First shoot! Processing Tips Needed

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Mohain, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I rarely post in this forum as I've not really done any 'proper' people photography before, just poor attempts at candids. My wife's sister is putting together a promo music CD and asked me if I would take some photos of her to go with it :shock:

    Well here's my pick of about 130 RAW shots, taken over the day yesterday. I've not done any processing on these, just very minor tweaks of the RAW (shadows, exposure, brightness) and the B&W conversions are just straight channel mixer with at 100% red, so obviously I can improve on them.

    First the images, then the questions.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any lighting so it's all available light, with reflectors (bits of cardboard) and some with fill-in flash (onboard flash with sock diffuser :lol: ).

    I'd like to be able to get nice skin tones without making it look false. Some of them could do with warming up a bit but in the past I've struggled to keep skin tones natural looking when warming them up. Any tips here?

    Also I'd like to go with a high-key look with the 4th one. Any tips for that too?

    Also the B&W conversions. Not sure which way to go here for portrait shots. Can anyone give any tip here too please?

    Lastly, some general feedback on the images would be nice. I don't have time to reshoot as I'm on holiday for a week from this weekend but hopefully there will be a next time!

    I really enjoyed taking these. I hope I can do some more.

    Sorry for lots of questions but I'd appreciate any feedback/tisp you can give me as I've got till Saturday to sort these all out!

    Many thanks in advance,

    Mohain
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hey mo..... as you know im no pro at this either.... but personally i think your off to a great start with these captures.....
    firstly she's very pretty which helps ;) ...... i like all the poses, although i think the second is the least successful of the series.... the lighing looks a little harsh there. There is also quite a bit of shadows in the 5th.... but you could go with that kind of look for that particular image.

    Its difficult to know what to do with the skin tones in the others, as she has no real imperfections..... you could add a few curves adjustment layers to certain areas to brighten parts up..... but i dont think she needs the whole glamour skin look.
    You could also warm the images either using photo filters or colour balence, then mask off areas which it looks too obvious.... but they dont seen too cold to me either.

    I think the best of the series is the last..... you got great light there, and i wouldn't do much more to it other than curves tweeking.

    With the high key one, you could either white out more of the backdrop using curves/masks and add more contrast to the model, but with this technique you are likely to get blown areas..... but again it may be the look you want.

    If i were you i would just give them all a bit of tweeking just to set them off a bit more..... but i wouldn't do any major psing.

    Great shots mo :thumbup:
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I think you did fine generally speaking. I think they need some post processing, because alot look pretty flat. I hope you don't mind but I took #6 and just enhanced it a bit, not saying this is exactly what to do, I just was looking to give you more pop. Just for example purposes. I liked this one the best also.
    [​IMG]

    and the B&W conversions are good. I think they need a little contrast, but depends on how they look after printing.

    Although I like the lighting on #1, I think the expression looks a little hard.
     
  4. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hey mo, i thought i'd have a quick go at one of the darker ones.... here's before and after....only took a few mins..... discription below....

    original.....

    [​IMG]

    altered......

    [​IMG]


    All i did here was a usual levels adjustment (taking the white slider as far left as possible made a huge difference) then a curves layer for overall brighness.... a second curves layer just for the eye area..... a tad of hue/sat for more warmth and finished up with some sharpening.....
    You'll get better results sharpening the original file..... a good thing to do sometimes is to mask off all other sharpening apart from the eyes and mouth.

    With more time spent you should get real nice images out of these. ;)
     
  5. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Archy and Kevin.

    I don't mind you tweaking shots and reposting. Tweak away! That's why I posted them :)

    Would you mind explaining what you did Kevin please?

    If anyone else want's to tweak, then tweak away but please explain what you did.

    I tend to process the hell out of my pictures, obviously I have to be a bit careful here and wont have time to make amends after printing!

    Also, these aren't necessarily the final shots, I have loads more to choose from, so comments like 'the expression looks a little hard' is just what I'm after :mrgreen:

    Thanks a lot guys :)

    Mohain
     
  6. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Really, all I did was color balance to warm up the skin tones. I added contrast and darkened a bit. Just tweaked a little saturation. Probably didn't need to do that, could have stuck with just color balance.
     
  7. bowronfam3

    bowronfam3 TPF Noob!

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    I thought I would give it a go!! First I would like to say that it seems as though you have an incredible eye for composition. These shots had a very autumn type feel to them for me. I'm not sure if that's what you were going for, but that's what I got from them with the hair style, clothing, make-up, etc. I thought they were beautiful, but did need some color adjustments. On this one I used a free photoshop filter called "Fall Colors". Then I played around with the Lens Blur tool to get a little better DOF. Then I did the PS warming filter 85 for the skin tones. Hope you like it!
    ORIGINAL:
    [​IMG]

    EDIT:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I can't add to the wonderful advice and edits here, but I also wanted to comment on your natural ability for composition here! :thumbsup:
     
  9. bowronfam3

    bowronfam3 TPF Noob!

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    Thought I would try another one! I think that the hand or arm in this shot is kind of distracting, so I cloned it out and then I warmed up the skin tones a little.

    ORIGINAL:
    [​IMG]

    EDIT:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Becky

    Becky TPF Noob!

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    I love that 4th one lying down, seriously think its fantastic!
     
  11. seven

    seven TPF Noob!

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    Is she just a straight singer or does she play any instruments? Including instruments to the shot would tell the audience who she is more.
    I just dont get the feeling that she is a musician in thesse shots...

    Really nice shots though!
     
  12. Mohain

    Mohain TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a lot for the help and comments. Seven, just a singer, and thanks :) bowronfam3, may I ask where you got the filter from? I think it works really well on the first one! I hear you about the arm, perhaps I can make it darker rathter than get rid of it all together? And thanks Alison for your kind words, they're very encouraging :mrgreen:

    I'll post the final images once they've been chosen and I've finished butchering them ;)
     

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