The art of photographing portraits in the right light

The options for shooting portraits with your DSLR cameras depend on the different focal lengths, from the standard 35mm lens, which allows a human subject to be pictured within the surrounding environment, a 50mm focal length offer a more natural perspective, while an 85mm portrait lens encourages a tighter composition. A 135mm short telephoto lens flattens the perspective creating an appealing out of focus area at wide apertures.

Portraits | ASAP Event with Western Union, Wembley Arena
Photography by Tom from the Philippines’ longest-running variety show, ASAP 20 Live in London

Tips for shooting portraits outdoors

For the best results, early mornings or the late afternoon sky is the optimum time for photographing portraits. The sunlight becomes more diffused because of the angle of the earth’s atmosphere, so the light is the softer. A helpful tip is to use your camera’s cloudy white balance preset to warm things up.

Using direct sunlight on your subject has it pros and cons, if you are looking to create a contrast, with hard, deep shadows, hard light from the sun has its benefits – however, it can lead to squinting and unflattering expressions. If you want your subject be away from direct sunlight, ensure your subject has their back to the sun to create an attractive halo effect around their hair and body, using the shade of a building or tree If you want a subject to jump out of the photo.

Portrait Contrast | Photographing portraits

Photographing Portraits | Royal Ascot

Portrait 1 |  Photographing portraits
Photos from Royal Ascot 2015

DSLR camera top tip

Portrait |  Photographing portraits

DSLR camera-makers produce superior prime lenses in several fixed focal lengths with fast apertures. They can be good value and are physically smaller and lighter compared with their zoom counterparts.
The one lens, one camera body, minimalist approach can deliver impressive images and reward bold photographers with new-found knowledge and increased interaction with subjects – something to think about before you take your next selfie…

ASAP 20 Live London | Photographing Portraits

Summary
The art of photographing portraits
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The art of photographing portraits
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The art of photographing portraits and using light to deliver impressive images with new-found knowledge and increased interaction with subjects.
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