White balance is an interesting setting for digital cameras. When shooting portraits the photographer is sure to want the colors true. This is a setting of “custom” white balance.
Gary Fong has posted a video to YouTube giving visual instruction of how to set you Canon 5D custom white balance. Custom white balance Canon SLR settings are not complicated to adjust.
If you do not have the tools for setting your white balance that Gary does, a white card with true black and 30% gray sections are perfect for the same use.
There is only one difference to remember as you set the white balance…instead of letting the light come through the dome as Gary demonstrated, simply hold the card next to your subject and take a picture of the white section (making sure to have your memory storage in your camera whether internal or CF or SD).
I mention the memory card because some photographers will automatically transfer the images to a computer or hard disk and not in their camera. When this is done the camera cannot reference the photo for color imbalances.
As fall approaches the possibilities for outdoor portrait settings are wide open. The weather cools down to temperatures pleasant enough that a smile automatically graces your face without thinking about it.
Personal Note: I walked outside last week with a cup of coffee in my hand; as the door opened I felt the wind rush and I was surprised that it felt cool for what I was expecting. Walking out front with the cool temperature sensation continuing on my arms and face, I began to smile. Taking in a breath of fresh, cool air it only seemed natural to smile and laughter began to bubble up from a heart full of joy and inspiration.
With cooler temperatures and fall rains, fall bearing trees begin to produce their fruit and leaves change color making this the perfect time for many portrait occasions. This opportunity is too good to pass up, so with school starting up it is a good time to pick out a park or garden that provides the situations you want. Let us discuss some possibilities.
1. Park bench
There are at-least three angles or perspectives on one place, so do not be too hasty on abandoning one place for another.
A Change of sitting positions offer more variety without changing locations.
Simple elements such as a book, flower or jacket can take a picture from good to favorite as quick as your shutter can move.
2. Tree row
Peeking from around tree trunks are a nice touch for mystery and surprise, however caution is to be used to prevent too much of your subject from being hidden.
Taking shots of a pair of children can be fun especially when the camera is using a vantage point to see both children.
These are just some thoughts for you to use as you design your personal portraits.