta between the sides of her face.
Again, you seem to contradict yourself. You said that it's not worth lugging around a light stand & umbrella yet you should know that lighting is the key to excellent photographs.
Of course, I don't disagree. But strobes and studio lights aren't useful in a ton of applications unless your primary focus is on portraiture. Yours seems to be, but try and think outside of your own preferences and gear selection when making suggestions.
Also, whats so "wasting time" about using a crop factor camera? Crop factor cameras have their benefit and you cant really tell the difference between the two unless you're making very, very, large prints.
Professionals use larger formats in order to make
large prints or achieve a certain aesthetic. There's nothing wrong with crop-sensor cameras inherently, but pros who work for pay will choose a full-frame or medium-format as their primary tool 99 times out of 100.
I still know professionals that shoot weddings with 6mp crop factor DSLR's and they're some of the best wedding photographers out there. MP or crop is such a tiny factor when it's importance is compared to lighting, back drop, the story you're trying to convey, and everything else that is involved with taking a picture.
Again, talent will supercede the tool most
of the time. When it comes to enlargements and critical things like color depth, cropping ability and enhancing DoF, larger formats are key.