Photography is a very diverse field to work in. You have many areas like wedding photography, food photography, and portrait photography to dive into and develop your expertise. However, you will need a special set of features present in your camera for each one of them. These features may include the ISO levels, operational temperature range, and built-in sensors. This article will focus on giving you tips for portrait photography using one of the best cameras for the task: the Canon 6D.
With a 20.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the 6D allows you to capture portraits in incredible detail and vibrant colors. Such a strong sensor will also let you crop images with ease and will prevent the portrait from pixelating or breaking apart. It comes with a built-in DIGIC 5+ image processor, an incredible tool for high-quality images that can be printed and framed for exhibitions or decor. This processor also lets you customize your portraits into whatever form you like.
The 6D comes as one of the most highly recommended cameras for portrait photography because of its ability to adapt to external changes. It has low light and high exposure modes that allow you to capture images in many different conditions. The camera also comes with an “auto mode” function that assumes responsibility for any external changes, which means it adapts to different levels of heat, light, darkness, and color. With this camera, you don’t have to worry about adjusting everything manually.
Here are 5 tips on using the Canon 6d for portrait photography.
1. Focus On The Closest Subject
Focus is very important in portrait photography. The relationship between the subject, the background, and the viewer is all tied through the lens that captures the image. In portrait photography, it is super important to draw those connections and create an image that centers the closest subject. This way, the attention is drawn directly towards what is intended, and the viewer does not stray away from the storyline.
Such a technique can be done through various techniques. One way you can focus on the closest subject is to physically move towards the subject and bring it into the lens to accentuate his/her face. This will also require the subject to be located in a place that does not have many distractions, or else the focus can lose its strength. Another way this can be achieved is to blur out the background. This happens by using certain lenses such as the 50mm, which has a heavy focus level, especially on a centered subject.
With the Canon 6D, you can easily get assistance for such a task. This camera comes with an 11 point AF system combined with a center point and cross-type sensors sensitive to -3 EV. This means that the camera can locate and maintain focus on 11 different points across the screen, which enables it to have a noisy background yet retaining focus. Additionally, the camera is also able to mount several different lenses that are available for purchase separately. Different lenses will have different levels of focus retention and intensity of blurring the background.
2. Know Your Camera Well
Before you embark on your journey to photographing portraits, one of the most important things to be reminded of is to know your camera very well. You must have a detailed understanding of how your camera works because you can’t experiment with its functions on the day of the shoot. You will have many different kinds of clients who will need decent pictures taken in a limited period, so it is better to know your camera beforehand.
Do your homework and watch youtube videos or read the camera manual for a complete understanding of your gear. This is important because you may have clients who want low light shots or portraits that are taken with the sun in the background or even silhouette images. All these imaging styles require an understanding of the camera because you will be adjusting the settings accordingly. Many people like to get photographed outdoors, and that may pose a challenge because the conditions are constantly changing, so be ready.
The Canon 6D will give you many features that help with knowing your camera. First of all, it is a very user-friendly piece of equipment, making it easy to understand. The 6D has a 97% viewfinder coverage and interchangeable screens (including Eg-D grid and Eg-S fine-focus) along with a 1040k dot 3:2 3″ ClearView LCD. This allows the camera to become super accessible to the photographer and lets you use it conveniently.
3. Practice As Much As You Can
Practice, practice, practice! This tip can not be stressed enough times to a photographer. If you think you got the best angle possible, you’re likely wrong. Try as many angles as possible. You will always find a better one. There are infinite amounts of possibilities with photography, just like there is an infinite amount of space that surrounds us. When you take a picture, you are just covering one side of the person. A great many sides are missing, a great many combinations of elements might be missing. All these factors can potentially create incredible images only if you practice enough and keep looking for the best angle.
Practicing is not just to create a decent looking image. It is not a notion that is product-oriented, it also helps you as a person. Professionally, it will help you with staying on the hunt and being the best version of yourself by producing the best content, but personally, it will help you stay consistent, curious, and vigilant in all your endeavors. So get a camera and start practicing.
The most incredible feature on the Canon 6D is its 4.5 fps continuous shooting and a 1/4000 sec shutter speed. These features will help you stay motivated to capture images at whatever speed you want and make you practice even more. An additional feature that is often looked at as a motivator for practice is battery life. The 6D can shoot up to 1090 shots on a full charge. This is a photographer’s dream because you don’t have to go and charge your battery again, and again, you can practice for hours on end.
4. Take Candid Shots
You get the best portraits when they are candids. Candid images are unintentional, unplanned images that a photographer takes to capture the literal “candidness” of daily life. The laughter, the anger, the joy, and the pleasure of existing can only be recorded through a candid image. Such images are keepers because you give your clients a story to tell. If the images are for your personal use, they can become anecdotes for your travel diaries or excursions. Candids really allow you to bring an image to life.
There are many ways you can capture these images. You will have to be out of sight of the subjects for them to be able to conduct themselves freely. It is obviously very important to get consent if you are taking a random person’s image. Candids are often stories that show what people in their daily lives are doing. However, you have to be aesthetically pleasing as well. So, you must locate people standing or sitting in optimal lighting conditions that can give you a good candid portrait.
With the Canon 6D, you can alter these conditions because of the many manual functions present in the camera. If the person is standing in a dark alleyway, you can use the 6D’s 63 exposure metering zones and the many exposure modes it offers including, E-TTL II program flash, aperture-priority, automatic, bulb, manual, program, and shutter-priority. All these functions let you adjust the many different aspects of an image that will make it pleasing to the eye.
5. Try Overexposure
The last tip for portrait photography is a rather artistic one. Since portraits can be a bit boring with the bland images of random faces, you can use certain features of your camera to make the images interesting. One of the ways is to overexpose the picture. What this means is to brighten up the picture to add a little flair to it. This can be done using the Canon 6D’s ISO range of 100-25600 at standard level and 50-102800 at expanded mode. The higher the ISO level, the more exposed the image.
With overexposing the image, you risk the purity of color. However, you also gain the abstraction of monochrome. This abstraction can be very aesthetically pleasing. You may have seen very bright pictures of a face that is only half visible, the eyes, and the contour of the cheekbones. The rest of the image is white. Such an image, when printed on a large sheet, makes for a beautiful wall piece. In fact, if you use the 6D’s exposure compensation at ±5 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps, you will be able to modify the overexposure and control it per your specifications. All these tips will help you capture beautiful portraits and will let you experiment with your style.