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T6i: Best Settings for Glamour/Model Photography

bonhomme
Contributor

My wife is a model with beautiful milk chocolate skin, and we enjoy taking glamour/lingerie/boudoir shots of her in our free time.

 

Because I'm shooting fairly rapidly (several hundred shots in an hour or two), I've left my T6i in Auto mode, and this has resulted in a number of under/over exposed shots, and poor focus at times, along with inconsistent flash operation. I'm not a professional, nor even an advanced amateur,  so I'd really appreciate some tips/tricks to improve my shots.

 

We normally are shooting in the BR, with 2 small (48") umbrella reflectors and about 11,000 lumens (2x80w) of CFL lighting. I shoot from as far as 6-8 feet away, or as close as 2-3 feet for head & shoulder closeups.

 

The lens I'm currently using is an 18-135mm IS  zoom, which was recommended as a really good all around lens, however it seems to have depth of field issues.

 

Any and all help appreciated and TIA.

15 REPLIES 15

Wow, thanks for the tutorial! I'll try to use as much of this as I can absorb 🙂

 

Concerning post-processing, we're currently not using anything, and I'm shooting JPEG's instead of RAW.

 

I was hoping to keep the ISO at 800 or below to manage the graininess as we often enlarge her head/shoulders as separate photos

 

I do think a refresher course in basic photography would do me some good. At one point, (let's just say in the previous century :)), I was fairly familiar with focal lengths, F-stops, ISO's and shutter speeds, however that familiarity has slipped away and it's not coming back as quickly as how to ride a bike......

 


@bonhomme wrote:

Wow, thanks for the tutorial! I'll try to use as much of this as I can absorb 🙂

 

Concerning post-processing, we're currently not using anything, and I'm shooting JPEG's instead of RAW.

 

I was hoping to keep the ISO at 800 or below to manage the graininess as we often enlarge her head/shoulders as separate photos

 

I do think a refresher course in basic photography would do me some good. At one point, (let's just say in the previous century :)), I was fairly familiar with focal lengths, F-stops, ISO's and shutter speeds, however that familiarity has slipped away and it's not coming back as quickly as how to ride a bike......

 


Do a web search for " exposure triangle " and " depth of field '.  Here's a link to series of videos, not just one video.

 

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/galleries/galleries/tutorials/eos101_cll.shtml

 

Those two topics are the basics, which will really help you understand your camera and its' settings.

 

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Post processing is crucial to producing great photos.  Your camera should have included Canon's Digital Photo Professional software.  Learn to shoot RAW.  

 

Shooting a JPEG is similar to using one of those instant cameras that spat out a photo that would take a couple of minutes to develop.  Shooting RAW is akin to shooting on film, where you're not creating a digital negative.  Canon's DPP can process RAW photos into into JEPGs, which are suitable for printing or sharing.  

When you shoot as RAW, you can perform White Balance color corrections.  You can apply Lens Correction to compensate for distortion and vignetting.  You can even apply some Noise Reduction to mitigate some of the noise from using a high ISO.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

I noticed that I was getting the occasional series of under/over espoused shots, and couldn't figure out why.  And, I still haven't figured it out, but I have a real good hunch, because the problem seems to have gone away.

 

Pay attention to your thumb as you take shots, because the AE Lock button is really easy to unknowingly press.  I switched to using Back Button Focus.  It took me a couple of weeks, but I noticed that the problem seemed to have gone away..  My best guess is that giving my thumb something to do, probably stopped me from hitting AE Lock. 

 

On your T6i, the AE Lock button is probably the one that is repurposed as BBF.  I'm not suggesting that you try BBF, not at all. Just pay attention to where your thumb is on the camera body.  You could be unknowingly pressing the button.  I think I was.


I am still not completely used to BBF yet, but I am getting there. Once in a while I still find myself pressing the shutter button half way in an attempt to acquire focus LOL. The thing I really like about BBF is that I love having the focus locked with basically a tap of the button. Makes it easy to recompose without having to refocus.


@John_SD wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:

I noticed that I was getting the occasional series of under/over espoused shots, and couldn't figure out why.  And, I still haven't figured it out, but I have a real good hunch, because the problem seems to have gone away.

 

Pay attention to your thumb as you take shots, because the AE Lock button is really easy to unknowingly press.  I switched to using Back Button Focus.  It took me a couple of weeks, but I noticed that the problem seemed to have gone away..  My best guess is that giving my thumb something to do, probably stopped me from hitting AE Lock. 

 

On your T6i, the AE Lock button is probably the one that is repurposed as BBF.  I'm not suggesting that you try BBF, not at all. Just pay attention to where your thumb is on the camera body.  You could be unknowingly pressing the button.  I think I was.


I am still not completely used to BBF yet, but I am getting there. Once in a while I still find myself pressing the shutter button half way in an attempt to acquire focus LOL. The thing I really like about BBF is that I love having the focus locked with basically a tap of the button. Makes it easy to recompose without having to refocus.


Yes, I like that feature, too.  It is especially useful when I lock focus on a bird sitting on a tree branch, and surrounded by leaves and branches.  It's really hard to focus on the bird.  Not having the lens try to refocus when I touch the shutter is exactly what I need under those conditions.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

 


bonhomme wrote:

Thanks for your reply.

 

When I'm  shooting her from 6-8 feet and she's posing on the bed "inline" with me, I have to be sure to focus on her face, else if I focus on her body, the face will be out of focus. If she's posing "perpendicular" to me it's less of an issue. I understand that going to a higher F stop may help with this, or perhaps a different lens?

 

The DOF isn't a huge problem ATM, as I'm more concerned about the under/over exposure issues. 


Select the Canon 7D camera, because it has the same size sensor as your camera body.

 http://www.dofmaster.com/doftable.html

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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