Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by williambarry, Apr 28, 2010.
These were just a fun portrait kind of thing for her mom for mothers day.
i like the second and last one the best
I don't think this kind of lighting is flattering. The lighting is a bit too dark and cool in color temperature in the shade in the first photograph--the lighting tends to look kind of "blue" unless you elevate the in-camera White Balance setting to 6,500 to 6,800 degrees or so, and that type of open shade produces kind of dull eyes,without catchlights.
In the second shot, with the very strong sidelighting, that makes people tend to squint,and again, her eyes have no catchlights, so they look dull. A tiny bit of fill-flash, like from the pop-up flash, even dialed down to 1/8 power, would give a bit more eye sparkle.
The third frame looks a bit greenish, like the lighting is influenced by lots of trees or green grass, which happens quite often outdoors. Selective color could help in PP, by adding a bit of magenta to the reds, to offset that slight undercurrent of green.
The last photo has a rather extreme camera tilt...that just does not seem very natural to me. I'm also not a big fan of that type of dappled sunlight...it's hard to work with on a number of levels. I think overall you need more fill lighting, which you can get by finding another location, such as a place where a light-colored building bounces the afternoon sunlight off of an exterior wall...or by using a flash either on or off-camera, or by using some type of reflector--bed sheet, Foam-Core board, home-made cardboard and foil reflector, whatever. ANother alternative is to diffuse DIRECT,angled sublight by stretching some type of scrim (aka a "silk" or a 'panel') and placing that fabric diffuser in between the afternoon sun and the subject, creating your own sort of natural softbox lighting,and then using just a tiny amount of fill-flash or reflector to create eye sparkle.
I also think you ought to turn the camera vertical, keep her shoulders angled to the camera, and position her a bit farther in front of the background,and use a little bit longer lens focal lengths, to soften the backgrounds and to improve subject rendering.
I hope you dont mind but I edited #1. I added fill light , some contrast. I cropped and straightened as the original had a door at and odd angle to her. I use some saturation to bring out her blue eyes that were apparent in #4 but not alot in this pic. I also blurred the edge because to me this picture was meant for you and not mom, in addition that back wall wasnt great. I think these can be saved to an extent.
I like 1 and 2 the best good job!
I appreciate all of your input... Derrel, I really appreciate your input. I'm playing around some with the selective color now and I see what you mean. I will post reprocessed pics as soon as I can.
Hey,sure thing william. I think vtf's retouching on your first shot shows how important color is...although the blue eyes he came up with are a bit intense, the flesh tones and hair color he came up with are very pleasing. Yes, selective color is a really good way to make small adjustments in the hues in photos. One thing about the first photo; you'll note that with her chin extended and head lifted a bit, it tightens the skin under her chin,and gives her face a very flattering shape to the camera-eye. One way to get that head and neck position is to have the subject leaned slightly forward from the waist, shoulders slightly pulled back, chest/bust upward, and the camera ever so slightly above nose level...this will give a nice presentation of the mask of the face to the camera.
Another option in open shade like this would be to have her leaning against that masonry/stone wall, with the left foreground of the photo being composed of out of focus wall, and then one of her shoulder blades touching the wall, and the other shoulder slightly away from the wall and turned toward the camera. By angling the camera's angle of view down along the wall, you are doing a technique called "skimming", and it looks kind of cool. Keep the background composed entirely of wall by using a telephoto lens,which has a narrow angle of view, and will prevent the background from having one side be wall,and the other side be an open field or woods or whatever. You can also vary this by having her with one shoulder touching the wall,and the other shoulder not touching the wall,and her feet angled toward the wall and her facing the camera more-directly. You need to be only one or two steps to the right of the wall, so that when you aim the camera at her, the entire "background" is the wall. If the wall has some skylight hitting it, it can act as a source of fill light on the shadowed side of the face. Scout around....one side of the house might be ideal, while the other three would be less than ideal.
I'll keep these things in mind. I'm cleaning my laptop now so I can sell it so I can pay my rent... may be a while before I have the pp done to get some new ones up . I will return!
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