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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 20 Sep 2011 (Tuesday) 23:10
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setup for people photography

 
ekinnyc
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Sep 20, 2011 23:10 |  #1

after some thought, i think i am finally leaning away from "just shoot anything" toward photographing people. i just did an impromptu e-session photoshoot for a couple i am friends with, and while my 24-105 and sigma 30 accomplished the job, i am wondering what a classic portraiture/people setup is (natural light, not studio lit)

ive gone through "i need to change my gear" phases, and this isnt one of them. i am sure i can get by with my current gear, while i start out. this is for information purposes pretty much

i see many use the 85mm and 135mm FL, and also keep seeing that 70-200 is the classic portrait lens.... is that pretty much it, or is there more to it?


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kumpu
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Sep 21, 2011 00:47 |  #2

You didn't mention are you using FF or crop..

Anyways, with that lens, anywhere between 50-105 will do the job. If you have enough space, I'd be using @105 and use my feet to frame the shot, in thigh space my back against the wall and using zoom to frame shot. (That is, IF I'd use zoom, normally I shoot portraits with prime 50 or 85)

70-200, especially when used @200 is quite nice for portraits.

For natural light session, WITHOUT FLASHES, I usually keep 1 reflector with me for filling shadows and for key light if shooting w. backlight


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nathancarter
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Sep 21, 2011 14:43 |  #3

Agree with the above. You'll want to be reasonably far away from the model, to avoid perspective distortion of body parts (especially facial features). So, the longest focal length you've got, IF your studio space allows for it.

Also, always focus on the eyes/lashes unless you have a very specific reason for doing otherwise.


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ekinnyc
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Sep 21, 2011 14:46 |  #4

@ kumpu... im shooting crop (thought i added it, but must have forgotten)

when i was doing the shoot with the couple, it was overcast, and i was using my 430exii for fill, angled at 45 degrees with an omnibounce.... and i noticed that some shots were a little too hot (ie. grass was overexposed)

@nathan... unfortunately, i am nowhere near having studio space... it would be natural surroundings (ie, park).

anyways, i think this is getting a bit away from my question relating to the kit itself rather than technique


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ni$mo350
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Sep 21, 2011 14:59 |  #5

^ That has less to do with gear and more to do with learning how to balance your flash with the ambient light. If you notice the grass was too hot you could have waited a little while for it to die down or for more clouds to cover the sun. It's all a matter of give and take and although a lot of us have expensive glass and gear, not many people honestly get what they should out of it.


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kumpu
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Sep 21, 2011 22:23 |  #6

@ekinnyc
With crop body, even ~35mm might do the job IF you are in tight space, otherwise like nathancarter said, longest FL possible and focus on eyes.

It might be good idea to keep notes about your setup when shootin (f-stop, iso etc. + information about your flash power), that way you can track down your setup when looking your photos and learn.

If you are using ETTL, try to set flash power to manual for about 1/8 for fill and see if that gives better balance. Also, if using ETTL, you still can dial down your flash power and see if that helps.

I personally very rarely use flash on ETTL, it's more work yes but I've learned to use flash more efficiently that way.


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nathancarter
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Sep 22, 2011 14:11 |  #7

ekinnyc wrote in post #13140412 (external link)
anyways, i think this is getting a bit away from my question relating to the kit itself rather than technique

Disagree. You can get great portraits with a modest amount of gear, and you can get terrible portraits with the most expensive gear. In portraiture, technique is more important than gear. Though, I guess "lighting" can be either gear or technique, or both.

ekinnyc wrote in post #13140412 (external link)
when i was doing the shoot with the couple, it was overcast, and i was using my 430exii for fill, angled at 45 degrees with an omnibounce.... and i noticed that some shots were a little too hot (ie. grass was overexposed)

If you're outside, the omnibounce does just about nothing. Well, it wastes battery power, but that's about it. You can't bounce flash off the clouds. The only benefit to the omnibounce is that is raises the effective light source an extra inch or two from the lens axis - but if you're at a distance where you're shooting a couple, that extra inch is meaningless.

ekinnyc wrote in post #13140412 (external link)
@nathan... unfortunately, i am nowhere near having studio space... it would be natural surroundings (ie, park).

My studio is my dining room. Move the chairs and table out of the way, set up the backdrop and lights, voila! If I think I need a longer focal length I move my setup into the hallway, where I can put the 70-200 to use... but then the backdrop covers the front door so nobody can leave :)


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setup for people photography
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