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A Lesson in Photographing a Person’s Hands

By Chris Corradino on February 24, 2015


The New York Institute of Photography is the world’s largest online photography school, and because we are, we often publish fun and useful photography tips. Please enjoy!

It has been said that a person's eyes are the window to their soul. Their character however, can often be revealed in their hands.

Effective portraits can be made without showing a person's face. In the absence of color, shape and texture become more pronounced. This type of monochrome toning is associated with wide variety of moods. The precise emotion is ultimately up to the viewer, but a few common themes include contemplation and reflection. Photographers can work with these traits to effectively portray their vision.

A subject with dark shadows and bright highlights would not be ideal for a color photograph. Yet, for black and white photography, this type of high-contrast light can be extremely effective. The harsh mid-afternoon sun is no longer a detriment, but an enhancement. This is a major shift in the way one thinks about exposure. To help recognize these chances, look beyond what is immediately evident and pre-visualize the scene in grayscale. Over time, you'll know what scenes will look best in black and white before you even press the shutter.

Want to learn photography? NYIP offers nine great online photography courses to choose from. Request a free course catalog today.

About the Author

Chris Corradino is the head of the photography mentor program at NYIP. Just like all of our mentors, he is also a professional photographer. See Chris's photography lesson from last week for more.