Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:59 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
It’s just that one of my wife’s friends has noticed how my fb pics are really starting to ‘pop’, and asked me to take some portraits of her to use for match.com. So it’s probly not all that serious or technical but I’m excited as hell and want to do a good job. Shot my wife a few times, that came out ‘good’, but no real experience.

I only have a Canon T4i, a 55mm lens is on the way (from B&H) a kit lens and a telephoto 70-300, that I don’t figure I’ll use for this.

So any basic tips would be greatly appreciated.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
For dating service photos, I would recommend capturing a few different styles: full-frame face, half body shot, and full body shot.

Start with the portrait; this will probably be her primary photo. I would recommend using your T4i kit lens, EF-S 18-135mm IS set at 50mm (80mm full-frame/35mm equivalent) or greater. The long focal length gives you two attributes that are desired for portraits: less facial distortion and shorter depth of field (blurred back/foreground or bokeh).

The problem you have using a short focal length is that the nose and chin appear larger than they actually are; 50mm or greater focal length solves that problem. However, this may move you outdoors due to the fact that you'll have to be far from your subject.

The second, short depth of field, puts everything except your subject out of focus; the bokeh effect. I can think of three factors that effect depth of field, but first, let me describe it (DoF). Depth of field is the distance before and after the point of focus that is within the range of acceptable focus; Objects outside this appear blurred and will no longer distract from the subject: her face. The strongest of the three on DoF is aperture or f-stop: the smaller, the shorter DoF, the more bokeh effect and better for portraits. Your kit lens has a low f-stop of from f3.5 to f5.6; this range is spread throughout zoom of focal length from 18-135mm. At 50mm, the lowest (a.k.a. fastest) is f5.0. Note also that the longer your focal length, the shorter your DoF. Distance to the subject also decreases DoF; the closer, the shorter. Use the DoF Preview button to check bokeh; It's located on the camera near the lens mount on the bottom left side under the lens release button.

To keep things simpler, I'd recommend setting ISO to Auto (button is in front of the mode dial).

On the T4i there are two or three good ways to achieve favorable portraits, and this has to do with which mode you'll choose to shoot in (the mode dial on upper-right). If you have knowledge of photography, you could choose Av mode (aperture preference or Aperture Value). You can set f-stop (Av) by rotating the dial behind the shutter; left is lower f-stop, more blur. The Portrait mode does this automatically for you. Third, the CA (Creative Auto) mode has a blur scale: again left is lower/more blur.

Notes about these modes: There are settings that favor portraits. In Av mode, you can set the Picture Style to Portrait; this will soften the image (press the down arrow to control this). It's also important to get the White Balance right. It's important to match the light source so that white objects appear white; that way skin tones look accurate. If you've ever seen an orangeish indoor snapshot, that's due to bad white balance. The T4i has three types of White Balance settings: Auto White Balance (AWB), specific type, and custom. The T4i's AWB is very good at detecting the correct WB, but after reviewing the images, if skin tones look off, then try setting it to existing light source. Press the up arrow/WB button, left/right arrows to choose between Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten (incandescent light bulbs), Fluorescent, or Custom. After reviewing, if skin tones still look off, resort to Custom. I shot a wedding in a church with the nightmare of halogen, florescent, and incandescent lighting; digital camera w/CWB was perfect, 35mm film camera images were unusable.

The T4i's method for setting Custom White Balance is a little more involved than for their point-n-shoot cameras (e.g. G12); It's a four-step process (pg. 135 of Instruction Manual). First, take a picture of a white object. I keep a white card in my camera bag just for this purpose. Make sure to angle the card so that the most light hits it without reflecting off it. This is a reference photo you can keep on your memory card, and since the resolution isn't important, you should shoot it in the lowest S3 image size; just remember to set it back to L before taking your portrait. Second, select Custom White Balance on #2 Menu. Third, import the photo of the white card by choosing that photo. Fourth, press the up arrow/WB button and choose Custom. After shooting, when your light source changes, remember to set WB back to AWB. The reason Canon chose using reference photos is that it gives you unlimited Custom White Balance settings. The Canon G12 only has two CWB settings, but are easier to set.

In Portrait and CA modes, things are much simpler. You can set the Ambience to Warm; usually set to Standard. To set this, press the <Q> button; it'll be the top setting on the LCD display. Press Set, then use arrows to move to Warm, then press Set again.

Now onto lighting. I recommend existing lighting over flash. If you must use flash, try an external and angle it 45° to bounce off the ceiling. If using the internal flash, you may end up with red-eye despite the T4i's ability to reduce it. Use ImageBrowser EX or ZoomBrowser EX software on your computer to remove red-eye.

I recommend shooting outside. If you can shoot on an overcast day, do it; it acts like a natural diffuser, avoiding sharp facial shadows created by the nose. It also reduces squinting, crow's feet, small pupils, etc. It also gives you room to backup and use a longer focal length (zoom in). Dating sites tend to want to see full body shots, outdoor hobbies (bicycling, gardening, softball, etc.). Use Sports mode for action shots.

Play with eye contact. Looking down the lens gives a good sense of personal contact. Looking off camera can add a flavor of candidness and intrigue. Looking within frame at a subject (a prop, bubble gum, jewelry, etc.) or other person (a child, meter-maid, farmer's marked clerk, etc.) can tell the beginning of a story the viewer may be interested in hearing the rest of. It's important to get a picture of your subject laughing; So, for those shots, get her out of her comfort zone. Have someone off camera through an apple at her unexpectedly to catch; use Sports mode with Continuous shooting. Shoot as many candid shots as possible; Unfortunately, unlike Canon's PowerShot models, there's no way for the T4i to shoot silently (the mirror flips up). You'll have to ask her to ignore you. Have her in different outfits, maybe revealing body parts (legs, cleavage, belly, etc.) within her comfort zone. If she's got nice eyes, try obscuring parts of the face with a scarf, her hands, part of a building, in order to emphasize them. Try framing her face using branches, have her look through a window, even using her hands. Switch up framing: if you predominately shoot in landscape, try portrait; and visa versa. Motion everyone but her: Using a tripod, ask her to stand still, set shutter speed slow (1/5 second), then ask others to move around her, turn their heads, wave arms, etc.; so that she's the only one unblurred. Try some night shots. Night Portrait mode used with a tripod with lights in the background is nice (flash will fire more than once, so tell her not to move until after the second flash). Or use Handheld Night Scene mode; tell her to stand still for one second. It'll take four rapid photos and merge them into one.

Most importantly, gain her trust and patience. Explain to her that in order for these photos to come out spectacular, you both are going to have to work equally as hard. That's why models get paid the big bucks. You both must put aside the time to get it right; snapshots you'll get in a snap; photographs take time.

Let me know if this was helpful, or if you have any other questions.

Sincerely,


-=- PalaDolphin

_________________
-=- PalaDolphin
http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:53 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Sydney, Australia
That is probably the best and most detailed answer I have ever read on any forum - EVER :D

Good karma to you PalaDolphin for taking the time out for such an in depth, well structed and informative post. Kudo's

_________________
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 60D, 70-200 f2.8 L, 17-40 f4 L, 50 f1.8, 24-70 f2.8 L, 50 f1.4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55078072@N06/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:46 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
ROMyB, LMyFAO! Thank you Chopper.

I did forget a couple things.

1. Be prepared; Don't keep her waiting if you can at all avoid it. Have your shooting sites all picked out. Decide on as many shots, angles, direction of light, etc., that you can ahead of time. Even take some test shots. Have your camera settings setup ahead of time. You might want to take advantage of the T4i's My Menu settings. And use Continuous Shooting if she's on a roll with expressions and poses (Portrait mode sets this by default).

2. Keep her engaged for as long as possible by pumping up her ego. Tell her what she's doing right; be positive. When you give her suggestions, let her believe it came from her; something you just missed her do. Let her know she's got modeling skills; she'll buy it, coming from you, her photographer.


Good Luck,

_________________
-=- PalaDolphin
http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:37 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
Whoa, that is an unbelievable amt of info! Feel like an article written.. just for me! Lol. Thank you, I will read this a few times, and study the info.

Amazed at how well you know my camera. Was all set to shoot in AV but never entered my mind to use picture style, set to portrait. Sounds like you’re suggesting this. Awesome. But my kit lens is only 18 – 55mm. So looks like I got a ‘dead zone’ there, Now would my 50mm (that’s not here yet) be better than the 5mm of focal length I would gain with the kit lens? Especially since it’s so much faster and give me that bokeh thing? (Damn, I need another lens)

Yeah, we’re gonna shoot in this park, in the afternoon. Tons of shade trees, and next to a steep mtn that blocks the sun in the aft, plus there’s a lake, rock waterfall thing (where I’ve practiced blurring the water) So I’m planning on some dwindling shutter speeds to get creative with. But with my exp, I’m hoping to leave the WB on Auto. ??

I was gonna set iso to 100, but if you recommend Auto, well okay.

Was also planning on using my built in flash, but now I’ll try to stay away from it. And never, ever thought of using any of those ‘pre-set modes’, but will now start playing around with the sports and night portrait mode, makes sense.

Again, thanks man, my mind is busy trying to absorb all this but that’s a good thing. Will have the wife read it too, my assistant :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:25 am
Posts: 13
Location: Melbourne
That is a great response. About to read it a second time.

_________________
Canon 5D III
Canon 30D
Canon EF 50mm f1.4, EF 24-70mm f2.8 L II, EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 L, EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L, EF 100mm f2.8 Marco
Sigma DG 170-500mm f1.5-6.3, EX 10-20mm f3.5
Lensbaby Composer Pro


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:56 am
Posts: 92
viciouschris wrote:
Awesome. But my kit lens is only 18 – 55mm. So looks like I got a ‘dead zone’ there, Now would my 50mm (that’s not here yet) be better than the 5mm of focal length I would gain with the kit lens? Especially since it’s so much faster and give me that bokeh thing? (Damn, I need another lens)


Interesting. I made the assumption that with all of Canon's instant rebates during the holidays that your kit lens would be at least the EF-S 18-135mm IS. But, you're 18-55mm should be sufficient especially outdoors since you may be struggling to achieve wide open aperture.

viciouschris wrote:
Yeah, we’re gonna shoot in this park, in the afternoon. Tons of shade trees, and next to a steep mtn that blocks the sun in the aft, plus there’s a lake, rock waterfall thing (where I’ve practiced blurring the water) So I’m planning on some dwindling shutter speeds to get creative with. But with my exp, I’m hoping to leave the WB on Auto. ??


AWB works best outdoors. But again, there are three outdoor preset WB settings (Daylight, Cloudy, and Shade) for a reason. Refer back to my paragraph on testing for WB. One of the wonderful attributes of digital photography, and what caused Polaroid to go bankrupt, is instant feedback. Since this can be done ahead of time, put this on you preparation list. And while we're on the subject, WB is another great digital advancement. The 35mm alternative was changing film when the light source changed; not an easy task. That's why wedding photographers carried two cameras for standard and tungsten films. In a way, digital photography has spoiled me from my film days in that that part of my brain that accurately imagines how a picture will look after all the processing has gone dormant. Well, at least shifted.

viciouschris wrote:
I was gonna set iso to 100, but if you recommend Auto, well okay.


ISO speed is just one side of the Exposure Triangle http://digital-photography-school.com/learning-exposure-in-digital-photography, one that Rebel T4i owners definitely benefit from. It's a marked improvement in detail at higher ISO speeds than it's predecessor, the T3i. That's one reason for recommending Auto over 100 ISO. It's also one less thing to worry about. The worst case scenario is forgetting that you left it in ISO 128000. Unlike other settings, it's difficult to detect a bad ISO setting when reviewing on your small 3" LCD screen in the field. If you're concerned about ISO speed (and it sounds like you are, which is a good thing), there is a setting you should change on menu #3, ISO Auto. It can be set from Max 400-6400. I don't remember it's default setting, but for outdoors, I'd recommend Max 400.

viciouschris wrote:
Was also planning on using my built in flash, but now I’ll try to stay away from it.


Not so fast. I wouldn't count out the built-in flash yet. It depends on your alternative. First, let's set the scene: outdoor shaded by trees. This is a perfect use of back-lit w/ fill flash (imagine glowing hair w/ her face fully lit). The built-in flash supports E-TTL II and unless you've got a $255 dedicated external alternative (i.e. Canon Speedlite 430EX II), you'll be burdened with a dumb flash that has you setting your camera into M (Manual) mode. The built-in flash has a 15' range at ISO 400, which is just within range for a telephoto shot. And in outdoor bright light the subject's pupils contract, which greatly reduces red-eye caused by a straight-on flash.

If you don't full understand the advantages of E-TTL II, I recommend reading these two links, in order:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/how-tos/photo-accessories/what-is-camera-flash-ttl.html#b
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_EOS_flash_system

viciouschris wrote:
Again, thanks man, my mind is busy trying to absorb all this but that’s a good thing. Will have the wife read it too, my assistant :)


My pleasure,

_________________
-=- PalaDolphin
http://www.PalaDolphin.com
My equipment are:
Canon Rebel T4i / EOS 650D
lens: EF-S 18-135mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS STM
lens: EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS II
lens: Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Di II 1:1 Macro
Canon Speedlite 380EX flash
Canon PowerShot G12
Canon AE-1 Programmable w/55mm, 200mm, & 24mm lenses
bag: Lowepro® SlingShot 202AW


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:41 pm
Posts: 9
I dunno man, Gameday is tomorrow, went out for some test shots t'day and .. I don't like them pre-set modes. In Sports, I had a 1/800 shutter and a 6400 iso. With no control over it. Pics were unuseable. I set my Max iso a while back, to something like 1600, but I guess that don't matter in those damn modes. Anything I'm missing here??

Switched over to AV, for much better results.

Night Portrait wasn so bad. 800 iso (forgot the shutter) but the shots were much better and acceptable. Even gave me an interesting background, which was cool.

HH Portrait, in the dark, gave me an iso with 5 digits! Lol. And a shot that made me decide to put that one on the back burner. :) Oh there's probly a right time for it, but untill I understand when that is... But I've been concentrating on learning exposure, so I didn't like seeing the camera take my options away :)

So untill i get the exp to understand when to use those modes, I'm stayin on the other side of that green button (accept for Night Portrait) I guess, which I'll use tomorrow. And.. I will put up pics of my results, right here, if I can figure out how to post pics


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group