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Digital Portrait Photography and Lighting: Take Memorable Shots Every Time by Sean McCormick, Catherine Jamieson

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Chapter 12. Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

Photography is both a craft and an art. At various stages in the process, your technical or your artistic skill may be the most important thing in your arsenal. As with many types of visual art (painting and sculpting, as examples) much of the technical skill exists simply to support the artistic ambitions. Perhaps learning how lighting is set up doesn't excite you by itself, but surely the notion that knowing how to do so will vastly improve your finished portrait is exciting.

When you adhere to best practices and practice a lot, and when you take the time to learn the theory behind those practices, you will find that you begin to make intuitive decisions when you're behind the camera. You'll know what will be a problem and what won't, what you can fix and what you can't. You'll know, for example, that it's better to overlight than underlight because you can add shadows easier than you can create highlights from darkness.

Most of the processes in this chapter build upon the tools and concepts explored in Chapter 11. The idea is to train yourself to notice the smaller details that separate an amateur effort and a professional result. The added benefit of learning post-production skills is that awareness of these details make you a better photographer by helping you find and correct out-of-place elements before the picture is taken. It's much easier to spend ...

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