First off-camera lighting portrait

sb700ca

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Just got the strobist setup and shot a few portraits in the backyard as the sun went down. Nikon 5100, 50mm, 250msec, ISO100, f/3.2. SV700 at 1/32. The umbrella is high to camera left and close in. The shot is not cropped. Image size is small because I did minor post-processing for a facebook shot.

I am learning portraiture rules, but would appreciate some feedback on this, especially on lighting.

$susan portrait.jpg
 

Pallycow

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looks a little flat and cool to me. just a tad/hair tweek of levels and/or curves and should clean it up. and check WB to warm it a hair. Maybe a tad underexposed...I don't have my histogram viewer running...but I feel it could be a bit higher.

You didn't nuke her, so that's good.
 

Pallycow

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exposure was buggin me so I downloaded it and put it up in PS.

check the histrogram, it's pretty far left.

$Untitled-1.jpg




Upped exposure a bit, adjusted gamma a hair, and mid point in levels to taste. now it's exposed properly. No real hotspots of concern so your flash was good. To fix in camera vs. post, maybe put your flash at 1/16th next time or so....play with it, you'll find it. Check your histogram on your camera after each shot to learn what effects your flash will have with settings you're using.

$susan portrait-1.jpg
 

Derrel

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exposure was buggin me so I downloaded it and put it up in PS.

check the histrogram, it's pretty far left.

View attachment 47360




Upped exposure a bit, adjusted gamma a hair, and mid point in levels to taste. now it's exposed properly. No real hotspots of concern so your flash was good. To fix in camera vs. post, maybe put your flash at 1/16th next time or so....play with it, you'll find it. Check your histogram on your camera after each shot to learn what effects your flash will have with settings you're using.

View attachment 47361

But now her hand has a blown, discolored spot in it. Too much 'added' in the edit. Something between this, and the original, would probably look best.
 

tirediron

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Not sure if it's just odd catchlights, an editing artifact, or what, but there's something very odd about her pupils. In addition to the above, I'll add: Avoid cropping limbs and digits whenever possible. Had you included both hands, this would have been a MUCH stronger shot!
 

cgipson1

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Weird angles seldom work either... they just don't look natural. The original is underexposed, as mentioned.
 
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sb700ca

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Thank you, everyone. The catch lights were a puzzle to me. I've seen tons of shots with close lights that didn't have these. Definitely need to experiment with the position of the umbrella. That would also impact the lighting being a bit flat, too.
 

Mike_E

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Did you have the umbrella pointed at her?

I think that you'll find that feathering the umbrella -aiming it in front of the face with the largest part of the umbrella closest to the camera and the least towards the back of the head will give you much better results.

On posing: I dug this up for another poster but as it seems to get lost from time to time why not give it a read.

Zeltsman Apporach to Traditionla Classic Portraiture
 

amolitor

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Do you see the flat black region of hair? A reflector or a little fill in here would have been good. You can even use the ambient light to fill.
 

Pallycow

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it's just a hotspot derrell, it's not blown, there is still data/texture there.

was not going to do a full edit on a practice shot, just did it real quick to illustrate the comments ;-)
 

Mike_E

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Pallycow

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I think folks are losing sight that this was not a serious photo, but a practice shot for ocf practice. so composition and other aspects being critiqued are really irrelevant.
 
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sb700ca

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All the comments are helpful. Yes, it was a quick test and I was using the little bit of ambient light left that night. The feathering is an awesome suggestion as were the links. I really appreciate all the feedback here since everyone just wants to be nice at the camera club.

Next step: a classic portrait that I prepare for with the goal of applying that to an environmental portrait.
 

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