At PodCamp Toronto 2015 my very popular workshop 101 Tips For Radically Better Images garnered a lot of great comments from the campers (Thanks guys.) The one issue I had was there wasn’t enough time in one hour to give the proper emphasis to some of the tips.
This is one I wished we could have spent the entire hour reviewing.
When you watch a press conference on TV or attend a wedding what’s the one thing you keep hearing the photographers yelling? Isn’t “Just One More!”
Why are these pros so annoying?
It’s because they know that with or without flash people blink when they’re having their photos taken. Professional portrait photographers know this fact and that’s why in the old days of film they would shoot a whole roll of 12 or 24 frames just to get one image with the eyes open.
It’s even worse when you’re shooting groups. (Notice the lady second from left.)
The photo above was one of two similar shots taken by my wife at First Oakville’s 2015 Charter Party and International Speech Contest where I was soundly beaten this year. We used the second shot where everyone had their eyes open.
It’s even worse for DSLR pro photographers who are using flash equipment that allows for a “pre-flash” which fires a mini-blast a microsecond before the main flash goes off in order to set the auto TTL (through the lens) exposure control. There are some people (and teenagers are especially quick to blink) who react to the pre-flash.
The only way you can beat their reaction time is to turn off the pre-flash system and as you count down to taking the image you push the shutter button when you hit “two” and not one.
Sure a PhotoShop pro can cut a head off of one frame and paste it into another shot but that’s tedious work and not possible if you’re shooting JPGs with a point-and-shoot or smartphone.
So when you’re shooting a portrait don’t hesitate to say “just one more” several times until you’re sure you’ve got the image you want.