Photo of the Week

GRANDFATHER: This is a portrait I did of my Grandfather over the holiday break. My grandparents spoiled me when I was younger by living in cool places like Florida or Michigan and always having awesome stories to tell, along with bags of grapefruit they seemed to bring every time they came up from Florida. As the photographer of the Prospector, I will be posting photos each Wednesday night and explaining exactly how I captured the photograph for the aspiring photographer. (Note) I will try to water down the technical aspects, but this blog is directed towards people who have a basic understanding of cameras and how to compose a picture.

By Ian Magnuson
Executive Photos Editor
This photograph was taken with a 50mm f/1.8.
Photo Stats: Shutter speed of 1/13 sec, F-Stop of f/1.8, ISO speed of 160, and no flash.
The Camera: I shot this photo with my Nikon D7000.
The Lens: I chose the 50mm because it makes a great portrait lens, easy to focus, tons of light, and easy to frame.
Pre-Shooting: I knew I wanted side lighting on his face and a little gradient in the background, so I set up two studio lights, one to the side and one behind him to illuminate the background. And I also wanted him to have an “about the author” pose. As he joked “now all I need to do is write the book.”
Light:  Light is like one of those formulas in math that you must master early because it is the basis of the next fifteen chapters…
I used two studio lights, a slower shutter speed, a huge aperture and a medium ISO.
Shooting: When shooting, you want to look for the perfect angle that is both original and tells the full story. You should make sure the subject is completely in the photo.
Shoot often, but shoot smart.
Coming from someone who spends most of his time with a camera shooting photos of football, soccer, and maybe even some basketball, shooting portraits, you would think, should be very easy. Wrong!
In Sports photography, you work with the light you are given (often in a gym that makes photos look orange) and need to capture a still moment yet jam packed full of action.
In Portrait photography, you are god. With full control over everything you can make the photo anything you want, whether a dramatic portrait or a family photo, you are the only one in control.
Post Shooting: When you are shooting a portrait you will want to shoot in RAW files, not Jpeg. This is because you can make the photo look basically any way you want, while still a far stretch from a replacement of film, it is still better and gives you more control
 ISO refers to the film speed. Even though most cameras today are digital not film the ISO camera setting still has the same meaning. Camera ISO determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light.
SHUTTER SPEED represents the time that the shutter stays open when taking a photo. This, along with the aperture value, equals the exposure value.
Aperture is a hole in the lens where the light goes through. You can adjust the size of that hole (commonly called the F-number) to adjust how much light passes through.