The best camera settings for portrait photography.
Get familiar with these camera settings to take high-quality portraits and edit to perfection with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
Portrait photography is a unique artform. Unlike the task of capturing sweeping landscapes or subjects from a distance, taking a portrait photo requires an up close, intimate connection. The best portraits capture light and shadow, subtle detail and above all, compelling expressions that reveal something about your subject. Use these tips to shoot and edit professional-grade portraits that pop.
Camera settings for portraits.
As with all photography, the three key settings to keep in mind are ISO (your camera’s sensitivity to light), aperture (your camera’s depth of field) and shutter speed (how fast your camera takes a photo). These general tips help you set those features to focus on your subject, heighten the contrast and produce clarity.
- ISO: Set your ISO to the lowest possible setting to remove extra noise, texture and light.
- Aperture: For a blurred background that draws the most attention to your subject, use a low aperture like f/1.4.
- Shutter speed: In general, for portrait photography you should set your shutter speed two times the focal length of your lens. This helps you avoid any sort of shaking or blurring. If you’re using a tripod or another stabilizing device, you can photograph at lower shutter speeds.
Key features for portrait editing.
Once you have your shots, follow these guidelines for natural-looking, precise editing:
- Adjust your tones: Make sure that your portrait isn’t too dark or too bright. When you adjust lights and shadows, you’ll also want to make sure that key details aren’t lost or washed out.
- Crop: Rotate and crop your image in a way that centers your subject and cancels out any background noise.
- Retouch: Try tools like the spot remover to edit out blemishes and smooth wrinkles. Remember, it’s easy to overdo it with these features. Try to keep your adjustments as natural-looking as possible.
- Finish it off: Smooth out textures and brighten eye shadows with the adjustment brush.