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Thread: Anybody know how National Geographic do their potrait shots?

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    Question Anybody know how National Geographic do their potrait shots?

    Yup, as the title suggests, does anybody know how National Geographic get their awe inspiring potraits of people? I especially like Steve McCurry's way of potraiture and also that pic he took of that Afghan Girl... There is a difference to their photos... is it a soft filter they use? anybody can advice?
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  2. #2

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    I try to avoid cliches but it is difficult not to. The reason NG Mag photos are great is due to TALENT + PATIENCE + PRACTICE + HARD WORK + EMOTION.

    Of course, a lot of editing and layout design by NG editing board. Please don't think they are good because they use specific equipments. Respect their hard work, creativity and genius.

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    due to their talent, both in front of the camera and at the back. they have to be people who can endure the conditions and also find social angles that will make people stand up and care about. they will also need to be able to handle human relations.

    totally nothing to do with equipment.

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    i no that part... its just that i'm wondering what setting would they use, especially taking the afghan girl. I no they use Proveia 100 usually... can anybody help?
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

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    erm guys. relax. i don't think he was asking about specific equipment, but rather techniques like softening, etc. nothing wrong with that... we can all learn from the masters.

    nickmak, i doubt if McCurry used any softening on the Afghan girl portrait, it's sharp all the way. looks like natural light to me also, since i doubt he'll have studio lights avail in the field.

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    if u are talking about the technical aspects u are in luck...i juz borrowed a book from the library about how they suggest we take our photos....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Witness
    if u are talking about the technical aspects u are in luck...i juz borrowed a book from the library about how they suggest we take our photos....
    If I didn't remember wrongly, the Afghan girl shot was done with a F100 and a 85mm. No filters were used. NG tend to use Kodak films, so that is likely Ektachrome.

    Regards
    CK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Witness
    if u are talking about the technical aspects u are in luck...i juz borrowed a book from the library about how they suggest we take our photos....
    What's the title you are reading? Thanks.

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    I believe it was an FM2 or some other nikon MF camera. Note that the Afgan girl was taken in 1983. The F100 was released in 1998.

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    My guess - perhaps f8 on 1/125s... evaluative??
    Last edited by SniperD; 3rd May 2004 at 09:33 PM.

  11. #11

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    ok i am reading national geographic field guide, people and portraits by robert caputo...
    nice and colourful books...lotsa pictures...few words....more like in brief kind...good....

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    seems like most of their portraits are shot with natural light on slides

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    grab april's issue of popular photography.

    it has mccurry's revelations on his photo techniques.He uses mainly F4s and has for the record, not gone digital-yet.

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    from wat i know most editorials are still using film....then they rush to the lab below their offices and get stuff done in a jiffy...in the states tt is....

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    I was catching this programme on NG of Steve McCurry's finding the Afgan girl after 17 years - and saw the equipment that he used photographing.

    He used (on this occasion) a F100, with what appeared to be a 85mm lens on a monopod - and in some cases on a tripod. No idea on what films that he used.

    Mostly, all snaps were taken with the dipping late afternoon sun with a clean background (like the mud/clay wall).

    This was the same programme where the photographs of the eye-balls were used to micro analyze to ascertain if it was the same girl! And she was !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihar
    I was catching this programme on NG of Steve McCurry's finding the Afgan girl after 17 years - and saw the equipment that he used photographing.

    He used (on this occasion) a F100, with what appeared to be a 85mm lens on a monopod - and in some cases on a tripod. No idea on what films that he used.

    Mostly, all snaps were taken with the dipping late afternoon sun with a clean background (like the mud/clay wall).

    This was the same programme where the photographs of the eye-balls were used to micro analyze to ascertain if it was the same girl! And she was !
    Hey! I was watching that too! That's why I was wondering how mite he do those photos and the settings he could have used...
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

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