Tips for getting crisp, clear eyes in portraits

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MonteMama, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. MonteMama

    MonteMama Calmer than you, Dude.

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    One of my favorite blog sites is this one...

    http://www.audreywoulardblog.com/

    Anyone have any tips for how to get eyes so crisp and clear like she does? A few specific examples..
    http://www.audreywoulardblog.com/images/content/ACF4DAD.jpg
    http://www.audreywoulardblog.com/images/content/ACF3220.jpg

    It says on her site that she works with natural light 100% of the time. http://www.alwphotography.com/index2.php

    So you can get this kind of look without flash (not that I'd be able to do this without flash either, but...)? Any tips would be appreciated, thanks. :)
     
  2. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    It depends what you mean by "look". It seems as though she might actually be using natural light - the reflections in the eyes in the close-up portraits looks like three large windows, with a dark spot which would be the photog. If it was umbrela/studio set-up, I think it would look a little different. That being said, she has a studio with a HUGE amount of light, and I am sure she times her shoots to when the light is best (directional and brightness).

    But you could replicate her light exactly, and still you wouldn't get the same. She does a lot of PP - you're seeing saturation levels brought up, perhaps different colours tweaked, and maybe some "healing tool" on the skin, thoughs kids don't really need that, so it could be natural.

    Lighting is only one small fraction of what makes her photos really snap. No doubt, she's darn good!
     
  3. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    Nothing against those photos, but they appear over-sharpened to me. If you want sharp eyes focus on them!! I know that sounds silly, but seriously. Use point weighted focus and put the selector directly on the eye. You should have enough DOF for the rest of the face to be in focus, but the eyes will be the sharpest. Then you can edit a little in PS and add some catch light. :)
     
  4. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Well as mentioned, she has three large windows in her studio, but she also is using white material to soften and diffuse the light since there are no shadows. One of her backgrounds was white. She may have also used a diffuse reflector at an off angle position from the eye.

    The eyes are also brightened, sharpened and "whitened" in postprocessing although I doubt that any saturation was done but the colour temperature may have been warmed a little.

    skieur
     
  5. tjphotography

    tjphotography TPF Noob!

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    To get the eyes sharp and to pop out like you see them you need to start with a sharp image to begin with. Now part of the reason the eyes appear extra sharp is because a soft focus filter "guassian blur" has been added everywhere to the picture, except the eyes.

    There may have also been some sharpening of the eyes, also a photoshop filter.

    The photographer is using a shallow depth of field as well, but from the angle of the shot their is definitely some photoshop enhancemnent here.

    I still think the picture looks great, however.

    Travis
    www.tjphotography.com
     
  6. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    I found the way to get eyes to pop is to shoot with lots of nice diffused natural light + a speedlite with a bounce card. Focus on the eyes... shoot in RAW. You can do some pp work if you want (although if done well, I think it looks good without much pp). Saturation, high pass sharpening, paint brush the catch lights. Nothing can beat it if you get it right in camera though. I dont like over done eyes though and I think these are a little overdone
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with kid. FOCUS. Not only with your focusing mechanism but with your composition. If you want bold eye portraits then try centering the eyes and seeing how you like it. And don't forget to include the chin. Hair optional.
     
  8. MonteMama

    MonteMama Calmer than you, Dude.

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    Thanks all. Those are some good tips and great insight.

    I'm especially impressed you can see that!
     
  9. Lacey Anne

    Lacey Anne TPF Noob!

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    I went and browsed her site and WOW! Her work is really nice! Inspiring.
     

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