photoshop for my mum. Lesson Two-framing, cropping and angles in portraits

Framing the photo.

As said in lesson one, how the image looks in the view finder or display screen in what you get. Once the image is on the computer, you can play. One thing you can do afterwards is FRAME the photo. Also known as cropping.

Of course, best done in camera first, because zooming in afterwards loses pixels, and information which makes the image sharp. But if you’ve already cropped, it’s hard to go back! Being digital, I take a few at varying distances, when able.

How to crop Portraits.

the general advice is;
neck up/shoulders up for close ups on face
waist up
whole body.

Note on hands and feet-chopping off hands and feet can look really strange, even arms midlength. Hands and feet can be extra, distracting detail. Note what they are doing in the image, and use your own judgement.

Another tip-don’t rely on funny angles to make an image more interesting. It’s a fun thing to play with when beginning. The most important thing is the essence, so as long as it compliments the subject, rather than relies on it as device.

Back to cropping. Full length images can be interesting if you push the cropping. In fashion, fill the frame with head and feet right to the edges can make a person look very tall, or imposing. Leaving lots of space around them can make them smaller.

Angles
Again, see ‘walking around the subject’ (lara) to see different light-it’s a good tip, to walk around the subject.

Getting a person to tilt their head down, and look up with their eyes is a common ‘demure’ look. Face tilted up catches the light in peoples eyes, and disguises double chins.

Half turning the shoulders, face more towards the camera is a common position for portraits. (see school photos!).

Looking down on a subject makes a person seem soft, more vulnerable and in politics, weak. John Howard complained about ABC doco camera crew doing that to him. Whereas looking up to a subject makes them more monumental, strong and in command. Beware of ‘shooting up the nose’.

Again, very little PS here! You get my drift about most of the good stuff being done in camera. It makes sense to do it well before, rather than spend hours in PS ‘(cringe) polishing a turd’. I hate the expression-and yet, so accurate. Get the gold before, as much as you can.

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