Identifying & applying important elements present in photographing portraits:

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1 Portraiture PH-POR This module introduces the student to the photographing of genre of portraits in photography. It is a basic overview of the tips that anyone can apply in order to enhance the look of their portrait pictures. We often take portraits - of our family, friends and children - and these simple, elementary tips included in the module will assist you to make your photos look better. Identifying & applying important elements present in photographing portraits: Camera Position, Lenses, Backgrounds, Lighting, Composition Posing & Styling. Apply the following important elements when photographing your portraits: o Camera position o Lenses o Backgrounds o Lighting o Composition o Posing and styling SDC Study Guide

2 PH-POR Shooting Good Portraits This module introduces the student to the photographing of genre of portraits in photography. It is a basic overview of the tips that anyone can apply in order to enhance the look of their portrait pictures. We often take portraits - of our family, friends and children - and these simple, elementary tips included in the module will assist you to make your photos look better. We will discuss the following important elements present in photographing portraits: o Camera position o Lenses o Backgrounds o Lighting o Composition o Posing and styling Du Toit, HE Genre's. SDC Study Guide.

3 A portrait should accurately reveal the subject by capturing the person s living quality and character. A good portrait is a meaningful image of an individual, and since a subject may be interpreted in various ways, making a portrait affords great opportunities for seeing and self expression. Portraits can be contextual and become more of a character study. General guidelines: Camera Position Classic guideline would be to keep camera just below subjects eye level. This will give greater authority and significance to portrait, will minimize nose, emphasize mouth and eyes. Use this technique especially with children bend down, get on the floor. Eccentric ways would be to change the angle of the camera for effect either from below in order to enhance authority / dominance, or from the top down for childlike effect. Lens Classic rule is to use a telephoto lens in order to flatten perspective, this will make the nose smaller and make the features appear classic. Your telephoto lens is the longer lens (with focal range mm over 50mm). Look on the dial of the lens to see your focal length range. The wide angle close up shots are often used for eccentricity a clown or funny people. If you put your focal length below 50mm, and you move really close to the person, you will find that there is size distortion - whatever is close to the lens will appear larger and the further objects will appear unusually small. Background The classic rule would be to keep the background simple and unobtrusive. Avoid distracting objects in the background. Colourful busy backgrounds will distract and take away from the subject. Lighting The classic guideline would be to use soft, diffused lighting, like light from a window or an overcast day. Avoid direct sunlight or direct flash which is very unflattering for the viewer. Remember the negative 12 o clock midday rule casts very harsh shadows and is very unflattering. A good tip would be to either put your subject ion the shadow, or to create your own shadow for the person to stand in, like a towel. Another brilliant tip would be to turn your subject AWAY from the sun, so that the sun shines from the back. This will create a beautiful rim light around the subject, and create soft diffused light all over the face. Remember to focus and expose for the subject and not backlight. See visual cues for illustration. For a more expressive portrait, you can use far more expressive lighting, harsh sidelighting (from a window for eg.) to enhance texture and shape this needs to be controlled by photographer. A window is a great lighting tool and creates beautiful soft key lighting on your subject. Composition Fill your picture frame. In most photography, we use the golden section or rule of thirds as a compositional tool. This also applies to classic portraits. A person's eyes are most often than not the focal point, and when you turn your camera 90 degrees to frame the shot in portrait, and not landscape, the eyes will be on the top third line in the composition. This means that there is enough, but not too much headspace to the top of the frame. See visual cues for the natural dividing lines, and where you can and cannot cut the subjects in composition. A good cut off place would be just beneath the shoulder or rib line, and another great cut off, will be just beneath the hands. Avoid cutting of person on joints - wrists, knees, ankles, hip joint, elbows, neck - the cutting or framing needs to be in between these points. For a character study, compose the picture so that the focus remains on the person, but so that is has enough contextual clues, as well as clues to the personality of the subject for eg. a nutty professor is a messy office. The negative space needs to be controlled and used as an important compositional element. A variation is to obscure parts of your portrait subject s face or body. You can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image. Posing & styling A posed and styled portrait has a very different feel to a spontaneous, informal portrait. You need to decide on the personality of the subject, the impression you want to convey. Classic rule would be to strive for a natural expression that indicates the character and personality of the subject. It is very handy to know and understand your subject. It is vital to capture those elusive expressions that make the person who they are. Try and take a series of shots to get all the candid moments. It is very important that you make your subject feel comfortable, as this will bring out their most beautiful natural moments. More eccentric poses and styles must suit the context of the photo. Visual Examples 1 show cut off points, composition rules, and backlighting. Visual Examples 2 show beautiful portraits and character studies. Hints and tips are guided by textual explanations.

4

5 PH-POR Candid moment Spontaneous portraits are all about candid moments. Capturing a series of images will help to freeze the correct moment. Types Portraits can be classic, or be expressive character studies. Camera angle Even though keeping your camera angle just below eye level is the correct way to shoot a portrait, using a bizarre angle (like from the top in this photo) can create an interesting look and feel. Digital Photography School Print Form

6 PH-POR Lighting Light is important in your subject. Harsh 10am - 2pm sunlight casts unflattering shadows, and a good idea would be to turn subject against the sun as keylight source, find a shadow area. Early morning and late afternoon is acceptable for direct lighting on the subject, as light is softer and more direct. Incorrect light Harsh unwanted shadows. Correct light Putting light behind the subject creates a beautiful rim and even tones on the face. Du Toit, L SDC Study Guide. Print Form

7 PH-POR Window light Window light can create beautiful, soft key light on your subject and enhance the play between light and shadow. Composition Using elements to frame or focus on parts of your subjects make interesting photographs. Composition Breaking the rule of third for effect can also be done for creative look of images. Digital Photography School Print Form

8 Portraiture Photography PH-POR JPEG 1 The assignment is a purely practical assignment. The photographs need to represent the elements as discussed in the module. Portrait photography Identifying & applying important elements present in photographing portraits: o Camera position o Lenses o Backgrounds o Lighting o Composition o Posing and styling Apply the following important elements, using the module as reference, when photographing your portraits: o Camera position o Lenses o Backgrounds o Lighting o Composition o Posing and styling Hand in 2 portrait shots: 1 - classic portrait 1 - expressive character study

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