Need help with portrait shot

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Gazman, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Gazman

    Gazman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wondering if anyone here can help with something.

    I have a little girl and i want to take a portrait shot of her that i can blow up and stick on a canvas to hang in our Living room.

    Problem is, i dont have the access to any sort of studio, or have any advanced gear (lighting, diffusers, etc: )

    My, plan is to simply use the living room as a setting, and just use a big sheet, or somthing similar, to create an even background.

    But, my concern is lighting, are there any tips to help get better results, from a simple pop up flash and using indoor lighting?
    My camera is canon 400d.
    I am probably going to shoot in B+W as it will match the colour of our room.
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,327
    Likes Received:
    10,640
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First off, if you want a 'blank' background, is there a reason you can shoot outside? That could potentially make lighting easier. However, since you asked about an indoor shot: You'll want to use a window as a main light source, depending on the effect you want, a bright, cloudy day will work best. Try and have at least 5-6' of separation between the subject and the background. I would probably try and position the subject so that she was getting a 3/4 profile illuminated by the window, and if necessary use a fill light (Work light, floor lamp) to even out the exposure. White or light-yellow card stock will make an excellent reflector, and any slightly translucent plastic will serve as a diffuser. Your on-camera flash may work well for providing the all-important catchlights in her eyes.

    Even if you do shoot B&W (I'd recommend shooting colour and converting, but that's just me), make sure you shoot a white card to help calibrate your tones, and shoot RAW.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. PeteLanglois

    PeteLanglois TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Whatever light you choose, make sure you use the correct WB setting. I picked up a few Home Depot industrial clamp lights and some CFL 100w daylight balanced bulbs to make a simple studio for shooting macro. You could do the same 10$ for the clamp lights and about 4$ for each bulb.

    Make sure you sit your subject a few feet away from the background and use a large aperture f/1.8 to blur out the background.

    You can use a wax paper to act as a diffuser as well for a cheap soft box.

    Pete
     
  4. cnvang

    cnvang TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Statesville, Nc
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If the weather permits, I would shoot it outside. But like petelanglois said daylight balance bulbs can help. And if you need something to hold the sheet you can invest in some pvc pipes at home depo or lowes to make a frame or stand...The only thing is, is you'll have to cut it and put everything together yourself. But rope is always good too...Good luck..
     
  5. Gazman

    Gazman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    actually, i never actually thought of shooting outdoors, i was thinking privacy. Thats a very good idea, i could rig somthing up in my backyard.

    Thanks for the tips, some really nice stuff i wasn`t thinking of at all.
     

Share This Page