Senior Pictures

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mrmacedonian, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. mrmacedonian

    mrmacedonian TPF Noob!

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    Hey all!

    A bit of background I'm relatively new to dSLR's and the finer points of their capabilities. I currently own and use a Canon Rebel XTi and a Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3. I've enjoyed reading the threads and all the information on this forum and so I thought I'd see if you had any tips for me.

    My sister is a Senior in High School and she's going to be getting her Senior Pictures taken by a pro sometime in the next couple of months. My thoughts were that I would see what my camera and I could produce and learn a whole lot in the process. I've been reading literature from beginners to intermediate level and here's a few recommendations I've put together from those books and a few conversations with some local pro's...

    - shoot outdoors (indirect natural light)
    - use an F-stop of 11
    - shoot between 85-100mm
    - lowest ISO light will permit (preferably 100)
    - utilize Av setting, allowing camera to select shutter speed
    - good tripod set at ~ eye-level to subject (no higher)
    - remote shutter release (planning on trying out this one per a thread I stumbled upon in this forum)

    I've been looking into this for just a few days now and those are some tips I've seen suggested for my current goal, any additions or constructive objections to these guidelines would be wonderful and greatly appreciated!

    I'm not under the impression I'll be matching or out-performing a studio professional, this is simply a type of growth and self-improvement exercise I would like to get the most out of :)
     
  2. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    I would say they are good general tips for a outdoor portrait. Dont think you should stick 100% to these tho, you need to make judments on whats best in a certain situation. Consider lighting, if its mid day the light will be harsh and unflattering, you may want to use a reflector or flash to fill in the shaddows. As for a tripod, they are great for giving you the freedom to choose exactly what exposure settings you fancy, but can also be restrictive, every good portrait photog should own a well used stepladder and a pair of jeans with holes in the knees
     
  3. Annamas

    Annamas TPF Noob!

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    Seriously mate, it's all about creativity. I've seen tons of senior pictures on this forum and others. There are the standard ones (which your set up suggests), and then there are the ones that make a lasting impression. The ones that make the lasting impression are because they take the rules, then bend and break them.

    I'm not saying completly disregard the outline you have. Don't start shooting at ISO 1600 for example. But don't be afraid to play with focal length, aperture, shutter speed, position of camera / tripod / lighting.

    Here's an example, although a poor one.
    [​IMG]

    This picture was taken by me. It was minutes from raining, light sucked and was very dull. ISO was 400, Exposure 1/25 of second @ f/5.6. I was at 18mm, so relatively wide angle. For a senior portrait keeping the face uncovered would obviously work better, but I love the body language.

    I guess my point is, HAVE FUN, EXPERIMENT, and ENJOY.
     
  4. snaggle

    snaggle TPF Noob!

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    watch this video it will help you out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  5. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    That's a pretty crude list of rule. While none of them are precisely wrong, some of them aren't what I would call the best advice. Also, it's just very, very basic and completely unexplained. It like saying that you're like to try driving a car and so far you've found these rules:

    -you should almost always push the gas
    -turning the wheel can be very helpful
    -sometimes your lights should be on
    -at times, using the brake is important

    All of those are are correct, but without knowing when and how and to what degree you should perform all of those functions, it's effectively useless. Don't get so hung up on trying to learn the rules or the advised way to do things, and strive more to understand how photography works. I would suggest picking up a copy of Understand Exposure by Brian Peterson. It will help alot with ISO, shutter speed and aperture. All of those rules are an example of something that would be appropriate at one time, but not at another. By understanding the whole of how photography works, you'll be better off to make these decisions yourself.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    f/11?
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, shooting outdoors in indirect natural light at f/11 and maintaining an ISO setting of 100 is not a good plan--your shutter speeds are going to be rather low. What about using a slight bit of fill-flash to add some sparkle? You might try that.

    But I would definitely re-think the f/11 aperture--it's too small an aperture to work at at ISO 100 in indirect light,and you'll have soooo much background in-focus it will often likely distract from your main subject. Your camera's sensor is quite capable,so bump the ISO up to 200,or even 400.
     
  8. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    surely f8 would do the job ?
     
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    I was confused by that one as well... I guess, if you don't want to isolate any part of the subject... Or the tree behind him/her... etc etc etc...
     
  10. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    I'm doing portraits this week and last time I had a 50mm and kept it around 2.8 that kept the face in focus and background OOF. It was at a beach so it wasn't too distracting of a backdrop but it all turned out well.
     
  11. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Hrm, yeah. I find that list of rules...restrictive. You won't be creating many, if any, shots that evoke a "WOW" reaction. It hasn't been said, but a tripod only at eye-level and no higher? Bah, nah. Go higher, or lower, or to the side, or get on the ground. Be creative. :D It's an art, not a science.
     
  12. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    great beginner video snaggle, thanks
     

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