5 PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES, TIPS AND TRICKS FOR TAKING PICTURES OF ANYTHING

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5 PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES, TIPS AND TRICKS FOR TAKING PICTURES OF ANYTHING
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 5 PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES, TIPS AND TRICKS FOR TAKING PICTURES OF ANYTHING

Tip 1. Focus on the eyes

While eye contact is not always desirable in a portrait, sharp eyes certainly are. Manually select an AF point that’s positioned over one of your model’s eyes, or use the central focus point to lock focus on their eye.

Then, with the shutter release half-pressed to keep the setting locked, recompose your picture before taking the shot.

Tip 2. Using a standard or telephoto lens

 

Wide-angle lenses are a great choice for photographing environmental portraits, where you want to show a person within a specific context. However, wide-angle lenses used close-up will distort facial features and creative unflattering pictures.

A better choice for portraits is either a standard lens or a short telephoto lens. The classic portrait focal lengths for a full-frame camera are 50mm, 85mm prime lenses and a 70-200mm zoom.

These will help to compress features and provide a more natural-looking result.

Tip 3. Use Aperture Priority mode

 

Aperture Priority gives you direct control over the aperture, and as a result the depth of field (DOF).

Fast prime lenses, such as 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.2 enable you to choose very large apertures for a shallow depth of field. This can help you create those creamy-smooth, out of focus backgrounds that give portraits a professional quality.

Working with such a narrow band of sharpness means that you need to be accurate with focusing – the entire portrait will look soft if you don’t focus accurately on the eyes.

Tip 4. Using window light

You don’t need an expensive home studio lighting kit to take amazing portraits – a window and a reflector can help you achieve stunning natural light portraits without spending too much.

Position your model at an angle to the window and use a white or silver reflector to open up any shadows across their face. A silver reflector will give a crisper quality of light than a white one, although the effect won’t be as subtle.

Be aware of any color casts that may be introduced by features on the other side of the glass as well – a lush green lawn can give skin tones a sickly quality, while late evening sunlight on a patio will reflect lots of warm light.

Tip 5. High-key portraits

Deliberately choosing to over-expose a photo to create a ‘high-key’ effect results in a light and delicate look that can enhance feminine portraits and pictures of children.

The trick is not to blow the highlights in-camera, but rather brighten up the shot later in software such as Photoshop.

Shooting RAW files will give you the most editing head-room, as you’ll be able to extract more detail across the tonal range in raw compared to JPEGs.

 

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