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32

There are some different styles, and a variety of poses, but for classic portraiture, it's all about the face. Posing the body helps the overall composition and visual interest, but if you forget all else, make sure the face, and particularly the eyes are captured well. No football shoulders. Start with the subject, whether seated or standing, point their ...


13

Wow, this is an extremely broad question, as there are dozens of light modifiers, but I'll cover the most important ones for strobe lights. Generally speaking, light modifiers are all about controlling light. Whatever you decide to do with, you want to keep a reign on it. As such, we can split modifiers into two main groups: soft and hard modifiers. Soft ...


10

Any of them are going to work fine for a home studio, presuming you have the space to set things up. Some things to consider, however, are: Stands to hold the backdrop. It may seem a little obvious, but if you want to have flexibility in your use of backdrops, at least a basic stand is going to be something to get. Reuse of the backdrop(s). Fancier ones, ...


10

A few random thoughts, from which you can draw conclusions: seamless paper is cheaper but it's an ongoing expense, the cloth would be a one-time purchase the cloth backdrop requires being kept clean easier to pull the seamless out a long way and run it curving down onto the floor and under your subject for, um, more seamless look, especially with a white ...


9

You might have a hard time making that combination work at all and/or work reliably being as Eye-Fi cards are SD cards, and the Canon 20D takes CF cards. A few people I know have tried to use SD to CF adapters but their results have been mixed, at best. On the Eye-Fi site they say the following about using SD->CF adapters: "Eye-Fi does not support the use ...


7

Firstly: I strongly second @kacalapy with his recommendation of Digital Photography School. Second, here are a few sites I've found: Free Digital Photography Tutorials have a couple of nice pages (lots of clear examples nicely explained here and here Jonathan Souer has a step-by-step guide here I know this isn't online, but my go-to reference is ...


7

You can find hundreds of poses HERE. Another good place for information is DPSchool. You can also find some tips here, just scroll down some.


7

The easiest way is to light the background, not the subject and meter for the background. It's really not all that different than doing it outdoors, it's just that you have to position the light(s) and make sure it's strong enough so that it does make your subject very dark. Obviously, this will work better if the background is very light in colour and there ...


7

When I did a studio photoshoot, part of what was included in the basic package was a large fan unit. I suspect that a leaf blower is giving too direct a jet of air that is mainly being attenuated by the model's face (hence unable to keep eyes open) and then little kinetic energy is transferred to her hair. The unit at the studio was a very large fan ...


6

Strobist: Lighting 101 You can also jump into basic lighting setups to experiment with.


6

I've done a lot of this work in the past and tried enough different methods to be sure that there is no quick way to do it that gives good results. You can have either quick or good, but not both together. I'd love to be proven wrong on this as I imagine I'll have to do a lot more of this work in future. Here are the three main methods I use: Manually ...


5

I know your question specifies "in photoshop", but it really does bear repeating that if you can get this right in-camera you can save a load of work in post. (Obviously, you know this!) I have found this out the hard way :( I'll have a stab at a few suggestions to help get this right in-camera: make sure the background is clean easier with muslins ...


5

The well-regarded used camera dealer KEH has categories for tripods and light stands. I could not find one for backgrounds in a quick look.


5

Beyond ebay & Craigslist, here are a couple other ideas: Watch for refurbs at Adorama. I think you can find these from some other vendors, too. At a minimum, use these prices as absolute top-dollar for used equipment (if you can buy it refurbished for $X, you wouldn't want to pay more for it used). Adorama (as well as many camera shops) also carries ...


5

Dare to cut! E.g. a face may gain dynamism if you cut off the top of the head and one of the ears. (not if done with a knife! :-)) Also a slightly slanted camera position looks more dynamic. Not recommended if you have some form of horizon in your picture, though.


5

I can't add much to what John says, basically light the background only (the best way of achieving this is with the flash behind the subject pointing directly at the background) and expose for that light, prevent spill onto the subject (easiest way to do this is to get the light as close as possible to the background) and you'll get a good crisp silhouette. ...


5

Of the "big two" for photography, muslin is often desirable for transport and storage because you can fold it up nice and easy, toss it in a bag, and it's lighter in weight. It's also less expensive, a prime consideration for the more frugal shooter. On the other hand it wrinkles, but that's also a positive for texture purposes, and it's also easily smoothed ...


5

While not a collection of exercises, I would suggest the title "Light: Science and Magic" by Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua, and Steven Biver. It's a classic book that discusses how light moves around a scene to better understand difficult lighting challenges. There are several examples to follow if you want to recreate for your own education. Your local library ...


4

When discussing the effects of various modifiers, I find this cheat sheet from DIYPhotography to be extremely helpful, as it provides a visual language for the various options.


4

Simple You will probably want to think about 3 things (assuming you have a camera already!) I'm concentrating on low-cost options. Background A white-painted wall is a great start Lights A single strobe with a stand and a shoot-through umbrella is a good start here. You will need a way to trigger it - a cable is functional and cheap. Props ...


4

The short answer: You need more light on the background so that you can intentionally blow it out without blowing out the product. Then expose so that the background is on the verge of blowing out. In post-processing push the exposure for the highlights up until the background is pure white. This has been covered many times here in the past: How do I ...


4

Some ideas from others: Several people note the significant drying effect on the subject's eyes. A number suggest turning wind off except when actually taking photo. A suggestion that sounded good is to add a shield in the middle of the airstream (they used a plastic plate) to create a low velocity area for the eyes. A number of people suggest these - ...


3

KEH is decent, but they're a business, and so their prices are obviously skewed to make a profit. I've found that the buy and sell forums on Fred Miranda are one of the best places to buy used equipment from reputable sellers. I've purchased several light stands from sellers there.


3

No free software exists to do this on Nikon cameras in Windows. The only two options I know of that allow live view are Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 and NKRemote by Breeze Systems. They both run between $150-200USD. If you do not want to spend any money, free options exist but they do not offer Live view as far as I have found. If you are really in a bind, ...


3

I'd use a black, a white and a mid-gray (18% reflection). Theoretically, with the right lighting, you'll be able to make the white background look black, and vice versa, but it limits the lighting options for your subject. I'm using a Manfrotto tripod and a head with separate controls for the three directions, though many people prefer a ballhead, as it ...


3

Create a sense of movement in your photograph. Direct your subject to shift their weight back and forth from one foot to the other. Most people are uncomfortable in front of the camera (no kidding?). They’ll loosen up if you give them direction. Give them feedback and interact while taking pictures. The interaction will show in your photographs. The BEST ...


3

I second strobist.com. Also, check out this book: Digital Portrait Photography by Steve Sint. It contains the best lighting primer I have come across.



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