People often comment that taking portraits with the camera remains one of the challenging features of still photography. A factor that stands apart during the portrait shoot is the enormous difference in quality that stands between a professional effort and an amateur one. From the light that lights up the background to the manner the subject is made to feel on the print, the dynamics of the portrait are all decided by the photographer most of the time.
Often a top branded camera can make still pictures come alive but with the portraits, it takes more than simple skill to execute a well done photograph. The Camera plays one of the least significant of roles in the whole system.
A feature found on all DSLR cameras as with the traditional ones, the exposure compensation is something that is the least understood among the settings. The automatic exposure does take care of the usual exposure limits but when the rather extreme of shades like the pure whites and dark blacks are being introduced to the view, it takes a bit of manual compensation to know how much of the exposure works just right.
For the most parts, exposure compensation is done by the more experienced of photographers and after having mastered the element of light in a picture as far as possible. It is possible to make a huge difference to the presentation with the proper compensation done to focus the right image.
The normal practice with setting aperture with the camera is to bring in the depth to the picture. Most portraits are often with little depth as compared to a longer shot or scenery. Thus the usual practice is to disable the aperture setting and to proceed with a manual effort to have just the right amount of light and depth to the exposure.
Despite the need to set the wide aperture setting, most cameras of the present age have the preset positions and they are as good as any for taking a few of the portraits. It is possible to be creative with the aperture and it helps to add unseen depth to the picture most of the time.
Using the ISO
At the most basic level, the ISO setting has come from the age of films being used in cameras. It is the ISO setting that decides the amount of matter that has to be packed into unit area of the film. The digital cameras have a variable ISO as compared to the more or less limits of ISO that applies to the traditional ones in use.
That the ISO settings have been put to use effectively to create depth of picture and to maintain details otherwise lost to the viewer. A large ISO measure can ensure that it is possible to zoom in the pictures beyond a point on the prints.
All said and done, portrait photography is but an art that gets better with practice. Even digitization has not been able to dent the need for experience and time spent with the camera taking pictures.