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Old 11-24-2006   #11
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 14. Use The 1-2-2 or The 1-3-2 Posing Technique. Males usually look best in the 1-2-2. Females usually look best in the 1-3-2 technique.* For additional information on this technique see my posting in this tutorial sub-forum entitled The 1-3-2 Posing Technique.* The images below shows both.

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Old 11-24-2006   #12
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 15. Avoid Flat Lighting. *Portraits usually look best with one side brighter than the other side. *When the shadow side of the face is closest to the lens it is called short lighting. *Short lighting will make the face appear narrower and more slender. *If the shadow is on the side opposite of the lens it is called broad lighting. *Broad lighting will make the face appear wider and heavier. * Flat lighting is where there are no shadows on the face at all. *On camera flash will give you flat lighting. *In the image below, the flat lit image was lit with my home made ring light, the other with a 24 x 32 inch softbox with louvers at camera right.

The main light should enter the same side of the female's face that the part in her hair is on. This will allow the main light to "get under" her hair and brighten up the eye that is on the shadow side (preventing "trapped eye.") Lighting the face this way will also prevent shadows running under her hair along the cheek line.

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Old 11-24-2006   #13
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 16. Watch the Nose and Cheek Line-The face should not be turned so far away from the camera that the nose will break or nearly break the far cheek line. This will make the nose look large. 16 a. The far eye should either been seen completely or not be seen at all, but one should never photograph the face so that only 1/2 of the far eye shows. Note that this pose will also cause the subject's eyes to have too much white on one side of the eye as opposed to the other side of the eye (a violation of rule 12.)

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Old 11-24-2006   #14
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 17. Avoid Clutter - Simplicity is usually best. *For example too many props in one image. A background that is too busy, or in sharp focus. Another one is a brightly lit background, or a background with large areas of bright sunshine or patches of white sky. These things will attract the eye to them rather than to the subject.

17 a. Busy clothing will create confusion for the eye. *The eye should immediately be drawn and rest upon the subject. *Using a telephoto lens with a large aperture will give you short depth of field which will blur the background.

In the left image below, the pattern of the blouse is too busy and the background is too sharp. These two problems have been corrected in the image on the right. A simple blouse change and moving her forward about 12 feet (and stepping back with the camera 12 feet) allowed the background to be softened.* The background could also be blurred in Photoshop if your DOF is more than what you anticipated, but I like to get it right to begin with and leave Photoshop for enhancing. Note in both images the back arm is completely and totally visible. I feel it looks best to have the entire arm visible rather than the upper arm/shoulder area visible then the elbow/middle arm not visible and then the hand suddenly reappearing at the wrist.

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Old 11-25-2006   #15
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 18. Crop Between The Joints, Not At them. Cropping at a joint makes the subject appear amputated. Also when cropping leave room for the subject to breathe (room in front of their face) and leave room for the subject to think (don't severely crop off the top of their head.) Generally if you crop off the top of the head you cannot also crop off very much in front of their face at the same time. If you do they will look crowded in the frame.

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Old 11-25-2006   #16
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 19. Watch Recessed Cheek Line with Glasses. I usually have the subject obtain empty eyeglass frames which will solve the problem immediately. Another suggestion is to shoot at least one image without the glasses which will give you a good set of eyes. You can then in Photoshop add them to the image that the subject has chosen to purchase. This technique will also take care of the distortion caused by eyeglass lens refraction which makes the subjects eyes look larger or smaller than what they really are.
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Old 11-25-2006   #17
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 20. Don’t Overuse Hair and Kicker Lights-The hair light should kiss the hair, not blast it. Same for the kicker lights.
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Old 11-25-2006   #18
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 21. If It Bends, Bend It-This rule is perhaps the single most important rule. 21 a. Wherever there is a joint, “break” it. Combining these rules along with Rule 8 (Lean the body over the belt buckle, Rule 9 Lean slightly away from the camera Rule 31 If the subject has two of them make them different and lastly Rule 32 (A general rule) Avoid 90 Degree Arms will create a very dynamic image devoid of any staticness. These rules are basically true whether the pose is a head and shoulders pose or a full length seated pose.

Note in the posted image nothing is straight (other than her wrists) or straight up and down. She is at a 45 degree angle to the camera, leaning back, her hips are canted, her shoulders are slightly tipped, her head is tilted, her back leg is bent, both elbows are bent, all of her fingers are curled and even her eyes are not straight in their sockets (Rule 12.) All of this bending, leaning, tilting, twisting and turning also helps in following Rule 31, If The Subject Has Two of Them, Make Them Different. Note her hands are not at the same height nor are they across from one another, her elbows are at different heights, her knees (even though you can't see them) are at two different heights.
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Old 11-25-2006   #19
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 22. Don’t Stack The Hands or Clasp Them Together-Seperate them and place them apart and between the joints. Hide the rear hand if possible in group portraits. I've posted three images showing how this rule was broken three different ways. 22a. Don't place an elbow directly on top of the knee. Place the lower arm area that is 1/2 way between the elbow and wrist 1/2 way between the hip and knee. That way the elbow does not end at the knee forming an uninteresting straight line.
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Old 11-25-2006   #20
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Default Re: The Rules Of Good Portraiture

Rule 23. Subdue the Near hand-The hand that is nearest to the lens will appear larger than the other hand especially if it is held very close to the lens (foreshortening.) Feet or legs pointed toward the camera will also look elongated due to foreshortening.

23 a. Don't project the hands toward the lens and keep them within the range of focus. 23 b. Generally speaking, if the hand is above the subject's waist, the fingers should be directed upwards.* If below the waist, the fingers should be directed down.* *The little finger side of the hand photograph's best.* I will post an image that does NOT break this rule.


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