Thursday, 28 March 2019

Three Basic Rules of Portraiture

Yes, rules can be boring AND rules are there to be broken. However, if you don't follow a couple of absolute fundamentals, then your subject is not likely to look their best.

1. Lens height should be as high as subject's nose or higher (use a milk crate!)
Using Nikon D700 camera and an 85mm Nikkor lens

The moment you are shooting from below nose height, you are looking up the subject's nostrils (not a pretty sight). You are exposing more of their neck area and less of their eyes and face; If the subject make's eye contact with the lens you increase the possibility of double chins tenfold!
 If your subject is tall and your'e short stand on a step or milk crate.

2. Use a longer than normal focal length lens - and avoid Mick Jagger lips.

85mm is ideal. Avoid using shorter than 50mm. If you are using a  24mm-70mm zoom, use the 50-70mm section of your zoom. If you use very short lenses like 24mm and get too close to your subject you will 'steepen perspective'. That means the subject's nose will look bigger and they will develop Mick jagger lips!

3. SUBJECT-BACKGOUND distance should  be greater than SUBJECT-LENS distance

Ideally, your subject should be just out of arm's reach. Then avoid having your subject standing up against the wall. Your subject should be sharp and your background blurry.

For a chance to win part of the AU$20,000 prize pool enter FIPP2019. Entries open 5 May 2019.
Major sponsor: Nikon Australia

Click HERE for details.

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