Learning To See The Light

Above all other elements – composition, camera settings and camera equipment included – lighting will determine whether a shot goes from being pretty standard to perfectly stunning. For example, you can photograph someone with model looks, but if the noon sun is causing them to squint and casts dark shadows in their eye sockets and under their nose, … To …

Foundations: Lighting

An amateur may not know quite why one portrait looks so much better than another one taken in slightly different lighting conditions. A subject will look at a shot of themselves and instantly assess: “Do I like how I look in this one?”, but not necessarily be able to understand what part light has played in their conclusion. Masters of portrait …

Family In A Frame Within A Frame

Frames within the edges of your image are a powerful way to strengthen your composition. Go one step further by stacking multiple frames-within-a-frame, as in this portrait of Mimi and Milos. Concepts Covered In This Article Framing Pregnancy Shots Composition Mimi and Milos came to the studio having researched us more thoroughly than any client we’ve ever had. They wanted …

Using And Breaking The Rules

There are hundreds of guidelines and ‘rules’ for composition in photography. In general, these are intended to create attractive compositions. Depending on your desired intentions, you may want to achieve something else entirely. In addition, relentless applying the Rule of Thirds or The Golden Ratio to every shoot will inhibit your creativity and result in images that look repetitive and …

Available Light

Many professional portrait photographers work exclusively with available light. This can include both natural light and artificial light (that’s already in the location) or a combination of the two. When using available light, your challenge is to work with or modify the light that’s already in the scene in order to achieve your desired result.

Foundations: Metering Modes, Getting Your Exposure Right

Whenever your camera isn’t in full manual mode, it measures the amount of light reflected from the scene (a process called ‘metering’) and uses inbuilt algorithms to decide how to set the aperture, shutter speed and/or ISO. The camera doesn’t understand what exactly you are trying to capture, so by default chooses exposure settings that result in the tones in …