Friday, May 01, 2009

Picturesque Portraits: Part 1

Ready for some portrait how-tos? I've been glancing over my notes from IPS as well as looking through my people-posing photography book, so here is your first lesson :)

Feel free to ask all kinds of questions, I'll do my best to answer them both in word and photo example if you want.

Can't wait to see your photos!

Part 1 Lighting:

There are several different sources of light that have varied effects on your portraiture.

1: Direct Sunlight
(the best way to use this type in portraits is to put it behind your subject and capture the "rim light" around your subject. "Rim light" is mostly seen around the rim of the head)
See the golden rim around their heads?
And if you can
get a lens flare now and then
so much the better! :)

2: Overcast Sunlight
(Provides a softer, diffused lighting
to your picture, and eliminates harsh
shadows and allows for natural

3: Open Shade
This lighting choice happens under trees
or next to buildings or structures that
cast large shadows.
(depending on the time of day
watch out for and avoid splotches
of light that land on the face
especially under trees)(In this photo, you can see the sun behind the couple
yet they are in complete shade. Neat, eh?)

4: Window Light
Provides very soft lighting, and you may need
to use a reflector to fill in and soften the shadows.

5: Studio Lighting
Gives you absolute control over the amount
and quality of light in each photo, and it's
wonderfully multi-purpose:
usable rain or shine!

(Wee disclaimer :) This photo was
made with just my camera and
my 430EX flash and the available
light...combined with some
editing in Picasa, it looks
pretty close to a studio-lit
photo....minus the studio!)

And last but not least...

6: Stop Light

With this you have absolute control
over pedestrians, and it is available
in most downtown areas :)

(imagine a photo here)

I have yet to get one of these :)

Thus ends lesson #1, and hopefully I can
get #2 up here today as well. Right now
I have to get dinner ready, so I'll
pull myself away from the computer
and I'll see you later :)

Play around with the different lighting where you are,
get used to interpreting what light you see and
can use for each portrait, and how you can
adapt the light or situation as needed :)

Any questions? Drop me a comment
or an email !

Your Friendly Fotog

1 comment:

  1. I'm not very good at lighting... but I'll be sure to try your tips. I used the sunlight from a sunset on a few pictures yesterday and they turned out pretty well! I'll be posting them to my blog soon. Thanks for the tips!


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