Tips . Tricks . Tales
Valuable information you can’t find anywhere else
Most beginners and amateurs don’t get close enough to their human subjects. Or pets. They tend to leave too much room and include many things that should have been left out.
Conversely, some wannabes and professionals, shoot from too far away, physically. Meaning, they have long telephoto lenses and prefer to shoot from a distance. Not my style.
No matter how brief or inconsequential, I want a photographic relationship with my human subjects. That’s not possible from 30-feet away.
Ah, but you can’t always get where you want to be for many reasons, so you adjust, and usually switch lenses.
I was shooting a Sweet 16 party, (Don’t tell anyone. It was for the daughter of a longtime friend.), and it was mostly group photos, dancing teenagers, and the money shot: cutting the cake.
Brianna was one of the adult guests and after photographing her in a group, I asked to shoot a head shot. I wanted to eliminate other people and a cluttered background, so I switched to an 80-200mm lens.
I had Bri turn her head and look at me and I shot from about six-feet away. My camera was set on P (Program), ISO 400, with the built-in flash popped up.
The photo isn’t too tight or too loose. It’s just right. (Modesty is overrated.)
Window light is usually soft and flattering and desirable when photographing people. Traditionally, northern light is preferred by artists, (especially painters and photographers), because the light doesn’t change direction throughout the day, it’s extremely reflective, and has a constant cool value. (Google)
While taking pictures of customers in a friend’s second-story vintage clothing store, I was pleased that the room was lit by sunlight streaming from three large windows. Fortunately, there was no overhead lighting. If there had been fluorescent lighting, I’d have turned it off because the tubes usually emit a greenish colored light.
The entire interior of the business was painted pink with white trim so – since light reflects colors – a slight pink hue was added to my subjects. However, the tint was slight and somewhat flattering.
I told Ainsley not to look at me and made several shots. I used an 18-55mm lens from about five-feet away and my camera was set on P (Program), and ISO 400. I made sure my camera read her skin tone for a perfect exposure.
Note: I could have removed the background with a software program and even dropped in a different background, but that wasn’t what I wanted. (Actually, I’ve never done that.) I shot my style of an environmental portrait, which was a lovely young lady right where she was, using window light.