A portrait is one of the most complex genres in the art of photography. It is difficult to classify it, it is difficult to even find the line between the portrait and just the image with the person on it because not every presence of a person makes the photo itself a portrait. This is the main task of this genre – the image of the person’s character. A portrait must be expressive and tell a story without a word.
This is the foundation. Even if you don’t have expensive equipment, you can take a portrait using your phone. Of course, you won’t succeed with a business or fashion portrait as on the covers of magazines, but a few tricks and your portrait will conquer all local women to date.
Art photo portrait
Apart from regular ones, portraits can be creative, figurative, aesthetic – this is, as a rule, a product of creative labor of many specialists. To shot an art portrait as from the covers of Vogue, you need to study and understand what idea it will carry and which creative means you may use to pass it. It requires long preparation and considerable photo shooting process sometimes a whole crew of professionals work to get a few quality photos.
In the “portrait” genre, bokeh is very important – that is the effect of the background blur. You can add it later in Photoshop, or try to adjust the settings:
– select mode A on the camera
– open the diaphragm to the end, i.e. set the minimum value “f /” (thereby you will ensure the blurriness of the background)
– take pictures, look at the screen, if the photo is too dark or light – adjust the exposure
The rules of adjusting the focal length for a portrait are simple: the larger it is, the more the background is blurred. So, if you use a lens with a variable focal length, that is, a “zoom”, of 55 mm, the background will be blurred more than, for example, at 35 mm. Try to play with the setting to find middle ground: many cameras use the digital zoom, and it spoils the quality of the picture.
If you decide to take pictures against the sun, direct sunlight will not get on the face and body of the person from the lens side. As a result, the background will be too light, and the model will be too dark. Do not forget that the camera catches fewer details in the light and dark areas than our eyes, leave the room for the right focus.
When is it better to take portraits?
The ideal time is closer to sunset, or rather, 2-2.5 hours before it. At this time, the sun gradually begins to set, the light becomes softer and its hues get warm. This helps for two reasons. Firstly, the number and volume of shadow areas in nature increases significantly – sunlight falls at a flatter angle. Secondly, the lighting becomes less harsh comparing to when you shoot a person in direct sunlight.
If you plan to take portraits on a regular basis, it is preferable to take options with a radius of 90 or 110 cm, the manufacturer does not matter. Most softbox reflectors come in a 5-in-1 format, that is, with five different colored pieces of material that can be replaced. Those with a white and golden coating are the best for a portrait.
First of all, use the golden ratio rule. If you are taking a facial or chest portrait, person’s eyes should be closer to the top part of the photo, intentionally focus on them.
Play with forms and lines
Do not forget about the space for looking. So, if a person is looking to the right, his face should be located on the left side of the frame, if to the left, then on the right. Looks down – at the top, looks up – at the bottom.