Lady M by Steve Goldsmith

Portrait Tips by Steve Goldsmith

Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone entering the February club competition “Portraits”.

As the subject is stationary speed settings are not so critical, usually anything over 125th of a second will freeze any motion. But getting the image crystal clear with a focal point is a must. Eyes, mouth or teeth are excellent as focal points. Consider depth of field and try to use a setting that makes your portrait the ‘star’ of your shot and not any background.

If photographing indoors, try to get a soft light, as an alternative a side light can create a dramatic effect. If your subject is too close to a wall you will get a shadow, which you may want, but if not a good guide is to have your subject stand 3 to 5 feet away from the wall.

If photographing outdoors your camera sensor may well meter on the background leaving you with a darker than you would like portrait, pop the flash up and use it as an infill, it will lighten the portrait without any noticeable effect to the background.

Don’t be put off if you think this is only for those with smart cameras, mobile phones and tablets take excellent photos and with the smart software they all seem to have so many of these settings are done automatically for you.

A few examples:- Highlighting eyes, smile and making your portrait the subject and not the background.