About Me

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Monroe, Ohio, United States
Began my photography career as most people do...the highschool yearbook. Upon graduation I attended the US Naval Photography School in Pensacola Fla. After getting a qualification in basic photography and then later attending their Portrait School,was assigned to a military operation. Experiences included USO photography for Bob Hope, Brooke Shields, Kathy Lee Crosby and Wayne Newton.Have also had the opportunity for travel assignments to places such as Beruit, Israel, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain and England. Upon exiting the Navy in 1984,opened up a Tanning Salon and Health Club in Oxford,Ohio and began photographing weddings, all as a vehicle to fund my way through college. I enjoy travel, sports photography, special event and Cincinnati Reds photography. I am frequently contracted as a sports photographer by parents, sports teams, and organizations,throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio areas, to provide the highest quality sports photography, both on an individual and team basis.

December 27, 2010

Portrait Photography; Tips 1-5

Portrait photography is perhaps the most common form of photography practiced. Portraits are about people and representing their personality in the photographs. Portraits form one of the most prominent subject in any field of arts; it serves the purpose of communicating cultures, traditions, events and celebrations. Learning to photograph people is a great experience. Getting started with friends & family can help you eventually turn into a great professional portrait photographer. Portrait photography is just about tapping into the opportunities, discovering and implementing the right techniques. Visualize the people around you through your camera lens and capture their personality and character onto the photographic frame.
Types of Portraits

Portrait photography is an agreement between the subject and the photographer; to portray the subject’s identity on the photographic plane (in a pre-decided manner). Portrait photography is the medium of portraying expressions, personality traits, culture, traditions, moods and character of individuals. Portrait photography can be classified under various categories depending on what is to be portrayed, conveyed and the personal expression and creativity of a photographer. Head-shots are perfect for capturing expressions and you can opt for head and shoulders shot when you want to portray the personality traits of people. Portrait photography is all about posing people to reflect their social status, authority, physical attractiveness or personality.

What To Shoot (When Shooting Portraits)

Portrait photography offers ample of opportunities and poses. You can opt for either directing the poses or going in for unposed and candid shots. The professional portrait photographers have to go by the words of their subject. They have to portray the subject as requested by the client; the opportunities in this case are very few. For a freelancer portrait photographer, imagination is the limit. Considering portraits as the subject, you can choose to portray the people in variety of poses, each conveying a distinct mood. Focus on the eyes to highlight the expressions, zoom-in and get close-ups to portray the physical attractiveness, go for unposed and candid shots for naturally aesthetic images, experiment with high shutter speed and capture the movement and activity of people around you or simply frame the contextual shots. Photographing people in the context of their environment, speaks about their personality more profoundly

Establish Rapport With Your Subject

One of the most critical issue with portrait photography is to get hold of natural looking poses that represent what a person or subject is. The essence of great portraits lies in capturing shots which represent the individual character of the subject accurately yet creatively. As such there’s a lot of scope for the talent of the photographer to fill this gap. Portraits look great in natural and comfortable poses, but the human consciousness comes in the way of making great photographs. Just make your subject feel at ease with you and your instructions. Be friendly and informal with your subject and start the session with some practice shots. Some of the excellent portraits are captured with the person in context of his surroundings or workplace. These two attributes characterize the person by forming a part of their personality.

Lights — To Portray The Character Of Portrait

The lights play an important role in getting the right mood and setting up the tone of the shot (as in expression). Use soft and diffused light to get a … look. When portraying personality attributes hard light may be used creatively to highlight these characteristics. Light falling from a steep angle will tend to bring out the texture in the facial features like old-age wrinkles etc. While soft light tones down the facial details thereby presenting a more pleasing visual. Portrait photography shows up the best results with studio set-up of lights — studios allow you an excellent level of control over light and its characteristics. On the other hand consider shooting in shade when shooting outdoors.

Camera settings For Portrait Photography

The most important of all, its time to set your equipment to appropriate settings to get the optimum output. While putting your camera to auto-mode is a good start for beginners, consider tuning the camera settings for a better control over equipment to get much better result in the final shot.

Camera Modes: The modern day DSLRs offer various modes; each best suited for a specific purpose. While shooting in auto mode is the perfect choice for beginners, you can always put your camera to manual mode and tune the camera to your preferences. Portrait photography is largely concerned with portraying soft and subtle effects, therefore you can consider the following modes to make a mark with portraits.

Portrait Mode: Setting your camera to the portrait mode automatically sets the contrast curves to low contrast which are appropriate for portraits. In this mode the camera sets the other details like the saturation levels, sharpening etc. The portrait mode thus is pretty intelligent and reliable to begin with. The flash pops-out automatically and you are ready to pay attention to the composition.

Aperture Priority: If you are looking to greater control and want to tune up for the finer nuances in the shot, you may want to use the aperture priority mode. This allows you to override the flash and flash settings and let’s you control the depth-of-field in the scene.

Black And White Mode: Black and white can give you a classy timeless effect with portraits. However, with digital a lot of things have changed. Today the best black and white shots are converted from color during post-processing. This has a two-fold advantage: you get a color shot and a high flexibility to apply filters, channel mixing during black and white converting on post-processing. So, leave the black and white for later. Quick Tip: Shooting in RAW let’s you shoot in black and white but also allows you to change this to a color mode with the RAW converter.

Zoom-In: Portraits is all about capturing the expressions and the expressions are profound in close-up photographs. I prefer tight crops even at the cost of cropping out some part of the hair etc. This helps to portray the facial expression and features. However zooming out allows to include the dress and wearings which are a part of the subject’s personality. Zooming also allows you to recompose while being lazy to move back and forth to frame the subject. However zooming-out is not a substitute for being close to the subject. Being close to the subject will induce geometric distortions which are unflattering to the person’s physical features. That’s the reason portrait lenses start at a focal length of 50mm (bare-minimum) and above.

Posted by photographer Vincent Rush, Cincinnati Sports Photography and Dayton Sports Photography of Monroe Ohio. Vince Rush can be contacted by phone at (877) 858-6295 or by email at vrush@rushintl.com or visit http://CincinnatiSportsPhotography.com

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