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Nikon D600 For Dummies by Julie Adair King

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Shooting Still Portraits

By still portrait, I mean that your subject isn't moving. For subjects who aren't keen on sitting still, skip to the next section and use the techniques given for action photography instead. Assuming that you do have a subject willing to pose, the classic portraiture approach is to keep the subject sharply focused while throwing the background into soft focus. This artistic choice emphasizes the subject and helps diminish the impact of any distracting background objects. The following steps show you how to achieve this look:

  1. Set the Mode dial to A (aperture-priority autoexposure) and select a low f-stop value.

    As Chapter 7 explains, a low f-stop setting opens the aperture, which not only allows more light to enter the camera but also shortens depth of field, or the distance over which focus appears sharp. So dialing in a low f-stop value is the first step in softening your portrait background. However, for a group portrait, don't go too low, or the depth of field may not be enough to keep everyone in the sharp-focus zone. Take test shots and inspect your results at different f-stops to find the right setting.

    images I recommend using aperture-priority mode when depth of field is a concern because you can control the f-stop while relying on the camera to select the shutter speed. Just rotate the Sub-command dial to select your f-stop. (You need to pay attention ...

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