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      08-16-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
Neema
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Doing portraits and shots of people, need help

So im begining to get alot of friends who want me to take pics of them, and im sure that they are going to expect them to come out all crazy good since they assume that cameras like this= model quality photo shots. Ahhh if they only knew what went into taking and making a great picture. So, I have no clue what it takes to get great shots of people except that a reflector helps to get light back into their face where the sun casts shadows, and that shooting in RAW is usually best. Well, I dont have a version of photoshop that supports RAW yet, but i will soon.

So can someone give me some basics...........best time of day, locations, and just anything else. Just fill me in on everything you know about this please
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      08-22-2007, 06:04 PM   #2
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I just got done reading this book:

http://www.scottkelbybooks.com/produ...tography-book/

Well worth the $19 .... gave me a ton of insite and has a whole section on shooting people.
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      08-22-2007, 07:22 PM   #3
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Lighting is key, and multiple strobes are the way to go, with 3 probably being ideal (aimed at front, side, backdrop). At the very least use a strobe on the camera for fill light. Check out Adobe Lightroom for a good image processing tool, and its raw support is outstanding. Also check out http://strobist.blogspot.com/ for lighting tips.

edit: Also, I've had good luck with big diffusers on my strobes - I'm using Gary Fong diffusers. They even out the light and give a more natural, less harsh look when lighting a subject directly with a flash.
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      08-27-2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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Just quick simple easy advise Boost...

Sunrise/sunset is best. Don't shoot into the sun or if you do make sure you turn on the flash. Use flash outdoors as sun goes down to get lighting on face rather than a dark picture. Reflected lighting is better than direct.
Maybe that's too simple but its a start.
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      08-27-2007, 06:47 PM   #5
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A nice lens also helps...a SLR with a 90mm f2.8 or a DSLR with an 60mm f2.8 or similar focal length should be nice for portraits.
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      08-28-2007, 04:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacedogg View Post
A nice lens also helps...a SLR with a 90mm f2.8 or a DSLR with an 60mm f2.8 or similar focal length should be nice for portraits.
Thanks man, haha but im not that new to photography
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      09-13-2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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I'm not that good at portrait photography, but when you whip out a D200 with vertical grip and an 80-400VR lens, people think you're Ansel frickin' Adams (yeah, i know he wasn't really into portraits, but he's a name everyone knows...)

I think portraits look best with a softer background, and that's where I like the fast aperatures. I also agree with early in the day / late afternoon for the most interesting light. Sometimes that isn't possible, or doesn't fit the desired mood. In that case, I also agree with the above, difuse sunlight is better than direct in most cases.

Hey, it's digital. Shoot a ton, and figure out what you like!
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      09-14-2007, 05:43 AM   #8
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yea, so this intermediate photography and Photoshop CS3 class is going well..........deff. learning alot about photoshop which is ESSENTIAL in my opinion. I've learned alot about proper portraiture now but i've yet to actually attempt to do a shoot for someone, probably becuase im still nervous about the outcome knowing that im going to want to get it right......and I dont want my "client" to disaprove of me, so im going to hold off on that until i've finished this PS CS3 class. I really need to work on my composition and knowledge of aperture and depth of field, for some reason im still sort of confused on what apertures to use though I know enough that a wider aperture will give blurred back rounds and faster shutters and that smaller a smaller aperture like 22 will give you greater depth of field. If you want to get really technical, then i still need to learn about gamma rays, color temps, and all the other scientific aspects of photography, i mean photography can be considered the science of capturing light.
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      09-14-2007, 01:05 PM   #9
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I agree, and I disagree.

While I think Photoshop is a very useful tool (that I'd like to learn - what class are you taking?), it's far more important to understand your instrument.

When you have an excellent handle on what your tools are doing for you, you'll spend less time in photoshop. I shoot almost exclusively RAW format on my D200, and other than some minor color correction and cropping, I print stuff as-shot.

Photoshop is a great tool, and can make many good shots into outstanding shots. However, your command of your f-stop, knowledge of lighting, and subsequently your shutter speeds will set any photographer apart from the pack. Ansel had the dark room, we have photoshop, but his best work was a result of what he did in the field, not the lab.

I have so much to learn, but it's great that I can do it while "practicing"
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      09-14-2007, 05:25 PM   #10
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Well by saying that I think that photoshop is essential I meant for the use of color adjustment and things like HDR, or adding minor effects here and there. I didnt mean to try and take a bad shot and make it a good shot, I know it doesnt work that way. Im in photo 106 so far, and by talking to professionals, teachers, reading different articles and by testing different things out I'll eventually reach the levels that I want to be at. But just like you said, I try to take the picture as well as possible and try and keep my photoshoping to a minimum.
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      09-14-2007, 06:29 PM   #11
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Is it an organized course through a school, something through a shop, or online? I do want to learn the software, and so far I haven't had the time to muddle, the method by which I learn most software.

I think you said you were using Canon - do they have something like Nikon CaptureView for manipulating their RAW format?
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