Tuesday, June 8, 2010

P4C: Environmental Portrait Composition Tips

Of course the technical end of photography is only a small part of getting a good photo. Let's take a look at some general tips in composing your portraits (and yes, even self portraits):
  • Position people between camera and subject
  • Focus on people
  • People at side
  • Wide aperture (lower numbers) 
for separation, narrow (higher numbers) for depth
The best way to move from the tourist-style snapshots is by separating the people in your photo from the background. I prefer to set-up my photo of the background to create a good image of just that, then add my people closer to the camera making them as prominent as the primary object I'm capturing in the background. Generally you'll want to get your people from waist up allowing them to be larger in the frame. It also looks best to have them off to either the left or right side of the frame rather than in the center. To focus on them with many cameras you can use a technique usually called the "half-press." Move the camera so the people are in the center, press the shutter half-way to focus, then without releasing the button recompose then press the button all the way. Work on these tips and before long you'll see a difference in your photos (we'll work on the aperture later).

Just a reminder that this Saturday is the Geocaching 12 of 12. Haul your camera out and grab a dozen shots to tell the story of your day of geocaching then share them over at geocaching12of12.com.

Text and images in this post are copyright 2010 by Darryl Wattenberg, all rights reserved.

No comments: