Portraits (Senior/Sports Portraits) - Lighting - Learning - Lens - Camera

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Portraits (Senior/Sports Portraits) - Lighting - Learning - Lens - Camera

yoe09 wrote:

[...] I try to study his photos and similar work to get a better idea of where the light is coming from.

Always a good skill to develop.

I believe the two big learning curves for me are going to be lighting and posing.

For lighting, someone has already pointed out Strobist. Work through the exercises - they are laid out like a college course - and you'll have a much better idea of what you're doing.

For other things:

https://en.nikon.ca/learn-and-explore/t/portrait.html - we often forget that Nikon publishes some pretty good tips and tricks.

https://vdocuments.net/10-rules-of-good-portraiture-569e22a779e16.html - here are the "rules" for traditional portraiture. Learn them, then break them with intent.  This is getting harder to find online; my PDF version looks a lot like this one.

[...]I'm just using one light right now, as I believe I need to get that down before adding on additional elements.

Not a bad idea and depending on what you're doing and the look you like, you can get by with one light, a reflector, and ambient (giving a total of three light sources).

In terms of lens, I have a 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and a 10-20 3.5. I've been looking at a 24-70.

Covering off all of the focal lengths. The 50mm is 75mm equivalent with your D500, which is okay for head-and-shoulders shots (or longer shots stepping further back) and will provide very shallow DOF if you are looking for that. For generic purposes, you'll find that 70-200mm covers off just about everything. It's somewhat heavy, so sometimes you'll bring the 50mm.

In terms of a camera, I've been using a Nikon D500.

Which is absolutely fine for what you're doing.

This would probably be my last upgrade, but I would probably eventually want to go full-frame.

I don't know why, there is nothing mystical about a larger sensor unless you like ultimate shallow DOF (which you can get with a D500 by just using a longer focal length and stepping back), but if you insist see my next comments. My overall point is that gear is secondary at best.

I'd probably want to stick with Nikon and have been looking at the D850

Can't go wrong. The best all-around DSLR ever made, and with some advantages over current mirrorless. Available used at reasonable prices.

and Z7 or Z7ii. I'd like to hear opinions on that.

Obviously nothing wrong with them for portraits. The primary advantage - better video autofocus - is not relevant to portrait work.

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"THINK" - Watson

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