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 Post subject: Outdoor family portraits
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:25 am 
Quick question...when shooting outdoor family portraits, do you usually use a wide angle lens or telephoto? OR does it simply depend on the situation? Thanks.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:30 am 
It'll depend on what you're aiming to achieve. Conventions do exist, but you really could use any lens for outdoor portraiture.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:05 pm 
Hi naeno,

I agree with Photoj that it depends a lot on what you wish to achieve.

If you use zoom or tele-lenses with some reach, you can get the advantage of taking shots of people with a less rehearsed look on their face - simply because they may be unaware that you are taking a picture of them. On the other hand they may not be still for very long, thus making it harder for you.

If you use wide-angle lenses you get a different kind of intimacy and the geometry of the face changes somewhat. With wide lenses up close, the nose and center of the face appears relatively larger in the facial geometry.

The best advice I can think of is "experiment". Try both and see what you like the best. Portraits can be fun and whacky and they can be glitzy and glamorous - or both - or none of the above.

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:24 pm 
Ok, a follow up question....several family members are wearing white (or light colored) shirts, sun comes out from behind a cloud, and you get this....


A completely overexposed, blown out frustrating shot. Besides wanting to scream and be able to control weather situations, what else can you do? I tried pp it, and can recover it to a point. Is there an easier way to recover without entirely blacking out the background? (I ended up figuring out that I can add a layer, mess with the exposure, then mask out the part I don't want the exposure changed on).

(I did have the sun cover back up with clouds and got several decent looking shots, fyi.)

Photoj, I read that you're leaving. You will be sorely missed. I know i've always appreciated your input on all the photos, and I feel I have learned a lot from you in the small amount of time I've been in the forum. Thanks for everything, and best of luck to you.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:56 pm 

When you experience problems with white shirts and overexposure, you need to adjust and change composition accordingly.

Watch the direction of light. This is key. Compose a different group pose and watch your location. You don't have control over the weather conditions, but you can control your models clothing. You can always ask them to wear different color clothes and/or dress accordingly for the location.

When you are in the field though, the only thing you can do is move around to work with the light, or underexpose and use strobes to fill in for your subjects, or take light away using a black square to block the light, and then bounce light back on with a reflector. This isn't ideal for group shots though.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:40 pm 
Yes,the direction of the light is most important.
Still,I have a silly question...can a ND filter save you some trouble on such harsh lighting conditions? I know it's a good buddy around a waterfall or things that you need to use longer exposures in sunny days..
A polarizer filter can "repair" the sky & sunlight reflections,but it's not enough. I want to know if there's a filter that can tame the burning sunlight. (or you can bring some material & filter the sunlight through it...I mean,you must be prepared somehow)

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