Portraiture can be one of the most satisfying forms of photography for an enthusiastic amateur. It’s worth experimenting with lighting your subject, as there are boundless possibilities. Adding a carefully chosen prop can both add insight to the subject and give the eye another point of interest within the image.
Obscuring part of your subject’s face or body is another way to draw attention to or away from parts of your subject. Firing a number of shots at a time gives you either a series of images that work together or it can help you achieve one image that is natural.
Two things… The idea of the backgrounds coming into and going out of focus in drastic lack of depth of field is interesting as an occasional technique.
We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. To be able to capture excellent portraits, there are several things you need to consider, from correct lighting and ideal camera equipment to creative posing and subject matter.
Perhaps one of the first composition techniques a photographer learns is the rule of thirds. To eliminate unwanted distractions in your portrait photo, compose your shot so the subject’s face fills the frame. Another way to eliminate distracting backgrounds to ensure the focus of your portrait photo is where it should be—on the subject!—is to create a shallow depth of field by shooting with a large aperture (small f-stop number). Similar to using leading lines in portrait photography, compositional framing is another creative way to draw attention to your subject and to help add a great element of interest. Posted in Composition, Photography Tips & Techniques and tagged composition, portrait photography, portrait photos, portraits on January 12, 2015 by Rhonda Callow. The article includes never-before published examples of a wide range of skin tones - from a very fair natural blonde to a young black woman. Instructor Chris Saper has painted commission portraits for more than 22 years, and has taught artists of all levels her craft since 2004.
Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases. Flash photography is the use of a camera flash bulb in a variety of possible situations where there doesn’t seem to be enough light. But there are many other situations where the flash could be used, such as using fill-flash when the background is brighter than the subject, using the flash to light up a room and creating better coloring, or using the flash to freeze a moving object in a dark situation.
In typical indoor situations there will probably not be enough light to take a normal hand-held well-exposed photo. In order to take effective indoor flash photos there are some techniques you should keep in mind. This would normally create somewhat of a silhouette effect, but a fill flash would balance the photo nicely.
Many cameras have a red-eye reduction mode where the flash may fire before the picture is taken in order to cause the subjects’ pupils to contract. A slow sync flash is for more complicated exposures and is used commonly to create blurry long exposures.
Many photographers also choose to bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling to get a softer, diffused kind of light commonly sought after for portraits.
Practice using flash in your photos even when it is not necessarily needed and pay attention to your results. Some new photographers think that you have to be a lighting expert photography to take great photos outdoors.
By using natural light and a few small photography aids you too can capture great outdoor portraits. If you know exactly when and where you’re going to be shooting you’ll have a better idea of calculating what type of lighting you’ll need for your photos.
Taking your photos earlier or later in the day is often recommended because the light is warmer in tone and softer. Overcast conditions are also typically suitable because it spreads the light out evenly among your subjects.
Warm light and low contrast works well, especially when the subject is lit from the back and you don’t really need a flash or reflector in these circumstances.
When lighting for photograph outside, you’ll find that a disc reflector like the  5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector can be a great help.
The reflector is ideal if you want to add a little brightness to the subject or to fill a shadow in.
However, the reflector needs to be positioned relatively close to the person since their range is somewhat limited. For example, a reflector can work well when your subject is in the shade with the sun directly in front of him or her. These are ideal for full length shots or when you can’t position the reflector close enough to the subject.
Commercial panels typically come with bungee-style cords which open up, enabling you to attach the preferred material, which could be diffusion material, or colored in black, gold, silver, or white etc. On some occasions you’ll find there’s still not enough light with a reflector or light panel or the light is bright, but there’s too much contrast. In this instance, a strobe light or flash could be the answer to lighting a photography outside. Flash is often good enough, but a portable strobe is ideal for shorter shoots when you have enough battery power.
If you’re shooting a static setup, a mono light strobe works well outdoors with lighting umbrellas and it can be done quite quickly. Each book is jam packed with tips and tricks that'll teach you how to become a better photographer, fast.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter and Get Free Photography Stuff!Enter your name and email below and we'll send you weekly photography tips and enter you into our FREE giveaways. About FreeDPTOur mission is to share with you the very best photography tips and tutorials so that you become a great photographer. There are two categories of GENERAL ADVICE which applies, regardless of whether you’re using a digital camera to take professional portrait poses, group pictures, pet portraits, baby pictures, funny photos, or even maternity portraits. Prepare for the event by thinking about every photograph you want to take and what kind of photography pose or poses you would like to capture. Check the digital camera’s LCD screen for general framing of the picture, any movement, visibility of faces, and the histogram. Taking indoor portrait photography, is very different than outdoor portrait photograph (duh!).

If you need to be further away than your flash allows, here are 2 things you can try…First, increase the ISO setting (but not so much as to produce to much noise), or second, move to a significantly brighter location. If there are distracting features, change your settings to blur the background (see the Techniques page). If there are mirrors or reflective surfaces in the background and you can’t find a different location, only take the picture in such a way that the flash is NOT PERPENDICULAR to the surface, but at an angle (unless you WANT a nice photo of your flash). These photo posing tips are great, they will help me with my future photographic shoots so I can get the best out of my photographs. I actually like shooting candidly, because I find I get the best poses naturally because people aren’t so self conscious! About the AuthorJim Harmer Facebook Twitter Google+Jim Harmer is the founder of Improve Photography, and host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast. A variation on tip #19: If you add flash from the camera, its cool light will conflict with the warm light of the sunset.
And I also agree with Han’s tip #30…use a tripod AND a self-timer to ensure a tack sharp picture!
The cloud type you talk about is stratus, also when you talk about shooting after it rains i would recommend that you go in search of the subset if the weather is forcast for thunder storms or convective showers as these will dissapate as the sun goes down. More an anal retentive point, but on point 12 it was stated that the suns rays become more clear at the smaller aperture. The tips below can be of use whether you are using a digital compact, a DSLR camera, or a fully manual SLR.
Similarly, use natural light where you can, and if you must use artificial lighting, use as little as possible. One of the primary rules governing composition is the rule of thirds, which deals with where focal points, or points of interest, should be placed in a photograph.
Experiment by putting the eyes in the middle of the frame and then off centre to see for yourself. Having the subject return the gaze of the photographer can give a sense of connection for those viewing the image. Playing around with the angle can give a completely different perspective, literally and metaphorically.
Silhouetting, back-lighting, and side-lighting can enhance the atmosphere you are trying to create by emphasizing or hiding your subject’s features.
Photographing a subject doing something they love or spending time with friends or family can result in a much more natural image, especially if you can lurk at a distance using a powerful zoom lens. A section of the face, the hands, or the feet can speak volumes about what has been left out. This is useful when you are photographing somebody engaged in an activity or when you’re working with fidgety children.
Photographing babies, for example, can present entirely different challenges than taking portraits of adults. Filling your frame can also help to add texture and detail to your photos – lines, wrinkles, sweat, and the finer details of the eyes will all stand out more.
Compose your photo so the subject has space to look into and so they aren’t positioned so their body is pointing immediately out of the frame.
Photos can be a lot more effective if you photograph from different perspectives or angles.
Forget the rule of thirds or the “proper” way to incorporate leading lines once in a while, you might be happy with the results!
She has authored two instructional books and 4 DVDs, all of which focus on understanding the nuances of light and skin color.
The most common use of flash photography is group portraits at gatherings where there is not enough light to take a satisfactory exposure. The reason it would come out blurry is because the shutter would be open long enough for any minor hand shake to distort the composition. When using the flash do not point it directly at a mirror or glass that will create a lens flare or just ruin the photo.
Fill flash can be used for sunny day portraits for shadows on a subject’s face or to fill any shaded area that is out of the sunlight. In order for this technique to work, you must be careful to stay in flash range, which is usually around four to ten feet. The red-eye reduction modes in newer cameras are surprisingly effective and many work in different ways to contract pupils. The flash fires at the beginning of the exposure, but the shutter still stays open for a moment after the flash has fired.
This kind of flash technique requires a flash that can be aimed in a direction that the camera is not pointed. The best way to become better at flash photography is to analyze your photos and try to figure out what you could have done differently in order to create a better flash-filled exposure. In this tutorial we’re going to share with you some outdoor portrait photography lighting tips.
As is the case with most outdoor photography, shooting at midday is generally considered to be the worst option because the light from the sun is so harsh – creating ugly shadows on your subjects. This means the subject can be placed in the shade while the light panel is in the sun and it bounces the light onto the subject, creating textured lighting along with shadows and highlights. Deciding whether to use flash or a strobe will generally depend on what effect you’re aiming for. With hundreds of positive reviews already from photographers just like yourself, you'll find it to be a great resource. We're dedicated to providing photography tips for beginners and intermediate photographers, inspirational photo ideas, photography book reviews, recommendations for photography equipment and gear. Before you take 200 shots that seem great at the time, but then upon review of the final picture are less than what you expected, let’s prepare.
The best photography pose in the world won’t look right with a distracting background. Someone I met stole the bottom photo, and said it was theres, and used it as their facebook photo. It was a gorgeous sunset, but one thing that helped me to make the color look dynamic is that I shot very wide to include some of the blue sky on the sides of the colorful areas. A Shoot in aperture priority with exposure compensation while the sun is still in the sky, and then switch to manual once the sun dips below the horizon. Before the sun dips below the horizon, consider shooting in HDR to capture most of the dynamic range. Consider shooting panoramas or vertoramas to contrast the sunset colors with the other colors of the sky.

The sunset was a bit lackluster, but there was just enough color in the sky to add some interest in the top area of the photo.
A These are all on-location videos where you can see how I’m using the color in sunsets, choosing my compositions, etc. Once it gets dark, you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to figure out how to change the settings. As the light goes down and you are staring into the bright sun, then you look at the back of your camera for settings and making changes, the flashlight will help till your pupils adjust.
Take some test shots before your subject arrives so that when they do turn up they won’t have to wait while you fiddle around. However, focusing on something else can give a sense of mystery and engages the viewers in speculating as to what they are looking at, and what it is that is intriguing them, amusing them, or surprising them. I really dislike lifeless dark eye sockets ( an identifying feature of crappy amateur photography).
The exception to this is when the portrait photo includes a full body shot; in this case, the person can be positioned in either the lower third of the image, or on the left or right third.
For example, rough tree bark behind the smoothness of a child’s face or a close-up of your wrinkled grandpa against the soft skin of your newborn. And once you get a perfect portrait, turn it into art by having it made into a beautiful Posterjack Canvas Print. The use of a tripod or higher ISO (or faster film) will probably be needed but many of us do not regularly carry a tripod.
With common cameras, in order to add fill flash to a photo, just toggle the flash to go off when it normally would not be needed. It takes practice to refine this technique but many professionals come to use this method almost exclusively.
A strobe and umbrella can make the subject stand out from the background as they can be made slightly brighter.
A A good general rule is to put the horizon on the bottom third of the photo if the sunset is pretty, and on the top third of the photo if the sunset is lackluster.
A Sometimes the scene behind you can be gorgeous and all the photographers miss it because they are too busy looking at the sun. A This will allow you to have the convenience of shooting in aperture priority as the light levels change quickly before sunset, and then you can switch to manual mode to get a more precise exposure after the sun goes down. A The sky will usually light up with color again about 25 minutes after the sun dips below the horizon.
A I promise if you forget to take off your sunglasses, you’ll think the photos are all darker than they really are because the LCD will look unnaturally dark. A That is an automatic mode and will take away your ability to choose a creative aperture, shutter speed, etc.
A Just search in your smartphone’s app store and get a free app that will give you a calendar of sunrise and sunset times. Getting the cover shot on this edition of the magazine was a highlight of my career as a photographer.
A The photo above shows me holding the cover of Shutterbug Magazine where I was lucky enough to get the cover shot.
The suns rays that are captured by the camera is actually a form of distortion that arises from an imperfectly round aperture (the little points that form the corners of the overlapping blades). Even better, get one of those caps or headbands with an adjustable place to hold the flashlight. An alternative is to have your subject looking at someone or something within the shot, which sets up a relationship or a story within the image and gives a second point of interest. Expertly hand-stretched and whitened using an environmentally-safe process, Posterjack will print your photo using world-class printers and your photo is protected with a state-of-the-art lamination procedure. Try to make sure your main subjects are about the same distance away from the flash as each other or some that are closer to the flash will appear brighter than ones that are farther away.
Or the slow sync flash could capture a sunset and freeze a closer subject that is moving through the frame. I’ll bet you thought charging the battery was the hardest part of taking great photos, didn’t you?
A The sunset produces beautiful warm light and a beautiful scene might be bathing in that warm light behind you. A In low light settings, the exposure meter on your camera will often be innaccurate, so manual mode after sunset is the best option.
A Most photographers miss this second sunset, and it’s more beautiful than the first most of the time!
A The key to taking a good silhouette shot is to find a subject with fine details that will let the sun shine through it and that has a recognizable shape. A When the clouds are just a flat gray sheet of cloud (one of you will surely know what type of cloud this is and inform me in a comment below), it will not light up as much. A Shooting that picture, there wasn’t that much color in the sky, but it was just enough to bathe the water in the foreground in a little color that made the photo feel rich and interesting. The four corners of the middle square in the grid make better locations for your focal points than do points with the square itself. Or you may just want to cast light on certain objects in a lighted room that appears too dark for an exposure. In a backlit situation there will be a lot of light in the background but no or little light cast on the front of the subject.
There are countless situations where a slow sync flash could possibly be used to enhance an exposure. Sorry to disappoint you, but if you want to improve your photo results 50 percent in 2 minutes, let’s review some basic advice of the pros. A If you have something too huge as the silhouette, it takes away from the picture since it is just a large area of blackness.
A Always look for ways you can reflect the sunset colors, which makes it feel like you had more of a sunset than you really did. This is the reason that the number of blades a lens has determines the number of rays that are actually seen (you can count this yourself). There are also other versions of the sync flash such as the rear sync flash (where the flash fires at the end of an exposure) or the stroboscopic flash (where the flash fires multiple times throughout an exposure). A You can underexpose by using manual mode and selecting a fast shutter speed, or you can shoot in aperture priority and use exposure compensation.

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Comments to «Tips on taking portrait pictures 2014»

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