Why are my pictures FLAT?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by STINKY PICTURES, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. STINKY PICTURES

    STINKY PICTURES TPF Noob!

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    Heres a sample of my pictures. This was taken quickly just to show you my problem. I know its not good color either, but thats another issue. I need to know how to make my pictures look more dimensional. I have a set of 3 photo lamps. How do I use them to get dimension? Or do I just use 1 of them from an angle? This shot...... the lamp was pretty much straight on, I illuminated the subject from the front. What am I doing wrong and how can I improve my pictures. Any help or suggestions will be tried. Thanks for your time.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. theusher

    theusher TPF Noob!

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    Straight on light will give you flat light, and make your pictures look dull. I'm no lighting pro, lots of people here are very skilled at it though. I would say at very least try some angles with the lamps, and diffuse the light.
     
  3. STINKY PICTURES

    STINKY PICTURES TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your quick reply. I used the umbrella and the bulb light came through the fabric. In other words it wasn`t a bare bulb. But the light is 500 watts, a dark blue bulb.. maybe it was too close too? I struggle with orange pictures. I set my camera to the 18% gray card... trying to learn that too.
     
  4. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    A lot of people like flat light because you can get all the detail in the image... Like you I prefer a bit of "Modeling" in the lighting. Experiment with the light at different angles (45 deg above and to one side is traditional). this will cast a few shadows which will require filling in a little with a reflector placed on the other side of the subject just out of shot. to start with the other lights can remain in the bag. When you find a set up you like , you can start lighting the background or the hair with the other two....
    Just play about with a few willing subjects and you will be amazed what you teach yourself.
    You can even spice it up a little by doing some post production work in PhotoShop or equivalent.
    There appears to be nothing wrong with your posing skills or your choice of subject. Too often you see the same bland smiling baby shot. This little one has not only got incredible eyes, but a lot of character as well.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very interesting eyes and expression indeed. I dont really see anything wrong with the photo other than a little post-processing in photoshop. A quick post-process cleanup in photoshop. Levels, curves, very minor unsharpen mask.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. oldnavy170

    oldnavy170 TPF Noob!

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    I love that babies face! So cute!
     
  7. a5i736

    a5i736 TPF Noob!

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    What kind of lens are you using? if you are using a longer focal length (i.e more on the telephoto side 70-300mm) it will flatten the image. but if u use a shorter focal length and movve closer to the subject it will bring out the features and make your picture look less flat, i would just try a shorter focal length.
     
  8. STINKY PICTURES

    STINKY PICTURES TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone!! well first this is a DOLL that I made... not a real baby so I have lots of willing subjects. I sell dolls on ebay.

    I use a digital camera so there is no lens to change. I guess I need to PLAY more with light. Is there a special light bulb that i can buy that will help me with me getting true skin tones. Or is that still pretty much a white balance thing. I`ve bought 3 different bulbs. Finally this one seems to get out most of the orange cast. This is a pretty bad shot, I`m not set up for pictures at the moment, so the color is off, but the FLAT part is pretty typical of my pictures and I hate it.

    Please feel free to give me ideas I`ll try them ALL!!
     
  9. a5i736

    a5i736 TPF Noob!

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    Well, nowadays u can get digitals that u can change lenses with. But even with one you can't change lenses with, zoom out and get closer to your subject and that will draw the features out more, and make it look less flat.

    P.S Holy crap thats a doll??
     
  10. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    oh thank god... i was just asking my brother if that was a real baby, he said yes, i said no, it was scaring me though becasue its got such big eyes, (not bad, just kinda piercing almost) very lifelike!
     
  11. PhotoHeather

    PhotoHeather TPF Noob!

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    SERIOUSLY??? That's a DOLL? Wow... very impressive. What material do you make the face out of?

    Ok... sorry I have no help... just in awe of your skills.
     
  12. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    If you can make dolls like THAT ... you have a future...
     

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