Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 18 Mar 2012 (Sunday) 08:54
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Want to get into portraits!

 
NHBEY39
Senior Member
Avatar
311 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: East Yorkshire uk
     
Mar 18, 2012 08:54 |  #1

Hi,

I have a real yearning to start portrait photography!

I dont believe I need any more lenses yet, but I do need a better flash and some accessories.

I have a budget to upgrade from my 550D to a 5D and whatever lens I will end up getting but for now I want to make use of the camera and lenses I have, after all if I cant take a good portrait with this cam the 5D isnt going to magically put it all right. So instead of going crazy buying all kinds of gear I want to start on a relatively reasonable budget and take my time. I only shoot RAW have never shot jpeg.

I am thinking the 430ex 2 (can upgrade to 530ex and use the 430 as a slave in the future) a hot shoe lead for some basic off camera flexibility, a softbox attachment for the flash and a 5 in 1 reflector.

I have a good knowledge of exposure, both ambient and flash, learned a hell of a lot about composition such as cutting off only above the knee if cropping, not cropping off elbows, only cropping off the top of the hair with a close up face portrait, not cutting out the left or right shoulder and arm and positioning correctly, posture etc.

So even though funds are at hand, I think the camera and lenses, a 430ex2, softbox attachment and a reflector would be a solid start for portraits until I grow out of that basic setup.

The question is...is there something obvious I have overlooked? A basic piece of equipment/attachment that really would make a difference? Looking to start outdoors, plenty of white walls etc for me to use here abouts so its all about the basic gear.

Software is not an issue as I have Lightroom3 and Photoshop CS5.

Many thanks in advance


Canon 5D mk2 - Canon 550D - Canon 17-40 F4L- Canon 24-105 F4L- Canon 50mm 1.4-Canon 70-300-Canon 430EX mk2 -Adobe lightroom 4.2-Adobe photoshop CS6- Adobe master suite CS5- Hahnel Tuff TTL triggers

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
dmcnelly
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Joined Feb 2012
Location: Detroit, MI
     
Mar 18, 2012 10:00 |  #2

You will probably want more than one strobe. Doesn't have to be anything fancy for the secondary, but you will find yourself wanting that flexibility more and more.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NHBEY39
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Avatar
311 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: East Yorkshire uk
     
Mar 18, 2012 11:05 as a reply to  @ dmcnelly's post |  #3

Thanks for replying but to start off doing portraits I would totally disagree. If you cant get a decent portrait with one flash you shouldnt be buying two lol. That comes later thats why I'm opting for the 430 ex2 to see how it goes then buy the 530 ex to use in conjunction with the 430ex.

I come from a music background so spending money hand over fist on loads of guitars and amps when I could have done with far less has cured my gas!.


Canon 5D mk2 - Canon 550D - Canon 17-40 F4L- Canon 24-105 F4L- Canon 50mm 1.4-Canon 70-300-Canon 430EX mk2 -Adobe lightroom 4.2-Adobe photoshop CS6- Adobe master suite CS5- Hahnel Tuff TTL triggers

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
windpig
Chopped liver
Avatar
15,286 posts
Gallery: 7 photos
Likes: 1601
Joined Dec 2008
Location: Just South of Ballard
     
Mar 18, 2012 13:02 |  #4

NHBEY39

I think you have an excellent game plan.

suggestions:
Buy quality light stands (1 for the light, 1 for the reflector)
Buy a White/Silver reflector
Buy a light meter
Buy a cheap set of radio triggers
Phototec 46" Softlighter is a nice, versatile, convertible modifier.


Would you like to buy a vowel?
Go ahead, spin the wheel.
flickr (external link)
I'm accross the canal just south of Ballard, the town Seattle usurped in 1907.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
kfreels
Goldmember
Avatar
4,297 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, IN
     
Mar 18, 2012 21:53 |  #5

NHBEY39 wrote in post #14106607 (external link)
for now I want to make use of the camera and lenses I have, after all if I cant take a good portrait with this cam the 5D isnt going to magically put it all right.

Congrats! If you figured this out on your own, then you'll be just fine. Start with what you have planned here, start shooting, and add specific pieces to solve problems you run into along the way. If you're shooting portraits outdoors you may want to go ahead and get a good neutral density filter but your plan looks solid.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
gonzogolf
dumb remark memorialized
30,171 posts
Gallery: 263 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 7897
Joined Dec 2006
     
Mar 18, 2012 21:57 |  #6

NHBEY39 wrote in post #14107119 (external link)
Thanks for replying but to start off doing portraits I would totally disagree. If you cant get a decent portrait with one flash you shouldnt be buying two lol. That comes later thats why I'm opting for the 430 ex2 to see how it goes then buy the 530 ex to use in conjunction with the 430ex.

I come from a music background so spending money hand over fist on loads of guitars and amps when I could have done with far less has cured my gas!.

If you want to do professional portraits you are probably going to need two flashes for a majority of shots. Even if you can do key and fill with one light and a reflector, you will probably need one flash for background separation. You are also going to need a triggering method to get the flash off camera.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Ashura
Member
117 posts
Joined Sep 2010
     
Mar 19, 2012 09:51 |  #7

Your 550D with your 50/1.4 are enough to start doing portraits. Full frame is better, but certainly not mandatory.
Start with available light. Outside, at different times of day. Inside, using natural light and/or artificial light. See how different types of light interact with skin and face features. See how a reflector makes a difference.
Once you've understood how to use available light, you can worry about adding your own. Then get a flash, a good tripod, a transparent umbrella, radio triggers, and two sets of good rechargeable batteries. The flash doesn't need TTL, you want to be able to control what it does so a fully manual one is enough. I prefer an umbrella over a sofbox, because it allows for different light qualities depending on how collapsed it is. And it's easier to transport than a softbox (but the softbox makes softer light, so it's your choice really).
An accessory you might want to buy quickly is gels, so you can match the color temperature of your flash to ambient light.
Once you're comfortable with one flash, add a second one, then maybe a third.
Adding more complexity as you go is the best way to learn.
The most important for great portraits is actually not light or any sort of gear, it's the way you interact with the model.


flickr (external link)
50D, EF 24-105/4 L, EF 50/1.4, EF 35/2.0, EF-S 10-22/3.5-4.5, 430EX, D-Lite 4 It kit

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
gonzogolf
dumb remark memorialized
30,171 posts
Gallery: 263 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 7897
Joined Dec 2006
     
Mar 19, 2012 10:13 |  #8

Ashura wrote in post #14112706 (external link)
I prefer an umbrella over a sofbox, because it allows for different light qualities depending on how collapsed it is. And it's easier to transport than a softbox (but the softbox makes softer light, so it's your choice really).
.

Softness depends on size and proximity. A bigger source is softer than a smaller one, and closer is softer than farther. A 40 inch umbrella is softer than a 28 inch softbox at the same distance from the subject.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NHBEY39
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Avatar
311 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: East Yorkshire uk
     
Mar 19, 2012 14:34 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #9

Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone! Some good info and reassurance that you dont have to go all out on gear to start off. Like with the music you get terrible gear snobs who lead you to believe everything must cost thousands!

Gonna give it a good go with minimum gear, unless in the future some kind of money can be earned from it there really is no point in investing in a tonne of strobes or a serious lighting set up.

To me its either fun, or you make money somehow. Budget=fun and see what happens. Good results and ability to pull off great shots=spend, invest and take it a step further.


Canon 5D mk2 - Canon 550D - Canon 17-40 F4L- Canon 24-105 F4L- Canon 50mm 1.4-Canon 70-300-Canon 430EX mk2 -Adobe lightroom 4.2-Adobe photoshop CS6- Adobe master suite CS5- Hahnel Tuff TTL triggers

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NHBEY39
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Avatar
311 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: East Yorkshire uk
     
Mar 19, 2012 14:38 |  #10

kfreels wrote in post #14110264 (external link)
Congrats! If you figured this out on your own, then you'll be just fine. Start with what you have planned here, start shooting, and add specific pieces to solve problems you run into along the way. If you're shooting portraits outdoors you may want to go ahead and get a good neutral density filter but your plan looks solid.

You sound like someone with genuine knowledge who can offer a sincere encouraging reply!

I have a set of ND filters so that ones already in the bag.

The obvious thing I need is lots of humans to point my cam at lol. Different hair colours skin tones etc.

Think the way to go about this is ask for volunteers on my facebook page, for their time i give them 3 prints of their choice optimised for their phone, facebook and a file that can be blown up to hang.


Canon 5D mk2 - Canon 550D - Canon 17-40 F4L- Canon 24-105 F4L- Canon 50mm 1.4-Canon 70-300-Canon 430EX mk2 -Adobe lightroom 4.2-Adobe photoshop CS6- Adobe master suite CS5- Hahnel Tuff TTL triggers

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
kfreels
Goldmember
Avatar
4,297 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, IN
     
Mar 19, 2012 23:03 |  #11

NHBEY39 wrote in post #14114280 (external link)
You sound like someone with genuine knowledge who can offer a sincere encouraging reply!

I have a set of ND filters so that ones already in the bag.

The obvious thing I need is lots of humans to point my cam at lol. Different hair colours skin tones etc.

Think the way to go about this is ask for volunteers on my facebook page, for their time i give them 3 prints of their choice optimised for their phone, facebook and a file that can be blown up to hang.

lol. Well some would argue otherwise, but thanks.
Careful what you ask for...you just may get it. I would ask individuals rather than putting out a general request for volunteers. That way you can be a little more selective about who you work with.

I absolutely love portraits. When I first got into photography I didn't want to do them at all. I came out of college with a plan to get into commercial photography. People just scared me. It was like some mysterious form of photography I avoided like the plague. But I was forced into it out of necessity and grew to love it.

I could probably write all night about my thoughts on portraits but I won't bore you with that. I'll just leave one tip: Before you go to shoot, take a look at the person and try to visualize in your mind the various shots you want to shoot. Figure out your lighting ratios, posing, perspective, etc in advance. Then make those shots happen.Good luck with it!


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
casp3r
Goldmember
Avatar
1,505 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 993
Joined May 2006
Location: Northern Ireland
     
Mar 20, 2012 07:34 |  #12

Like kfreels I love doing portraiture. Top gear? Hell no, I'm still using a 400D with a 18-55mm kit lens and a 50mm 1.8. I do have a studio which makes it easier though - more control over the lighting :) . As none of my clients have ever complained about the quality of the finished photos I see no reason to upgrade.


http://www.mcarberypho​to.co.uk (external link)
http://www.niaviation.​co.uk (external link)
Facebook (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
NHBEY39
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Avatar
311 posts
Joined Jun 2010
Location: East Yorkshire uk
     
Mar 20, 2012 13:45 |  #13

Very refreshing the non gear snob practical approach of peoples replies here!

Totally on your wavelength Casper! I keep making the comparison but I have been playing guitar 20 years and even though I own top guitars I could make a cheapo sound better than someone who owned £5000 of guitar if they wasnt as advanced as me. It is about what you can do with the tools at your disposal, nothing is going to automate a skill or flare.


Canon 5D mk2 - Canon 550D - Canon 17-40 F4L- Canon 24-105 F4L- Canon 50mm 1.4-Canon 70-300-Canon 430EX mk2 -Adobe lightroom 4.2-Adobe photoshop CS6- Adobe master suite CS5- Hahnel Tuff TTL triggers

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
casp3r
Goldmember
Avatar
1,505 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 993
Joined May 2006
Location: Northern Ireland
     
Mar 21, 2012 10:46 |  #14

I once jokingly said to my wife that I'd love the new EOS-1Dx. Go for it she said - if you can justify spending that amount of money. I can't so will probably never own it lol.

I will have to upgrade eventually. The 400 has served me well but I'm expecting the shutter to fail soon - must have run over 100,000 through it up to now. But any upgrade won't be extravagant, maybe to a 50D or even push it to a 7D.


http://www.mcarberypho​to.co.uk (external link)
http://www.niaviation.​co.uk (external link)
Facebook (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
kfreels
Goldmember
Avatar
4,297 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, IN
     
Mar 21, 2012 11:32 |  #15

casp3r wrote in post #14125724 (external link)
I once jokingly said to my wife that I'd love the new EOS-1Dx. Go for it she said - if you can justify spending that amount of money. I can't so will probably never own it lol.

I will have to upgrade eventually. The 400 has served me well but I'm expecting the shutter to fail soon - must have run over 100,000 through it up to now. But any upgrade won't be extravagant, maybe to a 50D or even push it to a 7D.

You can get a 7D on the Canon loyalty program for about $1050 now give or take a few bucks. (send in a junk point and shoot) Then you can sell the current one for a couple hundred for sure. Not too bad for such a significant upgrade.


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
Canon 7D and a bunch of other stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,335 views & 0 likes for this thread
Want to get into portraits!
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is EndaGeorge
734 guests, 301 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.