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Thread: how to shoot portrait?

  1. #21

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    At night, light gets way more complicated. Spot metering is my fav because cameras are easily confused by bright light sources especially at night since camera exposure systems are much worse than our brain which easily figures out the exposure.

  2. #22

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoweagle View Post
    Shutter speed - Anything between 1/20 to 1/4000
    Aperture - f/1.2 to f/8
    ISO - 50 to 800
    WB - Auto, custom, daylight, cloudy and flash.
    Metering - Evaluative and Spot.

    That's my settings lah.
    Quote Originally Posted by michaellee2222 View Post
    hi..thanx for your setting
    ermmm the reply was meant to be a sacarstic one if u didn't realise.

  3. #23

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Hi hi,

    Me a newbie like you too! And like you, I thought there was this standard setting for portrait or any other type of photography as per se. I was dismayed to realise that a DSLR is a more complicated tool than our pocket digicams.

    Something that came up helpful in this forum was:
    pegging your zoom-in to your shutter speed eg. if you zoom at 50mm, your shutter speed should be 1/50 sec.

    I set to 'Manual' mode, zoom first, adjust the shutter speed using shutter speed priority. I was amazed that it helped alot. I didn't have to try and try like crazy, being a number idiot. I can never remember the setting I just used bcos of the numbers (aperture and shutter speed).

    Hope this helps.

  4. #24
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    I set to 'Manual' mode, zoom first, adjust the shutter speed using shutter speed priority. I was amazed that it helped alot. I didn't have to try and try like crazy, being a number idiot. I can never remember the setting I just used bcos of the numbers (aperture and shutter speed).
    Your explanation sounds but confusing. Are you using Manual exposure mode or Shutter Priority?
    In portrait shutter is of second importance (as you mentioned before, it's related to focal length with the guide for hand-held shooting "1/focal length"). But if you have proper light (light setup well-lit location) then your shutter speed will be in a 'healthy' region.
    Aperture is more important here to control Depth of Field. Most people (see the data above) use aperture wide open to isolate the subject from background. In addition, a wide aperture lets in plenty of light so that again your concern of shutter speed is mostly well taken care of.
    To get "the numbers" from your previous shot you only need to check your images and let the camera display the image information (EXIF data). Check your manual for details. All exposure related information (and much more) are captured in the image file and can be viewed after image is taken.
    EOS

  5. #25
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    Hi hi,

    Me a newbie like you too! And like you, I thought there was this standard setting for portrait or any other type of photography as per se. I was dismayed to realise that a DSLR is a more complicated tool than our pocket digicams.

    Something that came up helpful in this forum was:
    pegging your zoom-in to your shutter speed eg. if you zoom at 50mm, your shutter speed should be 1/50 sec.

    I set to 'Manual' mode, zoom first, adjust the shutter speed using shutter speed priority. I was amazed that it helped alot. I didn't have to try and try like crazy, being a number idiot. I can never remember the setting I just used bcos of the numbers (aperture and shutter speed).

    Hope this helps.
    I'm not sure I understand what you wrote in the bold text.
    You turn the mode dial to 'M', turn the zoom ring, turn to 'S', adjust shutter speed, and so on? That's really weird.
    Exploring! :)

  6. #26

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    It is heartening to see that people are taking up portrait shooting a this is something that someone else and I want to see happening and hopefully get more people interested in this genre (for all the right reasons though ) and hopefully there will be an Anne Lebowitz we can find in the rough.

    There are some salient points and many others to note in taking portraits. So this is based on whatever limited knowledge I have.

    When we shoot portraits, we need to know how and why are we shooting. Most of the time it is to capture a moment or an emotion to be encapsulated in that instant on film. A lot of it is based on human interpretation of the feelings of the subject or the photographer himself or herself at that moment. One such photographer is Dominic Khoo. A portrait can be simple or complex but yet the simpler the portrait, the more complex it is as there are many areas to note. This can be trained but not overnight. But enough of this. Let us get to the technicals.

    Taking portraits, need to note the location. Will it be studio, indoor location or outdoor location. Each location has got a different play of light. In a studio, how you control the light is in your hands. But on location, not that easy as you have to balance the light. Which is why, as newbies, we go for day shoots first before embarking on the night. For example, indoor location at say Scarlet Hotel. One of the rooms I have shot before is dark, with ambient light through windows. By dark, I mean that as in the wallpaper and decor of the room is dark. So how do we balance the light? Of course, the organiser brought in portable studio lights but again, the exposure is a question: Shutter speed, ISO, Aperture. Which variables? What is level of noise acceptable to me? For most part, it is how the photographer wants to handle the picture.

    Outdoor location. Light changes every minute, so understanding that in manual mode, you have greater control, but it can be daunting. So safer is to use AV/AP. But having said that. You do not have control of shutter, only ISO and aperture. Shutter is determined by camera. So even if you are in a location, you shoot your subject, you get one shutter speed. As the light changes, you shoot the subject on the SAME settings, you get another shutter number.

    WB, quite subjective. It can be tweaked if shot in RAW. But to be safe, shoot a grey card or get an Expo if you can. Light can mess up the settings. So the safest bet is in AWB, adjusted in RAW PP.

    Metering...spot, evaluative, center weighted all can work, depending on what and where you are shooting. For me 80% I use spot, 20% I use evaluative.

    A lot of parameters can affect and work. But to what effect, that is dependent on you as the photographer. There is no hard and fast rule to settings. You can observe the work on the EXIF if there is any, but for the most part, by copying the settings, it will not do you much good as the light conditions changes. So you have to change and tweak the setting as you deem fit.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Maybe Michaellee can post some pics of the portraits he like and ask how the pictures were taken coz a picture speaks a thousand word... some at least, haha!

  8. #28

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I'm not sure I understand what you wrote in the bold text.
    You turn the mode dial to 'M', turn the zoom ring, turn to 'S', adjust shutter speed, and so on? That's really weird.

    Oops! You're right. I wasn't making sense there. I didn't turn to 'S' mode.

    I'll retype that:

    I turn to the mode dial to 'M', turn the zoom ring, then adjust shutter speed.

    I hope I didn't skip anything this time round.

  9. #29

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Your explanation sounds but confusing. Are you using Manual exposure mode or Shutter Priority?
    In portrait shutter is of second importance (as you mentioned before, it's related to focal length with the guide for hand-held shooting "1/focal length"). But if you have proper light (light setup well-lit location) then your shutter speed will be in a 'healthy' region.
    Aperture is more important here to control Depth of Field. Most people (see the data above) use aperture wide open to isolate the subject from background. In addition, a wide aperture lets in plenty of light so that again your concern of shutter speed is mostly well taken care of.
    To get "the numbers" from your previous shot you only need to check your images and let the camera display the image information (EXIF data). Check your manual for details. All exposure related information (and much more) are captured in the image file and can be viewed after image is taken.

    I left out the aperture becos I forgot to mention it.

    In any case, for a newbie like me, I would be more concerned about getting enough light on the pic, so as long as the aperture is opened wide enough for the subject to be in good light, I am fine with it.

    The camera does display the 'numbers', just that I can't retain numbers. And they don't speak to me. When I look at the 'numbers' on the image file, they don't tell me anything. I can't relate them to the next pic I'm going to take. I try very consciously to tell myself: "Oh, this is dark, so I have to slow the shutter - big number (or is it 'small'? Nevermind)." but I can't estimate how slow it should be; or "Oh, this is dark, I have to open the aperture more, and that would mean ... small f number". If I don't consciously tell myself that, the moment I look up, I forgot what the shutter speed and aperture the pic I just looked at had. I think you people won't understand what I'm saying. I have number-phobia, which is why it took me years to decide if I should get a dslr. I find the whole thing about photography and pictures being related to numbers or maths highly absurd.

    Yes, yes, someone gave me some explanation on how numbers are related, but I still don't buy it. It's like telling an artist to do his maths right before he can paint a good painting.
    Last edited by rains; 27th September 2009 at 12:23 PM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by tunge View Post
    ermmm the reply was meant to be a sacarstic one if u didn't realise.
    Maybe u're the only one who thinks like that.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  11. #31
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    Yes, yes, someone gave me some explanation on how numbers are related, but I still don't buy it. It's like telling an artist to do his maths right before he can paint a good painting.
    But sooner or later all artists start getting into the recipe of paint, material of brushes, paper, carton or whatever they want to use in order to achieve a certain result. So you cannot simply say "to hell with numbers" and just snap around. Then stick to Auto mode but stop trying to achieve some special settings in special conditions. Auto mode only helps in standard average conditions for standard average holiday pictures of standard average smiling families with standard V gesture ... you get the idea.
    Actually, there is nothing much about numbers, it's the very basics of photography and light you need to understand. Try these Digital Photography Tutorials and see whether they help you.
    Some people also have explained it by using a glass of water that needs to be filled. Once the glass is full this equals to "properly exposed image". Your camera needs to 'collect' light. Aperture is the opening, defining how much light comes on. Shutter speed is how long you collect the light. You see, with little light you simply need patience (long-term exposure at night). With ample light you can play more freely (day time).
    EOS

  12. #32

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    I find the whole thing about photography and pictures being related to numbers or maths highly absurd.

    It's like telling an artist to do his maths right before he can paint a good painting.

    then let me introduce to you two "friends" of mine (they are dead by the way). These two people are Fibonacci and Leonardo Da Vinci. And the principle of the Golden Ratio or Mean.

    And yes...a good painter needs to know the proportion of paint mix to get the exact colour he wants.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Diavonex's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    1. Select background carefully; avoid distracting background

    2. Lighting - never shoot in full sun; avoid midday sun; overcast sky and open shade is good; best time after sunrise and before sunset

    3. Shoot with narrow depth of field.

    4. Focus on the eyes

    5. Keep model relax

    6. Do not use wide-angle lens.

  14. #34

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by confession View Post
    then let me introduce to you two "friends" of mine (they are dead by the way). These two people are Fibonacci and Leonardo Da Vinci. And the principle of the Golden Ratio or Mean.

    And yes...a good painter needs to know the proportion of paint mix to get the exact colour he wants.

    I'm sure your two friends didn't start to whip out a piece of paper and start to do their calculation: 1.5/3 of blue + 1.25/3 red + 0.25/3 white = the purple I want. They just had to use their eyes. Oh, and their hands to mix the colours.

    I don't recall any artist carrying a calculator with them as they paint, or even mentioning that Maths is important in a painting.

    Octarine,

    Thanks for being helpful. You can be sure I've been reading. I am just griping about the need to be so nitty-gritty about the numbers to get an even decent picture in photography.

  15. #35

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snoweagle View Post
    Shutter speed - Anything between 1/20 to 1/4000
    Aperture - f/1.2 to f/8
    ISO - 50 to 800
    WB - Auto, custom, daylight, cloudy and flash.
    Metering - Evaluative and Spot.

    That's my settings lah.
    Quote Originally Posted by Snoweagle View Post
    Maybe u're the only one who thinks like that.
    huh u mean u were serious? hah ok

  16. #36
    Senior Member Virgo's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Don't expect to be spoon-fed and think this is like studying for an exam!

    Portrait shooting is something you need to try it out, enjoy it, and then go through it to see if it works. If it isn't, find out why by reading and looking at other people's work, etc.

    The beauty of photography is there is no fix setting. If not, where will the fun be? Keeping learning and shooting, that's what I can say, and HAVE FUN!
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  17. #37

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    I'm sure your two friends didn't start to whip out a piece of paper and start to do their calculation: 1.5/3 of blue + 1.25/3 red + 0.25/3 white = the purple I want. They just had to use their eyes. Oh, and their hands to mix the colours.

    I don't recall any artist carrying a calculator with them as they paint, or even mentioning that Maths is important in a painting.

    Octarine,

    Thanks for being helpful. You can be sure I've been reading. I am just griping about the need to be so nitty-gritty about the numbers to get an even decent picture in photography.
    Maths unfortunately is important in the paintings or photographs that you see here and in the every single art piece you see. If you look at any portrait or any landscape on CS esp by the established ones, the rules of third applies. Some take it further and apply the golden ratio or golden mean (esp true of portraits), some macro artist use the golden spiral to enhance the pictures. In LR2, there is a crop layout with grids, thirds, diagonals, the Golden Ratio and Golden Spiral. All these are for compositional fixing. That is where the Mathematics come into place. That is what I mean. In flash photography there is this concept of flash ratio. That is where number come in. True that not many of us are inclined to grasp the numbers efficiently in the technical areas like myself as I am more aesthetically inclined rather than technical. But it is the numbers that help us to understand what needs to be done.

    A lot of artist do not mention that mathematics is important is because they have been trained along that lines to see things in a mathematical viewpoint before taking it to canvas. You are right that there may not be a need to be so nitty-gritty bout the numbers but the numbers unfortunately make up the picture. Case in point, how else did Ansel Adams come up with the Zone system of identify tones and highlights and using numbers to represent each zone?

    Do not talk about good pictures. Decent pictures need a certain degree of maths . Light angles cast on the face of a model, one aspect is called Rembrandt lighting in studio portraits. Read about it and pray tell whether the angle of the light placement is important. That is where the maths come in.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by tunge View Post
    huh u mean u were serious? hah ok
    Of cos lah, who's kidding around here??
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  19. #39

    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaellee2222 View Post
    i'm a newbie wanna have a ask,my question is wanna shoot portrait for (outdoor/indoor)what the setting i should used?

    shulter speed=?
    apeture=?
    iso=?
    w/b=?
    metering=?
    i'm gonna share with u how i learn
    1. set your camera to AUTO/PROGRAM
    2. take a piece of paper write down the setting during your shoot
    3. switch camera to MANUAL and set to wat you wrote
    4. change each values and see the differences
    5. change environment and repeat wat was done earlier

    then u'll agar agar know wat kinda setting your camera can support and wat you need at different shoot environments
    you may wan to start by fixing your ISO from lowest onwards
    Canon EOS 500D|BG-E5|18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit| 50mm f/1.8 II | 17-40mm f/4L | 580EXII
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  20. #40
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to shoot portrait?

    Quote Originally Posted by rains View Post
    I'm sure your two friends didn't start to whip out a piece of paper and start to do their calculation: 1.5/3 of blue + 1.25/3 red + 0.25/3 white = the purple I want. They just had to use their eyes. Oh, and their hands to mix the colours
    I don't recall any artist carrying a calculator with them as they paint, or even mentioning that Maths is important in a painting.
    True, nobody has the mixture of colours in mind before making the very first beginner's stroke with the brush. But maths and science come in when it comes to replicating what was done and to analyze how and why things turned out the way they did. This is what the mentioned Ansel Adams did and he came out with the zone system. Terrible numbers and hard to memorize - but guess what: all photographers had to use it somehow before the in-camera metering was invented. And even today it's good to know about it in order to understand and adjust the in-camera metering. Of course you can neglect all numbers, all things about aperture, shutter speed and ISO. But you will come back to that automatically the moment you want to know why the picture taken yesterday turned out nicely and today it went all haywire. It's like cooking: if you want to get the same result as your mother or as seen in the TV show you have to follow their steps and quantities. Quantities are numbers.
    Last edited by Octarine; 28th September 2009 at 12:46 AM.
    EOS

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