Challenge Topic: Portraits
Posting Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Online Background Information:
- 12 common posing mistakes and how to fix them
- Understanding natural light portrait photography
- Six portrait lighting patterns every photographer should know
- How to photograph people in harsh mid-day light
- Best aperture and focal length for portraits
- Three tips for taking portraits that reflect character and spirit
- 10 tips for self-portrait photography
- 16 tips for family self-portraits
Additional Tips and Suggestions:
Portrait photography is a specialty that is immediately adopted by many enthusiasts when they get their first digital camera. And why not, if you readily have family members who can serve as subject matter? But portrait photography is a specialty that takes some preparation, knowledge, and practice if you want to advance beyond a “snapshot” skill level. There is a wealth of technical aspects and techniques to consider, so please review the numerous reference links provided above for more details.
Complimentary posing is an art and a science for portrait photographers. Keep in mind that some of the most compelling portraits are the ones that communicate emotion. It is essential to understand how lighting, whether natural or artificial, can flatter your subject. Some focal lengths are pleasing, and some can provide unattractive distortions. Shallow depth of field will emphasize your subject and minimize background distractions. Different strategies are needed based on the quality of light (direct or indirect). A reflector is a very handy tool for bouncing light into shadow areas.
Post-processing techniques also can make or break the overall success of your images. Skin color should be realistic and warm. Wrinkles and blemishes should be minimized but not completely eliminated. Eyes should be sharply focused, but not overly sharp. Whites of eyes and teeth can be lightened in a complimentary manner. If a color format is distracting, consider a black and white conversion to provide additional attention to the subject.
Prepare one to three of your own photographic images that feature portraits. For this assignment, the portraits may be informal or formal. Self-portraits are also permissible. You may use photos from your personal inventory or take new ones for this challenge. It’s your choice.
Please include any information or tips that may be of assistance to other participants (e.g., how you took the images, post-processing details, camera settings, what you learned). If you have more than one blog, please present your challenge photos on only one of them.
The linkup tool will be available the day before the challenge date (July 11) and a couple days thereafter. Don’t forget to set up a calendar reminder for yourself!