What is the Depth of Field

Shelton Muller explains in this video what the depth of field is and how it can be used.

First of all we make an assumption that we expect our lens to be sharp.

There is a difference in what photographers want to achieve in landscape and portrait shooting. In landscape we want everything to be in focus and the whole image to be sharp. To get this result, you need to use the apeture of 22 or larger. Of course since the hole is tiny, the amount of light coming to the sensor or film is minimal and we have to set longer shuter speed (and therefore having to use a tripod). Landscape photographers usually prefer wide angle lens.

With portraits we try to highlight the subject, and especially the model's eyes. So we want a very narror length to be in focus and the rest blured. It enables us to remove the subject from noisy background which otherwise would distract. Smaller apetures (1.4, 1.8 or 2.8) and longer lens (85mm, 100mm or 200mm) are good for achieving this effect. Shelton shows sample photos of the same model in the same background, shot with different lenses and different apetures.

Getting a Natural Smile From a Model

Yuri Arcurs shows in this video the difference between a full and laughing smile of a model.

The most important is to get from your model a natural smile. Also you should try to have the model freeze between shots. It is what professional models do. A good model controls her emotions and pose and waits before the photographer instructs her to change something.

If you need a laughing smile, ask your model to tilt her head to one side and have her mouth half open.

She also should a bit over exaggerate by conveying a "ha" feeling.

If the shooting time is limited or the model is expensive it is a good idea to use a second shooter. Usually a second shooter can produce 15 to 20% extra images and shoot when you are idle.

Step-by-Step Product Shoot

Kerry Garrison walks you through the process of shooting a product in a studio. In this case it is a telephone set.

The backgound is lit by two light boxes, only some light from which goes to the product and the rest goes to the white background. If you make your backgorund as bright and clean as possible, it will save you time in post processing your image, as usually product pictures are usually done on white backgound for further useage in print.

Kerry measured the exposure of the backgound as well as the product and the difference between them was just one stop. The right exposure for this shoot is f8 and the shutter speed 1/15 sec. He also used a gray card for measuring the white balance but he did no WB adjustments inside the camera, istead he would use the gray card image when he does the post processing for easy white balance correction.

He uses 50mm prime lens as it produces the image with least distortion.

Once he found the right exposure and memorized the white balance, he switched to a live mode on his camera to achieve precise focussing on the subject. Using magnification allows you to fine tune your focus manually.

And finally, when doing the final shoot, he set a 2 sec timer to avoid any camera shake.

Good luck!

Source may be found here.