Working on finding the light...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TamiAz, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. TamiAz

    TamiAz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is my son and I shot this in our living room last week..I'm really trying to find the light and use it correctly. He was facing our living room window where the sun shines through in the morning. I think the lighting looks good, but I wanted to check here. My pictures have been coming out a lot sharper lately...Does that have to do with my focus or the way I'm using the light? Or both???

    [​IMG]


     
  2. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It looks like it's a bit overexposed to me, but then I don't know exactly what the colors are supposed to look like either. When I shifted things toward the dark side of the histogram it looked better to me.
     
  3. TamiAz

    TamiAz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you.. Something I'm learning about myself is I tend to like portraits to be a on the light side, but not blown out. Am I beginning to find my style?? :D
     
  4. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It looks perfectly exposed to me. But I also tend to lean towards the light.

    Try different angles, usually a flattering one is the subject about 45 degrees from the light source, that'll give a bit more dimension to the image as well.
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Overexposed on my monitor, FYI... and I'm calibrated. Well, my monitor is.
     
  6. TamiAz

    TamiAz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I need to look into getting my monitor calibrated. Do you use some kind of software?

    I'm using two laptops right now..I have a Toshiba and a Mac. I opened up the picture in both and it's interesting to see how different they look.
     
  7. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not to argue, but I'm calibrated as well. You're supposed to expose to the right. The thing in the top corner is at 255 which is the absolute max, but his face/hair are perfectly exposed. I've used Color Munki and spyder3(I think it was 3)
     
  8. jamesbjenkins

    jamesbjenkins No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's my take on your image:

    $6854494065_4897c8de89_b.jpg

    #1: Levels adjustment layer, moved the midpoint slider to (-74)
    #2: hue/sat adjustment layer, dropped the red sat to (-23) to remove some of the excess color from his cheeks.

    That's all I'd fix. Your composition looks fine. Post more!
     
  9. MTVision

    MTVision Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exposing to the right doesn't mean you have to leave it there.
    :p
     
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  10. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    True, but it doesn't mean its overexposed either.
    :d
    ^ That would be a smiley touching its tongue to its nose :D
     
  11. EIngerson

    EIngerson Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It is a little hot (over exposed) The light you are using needs to be diffused some how. For a cheap way to try it, go get a couple foam boards. (about $2 at wal-mart) Have your son face about 45 degrees from the window and use the two foam boards to reflect the light back onto the un-lit side. This will also add some contour/shape to an otherwise flat portrait.

    Sounds ghetto, but it's a great, cheap way to start playing with light and understanding how to direct it.
     
  12. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You only quoted part of that philosophy: Expose to the right, post-process to the left. Get the exposure as far to the right of the histogram as possible without blowing the highlights and then lower the exposure to the proper point in post processing. This retains the detail in the shadows.

    That's why I didn't just come out and state that it's overexposed. That can frequently be a choice made by the photographer. I would suggest this: In whatever software you use lower the exposure by about 1/3 to 1/2 stop and then compare the results to the original. The colors in the processed image will be darker and richer, and to me it looks better. If you like it the way it is then by all means ignore my suggestion, but it looks a bit light to me.

    You will need a colorimeter and software to make it work. I have two monitors on this desktop and use a Spyder 3 on one of them and an i1 on the other. The i1 came with the monitor and the software only works well with it so I have to use the Spyder on the other one.

    If you are using a laptop for editing then the problem is going to be the laptop itself. LCD screens are extremely difficult to calibrate because every time you open them the angle of the screen is slightly different, and the lighting is slightly different. The only way to calibrate a monitor is for it to remain in the same place all the time. I normally recommend that if people are using a laptop for editing that they get an external monitor or they will never have consistent results.
     
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