Portrait Photography

Before the Daguerreotype cameras came in around 1850s, it was quite the fashion to get a painting done, by a famous painter. Needless to say, it was an expensive and a time taking option that was limited only to the rich and famous. However, with the advent of the camera, getting a portrait done became much more economical and popular. Though photography has gone through a sea change over the centuries, portrait photography is much in demand even today. After all, everyone likes to be shot in a way that brings out the best in them; much like a painting did in the olden days.

Portrait photography was on the agenda of Breaking Rules this Sunday. Our friend Mansi Dedhia had kindly agreed to model for us, so we set out to find an appropriate place to conduct our shoot. A dilapidated building at Napensea Road made for the perfect locale considering the contrast it provided to our beautiful model. To bring out the beauty, the softness, the playfulness and innocence, of our model was the intention of our shoot.

In basic portraiture photography, it is recommended that you follow the rules of maintaining a focal length of 85 mm or more. If it’s less than that, it can result in pin cushioning or barrel distortion of the images. This essentially means that the corners of the image will be distorted and the face is likely to look rounder than it actually is. However, in commercial shoots, such as the ones for creative assignments (for advertising or magazines) the rules of minimum focal length can be broken in order to come out with very artistic images.

In commercial shoots, I even use a 16-35 and the distortions are phenomenal. However, you can break the rules once you have complete knowledge and control over them, and that can happen after rigorous practice. You could use a wide angle lens for portraiture only when you know how to control the distortion to your advantage.

There are many purist photographers who would say that it is unwise to edit your images after a certain limit, because every edit deteriorates the quality of your images and also talks poorly of your photography skills. However, the use of the  editing softwares prudently, can enhance the image quality and make photography a lot of fun!



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