Taking Portraits

by Chong-Ho (Alex) Yu

Portrait of Chong-ho (Alex) Yu

    Camera: Nikon N70
    Lense: Nikkor 200mm
    Aperture: f-4
    Shutter: 1/125
    Film: Kodak Gold ISO 100
    Filter: Cokin Sunsoft
Can you guess how old the person in the picture is? Perhaps you may answer, "Well, he looks like a young man." Actually, that's a picture of myself, which was taken with the help of my friend, Mark Ahn. By using proper techniques, a photographer can make a person looks younger in the portrait. The tips are listed in the following:

  • Sunsoft filter: Attaching a Cokin Sunsoft filter onto the lense can enhance the picture in many ways. First, the entire picture looks like being flooded with sunlight and thus the skin tone becomes warm and pleasing. Second, a close-up of the subject may expose the true 'texture" of his/her face. The filter can create a soft focus effect to smooth the face (Sorry, I don't want to show you my real face without the filter). Third, the filter also creates a halo effect to make the edge glowing (look at my shoulder).

  • Long lense: When you take pictures on a trip, it is likely that you want to include both the background and the person in the photo. But in a person-centered portrait, the background should be excluded. Using a long focal length lense (e.g. 200 mm) with a wide open aperture (e.g. f-4) can yield a very low depth of field and thus blur the background.

  • Reflector: A portrait is more vivid if there is catch light in the subject's eyes (white dots in the pupils). To ensure the capture of catch light, the photographer can ask an assistant to hold a reflector near the subject. You can use a whiteboard as a reflector. Please be caution that a flash cannot do this job because a strong flash may either create red-eyes or make the subject blink the eyes.

All papers and graphics in these Webpages are created and copyrighted by Chong Ho (Alex) Yu



Simplified Navigation

Table of Contents

Search Engine