Trying to get the best portraits I can..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Lsatblu, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I just signed up and I am new to photography. I'm currently in my third year of college for Graphic Design so I know all about art but photo is something I am now interested in.

    I just got a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H10 a few weeks ago. I think it is a good start for photography but I am a bit lost with the features.

    Here are a few pictures I took of my sister:

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    In number three there is the issue of the light on her face and the shadow. Does anyone have any tips on what I can do to take better shots? I am retaking these pictures tomorrow with her. Her hair is a bit darker now. I would also like to have her more in focus and the background blurry but I am unable to find that feature on my camera.

    Thanks. :)

    Edit: I am pretty sure I did not have the flash on when I was outside. Do you think it would have helped?
     
  2. DexGtr

    DexGtr TPF Noob!

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    the flash would have helped so that you could set your exposure lower so as not to blow out the snow in the background and still keep your model properly exposed.
     
  3. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    ...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yeah... if you want to shoot in a scene lit this way, you'll have to block the direct sunlight that's falling on her face... Just anything that can cause a shadow.


    That's gonna be your zoom. Move further away from the subject, and then zoom in.


    No. That would have provided a "flat" sort of lighting on the subject.

    You actually have a nice situation in the last view. What, are you under a gazebo or something? That blocked the overhead light and left the nice, soft, diffused directional light coming in from the right. Maybe frame the subject a bit tighter?

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     

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  5. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    The camera I have does not have an aperture ring or a shutter speed dial. Is there a way to take good pictures on a camera that does not have those features?

    I hope I didn't buy a really bad camera for starting out with photography..
     
  6. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    Ohh so no to the flash then? Alright. I took the last shoot under my deck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All the other ones were in direct sun light. So tomorrow I will try to avoid direct sunlight by standing more in the shade?

    I really appreciate all the help guys :).
     
  7. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  8. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    Ah I see :). I do not have the camera nor manual with me because I am at college but I will look it up when I return home tomorrow. :thumbup:
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's my recommendation. Put HER in the shade, but near the edge. What this does is provide "soft" lighting, yet still "directional" lighting.

    As an artist, I'm sure you know that shadow communicates shape. In other words, in a two dimensional medium.... no shadows, no depth.

    So to achieve this in portraits, the best way is to use a large, diffused light source. In this case, it's the open sky. But with the light coming from all around (even straight down), you have to subtract (rather than add) light. You deck is doing that for you.

    -Pete
     
  10. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    Got it, I am really excited to get out there and shoot again tomorrow. :)

    Edit: One of my photo friends shoots everything in RAW. I understand that gives you the most control over your photos. The camera I have does not support that mode. Do you think it is something I should be concerned about? I do not plan on becoming a professional photographer. I actually want to work for a high fashion magazine one day doing the layouts and editing but not actually taking the photos. Even though this is something I now enjoy. Maybe I should look for the feature on my next camera? Probably a while from now because this one is brand new..and I really like how compact it is. I might be studying abroad over the summer so I think it will be a great camera to take with me. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  11. Lsatblu

    Lsatblu TPF Noob!

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    Attempt 2:

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    Any comments? :)
     
  12. Lynnzora

    Lynnzora TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what you did differently but they definitely look a lot better. I'll leave it to the professionals leave a more techinical response but it does look a lot better
     

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