Have you read our previous post on Studio Size? You’ll do well to as we delve into lighting tips and tricks in this episode. Below are valuable tips to keep handy while shooting:
Focus on the eyes
Although direct eye contact is not desirable in portrait, clear eyes certainly are. Make the AF point positioned on your subject’s eye or lock focus on their eye using center focus.
Using standard let or telephoto lens
Wide-angle lenses when used up close may distort facial features. When taking environmental portraits, wide angle lenses are good when you want to put the subject in context. However, standard lenses or telephoto lenses (short) are ideal. They compress features and a natural looking image.
Using Window light
Taking an amazing portrait does not necessarily depend on using expensive studio lighting kit. Using window and a reflection can give you amazing results without spending so much. All you need to do is to position your subject at an angle to the window then use a silver or white reflector to clear any shadow around the face.
Candle light shooting
You can take portraits with candle light and have an amazing photo. All you have to do is push the ISO to 1600 and above, them work with big aperture in case you have slow shutter speed to freeze motion of your subject.
Get creative with flash lighting
You open up amazing array of cool shots and lighting set ups. Try lighting up your subject from the side to add a little drama to the image.
Take your subject outside
Sunlight is one of the best sources of lights around, so take advantage of it. Sunlight is rich and warm, this generally makes everyone look great. However, there are rules, do not shoot on very bright, cloudless days, this can wash your subject out. Strong light like the sun also results in strong shadow. Cloudy days are actually ideal for picture taking as the cloud naturally diffuses the lights and softens the shadow.
Don’t rely on just your flash
Although your flash gives light to dark scene, that is, brightens it up, they may not give enough, so it’s time to add some more light. The main job of your flash light is to remove shadows. You should also read your user manual as there are different flash settings for different situations.
Avoid using your flash around reflective surfaces such as Windows and mirrors. You will only get a picture of the flash reflected back to you.
Blur images result when your shutter stays open longer than usual. This occurs during low light photography. When taking such kinds of images, stay still long enough until the shutter clicks.
These simple tips and tricks may sound irrelevant and mundane, but they play a huge role in the outcome of your images and put you in ranks with professional photographers. In LA studios, adequate and professional lighting is provided for the artist to create excellent images. In larger studios as stated in our last post (Studio size, is bigger better?), more lighting will be required in contrast to small studios.
The final and most important tip is to take out time each week to research on new developments on the internet regarding the field of photography and go for training courses available around LA.