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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> C/C: First set or Portraits
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08/29/2006 11:42:38 PM · #1
Well, last week I was looking for advice and got plenty for doing some portraits for the first time.

Used my 50 mm 1.8 for this and I've put up some I thought were OK and some I don't know about. I did 9 portraits and took about 22 pics. It was a pretty quick thing (obviously) as it was during the work day.

Setup was just a chair in front of a tan textured wall in front of the window. In hind site (and with a moveable b/g) I'd move them farther from the window a bit and turn them more towards it to get some more light. At least for corporate ones.

Anyways, please leave me some comments. I'll do my best to return the favor.

My First Portraits
08/29/2006 11:49:37 PM · #2
Can you maybe note the f/ used on these?
08/29/2006 11:50:07 PM · #3
Hmmm... I like the fact that you used side lighting. It helps define their features. In some cases, like with Ryan and Mandy, you need a touch of fill lighting on the opposite side so that they don't go into complete shadow. Still, you've got the right idea. As you mentioned, maybe turning them a little more into the light could help. But keep your camera in the position you were in ... it looks good.

If you're using that 50mm 1.8 on the wide open end, be aware that the DOF is really shallow. You may need to step down a bit just to get their whole face in focus.

One more tip: You're smart to use the center focus point to focus on the face. But after you lock the focus, recompose so that their face is no longer dead center within the image. Think rule of thirds.

Good work, keep it up.


08/30/2006 01:07:21 AM · #4
Thanks Terry.
f-stop was set to 2.8 for just the reason you mentioned.

I would have actually gotten closer and maybe should have but I wanted to make sure I gave our graphics guru enough to have some play. I just can't believe how much I ended up with above their heads. It looked so tight in the viewfinder. Oi!

Thanks again for your comments here. Now to see if there are others...
08/30/2006 01:37:00 PM · #5
more feedback pulease.
08/30/2006 03:30:47 PM · #6
I think the points are clear: get close (no empty space), step down to f8 if possible (I do) and most importantly use reflector or another light source to fill in shadow. Try again and see what happens.
08/30/2006 05:11:33 PM · #7
left a few comments i agree a reflector or a fill flash would be great in this situation.
08/30/2006 05:18:03 PM · #8
I'm not a portrait photographer, but looking at these photos, I wondered what is so interesting off to their right? In most of the photos the subjects are looking to the right. I liked the last one the best as she has a natural smile and is looking at me, not off to the side.

Ken
08/31/2006 11:47:17 AM · #9
Well that's where I was standing! I didn't want them looking directly at the camera and believe it or not if I turned my head my chin would have hit the camera. yet it looks like they are looking 5 feet to the left.
08/31/2006 12:35:03 PM · #10
I think you are off to a great start!
Keep shooting natural light by the window.
Add a reflector for some fill.
Once you have some fill you can play with the shadows a bit to get more depth in the image.
Once you are really comfortable with you technique you can tell stories or whatever it takes to bring out some fun expression in you subject's face.

I look forward to seeing more...
08/31/2006 12:56:28 PM · #11
Hey thanks Dave. That holds some weight for me having looked at some of yours. I especially like the ones of Desiree and love...
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that one. I forgot to look but if the info wasn't there, what did you do for this one?

ETA: saw the settings, what was your setup? Natural light with a reflector?

Message edited by author 2006-08-31 12:57:37.
08/31/2006 01:01:35 PM · #12
Originally posted by sea2c:

what was your setup? Natural light with a reflector?

Natural light coming through a sheer on the window. A sheet over a PVC frame as a reflector.
08/31/2006 01:06:14 PM · #13
A sheet? Just a sheet?

You mean i don't have to go and spend 140 bucks on a reflector from the local shop?

Really?
LOL.

OK, so I'm not quite THAT surprised. It's like the perfect amount of light for it.

Off to go some PVC and old sheets...
08/31/2006 02:46:55 PM · #14
Originally posted by sea2c:

Off to go some PVC and old sheets...

If you are going to do that, let me offer this example. I built one for a couple bucks and just tossed a white sheet over it for awhile.
08/31/2006 02:50:58 PM · #15
Nusbaum gave some great advice!
I would like to add, don't limit yourself to 50mm!
There is a reason why people regard the 70-200 lenses as the hallmark
of portraits. I'm not saying you can't get great shots with a
wide angle! Or rather a wider angle. If it were me, I would use that
24-120 w/VR listed in your profile!

Message edited by author 2006-08-31 14:51:54.
08/31/2006 03:07:25 PM · #16
You can also buy a big sheet of foamcore in any art supply store (I use Blick's), cut it in half vertically and reconnect as a book with a scotch tape or something. Works just as well (maybe better as you can "focus" light a bit by controlling the angle of the opening), and can be neatly folded and stored near any wall.

Originally posted by Nusbaum:

Originally posted by sea2c:

Off to go some PVC and old sheets...

If you are going to do that, let me offer this example. I built one for a couple bucks and just tossed a white sheet over it for awhile.


Message edited by author 2006-08-31 15:08:12.
08/31/2006 03:21:33 PM · #17
Oh you guys are just full of advice! This is great.

Dave & Lev, thanks for the suggestions, I'll probably do some of both. I'll use the sheet in my garage for a diffuser/reflector and make it BIG and the foamcore would be great for portraits and wouldn't really need to be that big either.

And Superdave, that lens is probably being sold or traded. I have the 28-105 Macro that I've found just as useful in pretty much every situation and more importantly (to me) has the macro that I fine myself using more and more right now so unfortunately, the VR sits in the bag alot.
08/31/2006 03:25:14 PM · #18
Originally posted by sea2c:


And Superdave, that lens is probably being sold or traded. I have the 28-105 Macro that I've found just as useful in pretty much every situation and more importantly (to me) has the macro that I fine myself using more and more right now so unfortunately, the VR sits in the bag alot.


Either one really, I just suggested it because it has a wider range.
I use the sigma 24-70 f/2.8 and have had some pretty good results I
think, like this one of my daughter.
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08/31/2006 03:28:29 PM · #19
The empty space at the top of the pictures should be cropped out....

Just a thought.
08/31/2006 04:51:24 PM · #20
Originally posted by stare_at_the_sun:

The empty space at the top of the pictures should be cropped out....

Just a thought.


LOL, really? Just buggin.

I uploaded them as they were taken. I knew they were needing cropping but I've now learned a couple things about what to do WHEN taking them and not just post processing.

Super - Wanna trade? My vr for your 2.8? LOL O wait, you're a canonite. Never mind! LOL I really do love my 28-105, I just wish it was a bit wider.
08/31/2006 05:22:25 PM · #21
I also own this 28-105 macro lens from my old Nikon N80 days, and love this lens, even though I don't use it very often nowadays, I got quite a few good shots with it, as this page testifies :)
08/31/2006 05:33:13 PM · #22
Originally posted by LevT:

I also own this 28-105 macro lens from my old Nikon N80 days, and love this lens, even though I don't use it very often nowadays, I got quite a few good shots with it, as this page testifies :)


Does anything other than you VR make it onto your camera?
08/31/2006 06:30:32 PM · #23
Originally posted by sea2c:

Originally posted by LevT:

I also own this 28-105 macro lens from my old Nikon N80 days, and love this lens, even though I don't use it very often nowadays, I got quite a few good shots with it, as this page testifies :)


Does anything other than you VR make it onto your camera?


Well, not too often, to tell you the truth :)
I use 50mm 1.8 when I want natural light indoors or extreme sharpness and/or small DOF, and of course I use 28-105 for macro, other than that, esp for outdoors photography, it's usually my 18-200VR. Love it.
08/31/2006 06:52:19 PM · #24
envy
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