Beach photo.

jwbryson1

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Please give me C&C on lighting and overall PP. What would you change? How can I improve this shot?

Thanks for looking.


URL], on Flickr
 
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baturn

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Pretty hard to critique a family that beautiful and obviously happy. BTW I know nothing of portrait photography, but if I took that shot of my family, it would not be on a wall, it would be a wall in at least one room of my house.
 

OLaA

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I did this one for your pretty family.
<img src="http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=51052"/>

I can appreciate trying to warm it up but the red is out of control in this edit.
 

tirediron

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Pretty good JW, but it is a tad under-exposed. I think a slight exposure increaes & WB tweak and it would be 100%!

This might not be spot-on, as this monitor is wayyyyyyyyyyy out of calibration, but I think it's close...
jw-2.jpg
 

Buckster

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Please give me C&C on lighting and overall PP. What would you change? How can I improve this shot?
My thoughts when I look at this are:

1. I seriously dislike the shadows and the flat front lighting. It makes it look like nothing more than a snapshot with no thought put into it. Get the flash off the camera and over to one side or the other to add depth and three-dimensionality to the people, and use a modifier to soften the shadows when you do it.

2. The "say cheeeeese!" smiles also render this to snapshot-quality. Interact with your family to get REAL, natural smiles they can't help but make on their own. Tell a funny story, tease, laugh loudly and crazily yourself, do something stupid that will make them laugh, etc. PUT them in the mood you want to convey - don't expect them to be able to deliver on command like they're professional models or actors. While doing that, shoot a TON of photos, then choose the best, with the most natural smiles and expressions later.
 

Robin_Usagani

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Personally I feel the background is a little bleh. You could help this by using a wider angle to give the cloud some definition. With long focal length you were using, the cloud was very compressed so all you see is white. Really too bad you cant see colors in the background. Anyway.. here is a sample of long vs wide. I know this isnt family photo AND they are not shot that tight.. but you get the idea a little bit.

The first one was shot with 135. The cloud is almost all white.
p1868646824-4.jpg


This one was shot at 38mm. I know this was shot wide, just pretend I shot it a bit closer to the subject and the subject size is as big as the 1st one (i know one is vertical and one is horiz but I cant find a better example). Now the background is a ton more interesting.
p1695244657-4.jpg
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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Thanks for all the C&C. For the record, this was my attempt to recover those shots I took when the sun was too far gone, so I understand the underexposure. Buck, agreed on all you said, but we were sprinting for the beach to get some shots before it was way too late and I had no time to shoot with OCF. I had to use my SB-700 on the camera hot shoe. Points taken however.

This was also my first edit using PS CS6. I tried to raise the exposure of the water and clouds but they looked washed out so I added just a tough of saturation to make them look blue and I think it made the overall image look underexposed.

Onward and upward!

Thanks for the comments! :mrgreen:
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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Personally I feel the background is a little bleh. You could help this by using a wider angle to give the cloud some definition. With long focal length you were using, the cloud was very compressed so all you see is white. Really too bad you cant see colors in the background. Anyway.. here is a sample of long vs wide. I know this isnt family photo AND they are not shot that tight.. but you get the idea a little bit.

The first one was shot with 135. The cloud is almost all white.
p1868646824-4.jpg


This one was shot at 38mm. I know this was shot wide, just pretend I shot it a bit closer to the subject and the subject size is as big as the 1st one (i know one is vertical and one is horiz but I cant find a better example). Now the background is a ton more interesting.
p1695244657-4.jpg


These are AWESOME! :hail:

I would love to shoot wider angle but 2 problems: My wider aperture lenses are my 18-200 (not good in low light) and my 18-55 (not good in low light or in general).

I was also shooting between a bunch of fisherman on the beach so I had to keep the image narrow. I used my 50 1.8 because it's fast and sharp. Too bad I don't have an FX body.
 

Derrel

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Robin_Usagani is totally spot-on...you definitely should have flown the family to Colorado, and waited for a very stormy,cloudy day to photograph the family shots. That way your beach shot would have had a nice, stormy look to it. Big smiles and all, in front of tons of threatening rainclouds.

Wouldda' been totes awesome,bro. ;-)

But, I guess the thing to do with what you ended up with would be to warm it up just a little bit. The current white balance and color palette makes it look a bit too blue, a bit too cool. The skin tones look like they have too much blue in them. Also, there's a slight lack of a really solid black, no doubt due to the flash. I would make the leg shadow caused by the flash look a bit darker, and make that "the black" value, and build the photo's contrast from there using the curves tool.
 

Robin_Usagani

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Derrel.. you accused someone like cgipson for always criticizing what a certain member said, maybe you should look at the mirror again just like your avatar. OP asked for advice on lighting, pp, and how to improve the shot. I believe using wider angle could have improve the shot. I was just guessing there were some clouds in the sky. Even if there wasnt, it will show the background better..

I took a long break from spending a lot of time on this forum. I always get creamed for just trying to help. I feel like the only time this forum is good for is to joke around or to argue. That is it.
 
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jwbryson1

jwbryson1

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Derrel.. you accused someone like cgipson for always criticizing what a certain member said, maybe you should look at the mirror again just like your avatar. OP asked for advice on lighting, pp, and how to improve the shot. I believe using wider angle could have improve the shot. I was just guessing there were some clouds in the sky. Even if there wasnt, it will show the background better..

I took a long break from spending a lot of time on this forum. I always get creamed for just trying to help. I feel like the only time this forum is good for is to joke around or to argue. That is it.

I appreciate the comments from all. Let's keep it friendly. :mrgreen:
 

amolitor

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Get lower and bring that horizon line down, too. The water's boring (in this shot), maybe there was more interest in the sky. Anyways, isn't there something about not having the horizon running through someone's neck?

The lighting is what it is. You might try painting a little more modeling on with a Burn layer. Just give it a hint of directionality to the light. Maybe dodge away the shadows cast on the sand, as well? It's a bunch of work.
 

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