Thursday, July 21, 2011
Portrait Photography Reboot
Unfortunately, when in an ART mode, most settings are handled automatically, allowing very little control over aperture and ISO and shutter speed, the trinity of essentials. Most fortunately, however, Olympus programmed the portrait mode to function much in the manner I would set it myself, maintaining the lowest possible aperture to best limited depth-of-field and handling the colors in just the warming way I would have treated them in post anyway. Then, to up the effect, the digital equivalent of a softening filter is applied to the resultant image, smoothing over all the harsh details better than I was ever able to achieve with a diffuse filter back when I was shooting weddings. The JPG results are truly beautiful, but seeing as I can't leave well enough alone, I have a tendency to apply my own little touch to the resultant images and much to my surprise find the files very receptive to the effects I apply.
It only came to reason that I should try the tactic on a portrait shot in the appropriate ART mode. The results were glowing, quite literally. In-camera softening of the JPGs already smoothed over the fine details in the skin, the addition of the digital red filter completely eliminated them. Any extra clarity afforded by the RAW was not missed given the sharpness retained in the details that mattered. Having been a RAW guy for so long, it was so nice to find a mode on the camera that eliminated a good portion of the post work I would otherwise have to do the hard way.
No other point to this post, really, just a long thank you to Olympus for designing an extra set of modes that prove incredibly useful to people photographers.