Photography - Lighting in portrait photography

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Photograph yLighting in portrait photographyGuillem Costas Castilla 2011

INDEXIntroduction.............................................................................3 Objectives................................................................................4 Introduction.............................................................................5 Basic terminology.....................................................................6 RAW vs. JPG..............................................................................8 RAW...................................................................................................8 JPG......................................................................................................8 Image compression............................................................................8 The differences..................................................................................9 The choice..........................................................................................11 Lighting outside 12

Lighting outside using ambient light..................................................12 Examples...................................................................................13 Lighting outside using artificial light and ambient light.....................16 Examples...................................................................................18 Lighting inside..........................................................................25 Examples...................................................................................27 Astrophotography.....................................................................41 Examples.....................................................................42 Variable light conditions...........................................................44 Examples...................................................................................45 Process of postprocessing.........................................................55 Example.....................................................................................55 Conclusion................................................................................63

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Bibliography.............................................................................65 Annex......................................................................................67

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INTRODUCTIONI started thinking about the subject of my project in the 4th year of ESO. I had one thing very clear: it would have to be about something I liked and I could enjoy doing. Photography was the subject that was always in my mind, but there were other subjects such as Light which would have been a physics project. The first year of Batxillerat arrived and I had to decide what I wanted to do. I was in doubt about choosing between three different projects, all of which were related to photography in some way. The first one was about light. I wanted to do some research in the area of light diffraction but it wasnt appealing enough for me to feel I absolutely wanted to work on this subject so I abandoned this idea. The second idea was to do a time lapse. Time-lapse photography is a cinematographic technique where each frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When it is played at a normal speed, time appears to be moving faster than in reality. The idea I had was to show a day in my life in 15 minutes. I finally rejected this option because something better came to me, and anyway this project would not have had a theoretical part. The third idea, and the one Ive chosen, was lighting in photography, especially in portrait photography. I had bought some lighting equipment and I didnt know how to use it correctly so I thought a great way of learning how to use it would be to do my project about it. My life-long passion mixed up with my research project could be a very good mixture. When I finally decided on this subject, lots of ideas came to my mind and I put them together and I did an index which I gave to my tutor. Luckily, he agreed with the project and I started working on it.

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OBJECTIVESI knew almost nothing about the subject so my main objective was to learn as much as I could about lighting in portrait photography. My project would consist of a theoretical part and a practical part. What I wanted to do was to tell in my own words everything I was learning and show it with my own pictures. It would be very instructive. First, I divided the project into three parts, where every part would have a theory and practice section. The first part would be the introduction, where I would introduce the subject and learn more about the two main kinds of file: JPG and RAW. The second part would be about outside lighting out, where I had to fulfil two objectives: to learn how to shoot outside and get good light results, and to learn how to mix ambient light with artificial light, which is harder. The third part would consist of lighting inside. I knew nothing about that, so I would have to do a lot of research to be able give the best ways to provide illumination in a studio, and to try them. This looked good, and it could have been the project, but my teacher said that I could do some research about astrophotography, which has some specific lighting characteristics. Moreover, he could provide me with everything I needed to do the practical part. It sounded fantastic, so I added this part. I wanted to take some successful shots of galaxies and stars and explain the basis of astrophotography. Furthermore, while I was doing my project a new part came to my mind. This would be about lighting in special conditions such as concerts, correfocs or dance exhibitions. This part would be more practical than theoretical, but I thought this was missing in the project, so I decided to add this as well. Summing up, I had five objectives. The first was to do some research about JPG and RAW files. The second was to be able to tell with my own words how to illuminate outside correctly using ambient light or mixing ambient light with artificial light and test it with pictures taken by me. The third was the same as the second but lighting inside, I would just use artificial light. The

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fourth was to explain the basis of astrophotography and take some successful photographies of celestial bodies. And the last one was to show some examples of photography in variable light conditions.

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INTRODUCTION TO DSLRFirst of all, I have to say that Im just going to talk about a Digital SingleLens Reflex camera (DSLR). A DSLR is a digital camera that uses a mechanical mirror and a pentaprism to direct light from the lens to an optical viewfinder on the back of the camera. Some aspects of what Im going to talk about may not be applicable in compact or medium format cameras. DSLRs are often preferred by photographers because they allow the user to choose from a huge variety of interchangeable lenses. Lenses are divided according to their focal range. There are fisheyes, wide angle, standard lenses, telephoto lenses, macro Furthermore, there are also lenses of a fixed focal, fixed aperture, but I will deal with this point later. Moreover, most DSLRs also have a function that allows accurate preview of depth of field. You will never understand photography if you are not clear about two points - how the light travels through the camera and arrives at the viewfinder, and the way the sensor catches the light.

Illustrations of the path of light inside the camera We have to consider the camera in two parts: the lens and the body. Basically, the lens is formed by several pieces of glass. Its function is to focus the image onto the digital sensor, where it is captured and stored. The

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body contains the components which are responsible for visualizing and creating the image. Some of these components are the mirror, the digital sensor, the pentaprism and the viewfinder.

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BASIC TERMINOLOGYIn this part Im going to explain some specific photographic vocabulary that appears in the project. Lens: a camera lens works by focusing the light onto the digital sensor. It contains several pieces of glass and other elements. It is the optical component of a camera and it performs automatic and manual functions. Aperture: it controls the amount of light admitted into the lens.

Sometimes it is fixed but usually you can adjust the size of the hole to vary the amount of light. F-stops: the F-number of F-stops are the numbers on the lens aperture ring and the cameras LCD. These numbers indicate the size of lens aperture. The lower the number the larger is the aperture, meaning that the lower value lets more light pass into the camera. Focal length: it is the distance between the sensor and the lens centre when the camera is focused on an object at infinity. This distance is measured in millimetres, for example: 70-200mm. There are lenses with a fixed focal length but most lenses can vary the focal length and they are called zoom lenses. Shutter speed: this is the speed of opening and closing of the camera shutter. It determinates the amount of time that light can pass through the aperture. Shorter shutter speeds are needed for taking shots in bright conditions while longs speeds are used for taking shots in dark areas. Depth of field (DOF): it is the distance from the focal point at which a photo will be sharp while the rest becomes blurry. The lower F-stop number the shorter your DOF will be and also the other way around. This means that when shooting with a low F-stop you will get an image with a very short distance of sharpness.

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Autofocus (AF): it refers to the ability of some cameras or lenses to get the correct focus automatically. In some models the focus can be continuously maintained. Resolution: The resoluti