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Digital Portrait Photography For Dummies® by Doug Sahlin

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Chapter 5. Composing Your Portraits

The glorious moment has arrived. Your victim — I mean subject — has arrived for his portrait session. Now it's time to put your finely honed portrait photography skills to work and take some really fine portraits. But you'll never get a really fine portrait if you don't use the right camera settings or choose the right focal length. Then there's the matter of composing the picture. Yes, you have to put some thought into this process. Just randomly pointing the camera at your subject and pressing the shutter button won't get you a good portrait. There are rules of composition you can follow. But if you're a rebellious kind of photographer and you know the rules, you can break them. In this chapter, I show you some suggested camera settings and rules you can follow to take your portrait photography to the next level.

Using the Right Camera Settings

Most digital cameras come with an Auto mode, which you find on a dial that is usually on top of the camera on the right side. Your camera's Auto mode does all the thinking for you, but it has no idea of what your subject is. It makes its decisions based on the available light and other factors. For portrait photog-raphy, the Auto setting is not a good thing. It makes decisions based on normal point-and-shoot photography. You have different goals when you create a portrait. For some reason, camera manufacturers ...

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