I try not to post super-geeky photographer stuff here, but DigitalRev TV finally has given a comparison of the Pentax K-5 II S (my brand new camera) to the Nikon D7100.
There are only four settings on the camera that can be changed.
- Shutter Speed
- Lens focal length
The mistake that a lot of photographers make when at workshops is thinking there’s more to it than that. They fiddle their aperture and shutter speed constantly, convinced that that will change things.
They’re wrong (most of the time).
Once you dial in the shutter and f-stop, then its all down to lighting and your model. Once you get your lighting set properly, you’ll have to interact with a person to get a great shot, sorry.
This is still one of my own personal phobias, dealing with people. I’ve always been an introvert and have been way more comfortable with computers and technology than people. I tend to fulfill the stereotype of the photographer fiddling with the lights constantly, or their camera, all whilst ignoring the model.
If you think that the last shot didn’t work because the main light was three inches too close or far, or that you should dial in f/7.1 instead of f/8 you (and I) are completely wrong.
You have to wait. Interact with the person you’re making a picture of, talk to them, find out what they’re doing, what they’re up to, what they like and don’t like.
You have to mean it. You can tell when you’re talking to someone who really doesn’t care about the answers. The bored looking waiter who asks you how you are, and says “that’s nice” whether you tell him it’s going well or that your family was just sent to the moon? Yea, your model can tell when you ask what they do on the weekends for fun and don’t care as well.
A greatly respected photographer says that the camera looks both ways, and if you’re freaked out about making a portrait it would be reflected by the subject. I’ve also heard great portrait photographers say that at a certain point you’ll see the veil lift from the eyes and you see the real person, and you can capture the real person with your camera. I think I’ve seen that happen, once, maybe twice, maybe I didn’t notice it or maybe it’s never happened. Maybe I still don’t know what I’m looking for, but that’s why I’ve been shooting people as much as I’ve been able to in the last couple of years. My Portrait-a-Week project is to get me in front of as many people as possible to get me better and better at finding that true person within the subject.
I can only hope that someday I’ll be able to get just one “right” shot.