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Thread: Learn Studio Portrait Photography

  1. #1
    Member luckyforteja's Avatar
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    Learn Studio Portrait Photography

    Hi,

    I am keen to learn basics about portrait photography. Is there a good book that I can pickup and learn some basics?

    Thanks in advance

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    firstly, start by joining in here on AP, we have a heap of skilled portrait photographers that are willing to give guidance, so start posting some of your work and learn from the feedback.

    Next, for lighting there is one site that is brilliant for this : http://strobist.blogspot.com/

    there are also workshops you can do, so check out what is happening in Melbourne and you are likely to find a weekend workshop in portraiture that will help you along the way.

    As for books, they can teach you some of the theory, but ultimately you need to get your camera and lights out and practice, practice, practice, what you learn from AP, books ,and courses. There is no easy path, other than doing it over and over, and learning from your results, good and bad.
    Last edited by ricktas; 24-10-2011 at 8:38pm.
    "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

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    Thanks for the prompt reply,

    I am not expecting it to be an easy path, but I needed a place to start. I do want to learn theory/basics and that was the reason I was looking for a book or a dvd or something similar.

    I was looking for a book that would tell me basics like what lens to use, focal length? ISO setting? How to select correct WB etc?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyforteja View Post

    I was looking for a book that would tell me basics like what lens to use, focal length? ISO setting? How to select correct WB etc?

    Thanks in advance.
    These are basic photography skills, not portrait ones. I think you need to start even further back, if you need to understand which focal length, ISO etc to use for any given genre. With a good basic understanding of what Aperture, ISO, shutter speed and white balance do, you will automatically know some of the answers to your questions.

    Click on Library on the main menu here on AP, and then have a look at the New To Photography section.
    Last edited by ricktas; 24-10-2011 at 9:25pm.

  5. #5
    As Keen As Mustard NikonNellie's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Rick - think of portraiture as a specialty. You really need to know all of those basics first then you grow upon those skills. I would buy a book first that teaches you those basic skills and once you have a good understanding of them then move onto a portrait book which don't usually give you a lot of information about the things you mentioned but tend to elaborate more on posing your models and lighting setups.
    CAMERA: Nikon D800, Nikon D7000
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    Thanks Ricktas and Nellie,

    I truly appreciate your feedback. I have ordered couple of books to understand the basics of Photography

    1) Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
    2) Canon EOS Digital Photography Photo Workshop by Serge Timacheff

    I hope these books give me the basics of handling my Canon and give me confidence to shoot in other modes. Right now I shoot most of my pics in Aperture Priority and tyr my best to keep the background out of focus.
    I hope to be confident enough to shoot in Manual mode after reading these books.

    My Kit:
    Canon 450D
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
    55-250mm f/4.0-5.6

    I will buy faster lens when I get comfortable with my kit, I want faster lens to shoot indoor low light.

    50mm f1.4
    100mm f2.8 Maco
    and I need something in 30mm range as well.

    Questions
    ========
    Do you guys think I am going the right direction?
    Do you have any experience with the book that I am getting?
    Any suggestions/comments regarding the lens that I am looking to buy? I won't be looking to get these lens in a months time.

    Regards,
    Sri

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    Understanding exposure is a good book

    There are lots of online tutorials on YouTube too

    But I think best thing to start with is simply natural light, get that sorted before studio lighting
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Understanding exposure is (as Kiwi says) a good book to get your head around ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture and how they all inter-relate. Certainly by reading that book and doing the tasks it suggests, you will get a very good understanding of the basics of photography and how to get the result you want.

    Also start posting photos for critique here on AP. Members will happily give you good advice on how to improve the technical, composition and subject of your photos and make them connect with the viewers more.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    I like scott kelby's The Digital Photography books. His humor is somewhat dry but he does try. LoL. It gives a more "light hearted" introduction to photography. It briefly covers quite a few genres of photography as well.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Have a look at this while you're waiting for your books.....http://dryreading.com/camera/index.html
    It should only take you a couple of minutes to figure out how to use it.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

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    Thanks Kiwi, Ricktas and Keefy

    Appreciate your feedback.

    Kiwi,
    I will start with natural light only, till I get comfortable.

    I will read these books and post some pics for cc. Would you guys think that the Glass that I am looking at are good for the purpose ?

    Regards

  12. #12
    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyforteja View Post
    Thanks Kiwi, Ricktas and Keefy

    Appreciate your feedback.

    Kiwi,
    I will start with natural light only, till I get comfortable.

    I will read these books and post some pics for cc. Would you guys think that the Glass that I am looking at are good for the purpose ?

    Regards

    If you're doing studio work even the 18-55 will suffice. Don't think about the gear yet. Understand the basics of photography first. If you truely understand, you'll quickly realise what kind of gear you'll need. Meanwhile save some $$. Well LOTS of $$. If you're going to do your own studio setup a decent setup will cost you easily $3.5K.

    Lots of people who get their first DSLR aspire to be a professional photographer. Whilst i do encourage you to dream, i also do encourage you to search the ausphotography forums as "going professional" has been covered many many many times and more often than not it's still a dream for most. It's harder than it seems and much costlier than what people are prepared to outlay initially. Probably will spend in excess of $5k for a basic kit of 2 bodies, lenses and strobes and possibly still not earn a single cent from the "investment". People are disillusioned by all the glamour of being a photographer and most of the time don't see the hardship in it.

    Good luck with your dreams and foray into photography You'll need it. Stick around, there's lots to be learnt from AP (australian photography).

    EDIT: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...l-Photographer <<< good place to start to have an idea what a business entails.
    Last edited by KeeFy; 25-10-2011 at 9:50pm.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeeFy View Post
    If you're doing studio work even the 18-55 will suffice. Don't think about the gear yet. Understand the basics of photography first. If you truely understand, you'll quickly realise what kind of gear you'll need. Meanwhile save some $$. Well LOTS of $$. If you're going to do your own studio setup a decent setup will cost you easily $3.5K.

    Lots of people who get their first DSLR aspire to be a professional photographer. Whilst i do encourage you to dream, i also do encourage you to search the ausphotography forums as "going professional" has been covered many many many times and more often than not it's still a dream for most. It's harder than it seems and much costlier than what people are prepared to outlay initially. Probably will spend in excess of $5k for a basic kit of 2 bodies, lenses and strobes and possibly still not earn a single cent from the "investment". People are disillusioned by all the glamour of being a photographer and most of the time don't see the hardship in it.

    Good luck with your dreams and foray into photography You'll need it. Stick around, there's lots to be learnt from AP (australian photography).

    EDIT: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...l-Photographer <<< good place to start to have an idea what a business entails.
    Thanks Keefy,

    Appreciate your prompt reply.

    I need to set few thing very straight, I might not have been clear about my expectations.

    1) I do realize that becoming a photographer require lots of hard work, like any other profession.
    2) I am not aspiring to be a professional photographer.
    3) I do want to be a good hobby photographer, I want to take some good pictures of my family and friends.

    I do want to pursue photography as a hobby but not as a profession

    Regards

  14. #14
    Ausphotography Regular leanneqld's Avatar
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    I agree with Kiwi....youtube has been my best friend. I have found many tutorials there and I find watching them easier to understand than a book.
    Last edited by leanneqld; 25-10-2011 at 10:53pm.

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    leanneqld,
    Thanks for your input.
    Is there any particular channel that I need to subscribe to in YouTube that you would recommend ?

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day forteja

    I note that you're melbourne based

    Many years ago I cut my teeth with portraiture stuff at the Melbourne Camera Club's portraiture group
    I suggest that -as well as the suggestions above- that you pop into their clubrooms one night and see what they do

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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