This week's photographic super power is how to shoot people's portraits. When it comes to having their picture taken, people can be very self conscious and it requires building of trust to get them to relax and look natural. How to do that?
Chris says that with Spring, people are more likely to break out their cameras just to take pictures. The light is better, and the weather is warmer. As such, here are three exercises to get back in the groove:
Chris always gets a question about whether you need filters or not, and if you do, what filters do you need? Chris says that there are some you need, and some you don't. The two you need include the polarizing filter and a neutral density filter. The Polarizing filter gives you better color, but takes away some light. It's good in bright, direct sunlight, making it great for the beach. It works much like those polarizing sunglasses. What about a circular polarizer? Chris says that these have two layers, one with lines and one with a circular array.
This week's tip is about how to use wide angle and still get a good portrait. Most people use telephoto because it can blur the background and you can focus on the subject. Whereas wide angle exaggerates depth and keeps the background in sharper relief. This gives you context about what is going on around you. But it also means you have to move closer to the subject and you run the risk of giving your subject a larger nose. So how do you avoid that? Be careful to keep your distance. Understand what's going on around you. Keep your subject in the middle of the frame.
Chris says that Wide Angle Photography is somewhat of a lost art. Going as wide as possible can give a weird look to your image if you tip the camera one way or the other because of lens distortion. This can make shooting wide a challenge, especially if you're shooting architecture. It's called "falling lines." How you can avoid this is to step back farther and go more telephoto to achieve the same look. Or you can change your perspective. Go higher up, which will mean you won't have to tilt your camera as much.
Chris is going to Lake Baikal, Siberia, which is the largest fresh water lake in the world. It should be a great photo safari. This week, Chris takes questions from the chatroom:
1. Can I take apart a point and shoot camera to clean it? Chris says you could, but you need to know what you're doing. You'd have to be well practiced so you don't brick it. Better to have it professionally cleaned. Do the dust specs show up? Chris says not necessarily. Chances are, it's just messing with your OCD.
Chris says that a lot people have trouble taking pictures of people. You have to have patience when taking photos of people who are posing for you. It's also a challenge to enter someone's personal space, especially when they are a stranger. It also takes practice. Establish an atmosphere of trust. Show them the photos after you shoot them. Show them on the LCD or give them a hard copy.
Chris says that if you're seeking to shoot sports photography, having a fast camera with a fast lens actually makes a difference. That's why DSLRs are usually the best. And shooting on burst mode is a good idea.
Also, be comfortable. If you're comfortable when you're shooting, you can shoot longer. That means comfortable clothes. Dress warm in the winter and cool in the summer.