Richard Avedon - “Darkness and Light”
If you are a portrait photographer, beginner or professional, the documentary “Darkness and Light” about Richard Avedon should be on the top of your watch list. In this one and a half hour masterpiece, produced as part of the 1996 “American Masters Series.” we are immersed in the world of legendary portrait photographer, Richard Avedon.
Photographer Platon has photographed a significant number of major players in both the world of politics and music. In this four-minute video from PBS NewsHour, he talks through the experience of working with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, as well as Presidents Trump, Clinton, and Putin, and how he made each of them relax for the photo.
It’s in the eyes
Shooting portraits of people is a difficult thing, as you have to manage not only technical parameters involving the camera and lighting, but also the person’s posing and expression. This excellent video essay reminds us of what’s probably the most important aspect of any portrait.
Empathy in portrait photography
To be a good portrait photographer, you of course need to have solid lighting and shooting skills, but that’s not all of it. Being a great portraitist take a strong ability to connect with your subjects, and this great video investigates why empathy is the key to doing that.
Wide angle lens ?
We all know that we should photograph portraits using an 85mm or 105mm lens. A 70-200mm will also work. But Tony and Chelsea Northrup are telling us to shake it up and go wide. However, how wide should you go?
If you’re getting started with portrait photography, I recommend checking out this video to get up to speed on the most important things you need to know.
How to pose ?
When you’re in business as a portrait photographer, the person who usually ends up in front of your camera is not going to be a professional model. That’s why it’s all the more important that you can give a regular person the guidance they need to look and feel like a superstar.
Editing and post production
Post production has been a significant part of photography ever since the beginning of the medium. Back before digital, it was all about how you handled the development of the film and then the enlargement of your print, now it’s about how you handle your digital files.
Shooting with flash can seem daunting at times, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities to take some truly epic photos that just wouldn’t be possible with natural light.
Best lens for portrait photography ?
Newcomers to photography may have heard that 50mm or 85mm lenses are the right choice for portraiture. But did you know even as wide as 35mm can be used in the right situations? Take a look at how these three focal lengths compare and when to use them in this helpful video.
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