Quick Portrait Tips

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by friedguy, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. friedguy

    friedguy TPF Noob!

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    Obviously I'm new here, so I hope this is in the correct section. I'm not looking for a how-to on portraits, rather a few pointers if anyone has them. I shoot with a 18-135 on a Nikon D80 and unfortunately do not have access to a studio or an external flash. Just a tripod and my camera.

    My plan is to shoot around early evening in the shade. I did a test shot with a friend of mine yesterday and found 70mm @ f/5.6 gave a good flattening effect. He was about 5 feet from the camera with the background about 25 feet behind him. I did use the pop-up flash.

    Also, this isn't a formal shoot of any kind, in the final product it will just be a composite for an organization that I'm apart of. Thanks for any advice!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your using the tripod. Good onya. That's one. Make sure you focus on the eyes. If they are blurry, the portrait is busted. And get your subjects to look a little more loosened up, relaxed. Keep it up. Nice job.
     
  3. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Looks to me like you're doing pretty well. One thing to look out for is stuff in the background that might look like it's growing out of the subject's head (tree branch, telephone pole, etc.).

    One other pointer -- which you had perfect in your sample -- pose people so that they're shoulders are at an angle to the camera.
    And -- oh yeah -- for women, get the camera slightly higher than their eye level, causing them to raise their chin slightly, thus getting rid of hard shadows and that unfortunate double-chin look.
     
  4. friedguy

    friedguy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! I really appreciate the pointers. I actually took most of the shots tonight. Still need to get a few more of some people who were MIA. I think they turned out better than the test shot overall. Only problem I had was it getting a bit dark. I ended up underexposing a bit to avoid blurring from motion of the subject. Here is one:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    - Watch out about amputating limbs and fingers, shoulder edges, etc...
    - Use a DOF that either renders everything visible or a DOF that blurs background but has a deep enough DOF that your subject looks entirely in focus.
     

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