Photography for Beginners -Shooting Portraits:
Portrait Photography is one of the most interesting and popular shooting modes of most photographers. Portraits as we know, is all about the subject. One of the most important factors in shooting a great portrait is to have a shallow depth of field, which means set your aperture to the widest aperture value of around f2.8 to f 5.6 .This will make the subject stand out and the background blurred , sometimes also called the 'bokeh' concept. The idea is as soon as one views the picture, the eyes settle on the subject .The other factors that also play into effect to make a good portrait are the composition, color and amount of light.
- To take great portraits , firstly, one should set the camera to the widest aperture that it can be set to. One can also invest in a camera that has a wide aperture of at least f/2.0 and focal length 50 mm and 100 mm. The portrait lens 50mm f/1.8 “Nifty Fifty” is a great choice for clicking great portraits. It is available in Canon and Nikon as well.
- Set the camera to Av or Aperture Priority mode (Click here for earlier post on this) .Set the aperture to a value f/1.8 or the widest value that you can set in your camera for maximum blurring of the background. Aperture is the opening of the lens, so values like f/1.5 means smaller hole, which in turn means less light being let in and achieving maximum blurring . Values like f/22 means bigger aperture hole , more light being let in and no blurring .This is used for eg. while taking landscape shots of a scenic view .Here you obviously want the entire picture to have clarity.
- The shutter speed is automatically set in aperture priority mode .If you are shooting in manual mode ,set the Shutter speed to 1/100 th of a second or faster.
- ISO value should be 100 or lower .You can increase the ISO value to improve the light and get a brighter picture, but be mindful of the cons , the picture can become too grainy.
- Shoot the picture by standing as close to the subject as possible.
- Focus on the eyes of the subject and encourage the subject to be natural .
- Try to have a considerable distance between the subject and the background to create the depth of field , which helps create a beautiful blurry background.
- Choose a time of the day early in the morning under a shady tree or late evening when shooting out doors.
- Change the AWB (auto white balance) and set the value to shady, sunlight etc depending on the climatic conditions.
- Use reflectors as needed to reflect light on the subject.
- Use rule of thirds while photographing the subject , which means the subject is on the third of the picture if the picture was divided into 3 parts ,although it is not a must.
- Post processing the pictures using photoshop or other editing softwares can also add the final touches to make a great final portrait.