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  • 1. WEEK 8: PORTRAITS Joel Kinison College of Southern Maryland March 2009
  • 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 • Some people show character with immediate transparency, while others may be more difficult to ―read‖ at first • This takes skill and an understanding of human nature
  • 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. 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?
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. MORE ON BACKGROUNDS Distractions • Distracting focal point (silly face in the background) • Protruding elements from subjects heads • Competing lines (strong clashing lines) Strategies • Check your background • Move your subject • Change your shooting angle • Use aperture or focal length to blue backgrounds • Fill your frame • Post processing
  • 7. Make your location work for you. Be aware of the background and the available light, but also the environment Mojo from Flickr http://flickr.com/photos/mojo74/2428713524/
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. 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 http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds
  • 11. Rule of thirds background
  • 12. Break Rules
  • 13. Get Closer • If you see something interesting, don't be satisfied with just a wide shot. • Think about the essence of what you are photographing and work closer and closer until you have isolated and captured it. • Don't be shy. People are usually happy to show you what they do well.
  • 14. Get Closer Fill your frame
  • 15. National Geographic Photograph FRAMING • Photographs are two dimensional but it helps if they look and feel three dimensional.
  • 16. 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.
  • 17. 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.
  • 18. LINES Intersecting points - Lines
  • 19. 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 • Slow down shutter speed • Use a larger Aperture
  • 20. Lighting to really capture the mood Silhouettes Direct Light Natural Light Back Light
  • 21. Foreground lighting
  • 22. PERSPECTIVE Off center different perspective – Viewpoint and Framing
  • 23. PERSPECTIVE Off center different perspective – Viewpoint and Framing
  • 24. PERSPECTIVE Make your images stand out by finding fresh perspectives to shoot from.
  • 25. BALANCE An internal, physical response Does the image feel balanced? OR does it tilt or feel heavier in one part than another
  • 26. 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.
  • 27. Have fun with filters
  • 28. WEEK 8 ASSIGNMENT Post a portrait photo on the group Flickr web site