Thursday, November 24, 2011

What are some good photography tips for shooting outside portraits?

what is a good standard setting for shooting portraits outside?Ive tried many different settings on my camera even the preset ones and it seems like i cant get it right. ive tried the f/16 sunny rule and it still doesnt look right. It seems like whatever i try it always seems a bit blown out.|||Expose for the sky so you keep the nice natural light and then add a fill flash.

This will give you a well exposed sky (blue with clouds instead of all white) and then you use a flash to fill in the light for your model.|||There is no such thing as a standard setting for any kind of photography . . . it depends on what effect you want, the lighting conditions, etc.

If your pictures are blown out, then that means you are either not applying the sunny 16 rule correctly, or you are expecting too much from your camera (cameras have a limited dynamic range of between 5 to 7 stops of light).

This means that you need to decide what you want to expose for. If you expose for the face, then the background may be 'blown out'. However if you expose so that the background is nice and colorful, then the face may be too dark.

Pre-set settings are not always good.

You need to use fill-flash if you want to increase your dynamic range. Some people don't like this as they think it looks artificial, but that's better than having a silhouette of the face or harsh facial shadows. Plus, if done right, it can look very natural.

You can also try placing your subject in the shade. Some people carry a white piece of cardboard and use it to reflect sunlight on the face to eliminate harsh shadows.

I recommend getting a book on portrait photography. Your local library may have one.|||Choose the aperture you want based on what depth of field you want. Spot meter on the subject to get the shutter speed (keep ISO as low as possible). If it's very bright and the shutter speed is too fast, then you need a neutral density filter to knock down some of the light %26amp; allow a wider aperture.

If you bring flash into the mix - you can underexpose the ambient a bit %26amp; then bring up the subject with flash.

Have a 5-in-1 reflector handy - good for bouncing light into shadow areas for fill, and with covers removed makes a good diffusion panel (scrim) to prevent hard sunlight.|||Shoot f2.8 with ambient lighting like cloudy skys.|||You need to set your light meter to spot and meter on the face. Be very careful not to get ambient light - the camera will try to expose for that, blowing out the shot. You want to shoot portraits between 茠11 and 茠 5.6 - depending on the sharpness of the lens and the depth of field rendered. 茠16 will render too much background in focus - to the detriment of the portrait.

Additionally, this is a good time to learn all about the flash. You set the flash one stop brighter than the ambient light and set the 茠# to match the flash output and the shutter to match the ambient reading. The subject will pop out from the background.

Reflectors are also helpful. A big white board works just fine. Have a friend (or get a stand) hold the card so the light is reflected onto the shadow area of the face. Having the subject hold a card out of frame under the chin is useful too. Both of these techniques lessen the contrast between the subject and the background.

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