I don’t actually recall where I read, that “We all start by loving the toy, and we end up loving the art”. That’s precisely how I got hooked to photography.
Is it the cost of the studio that drives us all to outdoor shooting? Well, for me, it’s not the cost, but the love of nature and blessing of All Mighty, and his gifted studio, The Outdoor and the sole light source Sun. Being in Dubai again is good for photographers as the sun burns with same brightness every day. (Some other benefit I mentioned in my old blog)
In coming days our team atwww.myblogs.pwwill be composing a series of blogs about Natural Light and Outside Shooting. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get latest updates about our blogs.
In this blog, I would like to highlight some tips for improving Outdoor Portraits. I’m a diehard fan of portraits and here are some of the tips I have learned over the years which I would like to share with novice photographers, for seasoned photographers this would look bit funny 🙂
Unlike studio portraits, outdoor portraits provide portrait photographers a variety of challenges and opportunities.
Are you one of those who selects all the focus points for portraits? Give up this practice and pick one focus point. Technically, this feature is usually designed to pick the closest to the lens.
Eyes should be the focal point of any good portraits, so always focus on the eyes. Another important reason to focus on eyes is when shooting with wide aperture value focused on the eyes, the lens’s bokeh will aid in softening the skin.
Most fantastic natural light portraits are from wide aperture values so here the reason why you should invest on fast lens with wide aperture. So remember to shoot wide open for shallow depth of field.
Never shoot too close, always try to stay above 70MM, anything less than this could give swelled output. (I didn’t say you cannot use 50MM lens for portraits)
If you wanna save your post production time, (if you are shooting RAW) always use a grey card. Imagine your camera is set on Auto White Balance, and during post production this will assist you to select a natural grey. Make a habit to shoot the test photo or the first photo with the grey card.
Avoid direct sunlight and always try to shoot in the shade, this will eliminate hard directional shadows and unpredictable white balance conditions.
Placing the sun directly behind your model is also not a good idea. Unless the situation demands. Use reflectors and mimic the scene. Or wait for some clouds to move in front of the sun.
If you are shooting pets or children, then the golden rule is getting down to their level instead of shooting from above looking down.
Photos look better when you coordinate outfits, not matching, before the shoot do a google search of “outdoor photoshoot outfit ideas” you will get plenty. Also avoid, bright red, solid black and white. (Personal choice, you can always experiment).
It’s always better to show your models how you want them to pose, it’s much easier and faster than explain verbally.
Then next time you are out on an outdoor shooting, use these tips and let us know if these tips were useful. Please use our social media for comments and questions.
And if are a UAE Resident looking for some personal photoshoot or family or corporate pictures, don’t hesitate to get hold of me. Promise to offer you great discounts, and if you sign the model release you could get away with shooting costs, yeah it will be FREE Shooting.
Happy shooting flocks, and before I wind up this blog, don’t forget to carry these equipment for the shoot.
A Tripod (my friends disagree)
Standard zoom lens (most of the time I use my cheap Nikor 70-300 lens)
A fast prime lens, if you have any
Telephoto zoom lens, not necessarily
Wireless flash trigger
Grey and White Cards
And find a great location and turn your image quality to RAW.
Altaf Hussein is the Founder of Ci CORP a digital innovation company based in Dubai, certified digital marketer, graphic designer & photographer. He also believes in knowledge transfer and that's the reason he is been contributing articles to our site about his expertise.