How to make a good shot ?

There is no answer for that.


Just kidding. There is not one answer but I think there are many things or let’s say parameters that help a lot to get a shot. I mean, a good shot. And a good shot, starts with a trained eye. What is a great location or subject or good light if you a re not trained to figure out the potential of what you have in front of your lens. And this is what my previous post is all about. So first of all, be curious and always have an eye open to be ready… just in case.

A good shot always starts with a good light since there is no shot without light. So what is a good light?
A good light is the light that suits your subject best. In some case, you will be after a soft light, maybe for a soft portrait of a fragile and sensual women. Would be that light appropriate for a man ? Hum… not sure. As I am not a man good at theory, since photography is more about sensibility and creativity, I have picked up a  shot I did a couple of months ago and will explain what I did, and why.

Morning light -  AUSTRIA 2013
Joe McNally says”Photography is about making decisions” ; I am not a world known photog, but I truly believe he’s right. The lady on this picture is my wife (I know I am a lucky guy!). It was on saturday morning and we were chilling out. I just went thru the living room and I knew I had a potential shot. I ran to my camera, grabbed it and sat right in front of her. Know, the first decision I had to do was : where to meter the light ? Well I took my light meter, aimed it at the light source and entered the measurement in the cam. Done. The light comes thru a huge window which has a white curtain. So my window became a giant softbox !And this provides a great quality of light. I kindly asked my wife to look somewhere between me and the window to have more drama and this kind of Rembrandt lighting (triangle on her cheek).

The second thing is the composition. In this case, the colors are in the same range. There is depth : Model, Sofa, Piano and pictures (fore-/middle-/background). It’s rich in contrasts : sofa and piano / warm colors and bluish background. And this why this shot is nice.

Now what lens to use. Again there are no rules, all depends on what you are up to. But in this case, I wanted a lens that give something close to the human eye and this is a 60mm (60mm 2,8 Macro, nikkor) ; yes, a prime lens set at 2,8f to get a bit of blur in the background. The idea here is to get depth.

It’s out of cam, the next steps are or would be to retouch the skin and the hair.

More to come…


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