Portrait Mode On A Fashion Shoot

Photography - 101 From Auto Modes To Manual
8 minutes
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It's time to take a portrait and we have here our lovely model Whitney to help us out. Thank you so much Whitney for coming along. Now Whitney is dressed in this lovely little setup I'm so proud of I picked it up myself. We're going for this nice little boat. I've said that like five times now. It's okay.

We're going to this lovely little boho kind of flower look bohemian. I found out that boho stands for bohemian I knew what he meant. I never know what boho meant. It sounded just short for bohemian. Alright, so it's kind of that nice whimsical flower child type of look like a 60s look. And we have the perfect backdrop for it.

But with this shot, what we're going to do is we're not going to show so much of the background we're going to go for a tight close up portrait and we're going to use it first using the portrait mode built into your camera. So we're going to do is go ahead and flip to that now and you can see me flipping to it. Look it's a little girl's face. Why do they say a girl because it's girls are prettier. look at why isn't that a little guy's face? I don't understand.

No, I think it's kind of sexist. That's ridiculous. All right. So when we're in portrait mode now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to show you guys basically what not to do kind of first Okay, now the first thing we would typically do is when we Get into a portrait, especially if we haven't done much photography before is we would just say, Oh, this is such a beautiful background and scene honey and you look amazing, honey, like if she were my wife, but she's not my wife. So if my wife is watching, let me just clarify that. Okay, so what we're gonna do is, I'm going to take a quick portrait.

Again, what we're doing here is more of like a headshot. Okay, so I want to kind of crop right here on the top of your head, we're going to go down to basically the necklace. What we don't want to do is you typically you're okay, cropping off the hair, but you don't want to crop it. Typically the forehead where you don't have that kind of hairline. You also typically don't want to crop like above the chin. Okay, so we're going to do this nice little crop here, but I'm not gonna do anything with my lighting or anything like that.

Now we're in portrait mode, and you can see that the flash just popped up and why did the flash pop up? Well, because the camera is seeing that we have these deep and dark shadows. Now I didn't even turn her towards the center away from the sun. I just turned to that. The sun is kind of falling partially on her face. We have a very hard light from the sunlight and you can see that by basically the sharpness of the shadows.

Shadows are super deep and dark. And that's why the pop up flash came up to give us a little bit of fill light. But the thing is that that fill like not gonna look that great. Let's look at the other settings that it's done. So it's basically shooting this at F 20. Okay, and 200 shutter speed and that's probably this basically so you can get the shutter speed down so it can fill with flash, that's why I went up to F 20.

Typically in this kind of portrait mode, it's actually going to use a lower aperture when it's not encountering a scene like this with these crazy Hard Light. Okay, let's do this. Now this is what most people that are basically starting out in photography they know to do already. And what that is, is we're going to place Whitney's back against the sun. So on this side, the sun acts as a nice little hair light. Now when I take the shot, let's go ahead and pop the pop up, flash down and we're going to scoot back just a tiny tiny bit.

It looks like we're still getting pop up flash. Every camera is going to treat these scenes just a little bit differently. Okay, so right now the pop flash came up. Maybe if I get closer if I get closer tonight eliminate a lot of his backlight, the camera might not freak out, and it might give me just a kind of a natural shot. So let me get close. There we go.

Okay, we got it, we had to get very close, but we got it. Now what happened is when we got close, basically we eliminated that heavy heavy backlight. And so the camera internally said, Okay, now that I don't have that backlight, it's okay, I don't need to flash and it took the shot regular and basically it dropped down to f2. And it used one 1,000th of a second at ISO 100. And again, the reason why it's going down to f two is it's trying to create that separation from the background. So when we're shooting portraits, we typically go to a lower aperture we want to create that separate kind of background blur, okay, no, wait a second.

I explained that really, really quick and why the two shots different so let's just quickly review this. Let's try to understand what the cameras doing for a second in automated portrait mode. In that first shot, the camera popped up the flash because it's all very dramatic difference between the models face which is in the shadow, versus that superduper bright super backlit background. So the camera says, Well, I can balance that out, let me use a little bit of fill flash from the top of the camera to get a better exposure. Now using the pop of flash to fill the shadows like that, okay, it's better than having a model with a dark and underexposed face, of course. But you know what, we can get a more natural and better look just by exposing for the skin, not using the flash, and then letting the background blow out a little bit.

But you're still in full auto mode with a portrait setting. So how would he do that? Well, he stepped in a little bit closer to the model. And what that does is eliminates that bright background that the camera was seeing. And once that was done, then the camera can focus on the exposure and settings just on the models face. Voila.

Yields a much more natural look. Again, the camera is still in full auto. We're just working a little bit to help it understand what we need it to do. Okay, so now let's watch some more because it's about to get better. What I'm going to do this To add a little bit of dimension to our overall shot is I'm going to add some light and in this scene we have this bright sunlight. I can add a nice main light using the silver side of our reflector.

Again, this is a standard $30 reflector. I'm gonna have Olivia who is currently wearing the reflectors a hat. Bring the reflector in. I hope you got that on camera. That was awesome. Okay, Olivia, you're gonna come in step right about here.

Perfect. Now when you look towards me, my dear. Okay, lighter up with that full goodness and kind of try and direct her right only to her face right there. Okay, and then Whitney, you're gonna go chin down a tiny bit. There you go right there. Beautiful.

Okay, we get a great shot. Again, this was all done in just this automated mode. Now the one thing here is that I don't really have control over where it's focusing, which is kind of fine. I think it's going to get it right on. But for the most part, it exposed it perfectly. Yeah, the histogram looks absolutely amazing.

And the in camera automated portrait mode worked incredibly well. We just had to set up lighting and do the work for the camera because the camera can't change your lighting, it can't pose your model, it can't choose the composition, it can only expose the shot. And here, when we gave it that final shot, it actually looked really nice. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and flip into manual mode. Now let's take over everything from the camera because what I want to do is we're going to get a few different types of shots. I'm going to make adjustments and I'm going to shoot the way I want compositionally.

So I'm going to flip into manual and I'm going to go ahead and bring up the back of the camera, I'm going to flip into, let's go into spot mode. We're going to do a spot meter here on spot metering. With spot metering, we're only going to be getting information or light information from this very small part of the face. I'm going to get close with my 85 millimeter, and we're just going to get a reading and I have to get that reading when we put the light on. Okay, so you're going to put the light on right there. I'm going to meet her right from the bright side of her skin.

And I want it to be around f2. Again, I do want to have that nice. That nice depth of field there. Okay, so let's go down to one 2,000th of a second. We're gonna keep it we could have just used the automated setting because that's what the auto Sitting gave us but I want to make sure we dial it in correctly here. All right, so we got our shot.

Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and we're in this lovely scene, I'm going to actually play around with some different prompts when I go to a white hat and do some other stuff, too, using the exact same settings, the exact same lighting and so forth, you guys can check out those images. But I want you guys to go out and do your assignment and the assignment is go around. Well, it's of course to go out and shoot a portrait, I want you all to start shooting that portrait first in the portrait mode. So use your automated mode, learn how it works in your camera. Some cameras will be a little bit different from others. This camera basically gives me no controls whatsoever, while other cameras may allow you to control say, the focus or ISO and so forth.

When you're in that scene, set up the scene, set it up for the best light set up your post set up everything so that the camera is not well making compositional and artistic choices for you let the camera just do the exposure. Afterwards, switch over to manual and try the same thing guide and direct the camera to get the right exposure using one of the techniques that we've shown you. Alright, so that's it when you guys get a set images that you like from this portrait tutorial then go ahead and upload them to SLR lounge calm and tell everyone about it. You guys can head on the next video now.

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