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Thread: NTP: Challenge VIII - Portraiture

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    NTP: Challenge VIII - Portraiture

    Moving along in our New To Photography Challenge series.

    We now come to Portraiture. Portraiture is usually accepted to be photos of people, but remember that you can also do animal portraiture, especially of domestic animals. This challenge is about using what you have learned from the New To Photography Resources, to achieve a portrait shot.

    Things to consider

    - Aperture (depth of field) to blur your background to isolate your subject.
    - Light, using light effectively, maybe back lighting, side lighting, maybe use your flash, consider bouncing the flash off a ceiling, wall etc.
    - Your subject's pose, front on, side on, head tilted.
    - Are you going to take the photo from the same height as your subject, from above or below?
    - Is it going to be a formal portrait, and environmental portrait (taken showing your subject undertaking their work/hobby etc)?
    - Are you going to take it indoors with a backdrop etc, or outdoors on the beach, in the park?
    - Remember that in portraiture, the subjects eyes are very important, make sure they are sharply in focus.

    Please feel free to ask any questions in this thread to help you achieve your results, and we look forward to seeing your final portrait photo.

    HAVE FUN!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  2. #2
    It's all about the Light!
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    Kym's Avatar
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    This will help - http://www.lumitouch.com/benstudiotutorial/index.html
    If nothing else read item 10.
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    I took this one yesterday, am going to attempt some more portraits of the kids tomorrow if the weather is still ikky like this. :-S
    My son Corey

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummymummy View Post
    I took this one yesterday, am going to attempt some more portraits of the kids tomorrow if the weather is still ikky like this. :-S
    My son Corey

    Mind if I critique a little ?

    For portraiture, try to use a longer lens, as wide angle lenses tend to distort and are generally unflattering. In this case, you can see the bottom of the head is wider than the top due to the distortion caused by a wider focal length at close range.

    Light control isn't bad here, although possibly a little flat. Some shadow is ok, preferably soft, to add dimension to the portrait. I see there is a degree of directionality to the light (right side brighter than the left), but possibly not enough to really define the shape of the head.

    You've also shot from below, causing us to look up his nostrils, this usually isn't a good plan.

    Otherwise you've controlled the depth of field nicely and the eyes are sharp.
    Dave

    http://www.degrootphotography.com.au/
    Canon EOS 1D MkIV | Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 30D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM | Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM | Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM | Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L & some non-L lenses.

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    Thanks Dave !! The light was a little hard to control, we were next to a window where the light was pretty harsh. I'll remember that about the longer lens, the only other lens I have at the moment is the 75-300mm, but will give that a go and see how I go Thanks so much!

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    It's all about the Light!
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    70-100mm is usual for portrait work.

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    Ok, so if I use the 75-300 that I have at the small end that should be better? I'm also getting a 50mm in a few weeks as well, I've heard they're pretty good too.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    70-100mm is usual for portrait work.
    Depends on your sensor size and what look you're after. I tend to shoot head and shoulders at between 135 and 200mm, but that's on a full-frame body.
    Just for the hell of it, I've also done the same thing at 400mm, 600mm and 840mm (because I could) ;-)

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummymummy View Post
    Ok, so if I use the 75-300 that I have at the small end that should be better? I'm also getting a 50mm in a few weeks as well, I've heard they're pretty good too.
    On an APS-C body, I'd look around the 50 to 135mm focal lengths. A longer lens allows you to blur out the background more while not distorting the face.

    For quite a long time, I only shot portraits with the 50/1.8 on a 400D, but found the 100/2.8 macro to be an excellent portrait lens, and since then have moved on to the 70-200/2.8L IS as my primary portrait lens.

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    Ok, thanks Dave I'll keep that in mind

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    speaking of the eyes I need help, when I use flash with all my Blue eyed children and red eye reduction on this is what I get, I have tried PS red tool but that just makes my kids look freaky



    How can I fix this?
    Tess
    CC welcome and craved, as am hungry to improve so please help with instructions etc.
    Canon EOS 450D, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, polarised filter, HOOD and uvfilters and my husbands old tripod

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    Bit off topic of the idea of the challenge, but cause it is Dark, your subjects pupils are enlarged to let light in (so they can see). The eye works similar to the aperture in your camera, need more light in using a larger aperture in your camera, need more light in for human vision, the pupil expands.

    So how do you counter it, You can use 'pre-flashes' that trigger the pupil to shrink or even a torch or other light source to expose the pupils to light to force them to contract.

    Red-Eye removal in PS works, but cause of the enlarged pupils it will look odd. So you need to force your subjects pupils to contract before taking the shot

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Bit off topic of the idea of the challenge, but cause it is Dark, your subjects pupils are enlarged to let light in (so they can see). The eye works similar to the aperture in your camera, need more light in using a larger aperture in your camera, need more light in for human vision, the pupil expands.

    So how do you counter it, You can use 'pre-flashes' that trigger the pupil to shrink or even a torch or other light source to expose the pupils to light to force them to contact.
    The other way to combat it, is to use off-camera flash, i.e. don't have the flash on the same axis as the camera, so that any red reflection doesn't enter the lenses field of view. You'll also get a much more pleasing result with your lights off the camera axis

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    Member newhart's Avatar
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    Thank-you both I will try next time....sorry it off topic second day

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    This is more natural and what I prefer as flash is not my style


    I have to work on a few things please help
    shutter speed: 1/20
    aperture: 5.6
    ISO: 1600

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    Big thing is why ISO 1600? The higher the ISO, the more noise (grain) introduced to your photos. You should leave the ISO on the lowest possible setting (usually ISO 100 or 200),. You only need to increase ISO when it is darkish and you need to get a faster shutter speed. Upping the ISO increases the sensor's sensitivity to light, thus allowing faster shutter speeds.

    Nice composition, eye contact and natural smile.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Big thing is why ISO 1600?
    I'd guess because it's at 1/20th, so not much light at all. Of course, at that speed you can see there was slight movement causing the shot to be soft overall.

    Nice composition, eye contact and natural smile.
    Agreed

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    Portrait of my wife.

    My wife is heavily pregnant and i wanted to try some portraits and maternity shots as well as trying to use studi lights for the first time. So far the maternity shots haven't gone as well as hoped but this portrait was pretty good. What do you think?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member newhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAdeGroot View Post
    I'd guess because it's at 1/20th, so not much light at all. Of course, at that speed you can see there was slight movement causing the shot to be soft overall.



    Agreed
    Yes was very late in the afternoon down by the river, I will have to pick my time a bit better so that the shot can be sharper. Thank-you for advice again from both

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    Candid Portrait

    Open to comments.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dave

    Canon EOS 30D with BG-E2 grip

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    Canon 50mm f/1.8
    Canon ef 24 -105 mm f/4 L IS USM
    Canon ef 70 -200 mm f/2.8LIS USM
    Canon ef 2x extender
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    Manfrotto 190xb

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