Taking Better People Pictures:
Taking pictures of people should involve more than just pointing the camera in a person's general direction and pressing the shutter button.
Here are a few ideas and styles for taking great pictures of people.
Remember the rule of thirds.
As a general rule place your subject in 1/3 of the photograph.
<<— Notice how Allen's face is not centered in the photograph. This takes the viewer through the photograph and around the subject.
Capture Motion – Pan the Camera
Move the camera to follow the action.
<<– This picture is fake – but you can get this same result by following the action with a shutter speed around 1/30 of a second. notice how everything except the many in the foreground is blurred.
Use a nice background
Many great pictures begin with the background, but don't let the background more prominent than your subject unless that is your intention.
In this picture there are several problems with the background.
Starting with the left:
<< Too many planters, stair railings etc.
<< There is a tree growing out of the subject's head.
<< There is a planter over her shoulder and her head matches the door in the back.
<< There is a little boy falling down the stairs.
Blur the Background for the Foreground's Sake
If the background is distracting or not neutral enough you can blur it using your camera's settings or afterwards in your image editor.
Although the mountains in the back were very pretty, I chose to blur them and use the greens and blues in back as a nice neutral background to contrast with her bright shirt and the lighting. Here's how:
1. If your camera has aperture priority settings set your camera on the lowest number.
2. If your camera does not have aperture priority settings look for a portrait feature.
3. If your camera does not have either of these settings, you will just have to go onto step four and see how things work.
4. If you have a zoom lens, back it up as far as it can go and move your body up to compose the shot.
Here is how it works:
- The higher the number on your aperture, the farther your camera will focus – this is called depth of field.
- The farther you zoom your lens back the farther the background goes.
- The background has to be pretty far from the subject to blur. The actual distance depends on the lens and aperture that you are using.
- As a rule it won't work with most point & shoots if the background is closer than 6 feet. The farther away the background is the better the effect will be.
High Contrast Light Makes for Great Effects
Shadows can be bad in a picture if they darken desired detail, but if you work with the shadows you can get some nice results.
These pictures were taken using natural light.
The picture on the left was taken using a high shutter speed to only expose the areas where light was directly shining on the subject.
The picture on the right was taken at or near "magic hour" just before sunset or just after sunrise when the shadows are the most striking.