Photographer Tabita Cargnel specialises in portrait photography. Natural and expressive portraits are her strong point. A few helpful tips and tricks for those of you who are also interested in portrait photography.
No.1 The Bokeh effect
A very nice effect for almost every portrait is the Bokeh effect. With Bokeh I mean the soft and blurry background which gives the image an atmospheric feel. To create the Bokeh effect you need a fast lens with a wide aperture. My favourite lens for this is the Leica 25mm f/1.4. The small size, the sharpness and the speed or shutter speed are only some of the many advantages of a fixed focal lens. For a nice blurry effect, you should use a low aperture (f-number) to capture a soft background.
No.2 How to focus
Having explained the importance of the Bokeh effect I would like to show you the best way to capture your subject. An important aspect is finding the right settings for focusing on the perfect areas. That can be tricky. I prefer focusing on the eyes. Generally, it is best to focus on the eye that is closest to the camera. Zoom in during the shoot to make sure that the focus is where you want it to be. You can also use the face detection mode, whereby the camera automatically detects the face and focuses on the eye closest to the camera.
No.3 Sunshine on a cloudy day
I think we are all familiar with this situation: you planned a perfect photo shoot and were anticipating some fantastic results, then the weather threatens to ruin everything. But no worries, a slightly clouded sky is the perfect weather for a shoot. That way the light is very soft. Another option is to use the sunshine filter, which is one of the many filters on your LUMIX camera. To get the most out of the filter, you should consider the following things: Where is your source of light? The sunlight should be in the background shining into your camera. How big should the flare be, where should it be located? The sunshine filter is a really helpful setting and provides an easy to use atmospheric look. Just play with it a little bit and find the perfect settings for your sunny picture on a cloudy day.
No.4 Doing it by hand
Next is the manual mode. Sometimes it is even simpler to set the exposure manually rather than automatically. The manual mode allows maximal control over ISO, aperture and exposure. With your individual settings, the photos turn out just the way you want. A major advantage of the LUMIX cameras is that the camera allows you to preview your image while you’re adjusting the settings, so you can see how the different settings affect your image. I hope these tips and tricks will be helpful. Have fun shooting!