Some head shots...

jcskeeter

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Hi! Looking for some CC please on some head shots I recently shot and retouched. 5DIII + 70-200, 4x 600EX-RT fired by ST-E3-RT. Key + Fill + Hair + BG + Foam-core bounce. Continuous lights just for some ambient for focusing because I turned off the fluorescents.

Going for a pretty flat, non-dramatic look. This is pretty corporate environment. Retouching also pretty conservative not trying to go to far with it. Interested in thoughts on the lighting and the retouching. (Note: The crop on the photos is not how it may be cropped. Only cropped for this.)

Haven't found my groove for getting this type of subject to really loosen up. Found it tough to do when they basically walk in with 5-10 minutes of their time available before they're on to their next meeting. Thanks for any comments/advice/criticism!



Setup.jpg


Exec Headhsot 1.jpg


Exec Headhsot 2.jpg


Exec Headhsot 3.jpg
 

AKUK

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For corporate shots to go on a profile or brochure, they look fine to me. I'd prefer a little more light in the eyes of the first guy. And the last guy looks like he's doing a toothpaste commercial, so I'd dial those pearly-whites back a little bit. My eye is drawn to his teeth first, they look brighter than the backdrop!

With regard to the first guy, if you can't get the light any higher or him any lower, I'm wondering if a circular polarizing filter wouldn't help with those reflections in his glasses?
 
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jcskeeter

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Good note on the teeth, dialed them back. Yeah the glasses were a challenge. Should have moved the light, I had a little more room to move up. Did what I could to get the umbrella out. I'm just going to see if they mention the other reflections and go from there on trying to deal with them. Thanks for the notes!

Does anyone have any tuts or general ideas for recreating a muslin like BG to go behind these guys for a possible different look/use?
 

AKUK

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Do you mean applying a texture? Look for free texture packs online. Drop them over the existing image and mask out the people, leaving the texture over background. Experiment with different blending modes, as well as opacity and fill strengths. If you don't like the effect, drop in another texture and simply copy the layer mask onto the new texture and hide the previous one.
 

JohnnyWrench

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Watch the direction of the head tilt. Number 3 is looking a bit feminine because his head is tilted toward the high shoulder.
 

tirediron

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The anti-reflective coatings on modern glasses are a HUGE pain in the butt, however generally moving the light just slightly takes care of it. Failing that, ask the client to pull them down slightly or push them up slightly (but make sure that the frame does NOT cut through the eye).

In #2 your hairlight/backlight is a bit too hot, and you're losing detail right on his crown. That needs to be dropped at least one full stop, and your crop is a bit tight at the bottom; either leave a little more room so that the upper edge of the breast pocket is visible or crop it all out. Out of curiosity, why did did you shoot this from such a low perspective?

The last one is pretty good, but in all of them you need to get your key light up higher. Your catchlights should ideally be more at '10' and '2' vice '9' and '3'.
 

AKUK

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Do you mean something like this?

Exec-edit.jpg
 

pixmedic

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i think these were all pretty well done.
tirediron covered all the minor stuff.
 

Tabe

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For me, other than the head tilt and slightly-too-white teeth #3, the "after" versions of all of these look just fine.
 
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jcskeeter

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tirediron - Thanks for the note on the glasses and key light angle. I took a couple more yesterday and raised it up and it looked better. Yeah, hair light was hot for sure. And the crop isn't definite, just how it ended up when i put them into the same frame. As for the perspective, I believe I was above eye-line on all of these... But maybe I wasn't. Do you feel there's a more appropriate angle for corp head shots. I know I've seen some that are from pretty high up and I feel that is a little much. Thoughts?

Johnny Wrench - Noted on the head tilt. I see that now and that's a good point.

AKUK - Yeah a BG like that. Is that texture you used a free one or something from a pack you purchased?

Everyone else, thanks for the nod. Appreciate the comments. I'll post a shot from yesterday too.
 
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jcskeeter

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I'm hi-jacking my own post but here goes. While using the 70-200, I ended up right around 100mm with most of these shots. For these types of portraits, would any of you have a preference of using the 70-200(I have the 2.8 non-IS version) or the 100mm 2.8? I had the 100mm there (you can see in the setup pic) but at the last second decided not to use it. All of these shots were at f/6.3 1/60th. Attempting to hit more of the sweet spot on the 70-200 and also not have the nose/ears be out of focus. Would love to hear some opinions. TIA
 

AKUK

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I can't remember off the top of my head but there are plenty of free texture packs available. I am going to be compiling a texture pack from my own images in the near future which I will most likely be giving away for free on my website.

The best method for you dropping a new background in the image would be to mask out all the white areas of the image and then place the texture on a layer below. It's always best to keep layers in the order that they would appear in a photo. It makes things much simpler in the long run. You could also place a plain white layer at the very bottom and then change the blend mode of the texture layer to give you even more looks as well.

I've just seen your new post as I was writing this reply. While the white is fine as it's easy for brochures and the subject can easily be cut out, the only negative for me is that it takes away the depth from an image somewhat. Having a blurred texture just gives that lift to bring the depth back to a portrait. I would continue shooting against the white though, as you can simply drop any backdrop in that your client likes.

I think the latest image is well done. No reflections. Nice catch lights in the eyes. Well exposed. Definitely a thumbs up from me.
 

AKUK

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With regard to the 70-200 or the 100mm, I don't think it really matters that much. Compression on the face will be nice either way. If you shot at 200mm then obviously you'd have a shallower depth of field and narrower field of view but, would have to move backwards a fair bit and stop the lens down more to avoid the DOF being so shallow. As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.
 

tirediron

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Looks good! The glasses are pretty much perfect. The highlights might be a tad (~1/3 stop) too hot, but that's minor and easily correctable in post if you choose.
 

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