Tips for Taking Great Portrait Photos

When most people think of portrait photography, they think of unflattering passport photos taken in photo booths, and ugly school photos taken against sickly green backdrops. As well as for taking good landscape photos, or attractive illustrated map, there is an art to taking good portrait photographs, but once you learn the secret you will be able to take impressive looking, flattering portraits.

Portrait Photography from Cyclic by CheriJ

Portrait Photography from Cyclic by CheriJ

Use Exposure Compensation

When you are taking a portrait photograph, it’s common for the photo to come out under-exposed – especially if you are shooting a fair-skinned person, or if there is a lot of white in the scene. It doesn’t require HDR Photography, just use your camera’s exposure compensation feature to correct this issue.

Choose a Wide Aperture

Set your aperture to f2.8/f5.6 when taking portrait photographs. This setting captures a shallow depth of field, ensuring that your subject will be in focus while the background will be slightly blurred, making the photograph stand out. If you want a truly professional looking photograph, swap your lens for a specialist portrait lens which supports apertures of f1.2/f2.8.

Manage Your Shutter Speed

If you are shooting in aperture priority mode, the camera will automatically manage the shutter speed for you. If you are shooting in manual mode, then you should choose your shutter speed carefully. It is similar to like show motion in Cartoons Illustrations. Pick a shutter speed that is higher than the effective focal length you have chosen. If your focal length is 200mm, then your shutter speed should be 1/250 sec.
When shooting in aperture priority mode, you can increase your shutter speed simply by raising your ISO setting.

Use a Tripod

Even with a fast shutter speed, camera shake can be a serious problem. Using a tripod to keep your camera steady should alleviate this problem. If you have the option, use a remote control rather than the button on the camera, to take your photos.

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