Russel Wong's tips on portraiture

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Senior Member
Oct 6, 2003
I must give credit where it is due. These pointers from Russel Wong are extracted from Computer Times dat 8 Sept.

1. Window to the soul. Focus on the eye-the window to the soul - keep this feature sharp. Eyese that are out of focus will not work in a portrait.

2. Noon sun no-no. Never shoot at noon. Avoid harsh direct lighting as this makes a person squint. Bring the person into the shade where the light is softer.

3. Chat them up. Talk to the person during a shoot to make him feel relaxed.

4. Tissue paper diffuser. When you are shooting indoors, diffuse the flash.

5. Watch the background. Try not to use a distracting background. If it is, keep it out of focus.

6. What's sticking out. For family portraits at home, keep background simple.

7. Move to the side. If you want to take a portrait of a person against a famous monument, put the person at the side instead of in the middle of the frame. The portrait is still about the person and focus should be on him.

8. Warm skin tone. Work with a lighter exposure as it helps to bring out a more translucent skin tone. Always shoot skin with a warm tone, which means avoid blue lighting.

9. Take out the shine. make sure that there are no shiny or oily patches on the face.

10. Say cheese? Smile? You do not need to say 'cheese' all the time and get a big smile. Whether it is a big smile or not, it must come sincerely from the heart and this will show in the eyes of the subject.

For full article, refer to Computer Times dated 8 Sept, page 15.

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