Wednesday, October 28, 2009
How to Choose The Best Digital SLR Camera for Portrait Photography
Portrait photography is of course photography of people. Which digital camera you choose for portraits depends very much on the type of people and situation.
If you are photographing children you will need a digital SLR with certain features to ensure the best results. Kids can move quickly so your camera will need to cope! Multi point auto focus, face recognition and anti-shake will all help to ensure sharp pictures. The ability to take multiple shots in succession will also be a very useful features when considering the best digital camera for photographing children.
A digital SLR camera may be your first choice. Many of the features I’ve described like multi point focus are now standard in most DSLRs. Don’t forget digital point and shoot cameras as the quality of lenses and overall images is excellent and they may be the ideal tool for the job.
For more formal portraits I would certainly choose a digital SLR camera. Ideally mount the camera on a tripod and pay close attention to framing and composition. Using a tripod enables you to almost forget the camera and engage with your subject. For me, capturing people is all about the subject’s expression.
The ability to make creative decisions by using manual settings on a DL|R is key. For example, you may want to open the aperture and use very selective focussing to highlight features of the person’s face. Lighting is another key consideration and if you are using a digital SLR camera for portraits you can over-ride meter readings and deliberately over or under expose the image. For example, you may want to create a mean and moody look with dark tones and shadows. For a portrait of a child a ‘high key’ effect will normally be appropriate.
To truly capture a person in a photograph may be as simple as photographing as a single expression you recognise uniquely to them. This is another reason why digital cameras are ideal for portrait photography – we can take hundreds of shots and delete any we don’t want later. If the subject has blinked, looked away or simply doesn’t have the expression you want you can just delete the shots
As always my advice is don’t get too hung about your equipment. Choose the right camera for the job and one you are familiar with. This way you can focus on capturing the subject and producing a portrait to be proud of.