Tips for better people photography
Everyone loves clicking photographs. Most of the times, we click photographs of near and dear ones on specific occasions or simply for memories. Here are some helpful tips that will help you click photographs of people with the best results.
STICK TO A SINGLE FOCUS POIN
PHOTOGRAPHS can be with a number of focus points. This often happens in the case of images that are shot with Autofocus turned on. It is important to note that since we have just a single object of relevance in people photography, it doesn’t make sense to have multiple focus points. Have just a single focus point and make sure that it’s the eyes of the subject since they are the most captivating part of the photograph. You can select a single focus point on most cameras by adjusting the settings.
AVOID SHORT FOCAL LENGTHS FOR 70MM PORTRAITS
IMAGES that are clicked with the subject at a nearer focal length often turn out to be blurred. Hence it is important to make sure that you click portrait images set at focal lengths from 70 mm onwards. The maximum limit is best at 200 mm. It has been observed that the selection of a wrong focal length with wide angle lenses can lead to terrible results in portrait images, such as large heads and shrunken torsos. Focal length selection is important for perfect photographs.
AVOID USING THE CAMERA FLASH
THOUGH most cameras these days provide you with powerful LED flashes, it is advisable to avoid using them while clicking images of people. It is better to shoot the image in a well lit room rather than depend on an artificial, straight light to click the image. Mostly the images are captured with an obvious glow on the face of the subjects. This doesn’t only ruin the photograph but also leads to omission of minor details on the face. This can be even more disastrous if the exposure settings of the camera aren’t set appropriately. The image appears to be too bright.
PICK THE RIGHT BACKGROUND
PHOTOGRAPHS of individual people go well with backgrounds that aren’t too ‘noisy’. This means that they shouldn’t have too many elements such as trees, a large crowd of people, smaller objects like those that can be found in a room, etc. A plain, dark background is always helpful since it helps highlight the subject and also doesn’t reflect the light in the room as much as a bright background would. Even in a crowded room, try and ensure that the picture of the person you are clicking has minimum or no elements in the background. Clicking images against a plain background can prove to be quite helpful while editing. It is easier to crop an image against a solid background.
WHILE SHOOTING OUTDOORS
TAKING photos outdoors is often looked at as a challenge since you have scores of backdrops to select from and above all, you have to tackle the issue of natural lighting. Though cloudy days are the best soft-lighting that nature provides, it is important to make sure that you have the settings right if the sun is shining brightly. Make sure that your aperture value is set to 16. Also keep in mind that your subject is standing in a shade rather than in direct sunlight. Shooting in bright sunlight is one of the biggest mistakes a photographer could make. On the other hand, on a cloudy day you can shoot by keeping the aperture value set to 8. You do not need to hunt for a shady place to click the image and at the same time, you do not have to tackle the glare from sunlight.
AVOID COMPRESSED IMAGE FORMATS
IMAGE compression is)ncorporated in most high-end cameras these days. As a result, images are often saved in JPEG format. Such compressed formats often lead to the loss of detail in images. Make sure that your images are saved in a RAW format. These files may be larger in size but they contain every tiny detail of the image. These files also are easier to edit since they contain more image information:People opt for compressed formats like JPEG is to save space. It is always better to opt for the best quality.
MAKE sure that you get close enough to your subject so that you manage to fill the entire frame. But make sure that you do not overstep the line. You can zoom into the image toget even closer. Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from your subject. If you are clicking an absolute close-up of the face then include just a small portion of the head and crop off the top. If you wish to click the torso as well, then try to round it up around the waist area.
WHAT IS THE APERTURE NUMBER?
THE aperture number is a unit that is used to estimate the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensor. In literal terms, the word ‘aperture’ means a small opening to let light in. In photography, it is important to ensure that you shoot with larger aperture values, especially if your subject is a person. The measurement of an aperture size is often the smallest unit (f-number). For instance, if you shoot at F2.8 then you will be shooting with a larger aperture as compared to when you are shooting at F16. Larger apertures like those taken at F2.8 are good for out-of-focus effects.
CAPTURE NATURAL EXPRESSIONS
PHOTOGRAPHS of people come out best when the subject is in his/her natural posture and mood. Getting the person to take a particular posture and portray a certain mood will lead to artificial looking images. If you are clicking someone who is in motion or is conveying a particular expression then try and time your shot to a time that portrays it most intensely. Remember that getting people to forcefully pose for you annoys them greatly. It also annoys them when you take a lot of time to adjust your camera and keep requesting them to move to a position that suits your photography rather than their mood.