Monday, January 29, 2007
Choosing A Camera For...
What inspires you?
People & Portraits:
Controlling light and focus are the keys to successful portraiture
By Ibarionex R. Perello
A successful portrait is as much about light as it is about your subject. Whether an artist uses oils or pixels, his or her ability to use light to "paint" a subject transforms an image from a snapshot into a fine portrait. Great results can be had without the need for expensive equipment. Using the sun, reflectors, an electronic strobe and a telephoto lens, you can achieve wonderful people pictures.
For accurate skin color, it's essential to set white balance correctly. You can provide a warm tone to your subject, however, by selecting the open-shade white-balance setting as opposed to the sunny white balance when shooting under direct sunlight. This simulates the look of a warming filter and provides a flattering tone. If you're shooting at dusk when the light is already warm, it's best to stick with the sunny white balance to avoid excessive warmth.
Reflectors help shape and control light around your subject. By redirecting light, a reflector not only provides fill, but also produces an appealing catchlight in the eyes. Made of a variety of materials, different reflectors produce distinctive looks. Silver reflectors offer a strong fill while gold reflectors deliver a warm color cast to skin tones. They're very effective in reducing harsh shadows beneath the brow and chin.
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