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Thread: What equipment do i need for portraits?

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    Member smallfooties's Avatar
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    What equipment do i need for portraits?

    Hi all,
    A patient of mine asked me if i could help him by taking a portrait photograph of himself. He wants me to capture his illness but make it a picture of hope at the same time. What sort of equipment do i need to take a successful portrait? Any ideas on how i could capture what he wants?
    Thanks.

    Nikon D700 in all it's glory!

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    Sorry to be blunt but that's a hugely open ended question...

    You might what to shed a bit more light on the situation?

    Are you after purchasing more gear? If so whats your budget? Will it be indoor/outdoor?

    Personally i think if its your first time taking portraits, I would just be using the gear that you have (im guessing from your sig) until you get a bit of a feel for it...

    Either one of those lenses you mention in your sig would do the job, but if you have enough room i'd chuck on the 105mm 2.8 and maybe try and experiment with some natural light outdoors...

    If you were going to look at purchasing anything, I would suggest and external flash as your first point of call...

    Feel free to take this advice with a grain of salt (or whatever the phrase is) as Im no portrait expert...

    Hope this helps
    Cheers, Brad




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    G'day Small

    Not enough information.

    Lighting? Setting? What aspects of the shoot and the subject are under your control? Final use?

    Why not just try with the equipment already at hand?

    Ray
    Last edited by Ray Heath; 26-05-2010 at 11:52pm. Reason: Missed a ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercho View Post
    Sorry to be blunt but that's a hugely open ended question...

    You might what to shed a bit more light on the situation?

    Are you after purchasing more gear? If so whats your budget? Will it be indoor/outdoor?

    Personally i think if its your first time taking portraits, I would just be using the gear that you have (im guessing from your sig) until you get a bit of a feel for it...

    Either one of those lenses you mention in your sig would do the job, but if you have enough room i'd chuck on the 105mm 2.8 and maybe try and experiment with some natural light outdoors...

    If you were going to look at purchasing anything, I would suggest and external flash as your first point of call...

    Feel free to take this advice with a grain of salt (or whatever the phrase is) as Im no portrait expert...

    Hope this helps
    oh sorry guys, as i have never done portraits before, i had no idea what or how to ask my question.
    The setting will most likely be an outdoor setting... but i would also like to have the option of taking the picture in his house if we can't find a suitable outdoor setting.
    He wants to hang the picture on his wall... to remind him of his tough times but also give him hope for the future....
    I have no idea how i would set it up etc...
    I am looking for a flash to purchase if need be... Is a flash all that i need?
    I think i will either take a picture of him lying amongst flowers with the sun shining down... or one with a black backdrop and then just capturing him in 'The Thinker' position.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    You need to get a day with nice soft light - ie no sunshine. Think about how to take the photo rather than what equipment you need. A flash might be handy, but only if you know how to use it. I tripod or steady surface might also be useful, particularly if you take it inside.

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    I would suggest that you jump on to flickr and look through the portrait groups, or look through the Formal and Posed forum here, and look at pictures until you find the sort of thing that you are visualising. Then the members here can help deconstruct any images you like and give you some fairly specific advice on how to replicate those images.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    I agree with Steve and believe you should be thinking about the idea for the image rather than the equipment - how to show the illness but also show hope? You probably need to work through this with your subject. Maybe show him with something he can't currently do due to the illness but is looking forward to doing when recovered? Once you have the idea for the shot the equipment requirements should fall into place. (If you don't have all the gear required it might be worth putting out a call to see if other Perth-ites are able to help out.)

    Your post reminded me of this blog post from Joe McNally. (I don't mean that you should go to those lengths btw ).

    It sounds like you have the opportunity to create an image that will have significant meaning to the subject, something most of us rarely get to do. I wish you well with it.


    Edit: Just had another thought - maybe a near-the-window natural light shot might fit the theme and also save on the amount of equipment required?


    Cheers.
    Last edited by fillum; 27-05-2010 at 10:59am.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    The equipment might be the least of your worries. IMO, it's important to connect with your subject and then be able to translate that into a picture. You don't necessarily need a lot of equiment although if tge image u had in mind is also technically challenging then of course more gear comes into play.
    A famous portrait by Dorothea Lange called 'migrant mother' I think, comes to mind. Not technically as challenging as say one of Joe McNally's pieces but the image is intensely emotional and evocative. It stays with u long after the 'wow' factor has worn off on techincally spectacular but less engaging photos.
    Another very famous portrait is the Afgan girl by Steve McCurry.
    Nikon FX

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    Any lens, including your 105 macro lens makes an excellent outdoor portrait lens
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
    Please support Precious Hearts
    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

  10. #10
    It's all about the Light!
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    read this first.... http://www.lumitouch.com/benstudiotu...uideRules.html

    It will answer 99.9% of your questions (and maybe create a few )

    Then have a look at the rest of his items http://www.lumitouch.com/benstudiotutorial/index.html

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