Just a quick question.
I have cool daylight bulbs x3
A light tent I sometimes use
A tripod for my camera.
Can someone tell me roughly how far away to put the camera from the object ?
1. Am I best being as close as I can get with a bit of zoom? Or
2. Further away and zooming in a lot? or
3. Further away zooming in a little and then doing the close ups by trimming in photoshop?
It may seem a daft question but it will help me.
Many thanks in advance
Everyone will have slightly different answers..
When I take my pictures, I use my 35-70 zoom lens. My bears thus far have been no taller than 13" - so take that into account for my distance :)
I am about 3-4 feet away. I'd rather not be too much further away and zoom in because doing it that way you will have less depth of field. (depth of field = how much is in focus) The further you "zoom in" the larger the lens's aperture is. (the smaller the aperture, the more depth of field)
Even then I still crop in Photoshop.
Regardless of what type of bulbs you use, be sure to set your camera's "white balance" before doing your portraits. Your camera manual will tell you how to do that as each camera is different.
Hope that starts to help!
I have a fixed telephoto lens which is 105 mm...which is the correct focal length for portraits which is essentially what we are doing. A 70mm lens would give much better, undistorted pictures than a shorter focal length. So if you are using a 35-70mm zoom lens I would try to shoot at 70mm where you can as you will then get pictures where you subject looks the same as you actually see it. So stand further back using your lens at 70mm. I used to do this but then I bought my fixed lens and it's easier. I would go for an aperture around f8 -f11 ...ish. If it is bigger than that you can get things ( which can be arty and attractive in some cases) like the nose in focus but the eyes blurry...too much smaller and it loses some softness. For close ups I would use your macro mode..but I would switch to manual focussing for this as you will need to go closer in. You may also want to check what metering mode you are using. Most cameras on auto will use an average reading..and you may be better with a centre weighted or spot mode...all this will help get good pictures, well lit.
I always use my light tent but never the lights. I take the whole kit outside and I have a silver pop-up reflector which I use to bounce the light.
I have a digital camera and always use its "portrait" mode to take bear photos. I use the macro on smaller bears. Don't have a light tent, so my photo sessions are always outside . . . in shade on a sunny day. I also still use my photo editing software to make a more pleasing picture. Of course, my digital suggestions may not help for your SLR camera.