View Full Version : Lesson 10, Portraits
06-02-2011, 12:37 AM
I am really struggling with portraits, especially indoors. I don't know enough about filters, reflectors, fill in flash, external flash, etc. Besides finishing the text of the lesson and getting a 10 on my 1-question test, I really don't feel prepared for this. Should I do some additional research on these accesorries or should i just start shooting and gin some confidence? Can I use my dog as my subject?? He always acts naturally.
06-02-2011, 11:56 AM
I am almost at this point myself (am waiting to send in the Black and White assignment but jumped ahead on the theory so am also looking at doing the portrait if the opportunity arises). I agree with you on the filters, reflectors, fill in flash etc. You can probably only get the hang of these by practising and why not use your dog if he is the handiest (I have a very willing beagle myself). I have no interest in the posed fashion type of protrait photography myself so was going to go more for a candid shot using ambient light, perhaps outdoors, will wait until something grabs me. Before I got to this assignment my sister volunteered me to a local riding stables to take photographs at a show day. I know nothing about horses but as it was to get photos for a brochure I took pictures of staff as they worked and they came out quite well. This course is about photography and I don't believe that it is mandatory that you go out and get filters and reflectors etc if you don't have them. I would say work with what you do have, experiment with the dog and wait until you are inspired by something. Take your camera out for a walk and see what you come across. Good Luck!
06-02-2011, 06:12 PM
I would tell you to hold off on purchasing filters and reflectors and concentrate on practicing the techniques from the lesson to help you gain confidence. You can absolutely use your dog as your subject. What you might want to try is place him next to the window so the light is coming in on one side of his face. Get your settings and take a shot. Then take another shot with the same settings, but this time use your flash to see the difference. You may want to take a look at your camera's menu or user manual to see if there is a way to turn down the flash intensity a bit. When I use the built in flash, I dial it down -1.0 for most cases and that does a nice job of getting the lighting more even and the flash is not as obvious.
If you really need a reflector, try and take large box, broken down, and cover it with tin foil. That's the poor man's reflector and it works good in a pinch. Post some of your shots after you take them so we can see your progress. Good luck.
06-03-2011, 05:02 AM
Hi Marianne. I wasn't into portraiture until I went back home and stay in the city that is a bit hard to find good landscapes without going out of town. I'm now more in portrait, and I kind of enjoy it. Sure this need more works and editing process, since we have to take lots of shots. At first it seemed very hard to find a model that want his/her pictures taken. But after a while, I can proudly say that most of my friends would like their pictures to be taken by me.
As for the portrait assignment, I think you should try it outdoor. Taking indoor portrait is a bit harder, since we need some additional lighting. As long as the weather is nice,and no direct sunlight, all you have to do is just capture it. You won't need any additional equipments. Taking portrait of your dog is nice. But I think you should try people too. That's the challenge of the lesson IMO. Ask your closed friends or family members to be the models. With all the skill that we got from the course, you'll be surprised of what you can do.
06-03-2011, 09:29 AM
Hi Marianne I'll add my 2 cents worth here too. I also felt a bit daunted by the portraiture lesson but after some candid practice I took my daughter off for a mother / daughter afternoon to a nice outdoor area that was not too popular so we did not have to feel embarrassed by people staring. I much prefer outdoor to indoor light and did not want to splash out on equipment until I had a better idea of what I was doing. We had a great afternoon and found so many unexpected props, fences, tree trunks, steps etc & I am really pleased with the nice collection of photos I now have of her as well as one which was good for the assignment. I think we get self conscious so maybe you need to find someone you can feel at ease with. I certainly would hold off buying more equipment at this stage.
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