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Old 02-25-2012   #1
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Default Individual Family Portraits

So I tried something different here - using a lighting technique i read on Strobist - i used my 42" umbrella with a speed light overhead at 1/64th power (the ambient light was kinda high). The edge of the umbrella is directly overhead - about 3 inches above the forehead and tipped slightly in. - The camera was 50mm f/1.8 at 1/200th - I was hoping to soften the spill of the light down from the head down - and use the ambient light on the back ground to give some separation. (Hopefully all that makes sense)

I'd like get your feedback on if I accomplished the effect correctly, and how to improve it.

The second thing i was going for was a more traditional portrait style of each individual family member - to present in a tryptic type board - This was for my experimenting more than for the family (i have plenty others for them).

So please offer some constructive feedback on both the technical and the presentation....

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Old 02-26-2012   #2
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Default Re: Individual Family Portraits

I like experimentation.
It's difficult to evaluate what you are trying to achieve because there is too much variation between the photos.
In #1 there are 2 catchlights in the eyes and good bokeh and good skin illumination .
In #2, #3 the eyes look 'dead' with 1 catchlight and the bokeh is inferior and the skin is under exposed. The different height of the people and the distance to the background are factors to consider. Perhaps a re-shoot might help to create continuity of the 3 photos .
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Old 02-26-2012   #3
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Default Re: Individual Family Portraits

Thanks Bob - after i put this down and came back - the Bokeh and the catch lights are the first two things I noticed. I appreciate you taking a look!
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Old 02-26-2012   #4
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Default Re: Individual Family Portraits

Just an additional hint. The reason the bokeh is different is that the subjects look like they are different distances from the background. The first is quite a bit further from the background than the last two (who seem to be right next to the background). You have to decide whether you want the background in focus or not. The normal is to not have it in focus but it just depends on what you are going for but for a tryptic type board you probably will want everything nearly the same of each image. Same shutter speed, same aperture, same lighting, and probably the same pose which is why the bottom two look similar and the top one so different. You also have issues with the two women being dark headed and the guy being ... well not. This will change the exposure quite a bit and make it even more challenging to balance the three images out.

Good luck

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Old 02-26-2012   #5
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Default Re: Individual Family Portraits

Mike - thanks - I'm glad to see the at least my analysis is on the mark as for why the bokeh and the positioning are off. Its a lot easier to analyze after the fact, and disappointing i didn't think of the simple things at the time! The dark hair I didn't think about, but its an excellent point, at least i didn't blow out the top of his head right? I appreciate the guidance on this, and will try and keep all this in mind when the people are actually in front of the camera.
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Old 02-27-2012   #6
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Default Re: Individual Family Portraits

Hey,it's all easier when you sit in front of the monitor than when you are behind the camera. Thanks for taking it the right way. I think the project is an excellent idea and would hope you post the next iteration here also. Note I said the next iteration because the projects are never done, we just get tired of refining them.


Good luck

Mike


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