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Nikon D3200 Digital Field Guide by Alan Hess

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Portrait Photography

Photographing people has always been a favorite endeavor for photographers. Taking photos of people is not just about capturing their likeness, but capturing it in the best possible way. Many people don’t like having their photo taken and I believe this is mainly due to being photographed in bad lighting (or just badly). The key to taking great portraits is to do it in great light. Take Figure 8.19, for example; it was taken inside during the afternoon with the light streaming through a large window off to the right. This soft light wrapped around her face and there were no hard shadows. This was not a setup photo shoot with a model, but my cousin in a bright room with light-colored walls, which bounced the light beautifully around the room.

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8.19 Sasha was lit beautifully by the bright light streaming through the window. Exposure: ISO 1600, f/5.0, 1/100 second.

Good portraits depend on good lighting—it doesn’t matter if it is taken indoors, in a full studio, or outside on location. And the basics are the same, whether you are photographing a family member at home or a model on location.

Shooting indoors

Photographing indoors gives you a lot of control over the light. You can start with a dark room and add the light that you need. You can choose to work with continuous lights, strobe lights, or natural light. The easiest to use is continuous light because it ...

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