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Shooting for Mobile Photography

Lesson 2 of 6

Depth Of Field In Portraiture

 

Shooting for Mobile Photography

Lesson 2 of 6

Depth Of Field In Portraiture

 

Lesson Info

Depth Of Field In Portraiture

In this lesson, we are going to talk about depth of field. Depth of field is essentially how much of your image is in focus. So, a shallow depth of field means that something like your subject's face will be in focus and the background will be blurred ever so slightly. A deeper depth of field means that much more of your image is in focus, so that would mean your subject and your background are in focus at the same time. So, it really depends on you to decide when you want to be shallow and when you want to be deep. But, generally speaking, when you're photographing a person's face closer, it's lovely to have a shallower depth of field. You want it to be focused on the face and not the overall scene. If you're doing a full body picture or an environmental portrait, where you want more of the scene to be showing, generally you want to be shooting with a deeper depth of field. If you're photographing a portrait and you want a shallow depth of field, the iphone tool that enables you to do...

that is portrait mode. So you would switch into portrait mode to get that shallow depth of field. And, if you want to do more of an environmental portrait where you get the full-body and the deep depth of field, you can just shoot in the normal Iphone camera. Because the light is so harsh this morning, what we are going to do is use a reflector to help us modify the light. This is one of those five in one reflectors that has a reflector of white side, silver side, gold side and then black side. And then you can also use it as a diffusor so it's basically sort of cutting the amount of light that hits my subject making it just a much more pleasing light so... Do you mind taking it down for a second so that we can see the difference? This is what my photo would look like without that modifier. I'm going to take a couple here just to have some samples. That's great. Look down. I kind of like that. This is Madison. She's posing for us for this lesson which is great. Bring that modifier up and let's see the difference. Do you see how just bringing that diffuser in kind of changes the quality of the light that we're getting? Just taking a couple shots to give you an example of what I'm capturing. So, I feel like Madison you're just so natural in your posing and you kind of know how to place your body already. I like how you have your hands crossed right now so let's go with that. I'm going to take a few photos and I'm going to have you, first, looking at the camera directly. What I've done is, because I have an Iphone that has two lenses. It has the wide lens and the telephoto lens. Is that I've gone from this wide look to hitting the two times mode which is this kind of zoomed in look and the reason I'm doing that is because I want to give you a direct comparison between what that looks like versus what capturing using portrait mode on the Iphone looks like. Cause portrait mode essentially uses that telephoto lens and in software gives you a shallow depth of field look in the resulting image. So, it's doing that all in software. But it can only do that if its an Iphone that has the two lenses to begin with. So, for comparison purposes, let's shoot with the regular lens, not in portrait mode. So, I'm going to take a few photos here. It's wonderful. I love that look, Madison. And, what I'm noticing is that, because I'm slightly elevated to Madison, I'm catching this sun, the bright sun on the wood panels of the floor, which I don't like. So, an easy fix to that, is to lower my perspective and kind of cut those out. And, so what that's doing, let see, I might have to play with an angle that will work so that I don't have too much of that rooftop in, either. So, I'm going to take a couple here, beautiful, I might move your chair back about a foot. So, that I can take that same shot without the roof kind of touching your head. That's great. So, now we're kind of reset into this position which enables me to, kind of, get down lower, to eliminate that bright light at the bottom and capture this photo. I'm just kind of waiting for a good focus, here. That's great. Beautiful. And, what I'm seeing here is beautiful, but what I'd like to get is a little bit of a shallower depth of field. Right now, you can see sort of all the details, in not only Madison's face, but, also, in the background. And, I don't necessarily want that. And I'm going to switch into portrait mode. And, what that enables me to do is to sort of maintain that same framing, but, capture an image with a much shallower depth of field. I want my subject to stand out from the background behind them. What portrait mode enables you to do is to capture your subject and have distinction between them and the background behind them. So, let me take a few using portrait mode. So, go ahead and look right at me still. That's beautiful. I'm trying to angle it so that I don't have the rooftop line and I don't have the, sort of, bright sunlight at the bottom. So, it's a little bit of a tricky. It's a tight framing. So, look straight at the camera. That's great. Beautiful. Portrait mode is a little bit on the slow side. So, you can't really get good bursts using portrait mode. See if I can get a little closer. So, you can't really get good bursts using portrait mode which means that I would always recommend taking a number of photos of the same subject and the same pose because its using software to sort of fake that shallow depth of field. Some images turn out better than others so I would always say just to be safe take a couple extra shots using portrait mode. I love that look down to your left side. And do me a favor, you have a strand of hair on your right cheek. Just pull that down. Beautiful. OK. And look down, again, I love that. A lot of what I do in portraiture, is, sort of, in response to what I see the subject doing naturally. If I find a moment that they or a pose that they happen to get into just naturally, I'll try to get them back into that same pose. So, this is beautiful. Keep that same pose for me. I'm going back into the regular lens. So, I want to capture this shot with the normal two times lens. And then in portrait mode and then what we can do is do a side-by-side comparison. Yeah, I'm going into my camera roll and you can see that this shot was taken with portrait mode because it indicates that on the top left. And, if I scroll one image to the left it is the image that I shot with the regular camera. So, by toggling back and forth, you can kind of see how the background gets a little bit softer in the portrait mode image, and gives you that really shallow depth of field which is kind of what you want in portraiture, for the most part. If I want to do a full body portrait, what I would do. I don't necessarily want that shallow depth of field, because I want to capture more of the full scene. So, I would come back into the regular Iphone camera and photograph it with just a regular camera with the wide lens and no portrait mode. And, have a deeper depth of field. So, what I might do is just capture one image like that really quickly without the light modifier because it's not so close on the subject's face. Go ahead and stay seated. I like that position that you're in. I like the position with your right leg kind of pulled back a little bit. That was great. And, then, let's see if I can have you look over in this direction but keep your face down low. Now, we are getting some really lovely Rembrandt lighting on her cheek that's closest to me. So, go ahead and hold that position. What I'm going to do. I want this to be a full body shot. And, I'm going to lower my exposure compensation here so that she's not blown out. I don't want any of those highlights blown out. Just gonna take a couple shots. Press and hold to lock. And then, hold down to lower the exposure compensation and then I'm just going to get a little closer just to have a little bit of variety. That's beautiful. And, give me like a slightly bigger smile. Just slightly. Great. Perfect. Alright. Great. Thank you. To wrap things up with depth of field, we essentially ended up with two photos. For the tighter shot, what I ended up doing was shooting in portrait mode so that I would have a shallow depth of field. And, for the full body shot where her legs, and the chair, and the wall were all showing. I shot with the native Iphone camera, not in portrait mode to get that deep depth of field.

Class Description

Smartphones are becoming the camera of choice for many people as their technology gets more sophisticated. Join Pei Ketron, well-known photographer, educator, speaker and iPhone expert as she guides you through how to maximize your photos using your iPhone. Pei will show you how to:

  • Create your best image using your phone
  • The best way to post on social media to establish your credibility and gain followers

No matter what camera you use, the most important thing is to preserve memories with the best possible images. Pei will help you achieve that goal when shooting with your phone.

Reviews

Daniel Williams
 

I enjoyed this class and found it helpful. I'm primarily a DSLR shooter, but want to up my game for those times that I want to use my mobile phone either to shoot silently or to take advantage of photographic moments on those occasions that I'm not carrying my DSLR. Pei uses an iPhone, throughout, however, many of her recommendations apply to newer top level Android phones, such as the Samsung Note 9, as well. Pei demonstrates Portrait mode in the iPhone for a shallow depth of field vs. the native iPhone for wider shots. And, for wide angle photography, she uses a "Moment" cellphone case with a "Moment" wide angle lens attached. I've just added both accessories to my "gotta have" list. In addition, she teaches some basics on lighting, posing, composition, rule of thirds, and depth of field. Pei effectively demonstrates the use of burst mode to capture fleeting moments and exposure compensation to counter harsh light, as well. Professional photographers will already be familiar with the photography concepts taught. However, mobile phone photographers and beginning photographers who want to capture beautiful pics anywhere and anytime may find this course beneficial. It's short, about 40 minutes, total, and so priced a bit high, in my opinion. However, CreativeLive.com has GREAT sales--especially on weekends. Watch for it on sale and it's a worthwhile purchase. For future mobile photography classes, I'd ask for a more in-depth presentation of iPhone camera settings and features. And, as an Android phone user, I'd love to see a top Android phone or two used and explained, as well. Thank you Pei and thank you CreativeLive.com. I enjoyed this class. I watched it twice and picked up useful tips, both times! Daniel Williams, Santa Fe, NM danielw58@gmail.com

Maryanne Evans
 

Nice lesson. I picked up some good tips