At Aperture Academy our Natural Light Portrait Workshop has become quite popular. It seems that when you own a nice DSLR, you become the resident photographer at every family or friends gathering. Oftentimes, you're even recruited by your Church, workplace, Dance group, Charitable organization, well you get the idea. Most want to hone their skills for what ever photos they are taking of people, be it family, or co-workers.
We start every class by making introductions – finding out a little bit more about one another and how we are involved in photography.
This is followed by a presentation that deals with the basics of photography – understanding the exposure triangle that consists of aperture, shutter speed, ISO. We also go over some composition fundamentals – using the S curve, leading lines, and the rule of thirds. Afterwards, the group goes around the Pruneyard complex with the model/s.
We stop at various points to demonstrate and try out some of the techniques from the presentation. We make sure to set our apertures as wide as we can so that we get a nice shallow depth of field. We also play with backlighting the model and using a 5-in-1 reflector. These are every day situations that we deal with and it was good to see how to make well-exposed images. By using the silver, gold, or white side of the reflector, we are able to fill light into shadows on our model’s faces. Using the diffuser gives our models a nice soft glow and even light when the sun goes through it. Along with lighting, we try to pose our models so that they create angles and leading lines in their bodies. We have them pose with interesting environments and place them in the frame following the rule of thirds. Our goal is to always shoot our model/s with a catchlight in their eyes. This is an important aspect of portrait photography. We've all heard the term, "the eyes are the windows to the soul". We want those "windows" to sparkle. Oftentimes that means moving our model and/or ourselves around, until we catch just the right light.
The session ends with a fun group shot set at an aperture of f/8 to have the perfect depth of field for our multi-person group. We enjoyed spending the sunny day learning new techniques and basics of photography.
Thank you and Happy Snapping from Ellie, Danielle, and the entire Aperture Academy Team!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.