Tighten up

Siân Lewis shows how to frame tight on faces for a dif­fer­ent take on people pic­tures

NPhoto - - Contents -

Zoom in close on your sub­ject’s fa­cial fea­tures for ex­treme por­traits

Want to add a oomph to your por­traits? It’s time to break the rules, to crop in close and play with fram­ing. This tech­nique doesn’t re­quire any ex­tra kit – just avoid plain head-and-shoul­ders shots and ex­per­i­ment with space and crop­ping.

While you want to avoid con­ven­tional com­po­si­tion, some norms of por­trait pho­tog­ra­phy are still help­ful. If you’re in­doors, nat­u­ral light from a win­dow is the most flat­ter­ing, and a shal­low depth of field keeps your Nikon’s fo­cus on your model’s fea­tures. If you’re pick­ing one part of your sub­ject’s face to shoot, make sure it’s pin-sharp, and when you’re fram­ing in on the eyes, look for catch­lights (a re­flec­tion of your light source in the sur­face of the eye) to make your close-up sparkle.

You don’t need any­thing be­sides your D-SLR and kit lens, but a zoom lens like a Nikon 18-105mm is handy, as it’ll al­low you to shoot your sub­ject’s face with­out hav­ing to in­vade their per­sonal space.

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