The usage of studio lights is a complex craft that requires to choose among many variables. Those are for instance the direction, distance, softness, ratios, shapes, colors and numbers of light sources. Because there are so many parameters, it takes time to learn the craft.
One of the most efficient way to learn it is to practice with a mannequin. In this article I give you some advice and show you a concrete example of what I have learned thanks to a mannequin.
http://www.damienfournier.co Some people may think you are a weirdo, just pay little attention and keep learning the craft of lighting with your mannequin 😉
Composition – Creating many photographs with different crops of an original
Some of your photographs have the potential to look interesting with many different crops. Of course cropping reduces the resolution of your image, makes the noise more visible and reduce sharpness so you have to judge for yourself how much your are willing to crop.
For this article, I made an experiment with a photograph that I took of the singer songwriter Doctor Robert. There you can see how many variations are possible from a single image, and I invite you to experiment the same with your images.
The common photographer knows that the Depth of Field varies with the aperture, focal length and subject distance. But which one is the dominant parameter ? And how much is the influence of each parameter ? This article uses the equation of the DoF, and demonstrates that when the DoF is short, it varies proportionally with the aperture, and with the square of the focal length and distance to subject.
So here comes the only formula you need to know when you deal with short DoF but not macro photography :
The focal length and the distance to subject have an influence on the Depth of Field, and this influence is simple to understand if it is explained with the notion of subject magnification. The subject magnification is a function of the focal length and the distance to subject. It is the parameter that influences the most the DoF, much more than the aperture. This articles explains what is the subject magnification and in which way it impacts the DoF.
Parallel lines can be projected either as parallel or as converging lines on a 2 dimensional photograph. As converging lines they are considered a distortion of the reality, nevertheless they can be useful to give the illusion of depth. It is your choice as a photographer to represent those lines parallel or not, and this article explains how to control it.
Depth of Field and Aperture – A simple relationship ?
It is common knowledge among photographers that the Depth of Field increases when the aperture decreases, but by how much ? Unfortunately there is no simple relationship between the DoF and the aperture, but this article provides a accurate and simple answer to the question.
Flash Technique – The 1st and 2nd curtain explained
A DSLR camera provides the option to fire the flash on the 1st or 2nd/rear curtain, which can produces different photographs in the same conditions. This article explains what it means, and how to use it.
The series of pictures below shows a tennis ball falling down, captured with different settings of flash and ambient light. It put in evidence the influence of setting the flash on the 1st or 2nd curtain.
The rest of the article also explains what are 1st and 2nd curtains, and provides recommendation on which setting is better.
The Depth of Field (DoF) increases with the distance to the subject, and even becomes infinite beyond a certain distance, which is called the hyperfocal distance. This article tells you everything you need to know about it…
The definition of Depth of Field (DoF) from Wikipedia says that it is “the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a scene that appear acceptably sharp in an image“. It relies on the notion of “acceptable sharpness” which is based on a criteria called the ”Circle of Confusion” (CoC). This article explains the essential about the criteria of sharpness and DoF.
A photograph is exactly sharp only on the focus plane, and more or less blur around it. The transition between little blur and definitely blur is gradual, so where do we determine the limit of acceptable sharpness that defines the Depth of Field (DoF)?
I recently received this comment on a portrait that I took :
“But why did you cut off the top of the head ???”
And it sounded more like a criticism than a question.
To some people it may look weird or unpleasant, but to me it looks just fine, especially because it allows to place the eyes somewhere nearby the 1/3 of the frame. But while I like to cut off the forehead, I would never cut off in the middle of the chin or the hand. So are there any rules to crop a portrait ?