A photoshoot with the girlfriend at Balboa Park w/strobes C&C please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shortpballer, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    This one was done at Balboa Park this afternoon. I would for more natural look this time and went for more portrait-like pictures rather than glamour pictures. Let me know what you guys think / can do to improve. Thanks :)

    #1
    [​IMG]
    #2
    [​IMG]
    #3
    [​IMG]
    #4
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tee_bird

    Tee_bird TPF Noob!

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    They're very nice, and as I've already stated, you have a gorgeous girlfriend.

    I think the shadows on her face are a little distracting in the second one, and her face isn't in focus in the third one.

    You're doing great, though!
     
  3. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #2 is a great shot. Love the lighting and the angle. You're lines are complimenting of the frame. The hands are placed in a relaxed manner and somewhat sideways from the camera. The eveness of the exposure and the background is well thought out. Man I wish my wife was as willing as your girlfriend during pratice...lol

    One critique(and i'm being really really picky): Her left feet doesn't seem relaxed.

    Good job on #2!
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Make sure you're not running your key light too hot. That's the big problem with #1 and sort of a general issue with all 4 images.

    DOF is nice in #3. Still some distracting background elements in 1 and 2. The problems with #3 are the shadows on the face and the fact the oof elements (her feet) are way brighter lit than the in-focus parts.

    #2 -- subject left arm is very stiff. That's not always a problem but here due to distortion it makes her shoulder look HUGE compared to her arm.

    #4 has a lot of good stuff going on. Some very slightly distracting specular highlighting but overall the light is pretty nice. Best pose, I think. The arm out of frame works for me, but to appease the 'don't cut off body parts' crowd, you could have had her bring her arm up and back around the head (I'm not describing that well, but putting it in frame above her head). Would be worth a shot at least though not guaranteed to work.

    Doing some good work here, overall. Light can be tricky to master while you're keeping track of 15 other things.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    On frame 1, shot at f/4 at 33mm at ISO 100. Flash main light is touch too hot. I don't like how the background is so visible when shot at 33mm at f/4. Would have looked a lot better shot at 100mm to 200mm from farther away. I opened this file in PS and pulled the curves down to 58/40 in the lower,left-hand most box, and the files looked soooooo much more like natural light. As-shown, it looks too hot. Nice eye sparkle due to on-axis fill light. A two-second minor curves re-adjustment and this file looked nearly perfect!

    Shot 2 has near-perfect color and contrast. She seems a bit too close to the right hand side of the frame and the middle center her foot is cropped off. It was shot at f/5.6 at 1/160, at 21mm. The problem is that at f/5.6 at 21mm, the short focal length and medium aperture gives such deep depth of field that the rose bush to the left of the frame is very visible,and so is the barkdust...again, a bit too much depth of field for my taste. Minor pose refinement would help. I see no eye catchlight, but the overall "look" of the lighting is good. Your best exposure I think.

    Shot 3 is overexposed pretty badly, and was done at 70mm at f/2.8 at ISO 100 at 1/250 second. No amount of highlight recovery can salvage a shot that is that many stops overexposed. But compare the background's out of focus nature with the prior shot--backdrop here is softer, less-objectionable, but you don't have enough depth of field to get her face in focus. Focus is on the throat area. Nice pose, the flower's a good prop,expression is intriguing, but the technicals don't add up. A smaller f/stop and 1/200 second shutter,and some fill-flash would have helped. This is available light,no-flash,and it needs fill lighting,either flash or reflector fill, to tame the excessive contrast I think.

    Shot 4: f/6.3 at 145mm at ISO 100 at 1/200 second. Notice how nicely defocused the background is? Using the 70-200 in the 145mm to 200mm range will help de-focus the backgrounds quite a bit. We want to see the girl, not the background so much.

    For early efforts under challenging lighting conditions, you're doing pretty well, but on this shoot and the car shoot, you've shot too many frames with too short of a focal length to maximize your foreground subject. I know it might seem weird, but try telling her you need to back way up,and shoot with the lens set from 135mm to 200mm,for better foreground/background separation. It'll improve the photos immensely.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  6. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Derrel-- Thank you very much. Your always so thorough and I appreciate it. I know I should be taking the pictures more in the 100-200 mm range... I just feel weird being really far from her... It seems less personal. But I agree they do turn out better.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Thanks. I want to see you have great success,so I took a few minutes to pull the EXIF info and make a post so you and everybody could see the technical information like focal length and f/stop and evaluate the degree of foreground and background depth of field each lens choice brings with it.

    What makes outdoor fill-flash so tough with the 20D is that you are limited to 1/200 second and ISO 100 and smaller f/stops,and you live in San Diego! You can move into shaded areas, either heavy shade, or open shade, but you STILL MUST maintain the 1/200 shutter speed and a smallish f/stop to keep the brighter,background areas looking relatively normal.

    YES, you are right; you know her, she's your S-O, so you feel odd photographing from a distance. This is a zoom lens problem. If you had to shoot with a Canon 135mm f/2 L or a 100mm f/2 or a straight, non-zoom lens of even 85mm, you would *never* be as close as 21mm gets you. Just as an aside, the 135mm f/2 L will give absolutely dreamy,delicious transitional rendering between the in-focus and the out-of-focus areas on a 20D...it gives an almost ethereal rendition to everyday scenes.

    Because of the light level (So-Cal), 1/200 second top flash speed, and ISO 100, you are forced to use small f/stops...to counteract that, you need to use a LONG focal length lens to avoid getting really deep DOF, unless you really,absolutely need to have deep,sharp focus, like to sell a product or illustrate something. It might seem weird to be 40 feet away,but it works pretty well.

    Instead of fill-flash, you could use reflector fill lighting. A 42x78 inch,horizontal reflector made out of PVC pipe and fitted with a silvered, metallized fabric, or a white,reflective fabric would help you literally "see" what your fill light was doing,and would give you a bit more exposure flexibility. You can make these out of $12 worth of Home Depot white PVC pipe, four elbows, and a hacksaw in about 15 minutes. With an assistant holding a large reflector like that, you can fill-in shadows and get away from flash, and gain back the wider lens apertures that the sunlight and 1/200 steals from you in So-Cal sunlight or even shade.

    Best of luck to you. You'll learn very fast if you keep this up for long.
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    open shade is your friend
     
  9. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again Derrel-- I'm learning and much of my knowledge has come from helpful people on this forum like you :) I appreciate it. Tomorrow I am going to make the reflector. Where would I get silvered metallized fabric? Sorry not familiar with fabric lol .
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Here is where to get free plans for PVC frames and other DIY strobist gear

    Software Cinema | Photography and Photoshop Training - Tinkertubes


    Fabrics for the panels

    Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts
    Joann.com: Online Shopping for Sewing, Scrapbooking Yarn and Crafts
    3633 Midway Dr
    San Diego, CA 92110-5202
    (619) 224-2331

    They have Nautilex marine upholstery in silver,as well as some other,lighter-weight silvered fabrics. Also, look for white, rip-stop nylon. You will want some 1/2 inch wide,flat elastic to sew on the corners of the sheets of fabric, so that the elastic holds the fabric onto the frame. The PVC frame will disassemble and you can stow it in a tote bag.

    Rosie's Calico Cupboard
    7151 El Cajon Blvd
    (between 71st St & 72nd St)
    San Diego, CA 92115
    (619) 697-5758
    Introduction to Quilting
     
  11. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again man :) I really appreciate you spending the time to help me out.
     
  12. Misfitlimp

    Misfitlimp TPF Noob!

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    What About one of them space blankets? you know the ones they give runners after marathons those are like 2 bucks and big. You could probably use those?
     

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