Photography Technique: the portrait, lens choice
Image by Marco Crupi Visual Artist
Portrait is the more practiced photographic genre in the history of photography.
This genre is not easy and should not be underestimated. Technique skills are essential and they have to be combined with the photographer personal sensibility to make a real portrait.
There are so many possibilities to enhance our subject. It’s essential to understand what we want to show: beauty, sensuality, shyness, intensity, great – heartedness, naughtiness, innocence ecc.
Keeping this in mind, we can think about realizing our portrait and how to use techniques.
In a conventional manner, the portrait lenses range from 85mm and 135mm in focal length. These allow a nice portrayal of the face, without perspective distortions of shorter lenses and the crushing effects of longer lenses.
However a good portrait can be made with any kind of lens if the photographer manages his interpretative and control skills. The risk to caricature the subject is very high.
The choice of focal length to use is also constrained by the habits and personal interaction we have with our subject: use a shorter focal length, a 50mm or a 85mm, will allow us to shoot in close contact with our subject, otherwise the choice of a longer focal length will allow us greater freedom of action, to turn more easily around our party and give him more room to move and get comfortable. Anyway, we have to choose the tool that makes us comfortable and makes the subject at ease. Some people in fact can hardly be natural with a goal at half a meter from his face and pointed at, other can flirt back without any shyness. It’s up to us to interpret the signals and act accordingly.
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