Sunday, April 22, 2012

All the beautiful people!

There's a common perception that everyone else looks so much better in photos. Many seem to think they can't look good, except for that one photo they use for everything because they feel that this one portrays them the way they are. Let me tell you; everyone can look great in photos!

They joy in the eyes, of a  person who is satisfied with the photos you've shot of them, is priceless!
My dear friend, Astrid
EXIF: f/2 - 1/100 - ISO100 - 50mm - WB/cloudy

The portrait on the right is of my dear friend, Astrid. She's one of the strongest and also most loving persons I know. I wanted to portray her, powerful and feminine. In other portraits I might have worked with a higher f-number, but I really wanted her to stand out from the background. In this shot I have used the Sigma EX DG HSM 50mm lense, a great lense for portraits.

In the post Starting to think within the frames I talked a bit about placing the eyes on the line 1/3 from the top. In this shot you can see she stares straight to the right in this line level.

Complementary colors are good in any photos, and her golden colors stands in wonderful contrast to the ice blue sky.

Bridal journeymen
EXIF: f/4.5 - 1/160 - ISO200 - 80mm - WB/cloudy
Now, if you want to learn how to shot great portraits from scratch there are some guidelines to follow. First of all you need to create a relaxing atmosphere between you and the person you will portray. You need to make the person trust you and you must keep your body language positive. People feel very fragile when someone is moving this close to them, so it's very important that you treat them with respect and show them that you are trustworthy. Smalltalk and keeping eye contact is alfa and omega.

EXIF: f/4.5 - 1/160 - ISO200 - 50mm - WB/sun
Photographing kids is so much fun! You really never know what you'll get. Kids are so natural in fromt of the camera, and they often completely take over the direction of the shoot. To photograph kids you'll have to know how to play. 

I'll talk about baby photography in a later post

When talking about portraits, there is one thing I haven't mentioned yet, but is very important. If you want to take great people photographs you have to get rid of the pop-up flash. Please. The pop-up flash is the cruelest invention in the history of digital photography. So many great shots have been ruined because of this! The pop-up flash creates a merciless flash that flattens the dept, highlights and destroys everything in it's way. Turn it off. Buy a directional flash. Or, at least cover it with a diffuser. To create great portraits you need soft and indirect light. Natural daylight is of course best, but with a directional flash you can shot the flash up in the ceiling to spread the light.

EXIF: f/ 5.6 - 1/200 - 70mm - ISO100 - WB/sun
Pay attention, because this is important! People tend to always look at the other persons eyes. In portaits the old saying, the eyes are the mirror of the soul, couldn't be more true. So, focus on the eyes. Always make the eyes razor sharp! 

If the person is staring into the camera, and their eyes are sharp, it is almost like there's some kind of communication going on. Try it out!

None of my examples this time has been shots with f/11. f/11 is the ultimate aperture for classic portrait shots. At f/11 you get the whole head of the person in focus, but to use this you need a lot of light. In my next post about portraits I will show you some classic f/11 shots.

'Till next time; take care!

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