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Week 7  Portraits
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Week 7 Portraits


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  • Sometimes it is interesting to hear the story behind the photo and you see the photo in a new light. But in most cases a photo shouldn’t need a story to back it up. It has to speak for itself.
  • don’t be afraid to zoom in close!
  • You can also capture “tight”, close up shots of your subject
  • Use framing to concentrate all attention on your subject
  • Keep in mind that any “line” used in a portrait is strongest when it comes outside the frame and leads to the subject.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Week 8: Portraits
      Joel Kinison
      College of Southern Maryland
      Check out more of Hákon’s work and
      “ I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good. –Anonymous
    • 2. Portrait Basics
      A portrait is defined as a likeness of a person
      Reveals something of the person’s character
      Good portraits contain something about the person’s personality, attitude and mannerisms
    • 3. Formal Portraits
      Get to know your subject with small talk or informal conversation. It’s important for people to feel comfortable
      Plan a few shots to break the ice.
      You and the subject will be nervous.
      Calming the subject
      Relatively comfortable position
      Subject will settle down during the shoot
      You must be in charge
      Competent and knowledgeable
      Only then will your subject become relaxed
      Emphasize the person in a portrait - not his or her surroundings.
    • 4. Help it happen.
      • Give them basic direction and tell them to be themselves. Make them laugh, make them smile. Give them an activity to participate in.
      • 5. Contrast and Tone –High contrast
      Mojo from Flickr
    • 6. Portraits outdoors
      What background works best with the clothes your subject is wearing?
      Where is the sun?
      Is there wind to mess up the hair?
      Is the location private, or will you have to worry about clutter or distractions in the background?
      What is the weather like; is it sunny or overcast? An overcast sky provides soft, diffused light, while a sunny sky provides bright, intense light. Overcast is preferable in most cases.
      What can you use in your surroundings to enhance the composition?
    • 7. Portraits indoors
      Will you use a flash or the available natural light?
      If you will use a flash, will you use the built-in flash or a bounce flash ? If you use a bounce flash, how high is the ceiling and what color are the walls? Both will affect the outcome of the shot.
      If you are using the available light, how strong is the light coming in from windows or doors? If the light is not very strong, you may need a slower shutter speed, and possibly a tripod to avoid blur.
      Pay attention to the background tones and objects.
    • 8. More on backgrounds
      Distracting focal point (silly face in the background)
      Protruding elements from subjects heads
      Competing lines (strong clashing lines)
      Check your background
      Move your subject
      Change your shooting angle
      Use aperture or focal length to blue backgrounds
      Fill your frame
      Post processing
    • 9. Make your location work for you.
      Be aware of the background and the available light, but also the environment
    • 10. Make your location work for you.
    • 11. Life – Digital Photography School contest results
      Photo bybigmakoy
    • 12. The Vacation Portrait
      Family with nice background scene
      Problem: too much background, but you can barely tell who is in the photo
      In portraits – the subject is the people
      Too much background can cause conflict
    • 13. Depth of field
      Background can be too distracting. Decrease the aperture setting on your camera to narrow the DOF.
      The same depth of field effect can be obtained by simply moving closer to the subject.
      The closer the subject is to camera, the narrower the depth of field it will appear in.
    • 14. Rule of thirds
      This works under the concept that tension in the picture will bring more interest.
      One way of enhancing the composition of your shots is to place your points of interest inn smart positions.
      While the rule of thirds can be broken with great effect it’s a useful principle to keep in mind.
      Digital Photography School
    • 15. background
      Rule of thirds and fill the frame
    • 16. Break Rules
    • 17. Get Closer
      • If you see something interesting, don't be satisfied with just a wide shot.
      • 18. Think about the essence of what you are photographing and work closer and closer until you have isolated and captured it.
      • 19. Don't be shy. People are usually happy to show you what they do well.
    • Fill your frame
      Get Closer
    • 20. Framing
      National Geographic
      • Photographs are two dimensional but it helps if they look and feel three dimensional.
    • Framing
      If you use objects other than your main subject in the foreground, be careful of placement. You don't want to obscure or detract from your subject.
    • 21. Lines
      Every time you hold your camera to your eye, look for leading lines, foreground elements, frames—anything you can use to lend dynamism to your image.
    • 22. LINES
      Intersecting points - Lines
    • 23. To really capture the mood avoid the stark and bright light of flash photography (or will want to at diffuse it) and so you’ll need to switch off your flash and do one (or all) of three things to some extent
      • Increase your ISO
      • 24. Slow down shutter speed
      • 25. Use a larger Aperture
    • Lighting to really capture the mood
      Direct Light
      Natural Light
      Back Light
    • 26. Foreground lighting
      Off center different perspective – Viewpoint and Framing
      Off center different perspective – Viewpoint and Framing
      Make your images stand out byfinding fresh perspectives to shoot from.
    • 30. BALANCE
      An internal, physical response
      Does the image feel balanced?
      OR does it tilt or feel heavier in one part than another
    • 31. Self-portraits
      Self-portrait reflection
      Self-portrait with backlight Halo
    • 32. Kids
      Good Luck
      Perspective – their level
      Put hands on face
      Lay on floor propping up head
      Lots of photos
    • 33. Young family portraits
      Interact with the children and make them comfortable
      Don’t try formal poses
      Take a lot of photos
      Be prepared try different perspectives
    • 34. Evening Light
    • 35. remember
      Always keep your end photo in mind when you are searching out locations and taking pictures.
      Evaluating your situations may not come as second nature like it does for professional photographers, but, with practice, you can recognize a photo and to look for those photographic elements that can help or hurt your pictures.
    • 36. Have fun with filters
    • 37. Week 8 Assignment
      Post a portrait photo on the group Flickr web site