I was giving some one-to-one tuition yesterday, with a young lady called Sally, whose passion is Gig photography. She showed me her portfolio, much of which was dark, moody black and whites, with tight cropping on the musicians faces.
We spoke about techniques and equipment, and I suggested that a 50mm, large aperture lens would be ideal for the images she was creating, as she loved the shallow depth of field, and that focal length would help her get in close for those tight crops.
I felt inspired by the work she had done - similar in a way to what I would do with flowers or insects - and as I was going out for a family meal that night, I thought I'd just take my 50mm f/1.7 lens...
Both images Pentax K10D with 50mm f/1.7 SMC-A lens, F/2 at 1/60s, ISO800. RAW file processed in Capture One LE, adjustments and 'toning' in Photoshop Elements 4.
And just to illustrate how a flower might look given the same treatment, here's a Marsh Marigold, shot with my *istD and Sigma 105mm Macro lens at f/2.8 and 1/250s at ISO200. Same processing as the above two.