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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 15 Dec 2008 (Monday) 07:17
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questions about portrait photography :)

 
JulieNick
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Location: North East Point, NS
     
Dec 15, 2008 07:17 |  #1

Hi, I usually do landscape shots or abandonment. People are not my forte although I will photograph people. I use my kids as guinea pigs.

I need help with this one. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.

My two daughters had their school photos done. Received one package but didn't receive the package that I ordered for my youngest daughter. I really didn't care for the oldest daughters package so I decided to do my own.

I practiced with them yesterday. Not good results. My gear is canon XTi, lens 50 mm 1.8, natural light. I was shooting inside using natural light. The sun was setting so I opened up the front door to allow more light to come in. I was getting dark shots. I had the aperture open full 1.8 and had the shutter set to 1/60, ISO 100. So I upped the ISO to 200 and the shutter to 1/80 and aperture to 2.8. The results were a bit brighter but I thought that since I shoot in manual mode and raw that I could brighten things up in photoshop. Wasn't a big deal until I downloaded the images to my computer. I had the focus lock on the eye closest to me when I had them sitting at an angle. The other eye is so oof. I had them sitting facing me straight on and again, eye is oof.

What do I do to get both eyes in focus? Change the aperture? Change where I lock the focus?

Is there a rule of thumb to this? Or, just keep practicing and experimenting?

I want their whole body focused, the eyes especially. I know that I can sharpen them in post.

The plans were to take these shots and then put the subject on a digital background. Which is another question. How do you do that?


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/27834677@N06/ (external link)
Gear: Canon XTi, Sigma 17-70, Canon 5d classic, Promaster 7500 speed light.

  
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chauncey
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Dec 15, 2008 08:10 |  #2

There are several things that may be causing your problems,
chief among them might be distance from subject combined with your shooting wide open, a really narrow DOF.
Use this to determine how much is in focus, http://www.dofmaster.c​om/dofjs.html (external link)


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JulieNick
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Dec 15, 2008 08:51 |  #3

That link is really helpful. Thanks :)


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/27834677@N06/ (external link)
Gear: Canon XTi, Sigma 17-70, Canon 5d classic, Promaster 7500 speed light.

  
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PhotosGuy
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Dec 15, 2008 09:41 |  #4

I was shooting inside using natural light. The sun was setting so I opened up the front door to allow more light to come in.

Try this when you have better light:
Angeline outdoors

Or this:
VERY simple "outdoor studio" It doesn't get any easier than this.


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JulieNick
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Dec 15, 2008 10:13 |  #5

I thought about taking the girls outside to shoot. That's where I usually practice on them. But, it's Nova Scotia weather here now rearing it's ugly face with the wind. The only time it isn't blowing is at night time. That's why I tried with the setting sun light coming in through an open door. My major problem was getting both eyes focused. Not quite sure where to put the focal point.

Thanks for the link :)


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/27834677@N06/ (external link)
Gear: Canon XTi, Sigma 17-70, Canon 5d classic, Promaster 7500 speed light.

  
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tonylong
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Dec 15, 2008 10:19 |  #6

JulieNick wrote in post #6882055 (external link)
I thought about taking the girls outside to shoot. That's where I usually practice on them. But, it's Nova Scotia weather here now rearing it's ugly face with the wind. The only time it isn't blowing is at night time. That's why I tried with the setting sun light coming in through an open door. My major problem was getting both eyes focused. Not quite sure where to put the focal point.

Thanks for the link :)

Yeah, shooting wide is one of those specialty things that can backfire if you don't do it with proper care, and the "one eye in focus, one eye out of focus" is a common scenario there. Some shots like this are quite effective, but others are downright annoying:)!

For a good depth of field, try about f/5.6 or so, and if your shutter speed is too slow use a little flash (you can use Flash Exposure Compensation and/or bouncing the flash to make the light look quite natural. To keep the background soft, you want to be reasonably close and/or have the subject at some distance from the background (the dofmaster link can help there).

A lot is learned by practice! In fact, everything is learned with practice:)!


Tony
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questions about portrait photography :)
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