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Entries in people (2)


Available light photography vs on camera flash

Most point and shoots have an auto flash setting so that when you are indoors, it simply guesses the best exposure. But that's not always the way to go.

For example, if your subject is near a window, you could raise the ISO setting, and shoot with the available light. The advantage is that unlike the small point source of the on-camera flash, you will have a large broad, palnterly light source.

And the second advantage is that instead of the flatness rendered by a light coming right from the camera (see the image below), you can position your subject so that you have directional lighting in the image. The result is that there is a more three dimensional quality to the photograph.

Obviously, this would not work if it were very dark inside, but when the light levels allow, try this technique for some lovely results.


Watch Your Angle of View

Changing your angle of view can have a big impact on your photographs. In the first example, the picture is shot from eye level, which would probably be the first inclination you would have in taking the photograph. And the subjects were just asked to stand in the field, also the simplest and most common approach that comes to mind in that situation. The result is that your subjects seem distant, not only because you are taking in so much visually, but also emotionally, since you are looking down on them.

But by asking the subjects to sit on the ground, bringing the camera down to just below their faces and coming in closer, you can create a more intimate, warm and engaging portrait. That's because by bringing the camera to below the subjects, you not only are looking up to them literally, but pychologically as well. It's a wonderful tool for creating emotional punch, one that works in the reverse as well. Shooting from an extreme high angle creates the pyschological impression of looking down on the subject.

So the next time you shoot a portrait, resist the urge to just point and shoot. Instead, have fun playing with the angle of view, either high or low, for more impact and to make more of a statement.