How To Ensure Tack Sharp Portraits / by Brian Suman

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You know why I am writing on this subject?

Because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do.

I didn’t use a tripod on a portrait session last night.

I know, this subject is up for debate and who wants to feel tied to a tripod when shooting portraits. Lug one more thing around and greatly reduce your mobility. Who wants that, right?

However, I still believe that a camera that doesn’t have a chance to move when taking a shot has the best chance to create a tack sharp image.

I don’t take the tripod out on all outdoor sessions but I try and use one for all portrait work in the studio and I believe it makes a difference. We can’t control the subject moving at the last moment before the shutter snaps but we can control what we do.

Even though the Sony a7III I shoot with has in-body-stabilization (IBS) as well as lens stabilizing, I still think adding a tripod sets you up for success. There are methods like increasing shutter speed, increasing your f-stop, etc. that can help but if you are using lighting in the studio you only have so much you can do before your capped. For example, sync speed limitation and flash power.

I actually forgot my tripod last night so I wasn’t able to practice what I preach but if you are not using a tripod for portraits you should consider trying it.

You’ll see the difference in your images and so will everyone else.

B

My tripod of choice: https://goo.gl/ZYKdMx

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Portrait photographer based out of Hamilton, Ohio. When not photographing people to help tell their story, I spend my time bringing my imagination to life and doing things I have never done before.

Imagine. Capture. Create.