STE P BY STE P / A work of art

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Cloth­ing and back­drop

The bright­est part of the im­age should be your model’s face, so make sure that the fab­ric you choose for the shoot is rel­a­tively dull and the colour isn’t too sim­i­lar to your model’s skin tone. A plain pa­per roll back­drop is use­ful if you have one, but you could use a plain wall.

2 Win­dows to the soul

South-fac­ing win­dows will pro­vide the bright­est light dur­ing most of the day in the north­ern hemi­sphere (the op­po­site is true for south­ern hemi­sphere). The big­ger the win­dow, the softer the light – and this tech­nique works on over­cast, rainy days as well as clear ones.

3 Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion

Po­si­tion your model a few steps from the win­dow. Any fur­ther and the light falloff will be too great – you’ll end up hav­ing to raise the ISO and lose some di­men­sion­al­ity in the fa­cial fea­tures. Stand the model a foot or so from the back­drop, turned three-quar­ters to­wards the cam­era.

4 Set­tings

Set an aper­ture of f/5.6 or wider. The shut­ter speed should fol­low the law of re­cip­ro­cals to your fo­cal length (so, 1/50 sec for a 50mm lens) to avoid cam­era shake. Raise the ISO as needed, though if you need to go above ISO800, move your model closer to the win­dow.

5 Breath of fresh air

With the sim­ple light­ing set-up and plain back­drop it’s easy for this to be­come a still-life. To add dy­namism to your por­trait, in­tro­duce some wind to move the hair and fab­ric. Al­ter­na­tively, you could have some­one waft air in your model’s di­rec­tion with a re­flec­tor.

6 Bounce some light

If the shad­ows are too dark on the side of your model’s face, use a re­flec­tor to bounce some of the sun­light back in. Be care­ful not to rid your im­age of all shad­ows, though, be­cause the shad­ows add depth and form to the fab­ric, and give that Old Mas­ter look.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.