Ok folks Tutorial time!!
So I just finished working with my friend and longtime collaborator Tim Bradstreet on a project and I was working with images that were shot by someone else. So I thought I would give some tips on shooting for images that will be used for compositing. First, don't use green or blue screen. For the most part these are used for motion only these days and unless your a portrait shooter and need to do background replacement in a specific software program then don't use them. One of the main reasons I don't is contamination. More specific is when you shoot on a green screen the green color will reflect back onto your subject and contaminate the subject. It simply adds more work for you and is just not necessary. I use either white or slate grey. these are neutral colors and will not contaminate. However white will affect your subject and your exposure slightly. Also using green screen requires you to light the background as evenly as possible so that when you do selections you don't have to select too many color variations.
Next, use the highest resolution camera you can. This will help when compositing into higher res backgrounds and it is much better to reduce than try to enlarge.
ISO rating, use the lowest you can depending on your situation. Higher ISO ratings will add noise to the image. There are noise reduction techniques and plug ins but they only add another step to the process and when your in Photoshop time management and workflow should be managed carefully. Also shoot with a lens shade ALWAYS. It will help with stray light and reduce the possibility of flare. Use flags or cards to minimize the light hitting the camera when possible.
Lens selection. If your using a 35mm, 50mm lenses are considered considered normal. Anything below begins wide angle and longer will enter zoom and telephoto. When I shoot I always choose longer lenses. They will compress the background and subject. If you shoot wide angle or anything below 50mm you risk distorting your perspective and subject. Also if your background is not very wide it will make it appear smaller. Depth of field should be enough for the subject area and make sure your shutter speed is at least twice the focal length of the lens to stop any movement in the image when shooting in available light. Most cameras are sync'd at 1/250th for strobe.
Next, camera angle and height. I shoot from about waist to mid chest for a normal portrait or fashion shot. If you are shooting from a standing position the subject wont appear very heroic. Keeping the camera waist level makes your subject whether fashion, portrait or advertising the most important thing in the image. If the image calls for the subject to appear not as important or very important then adjust accordingly.
Exposure, make sure the exposure is clean. In other words, you have detail in your highlights and you can see into your shadows. You can always up the contrast and highlights but if they aren't there in the initial shot you will get poor results in post. Remember, get in CAMERA first not fix in post mentality will go a long way in making a better image.
Well that is enough for now, hope this helps with your projects.
Ok folks Tutorial time!!