As with any photograph, the light conditions are extremely important to reflect the right mood in the photograph. Depending on the mood you want to create in the photograph, you may prefer soft, romantic lighting or hard lighting (like the old b&w hollywood movies!).
Avoid harsh light, as it flattens the image. Soft, indirect light works best. For the soft, romantic effect, filters can be used. Mainly 2 types of filters are used for portraits.
1. Soft focus filters are used for blurring the borders of faces and create a dreamy look.
2. Warm filters are used to give a warm glow to the skin color.
This is me, photographed by a friend, in the bright sunlight of the noon.
If I was facing the sun, the face would look whitish and flat here. But at
the time of photograph I was standing in such a way that the sun was on my
left side. This has darkened half my face. Of course, this effect was
Bringing out the skin textures and face countours exquisitely is the property of black and white photograph, which is used here fully.
Photographing children is a big challange, but the results are worthwhile. The attention span of children is very small, so it's important to keep them busy, and not letting them get bored. In the first photograph below, this little girl was quite happy to strike a pose for me. For the second photograph, I used a big zoom lens from a distance of 50m without the knowledge of the child.
In the left photograph above, the use of soft focus filter is evident by the blurred borders of the child's face.
Light during the early morning and twilight is always the best for photography. One can
make use of this light very effectively to create great moods in the photograph.
This photograph was clicked by my wife, Aparna, in Disneyland, Paris. Observe how the greenery in the background and the single streak of light on the subject's (mine!!) face has created the soft, moody effect.
Not all people portraits need to be "normal". You can experiment with
people pictures by trying out different techniques.
During the shooting of adjoining photograph, the subject (my wife) was holding a torchlight below her chin, facing towards the ceiling. The room was completely dark. This has created such a horror effect.
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