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04.19.2016

Great portraits are not just made with a great camera or a great lens.  There are several elements that need to be considered when creating portraits.  Here are some of the most vital elements to consider.

Photo © Ryan Brown

Photo © Ryan Brown

Lens Choice Lens choice is one of the most important elements to a great portrait.  The reason is simple; distortion.  If you are using a full frame digital SLR camera, the normal lens is 50mm.  This means that if you bring to your eye and take it away, objects are about the same size through the viewfinder or without.  If you are using an APS-C sensor camera, the normal lens is around 30mm.  This also is the division between wide angle and telephoto focal lengths.  If we use wide-angle lenses for portraits, it will distort the features of your subject.  If we are trying to flatter our subject this isn’t the way to do it.  With a full frame camera the 85-105mm focal lengths are considered some of the best for lack of distortion and usable working distance.  If you use longer focal lengths, the subject will be more compressed against the background (not a bad thing) but the subject will be further away creating a problem for communication between the photographer and model.

Photo © Ryan Brown

Photo © Ryan Brown

Photo © Ryan Brown

Photo © Ryan Brown

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