Visit our blog with the latest post: 3D Is Not Enough - Meet 6D (08/11/2008)

Portraiture and Studio

Diffusion vs. Softness rating 3.25   (4)  

One of the effects, which photographers strive to achieve, in portraiture is the softness (not always, but often). There are different approaches to do that. Though there are a few basic principles that you should know to be able produce this soft look. Here Ed explains these principles.

Basic Light Patterns rating 4.03276   (40)  

In this article I will provide use with some diagrams of light patterns and its brief descriptions. The intention of this article is to introduce these names and light setups, which you will encounter among photographers.

Portrait Lights rating 4.44445   (36)  

There are not that many different kinds of lights in Portraiture, but you have to know them and the effects they create in your photograph. This article will help you to learn about types of lights and how the could be used.

Basic Rules Of Portraiture rating 3.7   (20)  

Before stepping into the waters of Portraiture you should be aware of a few rules and guidelines. This guidelines will help you to be consistent, make less mistakes and generally create better portraits. This article briefly covers the topics, such as head views, facial analysis, rapport with the subject, positions of camera and subject and equipment.

Basic Studio Lighting rating 4.49351   (40)  

If you are just trying to grasp the basics of Portraiture and want to learn about basic lighting setups, then you would benefit from reading of this article. Here you will find a few diagrams of lighting setups with description of basic light sources.

Kicker Usage In Fine Portraiture rating 3.85714   (14)  

"Kicker" a feisty little guy that gives "kick" to portraits. It allows you to "kick in" some addition light exactly where it is needed to make your photographic statement and to enhance certain aspects of your subjects. Kicker light usage is very popular in traditional portraits of men. In its' softer form, oftentimes called the "accent light" or "the angle's touch light" it can have a beautifying or ethereal effect on woman's, and children's portraits. Read the article to find out more.

Before Pressing The Button rating 3.8125   (8)  

Here I will summarize what I found out in forums and other sources about details to keep in mind when you are creating a portrait.

Facial Analysis In Fine Portraiture rating 4.58333   (30)  

Consumers come to the professional and plunk down their hard earned money when they want or need something special - something that they can't do themselves - create a truly flattering, aesthetically pleasing image - devoid of flaws and "defects" or shall we say, an idealization and realization of their self image that still looks natural. Having these corrective skills will increase you sales and bring you many referrals. It's a simple marketing matter - most people do not like bad pictures of themselves and will spend good money to have good ones made.

Feathering Is Ticklish Business rating 3   (4)  

Here is some explanation about feathering in portraiture. Glossary: "Feathering" - It means using the peripheral part of the beam of light rather than the âhot spotâ that lives in the middle of the beam. This works especially well with parabolic reflectors and spot lights. It also works (to some degree) with umbrellas and soft boxes, however, the effect is not as pronounced and is more difficult to control.

There are GELS and then there GELS! rating 3.83333   (3)  

Optical filters are for use over the camera lens and are usually made of optical glass, optical grade plastic or gelatine, hence the nickname gel. And on this page Ed explains how the gels are used in photography.

Gobos and Flags rating 3.8   (5)  

These are used to block or subtract light unlike reflectors and modifiers that spread or add light. âGoboâ comes from the old cinematographer's term - short for go-between. Experienced portraitists call them head-screens in that they use them to selectively shade areas like bald heads. They can be used like barn doors but they are more mobile. Read more in the article.

How To Master Lighting rating 1.58333   (6)  

Here Ed Shapiro describes his thought on the subject and gives us a few advices how to master lighting. This article is more like an overview of what is expected from a knowledgeable photographer in terms of lighting and the approach to achieve it.

Portraiture By Sun Light rating 2.33333   (6)  

We are so accustomed to the sun that we take it for granted, but there are so many subtleties of the sun light, almost as many as approaches to use the light in the photography. Read Ed's thoughts on this subject in this article.

Put away the charts rating 3.33333   (3)  

All the lighting illustrations, graphs, charts and diagrams are handy to a point. For that matter formulas that work all or most of the time are good because, at some point in time, as a professional photographer, there are things that you need to be able to do, on demand where there is no time for too many calculations - creativity on demand; set it up shoot it and get on to your next assignment!

Reflectors Vs. Flash rating 3.75   (4)  

To produce good lighting outdoors photographers use various light modifiers, such as reflectors, diffusion panels, scrims and blockers. Some of these modifiers require a certain effort to set up and carry. The pros and cons of reflectors and flash in wedding photography are discussed by Ed Shapiro on this page

Set Exposure By Aperture Or Shutter rating 4.16667   (6)  

Here Ed answers the question: What should I do: 1. Set my lights up and then meter to the lights? or 2. Set my Aperture value and Time value and then adjust my lights to that? Read on to find out the answer.

Standard Exposures rating 2.16667   (3)  

For those who still use film Ed shares a few ideas on how to standardize the exposure in you studio room based on the film, developer and ISO.

Soft Focus rating 2.54545   (11)  

Soft focus is an artistic effect, which many photographers like to offer to their clients, and some clients love it as well. But there are a few issues that you should be aware of. Read this article written by Ed Shapiro to find out more.

Umbrella Lighting rating 4.21201   (20)  

One of the simple ways to create a soft light is an umbrella lighting. It seems a very simple matter to use the umbrella lighting, however there are a few things you may want to learn from another Ed's article on this subject. Here he sheds some light on the history of umbrella lighting and techniques to better control such lighting.

Window Light Studio rating 3.41667   (6)  

The most accessible light source is the sun, and in-doors we easily could use a window to illuminate the subject and create nice light patterns. If you wish to use the window in the photograph - window treatments are in order. Just read this Ed's article to know how to use the window light for your advantage.

The Lighting Ratio Mystery - Solved rating 2.875   (4)  

There have been a number of posts questioning and arguing the subject of lighting ratios. On each post there have been good and valid arguments but mostly based on theory, the use of exposure meters and mathematics. As most photographers know, the lighting ratio determines the difference between the highlights and shadows in a photograph and this theory is especially applicable to portraiture. Knowing how to control the lighting ratio is enormously essential to fine portraiture because it affects the final image both from a technical and aesthetic standpoint.