Thursday, 30 September 2010


Let’s talk about the SLR (Single Lens Reflex) technology first. The
SLR cameras are the first resort of serious photographers. A standard
digital camera can offer great image clarity and quality, but the SLR
which looks traditional, much like the 35 mm film camera, offers some
distinct advantages over a standard digital camera like changeable
lenses, good quality in limited light conditions and large viewfinder,
controls and faster operation.
A great plus with using an SLR camera is that it uses a viewfinder and
one has a good idea of what he is going to capture as he is effectively
looking at it through a ‘view’ finder. A number of SLR cameras ranging
from $600 to $10,000 are available in the market, with Canon and Nikon
specializing in this range of cameras. SLR basically refers to the
concept of using the same lens for viewing and taking pictures. An SLR
is larger and heavier than a normal camera and therefore is suited for
the “serious” photographer only and moreover, an SLR camera is more
expensive than a normal point and shoot camera, be it digital or film
Depending upon the type of photography you intend you indulge yourself
in, an SLR can be of the following three configurations – big lenses
and big sensor, big lenses with small sensor and small lenses with
small sensors. A big lens with big sensor SLR camera is big on budget
as well, and unless you want to capture a wide area with picture
perfect colors and clarity, you don’t need to spend a fortune on a 13
mega pixel or a 16 mega pixel camera. For the purpose of portrait
clicking, a big lens -small sensor camera for low light conditions or a
small lens small sensor camera for portrait photography in brighter
light shall suffice.
Portrait photography can broadly be classified into two wide categories
– photography in a room or darker conditions and photography in open,
or more precisely, brighter conditions. For indoor portrait
photography, you need to learn the utilization of light in order to get
the best possible picture. One can set the SLR to ISO 800, or even ISO
400 depending upon the light condition and a standard perspective lens
is good enough to capture the person (the major object) and some part
of his or her surroundings. You can also fiddle around a bit with your
lenses and replace the standard “kit” lens with 35/1.4 or 50/1.4 lens
and note down the effects of the aperture (the size, basically) on the
shutter speed ( more shutter speed allows more light) and the ISO speed
(ISO speed is related to distortion of an image when viewed in the
computer after uploading from the camera) and find out the best
combination, usually a low shutter speed and a high ISO speed offer
good end result, but it all depends on your angle and light conditions
around you. An example of using the light to perfection is by placing
the subject (the person to be clicked) along side a window allowing
indirect light and placing a white cardboard or a mirror such that the
light is reflected back on the person. You can take your pictures from
the camera with the camera placed on a tripod or you can hold it at
different angles in your hands to give the picture a slightly rugged
Portrait photography in the open spaces can again be of two types, a
singular approach, wherein only the person to be clicked is important
and you would require a small lens for that with low shutter speeds.
The second case might be when the person is needed to be shown with
respect to his surroundings and his interaction with others. This
situation is slightly tricky for a rookie as it involves the use of a
wider lens and you should know precisely what is the end picture going
to look like and whether it’ll actually be able to portray the desired
relationship or not.