Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Help with Portrait photography

  1. #1

    Help with Portrait photography

    Here is the requirement...
    I want to take one portrait .. where the subject is in focus and background is out of focus.. how do i go about doing this.. what settings needs to be adjusted in my camera.. (aperture, focal length.. etc..)

    Note: I have a compact digital camera (powershot S5IS)

  2. #2
    xeliex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    93
    Real Name
    Elie

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Hey Dex,

    This is a bit tricky with point and shoot cameras.
    From the tuts on this site, I learned the relation between depth of field and sensor size. The sensor on your Powershot is tiny. Like the size of your front tooth probably.

    Your best bet if you have manual controls, which I assume that you do on your the S5 is the following:

    1) Use the smallest f-number (the largest aperture). Example f/2.7 or f/3.5 on your camera I believe.
    2) Use telephoto. That means, stand back and zoom in onto your subject.

    I recommend you read up some of the depth-of-field related tutorials on this site. In general for your purpose, you need a high zoom and a wide aperture (low f-number).

    Good luck. I am sure it is doable on you S5.

    Plus keep in mind, the further the subject is from the background, the easier this will be.

  3. #3

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Thanks xeliex for the tip... let me try it and update...

  4. #4

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    hey xeliex... it worked.. Thanks for the tip.. it worked for aperture 2.7 and while i zoom-in the background got bit blurred.. though i need to try some good shots.. i m quite satisfied with the outcome...

  5. #5
    xeliex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    93
    Real Name
    Elie

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Nice!

    Post some photos when you want.

  6. #6

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Don't miss this tutorial and DOF calculator .

    I'm also an s5is user and the main effect of using some zoom for portrait is to evenly distribute the DOF around your subject. At 50mm equivalent (8.33mm on our camera), you get a larger part of the DOF at the back, which is a problem when you want to blur the background. At 100mm (16.66 on our camera) from about 2 meters away it's already closer to 50/50 and you don't get much better by zooming more.

    Since the maximum zoom of my 430ex flash is 105mm, I find it to be the sweet spot for my camera. Of course you would get a much shallower DOF using a real dSLR like a rebel xti or even better, a full frame dSLR like the 5D but you would also pay much more for those cameras...

    Another way to get a shallow DOF is to shoot a face from up-close in macro mode but it is not always possible or practical to do so.

  7. #7
    xeliex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    93
    Real Name
    Elie

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgang_fener View Post
    Another way to get a shallow DOF is to shoot a face from up-close in macro mode but it is not always possible or practical to do so.
    Plus, your subject might hate you due to perspective exaggeration if you shoot their face that up close

    Hence,when shooting portraits, it's generally better to sptep back and zoom in. Both will give you the same relative background blur but slightly different absolute blur along with a totally different perspective.

    In general 85-105mm is considered best for portraits.

    Wolf, post some example shots if possible at those focal lengths you mentioned.
    Last edited by xeliex; 27th May 2008 at 10:44 PM. Reason: elaborating

  8. #8

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Would this be possible with a Casio Exilim 7.2? I don't see any aperture settings...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Just a quick side note for you good folks ...

    Zooming in does indeed decrease depth of field (DoF) - but it also narrows your field of view (FoV) - which means you need to increase the distance between camera and subject which (you guessed it) exactly cancels out any DoF increase due to zooming in.

    So for a given FoV (ie "composition") the only thing you can do to decrease DoF is increase your aperture (ie a lower F-Stop number), although if you can increase the distance between subject and background, this also helps.

    Cheers

  10. #10
    shreds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,318
    Real Name
    Ian

    Re: Help with Portrait photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie Penner View Post
    Would this be possible with a Casio Exilim 7.2? I don't see any aperture settings...

    I have had a look at a Exilim EX-S600 (which will no doubt be similar to yours) and cannot find anything in the menus that would do what you want it to do. (you can mess with the focus, but that is about it.) One limitation of the compacts I am afraid. Unless you get to the top end of the compact cameras, they really are designed to be point & shoot, and dont allow too much intervention.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •