Been spending a lot of time on here!
Jul 30, 2010
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Yep, slowed down some of my family members sufficiently to get them to pose for portraits. The backdrop is not the greatest, but I had only a few minutes, and the rest of the house was filled with guests/family/pets... the usual Christmas party stuff. As a relative noob to portraiture, I used the advice given to me by some of the TPF posters, and got this result. I think it's reasonably good, but I welcome advice/comments. And no, we can't reshoot, at least not soon - we're all in different cities and getting together is not straightforward.



To get this I used two portable softboxes, with the main one being camera right, about 45 degrees right, about 45 degrees high, and the second on the left about 45 degrees high and 60 degrees left. Power was manually set, with the left about two stops less than the main one. I was trying to get even lighting on all their faces, but in retrospect the rightmost model is having too much shadow on her right side. Lens was EF 24-105mm f/4L. Focal length was 55mm (didn't have much room to work with, unfortunately), F/8 at 1/90sec. Flashes triggered by cheap radio triggers.
I think the reason the young lady on the right has more shadow on the right side of her face is The others turned their heads to look into the camera and she just turned her eyes. Otherwise a nice family photo.
Focus is a bit soft and white balance is slightly warm. Definitely get a better setting.
White Balance - Look at contestant #1's shirt sleeve
On this monitor its a little too +warm/magenta

The focus is not terrible if you look at contestant #2 eyes
How far was that left softbox away from the subjects? She probably has a harsher shadow on her face because of either light falloff or the other two are blocking the light from getting to her.
@ baturn: You’re right, and it just shows that I need lots more practice before I can say I have a handle on portraiture.
@ diskojoe: I think the “softness” is partly due to the resizing and partly due to Photobucket. On my raw image, I can count the number of spokes in the umbrella reflected as catchlights in the girls’ eyes. As for the white balance, I agree that it is somewhat warm, but that’s what the girls preferred when we were looking at the pictures and I was adjusting the white balance. Of course, it could also have been my uncalibrated monitor that is too blue… As for the setting – it was taken in the only room in the house that was not filled with people. Given the situation, it is what it is.
@ joey_ricard: I think you are echoing Diskojoe’s comments. Looks like I WILL have to get a calibrated monitor!
@fsquare: The left softbox was about four feet away from the left girl’s face. I was trying to get the box as close to their faces as possible to get a smooth fill, but it appears I did not pay attention to the shadow being cast by the left-most two girls. It also seems in retrospect that the distance to the right-most girl would be 6-7 ft. away, and there is therefore substantial light fall-off.

Thank you for your comments!
An ideal size for the web is 1280 x 860. It will look nice but the actual file will be small and pretty useable if someone tries to snatch it. The white balance can effect sharpness. The yellow will give an unnatural color balance and you will lose details that is actually there. I f you adjust this you will probably see the difference instantly.

Definitely calibrate the monitor.

Most reactions

New Topics