A portrait technique

One very good portrait technique is to have a person in the foreground, and then to have one or more people in the background, out of focus, adding to the mystery, the story. So you wonder what the story is.

A bit like this picture of two lovely students at my recent Phoenix workshop:

Ideally, the second person would be even farther and would perhaps be looking at the subject instead of looking at the camera, but you get the idea.

How do you do this?

  • You use a “fast” lens (low f-number), open wide to, say, f/1.8.
  • You would be using aperture mode or perhaps manual for this.
  • You can use flash, although at f/1.8 you would most likely not need to.
  • You would accurately focus on the closest eye. Using one focus point.
  • If the ISO is very hiogh and the lught low you can get some noise (“grain”) – in that case consider making the picture black and white, which “likes” a bit of noise.

Have fun taking holiday season portraits of all your visiting relatives!

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