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Digital Portrait Photography For Dummies®

Book Description

A full-color guide to the art of digital portrait photography

Portrait photography entails taking posed photographs of individuals or set scenery and is the most common photo style among the most novice photography hobbyist to the most advanced photographer. With this easy-to-understand guide, bestselling author and professional photographer Doug Sahlin walks you through the best techniques for getting professional-quality digital portraits.

Packed with hundreds of full-color photos and screen shots, this book discusses best practices for taking formal portraits, wedding photos, event photos, casual photos, and more. You'll examine the difference between using the built-in flash and natural lighting and take a look at the benefits of upgrading to a photo lighting kit and pro backdrop.

  • Portrait photography is the most popular style of photography

  • Features helpful information for everyone from beginner hobbyists to advanced photographers

  • Shares insider tips for selecting equipment and choosing from the various tools for portrait photography

  • Walks you through working with a wide range of subjects, including children, pets, and wildlife

  • Discusses lighting and editing images

  • Takes a look at ways to create a portrait that is suitable for framing

Make sure your subjects are ready for their close ups with this fun and friendly guide to digital portrait photography.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author's Acknowledgments
  4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. A Peek at the Road Ahead
      1. Part I: Introducing Portrait Photography
      2. Part II: Portrait Photography Techniques
      3. Part III: Editing and Sharing Your Portraits
      4. Part IV: The Part of Tens
    2. Icons and Other Delights
    3. About the Software Shown in This Book
    4. Shoot Lots of Pictures and Enjoy!
  6. I. Introducing Portrait Photography
    1. 1. Exploring Portrait Photography
      1. 1.1. Becoming a Portrait Photographer
      2. 1.2. Photographing Friends and Family
        1. 1.2.1. Creating candid portraits
        2. 1.2.2. Creating formal portraits
        3. 1.2.3. Capturing a slice-of-life portrait
        4. 1.2.4. Photographing children
        5. 1.2.5. Photographing pets
        6. 1.2.6. Creating animal portraits
      3. 1.3. Shooting Portraits on Location
        1. 1.3.1. Photographing people in parks and public places
        2. 1.3.2. Photographing subjects at work and play
      4. 1.4. Capturing Portraits in Your Home
        1. 1.4.1. Capturing candid photos in your home
        2. 1.4.2. Using studio techniques in your home
      5. 1.5. Visualizing Your Photograph
      6. 1.6. Editing Your Work
    2. 2. Choosing Your Equipment
      1. 2.1. Finding the Ideal Camera for Your Needs
        1. 2.1.1. Portrait photography camera checklist
        2. 2.1.2. Choosing a point-and-shoot camera
        3. 2.1.3. Choosing a digital SLR
        4. 2.1.4. Choosing a second camera
        5. 2.1.5. Trying before you buy
      2. 2.2. Lighting Your Portraits
        1. 2.2.1. Using available light
        2. 2.2.2. Lighting with commercial strobes
        3. 2.2.3. Using external flash
      3. 2.3. Choosing Accessories
        1. 2.3.1. Choosing additional lenses for your dSLR
        2. 2.3.2. Using filters
        3. 2.3.3. Steadying the camera with a tripod
        4. 2.3.4. Using a monopod
        5. 2.3.5. Choosing a camera case
        6. 2.3.6. Choosing other accessories
    3. 3. Getting to Know Digital Photography
      1. 3.1. Understanding Digital Photography
        1. 3.1.1. What the heck are pixels and megapixels?
        2. 3.1.2. Resolving to resolve resolution
      2. 3.2. The Recipe for a Perfect Exposure
        1. 3.2.1. Understanding how exposure works in the camera
        2. 3.2.2. Controlling depth of field
        3. 3.2.3. Deciphering a histogram
      3. 3.3. Mastering Your Equipment
        1. 3.3.1. Mastering your camera menu
          1. 3.3.1.1. Setting image quality
          2. 3.3.1.2. Changing to a different metering mode
          3. 3.3.1.3. Adjusting white balance
          4. 3.3.1.4. Formatting your cards
          5. 3.3.1.5. Setting other useful options
        2. 3.3.2. Demystifying your camera dial
        3. 3.3.3. Understanding shooting modes
        4. 3.3.4. Correcting exposure
        5. 3.3.5. Using autoexposure bracketing
        6. 3.3.6. Understanding focal lengths
        7. 3.3.7. Setting image quality and image format
        8. 3.3.8. Understanding ISO
        9. 3.3.9. Creating a perfect portrait
        10. 3.3.10. Establishing a post-shoot ritual
      4. 3.4. Editing Your Images
        1. 3.4.1. Choosing an image editor
        2. 3.4.2. Sorting, ranking, and other delights
        3. 3.4.3. Working with RAW files
        4. 3.4.4. Tweaking your images
    4. 4. Becoming a Portrait Photographer
      1. 4.1. Seeing, Thinking, and Acting
        1. 4.1.1. Being in the moment
        2. 4.1.2. Practicing 'til your images are pixel-perfect
        3. 4.1.3. Becoming a student of photography
        4. 4.1.4. Never leave home without a camera
        5. 4.1.5. Waiting for the light
      2. 4.2. Working with Your Subjects
        1. 4.2.1. Photographing people you know
        2. 4.2.2. Taking pictures of strangers
        3. 4.2.3. Candid photography
        4. 4.2.4. Gaining rapport
        5. 4.2.5. Lights, camera, action
      3. 4.3. Defining Your Goals
        1. 4.3.1. What is your center of interest?
        2. 4.3.2. What is your best vantage point?
        3. 4.3.3. What else is in the picture?
      4. 4.4. Thinking like a Photojournalist
        1. 4.4.1. Telling a story
        2. 4.4.2. Being the fly on the wall
        3. 4.4.3. Becoming the family historian
        4. 4.4.4. The genius of digital photography
  7. II. Portrait Photography Techniques
    1. 5. Composing Your Portraits
      1. 5.1. Using the Right Camera Settings
        1. 5.1.1. Choosing a camera mode
          1. 5.1.1.1. Shooting portraits using Portrait mode
          2. 5.1.1.2. Shooting portraits in Aperture Priority mode
        2. 5.1.2. Choosing a focal length and aperture
        3. 5.1.3. Specifying an ISO setting
      2. 5.2. Composing Your Images
        1. 5.2.1. Composing your picture in the viewfinder
        2. 5.2.2. Defining the center of interest
        3. 5.2.3. Positioning the camera
        4. 5.2.4. Using the rule of thirds
        5. 5.2.5. Determining point of view
        6. 5.2.6. Framing your subject
        7. 5.2.7. Placing the horizon
        8. 5.2.8. Using lines and natural curves in your composition
        9. 5.2.9. Using color, shapes, and texture
        10. 5.2.10. Using selective focus
        11. 5.2.11. Breaking the rules
        12. 5.2.12. Feeding your creative muse
        13. 5.2.13. Practice makes perfect
    2. 6. Working with Your Subjects
      1. 6.1. Photographing Children
        1. 6.1.1. Photographing babies
        2. 6.1.2. Photographing young children
      2. 6.2. Creating Portraits of Couples
      3. 6.3. Photographing Groups
      4. 6.4. Choosing Wardrobe
      5. 6.5. Using Makeup
      6. 6.6. Posing Your Subject
      7. 6.7. Using Props
      8. 6.8. Photographing People with Pets
      9. 6.9. Photographing Pets
        1. 6.9.1. Creating formal pet portraits
        2. 6.9.2. Creating candid pet photos
    3. 7. Lighting Your Portraits
      1. 7.1. Understanding Light Sources
      2. 7.2. Using Camera Flash
        1. 7.2.1. Using auxiliary flash
        2. 7.2.2. Bouncing flash
        3. 7.2.3. Creating a bounce card
        4. 7.2.4. Modifying pop-up flash
        5. 7.2.5. Modifying the light from an auxiliary flash
      3. 7.3. Using Fill Flash
      4. 7.4. Creating Portraits with Window Light
      5. 7.5. Modifying Light
        1. 7.5.1. Using a reflector
        2. 7.5.2. Using a diffuser
      6. 7.6. Using Auxiliary Flash Off the Camera
      7. 7.7. Creating Portraits at Night
      8. 7.8. Shooting in Sunlight
        1. 7.8.1. Photographing backlit subjects
        2. 7.8.2. Photographing subjects facing the sun
    4. 8. Photographing Portraits on Location
      1. 8.1. Shooting Portraits on the Beach
      2. 8.2. Photographing Subjects in Your Hometown
      3. 8.3. Capturing Informal Portraits
      4. 8.4. Creating Candid Portraits
      5. 8.5. Shooting Portraits of Wildlife
        1. 8.5.1. Photographing birds and wildlife in state parks
        2. 8.5.2. Creating animal portraits at the zoo and in city parks
          1. 8.5.2.1. Photographing animals at the zoo
          2. 8.5.2.2. Photographing birds in city parks
    5. 9. Photographing Portraits in Your Home or Office
      1. 9.1. Becoming the Family Photojournalist
      2. 9.2. Creating Formal Portraits in Your Home
        1. 9.2.1. Using backdrops and backgrounds
        2. 9.2.2. Creating a makeshift studio
        3. 9.2.3. Studio lighting kits
      3. 9.3. Creating Informal Portraits in a Home or Office
      4. 9.4. Creating a Slice-of-Life Portrait
  8. III. Editing and Sharing Your Portraits
    1. 10. Editing with Photoshop Elements
      1. 10.1. Introducing Photoshop Elements 8
        1. 10.1.1. Getting to know Photoshop Elements 8
        2. 10.1.2. Downloading your images
        3. 10.1.3. Organizing your work
          1. 10.1.3.1. Ranking images
          2. 10.1.3.2. Adding keywords to images
          3. 10.1.3.3. Creating albums
        4. 10.1.4. Processing RAW files
      2. 10.2. A Tale of Two Editing Workspaces
        1. 10.2.1. Exploring the Editing workspace
        2. 10.2.2. Editing an image in the Quick Fix workspace
      3. 10.3. Resizing and Cropping Your Portraits
        1. 10.3.1. Understanding image size and resolution
        2. 10.3.2. Resizing images
      4. 10.4. Color Correcting Images
      5. 10.5. Sharpening Photos
        1. 10.5.1. Cropping images
      6. 10.6. Saving Your Work
      7. 10.7. Saving for the Web
      8. 10.8. Archiving Your Work
    2. 11. Retouching Your Portraits
      1. 11.1. Editing Non-Destructively
      2. 11.2. Removing the Background
      3. 11.3. Creating a Digital Background
      4. 11.4. Retouching Your Portraits
        1. 11.4.1. Softening skin
        2. 11.4.2. Removing blemishes
        3. 11.4.3. Enhancing your subject's eyes
        4. 11.4.4. Retouching portraits of older subjects
    3. 12. Sharing Your Images
      1. 12.1. Sending Photo Mail
      2. 12.2. Printing from Photoshop Elements
      3. 12.3. Creating a Picture Package
      4. 12.4. Creating a Contact Sheet
      5. 12.5. Showing Off with a Slide Show
        1. 12.5.1. Setting up a slide show
        2. 12.5.2. Adding pizzazz to your slide show
        3. 12.5.3. Outputting your slide for sharing
      6. 12.6. Creating Wall Art
  9. IV. The Part of Tens
    1. 13. Ten Editing Tips and Tricks
      1. 13.1. Replacing a Background
      2. 13.2. Creating a Painting Using Corel Painter 11
      3. 13.3. Creating a Vignette
      4. 13.4. Adding a Border to a Portrait
      5. 13.5. Creating a Gallery Print
      6. 13.6. Converting an Image to Black and White
      7. 13.7. Creating a Sepia-Toned Image
      8. 13.8. Simulating a Hand-Tinted Image
      9. 13.9. Using a Digital Tablet and Stylus
      10. 13.10. Editing Your Photos Online
    2. 14. Ten Photography Tips and Tricks
      1. 14.1. Developing Your Style
      2. 14.2. Creating a Self-Portrait
      3. 14.3. Creating Makeshift Reflectors
      4. 14.4. Steadying the Camera without a Tripod
      5. 14.5. Creating a Homemade Soft-Focus Filter
      6. 14.6. Using a Neutral-density Filter
      7. 14.7. Using Second Curtain Shutter Sync
      8. 14.8. Creating a Digital Double Exposure
      9. 14.9. Calibrating Your Monitor
      10. 14.10. Keep It Clean
    3. 15. Ten Resources for Portrait Photographers
      1. 15.1. Shopping 'Til You Drop at B&H Photo
      2. 15.2. Checking Out Online Retailers
      3. 15.3. Buying and Selling Stuff on eBay
      4. 15.4. Sharing Your Photos on Flickr
      5. 15.5. Creating Photo Books at Blurb
      6. 15.6. Finding Inspiration at Photo.net
      7. 15.7. Researching Digital Cameras at Digital Photography Review
      8. 15.8. Getting Quality Prints at Mpix
      9. 15.9. Finding Tutorials at YouTube
      10. 15.10. Viewing Tutorials at Adobe TV