Wide-angles and portraits

While a telephoto is the lens of choice for portraits, you shouldn’t dismiss wide-angles. Understand how they work, and you can use them to capture striking portraits.

THE THOUGHT OF sticking an ultra wide-angle zoom on a camera for shooting portraits will be an alien concept to many. However, it’s a technique that is popular with millions of DSLR photographers the world over, in particular with lifestyle, fashion and wedding photographers. The main reason being to make the most of the key characteristics of this type of lens, including lens distortion, extreme depth-of-field, warped perspective and converging verticals.

Although it’s

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Why telephotos rule for portraits

If you’re keen on shooting portraits, then for the very best results you need to invest in lenses with pulling power.

WHILE THERE ARE countless focal lengths on offer to digital SLR photographers, ask any specialising in portraiture the type of lens they prefer and the answer is almost always, without exception, either a prime like a 50mm or 85mm, or a telezoom like the 70-200mm f/2.8. The reason for this is simple — these types of lenses have characteristics that are perfect for shooting stunning portraits.

One of the main reasons for using lenses with a telephoto coverage is

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Better beach portraits

Sure-fire camera and photo skills for improving your portrait shots

Portrait 1

Welcome to your free guide to outdoor portrait photography! Over the following pages we will help you improve your Canon D-SLR skills so that you can learn to take great portraits like the pros. The following techniques can be used to photograph anybody, from children to your partner and parents, male or female – the same methods will still work wonders!

Shooting in sunshine

The kit we used: Canon EOS 5D Mk III, telephoto zoom lens, silver-sided reflector Canon D-SLR technique: For our first round

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Get perfect portraits with Guided edits

Improve your portrait retouching skills with a little help from Elements


What you’ll need

Photoshop Elements

How long it’ll take

15 minutes

The skills you’ll learn

• How to use the Guided tab to apply effects to your images

• How to enhance a portrait shot

• How to adjust the opacity of layers in Expert mode

Getting to grips with all the tools and features in Elements can be daunting if you’re new to image editing, and an easy way of learning the иаы^а while creating great-looking images at the same time is to use Elements’ Guided mode.

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Gang star

It’s easy to see why artist Michael Vasquez has been earning a reputation as one of the country’s most incendiary young talents-one deserving of his debut solo show at Miami’s well-regarded Frederic Snitzer Gallery in February. Take one of his best-known pieces: “Bloody Buddy Row,” an eight-foot-high portrait of a gangster depicted with a bare chest, covered in tattoos and chains, his hands forming a gang sign. It’s washed in red paint, brutal and menacing-but it’s the painting’s subtitle, “Friendly Father Figures» that hints at the piece’s subtext and Vasquez’s real area of inquiry: not gangsters but the bonds of

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Effortless portraits

Seasoned pro George Lange has photographed everything from the cast of Seinfeld to the births of his sons with a light-hearted touch that makes his thoughtful and emotional pictures appear completely spontaneous. We talked to him to find out how he does it and got his tips so you can try it yourself.

How did you get started shooting?

I was born in Pittsburgh in 1955. I started taking pictures from when I was about seven years old and I’ve taken pictures every day since. I went to the Rhode Island School of Design, graduated from there, moved to New

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Dodge and Burn portraits

Darken shadows and lighten highlights with two easy-to-use tools to create a striking effect and instantly dramatise portraits.

Dodging and burning are two techniques that have been used in photography for many years, and have found their way from the traditional dark room to the digital dark room used today. The basic idea behind these is to selectively change the exposure in an image by darkening some areas and lightening others, while leaving the rest of the image untouched. The result is a striking image that offers the eye plenty of contrast to gaze upon. Photoshop CS, CC and Elements

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Black and white.

It’s time to cast colour aside in favour of the timeless and beautiful look of monochrome photography with our in-depth masterclass.

All too often in the digital age, black and white is casually dismissed as a panacea for problem images; a quick fix to fall back on when a photograph hasn’t quite worked out in colour.

Back in the days when film still ruled the roost, things were very different. The idea of using black and white as a safety net simply didn’t exist, and photographers had to commit to colour or black and white before they had actually taken

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Black & white portraits.

Learn horn to go about taking stunning pictures of people in monochrome with these simple tips and tricks.

Set the scene.

For a low-key shot you’ll need to position your model in a dark room with a dark background. Black and white portraits don’t have to be dark like this, but you need plenty of contrast between tones.

Find a light source.

You only need one light source. We’ve used off-camera flash, but a lamp or window light works just as well. Position your model so the light illuminates their face and try a 45-degree angle.

Select the ISO.


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5 tips for using props in portraits.

Get creative with your model shots for standout results.

Using props in portraits can make your shot that bit more interesting. It can also help your model to relax if they are surrounded by objects they are familiar with, or if you get them to interact with some fun, silly props. Read our tips to find out how best to use them in your people pictures.

Personal selection.

Try and choose props that are personal to your model, whether it’s something from a hobby of theirs or their favourite flower. This will make the portrait speak more about who they

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