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Old Nov 17, 2010, 1:38 AM   #1
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Default Best settings for portraits

I have a FZ38.

This evening, a friend wants me to take some of her shots.

The setting will be indoors, under normal lighting.

I want to do a decent job of it, any suggestions for optimal settings for this? I know lighting will be an issue, and she is dark skinned....so can anyone help?

Wish me luck!
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 7:27 AM   #2
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- An increased focal length (telephoto) tends to flatten, which is usually flattering. So perhaps take the photos from a good distance back, if possible.
- Try to at least use something reflective to bounce some light back and reduce strong shadows.
- Don't meter against dark skin; find something of a mid tone nearby and meter against that to avoid over-exposure.

Good luck
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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It was a disaster! Have decided to try again in the daytime. Without flash the photos looked dull and lifeless, and with flash they were a strange white hue.

I used the indoor portrait mode.

This flash photography is tricky stuff...
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 1:06 AM   #4
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Good luck in the daylight
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 4:38 AM   #5
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90% of the time a built in flash is going to look pretty bad, natural light or reflected light is much better.

If you are shooting in the day, shoot in shade where possible, it will make the light much softer and flattering. You can also use the light from a window with good effect, have the window at about 45 degrees to the side and also don't have the camera straight on to the subjects face, have them turn their face a little more towards the light.... this gives you what is known as short lighting and is the most flattering for a woman.

Do a google search on broad and short lighting so you can see the difference.

Also, I would shoot in manual exposure if possible as this will give the consistency across the shots (assuming you don't move locations and the light doesn't change). Take a few test shots until you get the correct exposure and go with that.

You've already had it suggested that wide angle isn't the best. Go for between 70 and 100mm, this is good starting point for a pretty natural shot. I'm not saying you can't shoot wider or longer (I've used up to 300mm before and as wide as 12mm) but they are for specific effects.

Lastly, think about environmental portraits if you are outdoors, using the nature to give added interest.

Here are a few ideas (OK, so the one with the couple, just do it with a single person).
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Old Nov 18, 2010, 6:09 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! Will try this Saturday and post if I have anything worth posting.

These portraits are so amazing....
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Vivitar 28/2.5 ¦ Helios 44-2 ¦Meyer Optik Gorlitz Trioplan 100/2.8 ¦ Tele Lentar 135/2.8 ¦ Soligor 180/3.5
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