Portraits

If you’re a keen amateur photographer one of the type of  photos you’ll be taking the most are PORTRAITS. They can be pictures of your friends,family or even your pets. Everyone loves a good Portrait photograph. This article will guide you through the things you need to know to get a perfect portrait.

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STEP 1- SETTING UP : There a couple of simple things to follow when setting up your shot that will make a lot of difference to your picture.

ACOMPOSITION : Frame your shot in such a way that the subject takes up the most part of the frame. Try using the “Rule of Thirds” to position your subject at one of the intersections of the three horizontal and vertical lines that run along the frame. These intersections represent the spots that your eye will be most drawn to.

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The Red circles represent the points of intersection

B: Depth of Field : The subject is the most important part of the Portrait. So, you should keep the subject in focus and everything else out of focus. You can achieve this by moving in close to the subject or by using a long focal length or by using a wide aperture. A Telephoto lens can be used, any focal length between 75-120 mm will give good results. Set the camera to a wide aperture at the particular focal length you are using. A 50 mm Prime lens which has an aperture of f/1.8 is perfect to blow the background out of focus.

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ISO-100
Focal length-80 mm
Aperture- f/5.6
shutter speed-1/800 sec

STEP 2- CAMERA SETTINGS : Use a wide aperture and a low ISO if the place is well lit. You can also boost up your ISO to 400 or 800 when shooting indoors. When you do this you also have to change the shutter speed accordingly to get a perfect exposure. If you are unaware of these things then set the Camera to Aperture Priority mode. This is shown as or Av on the Camera dial. Just select the the aperture and your camera will set the shutter speed and ISO accordingly. If you are in a hurry then Just use the AUTO mode on the camera.

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ISO- 800
Focal length- 38 mm
Aperture- f/5.6
shutter speed- 1/20 sec
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ISO- 100
Focal Length- 80 mm
Aperture- f/5.6
Shutter Speed- 1/250 sec

STEP 3-  PEOPLE : Even after setting up properly you might not end up with good pictures if you don’t know your subject well. So, spend time talking to the subject before you start clicking. You can either take a Posed shot or a natural shot. To get the shots properly keep your subject relaxed. Talk to them while clicking and show them how to pose before you click.Get to know which parts of the body he/she feels insecure about and avoid including them in the photo. It’s a lot quicker if both of you know which bits the subject wants to hide. For a natural shot the most important thing to remember is to be Patient,take your time and also click lots of pictures and select your best shot.

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ISO-3200
Focal Length- 50 mm
Aperture- f/5.6
Shutter speed- 1/10 sec

STEP 4- LIGHTING : This will be your final step in completing the picture. You should always try to get a soft light onto the subjects face. A perfectly flat light on the face may look boring so, try including  a few shadows on the face. If you are not happy with the results then go outside. Natural light is always best to click pictures. Make sure the sun is on the  subject’s face and not creating any nasty shadows.

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Long Exposure
ISO-800
Focal length- 40 mm
Aperture- f/22
shutter speed- 8 sec

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Thank you for reading. Hope you liked it  . I would like to see your comments, reviews or contributions at mlore@manipalblog.com .
To view the pictures in high quality do see them on my Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/97863598@N05/

About Rahul Bevara 8 Articles
He is a 2nd year MBBS student at KMC, Mangalore. Passionate about photography and travelling. Thank you for reading this article, stay tuned for more :)