Critique Requested

Started Feb 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
RLewis Regular Member • Posts: 426
Re: Critique Requested

mikej27 wrote:

Should I always go with the lowest F Stop possible for portraits like these? Is there a rule of thumb for a good F Stop to use as a starting point? Do I risk over exposure by going with too low an F Stop?


To understand exposure you must grasp the concept of the exposure triangle. Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO, make up the triangle. Any time, for a given exposure, you change one of the three, at least one other has to change. Buy this book. It is well worth the price:

The reason for shooting a wide open aperture is to shorten your depth of field, rendering your background out of focus (OOF). Increase your shutter speed or lower your ISO to compensate. Also, I disagree with one poster about using a shorter focal length lens. There is a reason for using at least a 105mm lens or better yet, a 200mm lens. Why? Because it helps to separate your subject from the background and your photos will stop looking like snap shots. The key is to make your focus point the closest eye of your subject.

You are moving in the right direction. Start shooting in manual mode or at the very least, aperture priority mode. If you shoot in aperture priority, set your aperture to its widest aperture, f2.8 if you can, and take a look at the shutter speed your light meter is telling you it needs. If the shutter speed is too low, up the ISO until you have a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the image.

All of what I have said about shooting these portraits wide open pertains to a single subject in your portrait. When you start shooting two or more in a posed shot you probably will want to go to a smaller aperture, lengthening your depth of field, so all the little faces are in focus. Hope this helps.


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