I bought an SLR, a Nikon D70, several years ago with the intension of eventually reproducing the smooth but crisp effect I had seen from my favorite portrait shots like this one from Declan McCullagh: http://www.mccullagh.org/image/10d-2/steve-bellovin-1.html
Unfortunately I've never really achieved my goal. I have to admit that my dedication to this has varied over the years but in recent days it's picked up again after seeing photos from Moshe Zusman's wedding photography business: http://moshezusman.com/
So, my question is, what steps would you take to reproduce the smooth but crisp effect of these portraits? Also, what are the top factors based on their impact to the quality of the photograph in the end?
My experiences thus far suggest that lighting and tripod may make the biggest difference when taking the shot and a handful of postprocessing steps such as sharpening and selective blurring/denoising may make the biggest difference after taking the shot. But like I said, I'm still not getting the results I'm striving for so I may be mistaken, maybe I'm not using the right approach, or maybe I just don't have the specific technique down.
Are you able to produce these characteristics? If so, how?
Thanks for your suggestions and advice!
I have a hard time explaining why these photos have a similar effect on me. I think there are some underlying qualities that they share, other than solid composition and interesting subjects, but I may be wrong. High local contrast maybe. I'm actually not trying to reproduce fashion photography. I'm trying to concentrate more on the smooth and crisp part. I put fashion into the question because the wedding shots reminded me of well staged magazine shots. Thanks again for your ideas.