ZERO reason why you should read my tips on taking natural Photos {Portraiture}


This week i made another attempt on producing some of the most natural photos. While it is impossible that the model are not posed in the shots, i made the condition and…technique a limiting factor for posing. Natural unposed photos are like the holy grail for outdoor portrait photographers. Some of the ways i have tried previously are :

  • Shooting at 10 fps at least using Nikon D4 and track focusing
  • Shooting at the model while asking someone else to get into an engaging conversation with her
  • Shooting right after the the model unfreeze from the posed
  • Shooting candidly
  • Shooting without informing the model when the shutter is pressed
Posed, without the knowledge of when the shutter is pressed

Despite all the techniques that i have tried previously, i wasn’t really happy with all the natural shots that i got. Primary reason being that they are missing that elusive candid and relaxed posture and expression that so easily defined a natural portrait. When a model knows that you are shooting and about to fire the shutter, she will automatically freeze to some extent, to give that “model look” or her favourite gaze complete with unnatural wider eyes and posed smiles. Its just something that anyone would do when facing a camera.

enjoying the session. {natural shot taking using silence shutter with manual rapid pressing}

Here’s the thing. Advancement in technology and cost have allowed fast tracking and shots that belongs to premium cameras like D4/1Dx to sub USD 1000 cameras. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, its the 4k video thats making its debut in various sub USD 1000 cameras that is changing the game and possibilities here. In these images that you see, you will notice the difference between posed shots and those taken using a very simple technique :

  • Extracting 4K stills 

I have a mixtures of images done here using the “silence shutter” and 4k stills extraction. This entire series is done via the Panasonic FZ1000 that housed a puny 1″ sensor. You can easily distinguished the images below from a normal photo still vs an extracted 4K stills.

beautiful {shot at over 200mm, silence shutter still shots}
the real mccoy {4k stills}
ramona sits-2
the padi {4K stills, emphasis on the reflective emotion}
left alone {silence shutter normal stills}
happiness run {4k stills}
cinematic smile {4k stills}
breeze {4k still}

These are just fast stills i extracted without spending much time on it. I am sure as the week goes on i would be able to extract even better stills and also produce a glance videos of short clips with nostalgic music to match. There is no better way to capture natural photo than using 4k videos extraction. At around 8mp per stills, its more than enough for most online use and even sizeable printing. Those with GH4 and magic lantern for 5Dmk3 can even try raw footages of DNGs per extraction.

While i still love using the Leica ME with the noctilux to produce out of the world images of still images, i have to confess that my heart have gone after videos for its ability to showcase the scene, model and life. Photography is becoming like a secondary workflow process as 4k videos becomes more available in large sensors.

your thoughts?

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