"Catches" in the Eye...a simple trick


TPF Noob!
Jun 20, 2003
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...... itinerant ..........
... a simple trick to enhance any portrait is the placement of "catches" (or highlights) in your subject's eyes

I have detailed four easy methods, below

Depending on your monitor's calibration, there may be loss of detail in the subject's clothing



* Use a reflector - even an A4 size piece of white paper held above lens and angled to reflect a light source works well

* Camera flash or portable strobes (flash set on 3 to 4 stops less than camera will provide catches without affecting your exposure)

* When shooting indoors, position your subject to catch window light

* Photoshop's stamp/clone tool

Technical Data: available light snap shot; Kodak T-Max 400 pushed to 1600 for added contrast; Kodak developer 1:19 ratio, 14 minutes @ 20 degrees Celcius, five agitations every 30 sec



Note: although acceptable for demonstration purposes, i could not use this image in my work because the "catches" here were created using Photoshop. A manipulation such as that (any manipulation of an image, in fact) is an ABSOLUTE no-no in photojournalism
Great stuff e_ .... as always!
A simple touch with a superb effect.
Obviously photojournalism is completely different to regular journalism in which lies, half truths and distortions are regular fare.
Glad to see there's at least one person with ethics.
Keep up the great work e_!
... thank you for your kind words, mrsid!

Seeing i provided a tip for our "Photoshopographers" - here's something for those using the wet dark room:

* Cut out disks (to size) for dodging in the catches

Expose image for approx. 1/4 of total exposure time to add density to the paper > turn off light > position disks (use a red filter to block focusing light while adjusting their exact placement) > complete the exposure

Experiment with the timing (test strips)

Ideally, do this through the camera lens when shooting - but it's a useful trick for spicing up an existing exposure



the other alternative when doing it wet is to use a 1 to 2% potassium ferricyanide solution and a 00 brush after printing and washing.
I like to shoot with available light mostly. I try to avoid using flash if possible. Angling light from a white board, say the size of a cd case so it wont interefere with your shooting, can create the same effect. Its a really good portrait I like the soft look to it. But why was photoshop used? If using photoshop levels and maybe some saturation is manipulating the photo. Then wouldnt using filters on your camera lens, or refractor cards be manipulating the photo also? All to create that perfect picture.
alexanderhip said:
Its a really good portrait I like the soft look to it.

... thank you for your kind words

The 'soft look' was achieved by default - these days i'm not very stable and require assistance to get about (which i make a brief reference to in the Introductory Forum) ;)

But i'm getting stronger each day and hope to be back on the road soon...

alexanderhip said:
If using photoshop levels and maybe some saturation is manipulating the photo...Then wouldnt using filters on your camera lens, or refractor cards be manipulating the photo also?...All to create that perfect picture.

The reference to manipulating images relates solely to my work as a photojournalist and that particular genre of photography

It's an area fraught with ethical dilemmas and been argued about in editorial rooms since broadsheets and news journals first began with illustrative drawings

Without writing a lengthy dissertation on the subject, let me put it briefly that 'manipulation' through the lens when capturing or recording the event/image is (generally) acceptable - but any attempt to alter what was there (or not there) is taboo!

A recent example saw one photojournalist covering the Iraq war being fired from the LA Times after he manipulated an image. It was just a small change which altered neither the context nor the meaning of the photograph

Using Photoshop, he simply moved a few people around to improve the composition which, in your words, was "all to create that perfect image"

That photographer won't work in this industry again, least ways, not in his current incarnation

Thanks again!



EDIT: correct 2 x typos
There seems to be at least two sides to this and probably many shades in between but as a user of Photoshop (and if you saw my raw images you'd understand why!) I don't feel the slightest guilt twinge when playing with pics I've taken, however, I believe that the photographer e_ mentioned should have been boiled in fixer!
I and most others are just making pictures for looking at but this guy was making a historical record and facts are facts!
This is probably the distinction, if it's for the record it has to be accurate (even here you could make a case for allowing things like sharpening) but people like myself who are only making pictures for their own sake does it really matter how you get there?

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