Another Practice Session with Family


TPF Noob!
Jul 15, 2013
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Heaven or Hell depending on the time of year...
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Hello! I had some family in this past week (Why I haven't been around) and they were good enough to let me take them out to practice taking pictures of them. They said if any came out like they liked, they might use them for their Christmas cards. I think I did much better this time and would like some feedback. I understand I have TONS of room to improve. I'm still learning so anything you can give me would help! Thank you!

1. $IMG_9606.jpg

2. $IMG_9615.jpg

3. $IMG_9626.jpg
Here are some thoughts.
1) Too much vignetting. I'm not sure if you added that in post or not. If you did, pull it back. If you didn't, pull it back.
2) All of them could have benefited from some lighting. As it is, the subjects don't "pop" enough out of the background.
3) I'm admittedly not a pro on the "rules" of dressing for a photoshoot, but two rules I have heard are (1) don't wear all white and (2) don't wear all black. Rule (3) might be, don't do both. It would have been nicer to have them wearing complimentary colors.
4) In #2, the I don't think the picture frame was executed well. In addition to cutting off body parts, there appear to be other disembodies body parts holding the frame in place. These shots tend to work better when the couple is holding the frame themselves.
5) In #3, the landscape appears *very* tilted. But the family does not. There is something wonky going on there that you can probably correct.

Not trying to be harsh, just offering my 2 cents worth!
I don't think you are being harsh...

1. I can pull the vignetting back easy enough to do.
2. I will work on lighting
3. The dress was their choice.. I personally don't like it either...
4. Fair enough, next time I'll try it that way.
5. The landscape is "wonky" naturally, I'm not sure how to correct that. The whole valley tilts to the right harshly... Is there a way to fix this without making the family appear tilted?
My attempt at straightening up the image. Too much foreground, i was going to crop some out but it left things too tight. I agree with all of heitz's comments above... where were you at? Looks similar to the fin formations in the moab area.
Here's a very quick edit. I decreased the vignetting, upped the saturation, played with the shadows/highlights a bit, and did a kind of a crappy job using dodge on a few faces. The sky is getting blown now, but that might just be because its a JPG. Probably better with RAW

Ok, here are my changes... I decided not to mess with the horizon much because, it really is a wonky horizon in real life and, I kind of like it as did my family. Please, let me know if these are better:

1. $IMG_9606.jpg

2. $IMG_9626.jpg
The last one has some natural light spilling onto them which helps make them pop more. See how much better they stand out than in the one above it.
I think the reason the horizon is so unsettling is because the clouds follow the same angle as the ground, making it look like the camera wasn't level, although clearly it was or the entire group would have been standing at a tilt.
It is much better with the vignetting toned down. The saturation is also much better in your latest version than in your previous edit.

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