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Portrait In The Studio

Best Light for Portraits

Formats and focal lengths for Portraits

Candid Photography

Left Image: Digital SLR, Tamron 70-210mm f-2.8, 1/30th at f-8, handheld.
Multi-segment metering, Aperture priority and autofocus.

Candid shots allow more natural looking photos of people. Most people feel shy or self conscious in front of a camera. Point your camera at a person and immediately they feel they have to pose a certain way. Candid shots let you photograph people the way they really are, showing their true personality and characters. The main problem is how you are going to photograph them without being noticed. One way is to get close to your subject, and use a wide-angle lens. Don't immediately take your camera out and shoot. Wait a while and act naturally until people become accustomed to you. Look around as if you are looking for another subject. Once you feel you can take your shots, start by bringing your camera up and turning slowly. I much prefer to shoot candid shots from a distance with a telephoto lens. This way I don't feel I'm bothering anybody and have much more freedom to move around. You can take several shots from a distance and pause in-between shots and change position. My favorite lens for candid shots is a 200mm, although an 80-200mm zoom will do the job just as nicely. Try not to be noticed by your subject. Look at another direction while finding a good spot to shoot from. You should also hide your camera. Most people seem to notice a person walking around with a camera. You'll be surprised that majority of people like to be photographed, so don't feel bad if they notice you. Practice is the key to successful candid shots. At first you might feel less confident, but after a while you'll be much more comfortable. If a person notices you, and you feel they might be bothered by you and your camera, move on and find another subject. Remember, you are trying photograph people not to bother them. When you see interesting people that you like to photograph more closely, politely ask them permission and don't take too long. The great thing about candid shots is that it can be done anywhere and anytime, good weather or bad weather. You'll find endless photo opportunity of many interesting people.  

Recommended Lens

Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX HSM Lens

Sigma's has been known the world over for their innovative design, ease of use and for the excellent results that their zoom lenses produce - this offering is no exception. The new 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM lens features an apochromatic optical design and four elements composed of Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass for high image contrast, resolution and color saturation. For optimum performance in just about any photographic situation, an internal focusing system means that the front barrel does not rotate during focusing. For stability and the use of specialty filters, This internal focusing system is a must. The internal zooming mechanism allows the lens length to remain constant during zooming. Sigma's new Hyper Sonic Motors (H.S.M.) provide silent, responsive autofocus action with both Canon and Nikon AF SLR cameras. The H.S.M. feature also permits manual adjustment of focus without the necessity of switching off the autofocus function.. The Focus Free mechanism keeps the manual focus ring from spinning when the camera is auto-focusing. The 70-200mm f2.8 EX APO IF HSM is fully compatible with both the Sigma AF 1.4X and 2X APO EX Tele-converters. The new dedicated 1.4x APO Tele-converter features a high performance 5 element/3 group optical design, and it is optimized for use with long telephoto and tele-zoom lenses.

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