First attempt at portraites and would like advice to improve

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by charchri4, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Seems to be a need to make sure you're getting proper exposures, although I find that can be tricky with snow (which we don't get a lot here).

    Watch the hair - lovely girl but there's a hunk bunched up on the right on this one, and it's chopped off at the bottom; in profile it goes down her back and kind of blends in with the snow. Needed to check, smooth, arrange the hair as she moved from one pose to another.

    Think about where you're putting the subjects in relation to the backgrounds; the portions of snow make for light color shapes against darker areas. Notice everything in that rectangle of a viewfinder, make sure everything is where you want it to be. Slow down and take time to compose your images instead of shooting so many, go for quality more than quantity, instead of firing off the shutter think about what you're doing.


     
  2. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just googled iris enhance and teeth whitening. I didn't know they were there and that is really helpful. I did that a little on a couple of them anyway but not with the plug in just with the spot brush. Back to the drawing board!
     
  3. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have to tell you I totally went deer in the head lights with this. They were looking at me for what to do and my brain just froze. Everything else I have ever shot is waiting for the right moment for the car to come by or the goose to take off. There was no waiting at all in this and it was down right exhausting! I ran out of ideas in about 10 minutes and was just overwhelmed. My first dozen shots were so overexposed they were useless because I didn't even check the camera settings! I truly don't know how you pros do it and make it look so easy! So yeah you are spot on I came away with 600 shutter actuations and 6 good shots!

    Thank YOU for the advice. I've learned more in the last 24 hours about shooting than in the last 24 months!
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    RE: Flyaway hairs...nothing says "reality" like a few strands of a woman's hair out of place in an outdoor shoot. Some people absolutely freak out about a few hairs. I liken it to OCD and excessive Photoshopped perfection having become the norm over the last 15 years. Flyaways are something that mostly only photographers, of a certain mindset, really pay much attention to. The family members, friends, and subjects usually will not even notice them, unless the issue is really prominent. So--this is your call. On some shoots, you might rrrrrreally want to work very diligently to eliminate or minimize flyaway hairs, other times, no big deal.

    I enjoyed hearing your honest description of the brain freeze and forgetting to check the exposures! Just as an aside....you own cameras that have AUTO ISO capability in manually chosen exposure setting scenarios, so you **could** select a good, safe f/stop and shutter speed, and sort of make sure it's generally right on, then start focusing more on framing, expression, timing, and your rapport with the subject(s).

    How much did the 17 rolls of film and the processing cost you for this shoot? :1398:
     
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  5. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    OK I put some raws up on drop box. Dropbox - A&K photos

    Thanks Darrel. I usually run in TAv so I control aperture and shutter speed but when I realized I lost the those first shots due to it being set to shoot in church I flipped it over to aperture priority and let the camera do the rest. Pretty much no matter what setting I have the camera on even full auto it likes to under expose a little.
     
  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    They're DNG files so I can't just send you an XMP. Here's one of them. I'm on my laptop. I'll take a closer look in the morning when I'm back at my desk.

    Joe

    EDIT: Actually I can get an XMP file out of ACR. This is easier -- just copy the XMP file to the directory where the original is located: Dropbox - _IMG4632.xmp

    Dropbox - _IMG4632.DNG
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  7. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow nice! I opened it in elements and are you meaning the info on the right side?
    [​IMG]

    I opened the original and compared the numbers and quite a difference.

    So should I be using something other than DNGs?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes the numbers on the right, but in Elements you're not seeing everything. The version of ACR in Elements is crippled and does not show you all the changes I made to the default values. If you copy the XMP file or DNG file to your library it will overwrite your original in LR but to see what I did you really need to open the file in LR. There you'll see I made use of the Adjustment Brush and Gradient tools. You can rename the DNG or rename a copy of your original and then rename the XMP to match and put those in LR to see all of the editing I did.

    I was thinking for a minute that you were having LR convert your raw files to DNG but then I notice you're shooting Pentax. I believe Pentax saves raw files directly in the DNG format so that's you only option. DNG is OK but it is kind of like being married to Adobe -- Pentax made that call for you.

    Joe
     
  9. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here's another one: Dropbox - _IMG4265.DNG

    I think the easiest thing to do would be to rename it and then put it in LR so you can see all of the editing. Make sure and look at the Adjustment Brush.

    Joe
     
  10. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I see the light!! THANK YOU!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. charchri4

    charchri4 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well another zillion hours going over what I hate and I think it's time to let it go. I've replaced all but couple images in the folder multiple times but there are still several I really don't like the coloring in and I'm feeling it's pointless to keep at it. The shots just are not that good and no plans to do anything with them anyway.

    The good news is I have learned so SOOOO much in this!
    1 PLAN your outfits, PLAN your location, and PLAN your poses to achieve the look you are going for AHEAD OF TIME!
    2 STOP look and like before you push the shutter! Have an assistant with basic hair and make up fixins double check things before each group of shots.
    3 The golden hour is great but flash is not the enemy! A little bit makes a world of difference on an overcast day.
    4 Don't crop! Plan full body, torso and head shots and frame them correctly to begin with.
    5 Garbage in garbage out. Photoshop is good but a good capture is SOOOOO much better!

    In other words it was really lucky we got the stuff we did! I managed a range of weird blotchy over tones to weird paleness and every color and exposure problem in-between. It turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be.

    I just want to thank you again for helping me with this. I just read through all the comments again and while I feel a bit more prepared I am still blown away at how easy you good folks make it look! Here is the folder if you want to see the mess but honestly I wouldn't bother! A & M and a bit of N
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Good learning experience then, and - I looked! lol Turned out pretty well, looks like you have enough to give them some that they'd like.

    (And you could just take along a mirror... then she can double check the hair as needed - it's the fine blond straight hair that can be flyaway more than the curly I think.)
     
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