My First Real Photo Shoot
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Old 02-24-2008   #1
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Default My First Real Photo Shoot

I've been practicing "portraits" on family members .. human and canine both.
I've been practicing for this particular day. These are family members from the National Guard troop that my son is in..they needed photos to send to deployed soldiers, so I offered to help. I shot these in a college bistro. One wall was all windows, but I couldn't get the gear close enough to use natural light, so I shot parallel to the wall, and scrimmed the light. I used a black foam core backdrop, or the bamboo walls as a backdrop.

Strobist: Medium softbox camera left with the middle of the softbox just about eye height (AB800 triggered by PC cable), white foam core reflector at camera right, hairlight camera right and in back was amber gelled (SB800 in SU-4 mode). Shot RAW (D80), used a grey card to set white balance. The D80 tends to put a bit more magenta in strobe-aided images, and not enough yellow. I haven't learned how to compensate for this in the camera yet, so I had to drop the magenta a bit and add yellow PP in CaptureNX ..did some curve editing too, cropping, and warmed then a tad. Probably 5 min per image after the batch processing for WB and warmth. I notice that the converted jpgs are not as bright and sharp as the RAW.

I tried real hard during the shoot to get nice catchlights, and get the eyes in sharp focus. Did a lot of manual focusing. Shot with Nikon 85mm f1.8

image 1 is my daughter-in-law, might need to drop the exposure a bit, or more likely, the amber hairlight was a bit too strong..but we both like the way it lights up her curly reddish hair (she looked over my shoulder as I processed HER images)

image2 I love this little girl..I've shot her before, and I was hoping she'd show up. Hairlight might be bit too strong.

image3 shooting people and dogs together is tough. I show dogs and I shoot a lot of that subject. This black service dog is a bit out of focus at the nose. Shucks. I should have tried a silver reflector for highlighting the dog, but this happened so fast, I forgot.

image4 lovely spouse of a soldier..very photogenic.

image5 the bistro chef that provided for our culinary needs at the event. I always wanted to do a pose like this. Catchlight on the glasses is bad..should have had him turn his head just a bit more.

I shot a lot more, but these are the best of the bunch to my mind in both composition and lighting.

Comments please

Thanks
Jerry

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Old 02-24-2008   #2
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

very nice, the one thing i might suggest is to ever so slightly lighten the teeth and whites of the eyes. not much, just enough to have some pop. i like them. good use of lighting
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Old 02-24-2008   #3
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

Thnaks fopr the comments Tim
I was focused sooo much on getting good skin tones, I forgot about the teeth and eyes..thanks..I will work on that. Would you sharpen up the teeth as well?
Jerry
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Old 02-24-2008   #4
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

Okay
I did some whitening/lightening of the eye white and teeth.
Jason Odell's Capture NX book (which I had), has a section on doing this.
Here's before and after with the chef. Not to extreme?
Jerry
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Old 02-24-2008   #5
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

Those are very nice portrait shots, Jerry! Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Bill P.
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Old 02-24-2008   #6
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

Excellent portraits, Jerry!
I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty of a quick & dirty play with the 'spouse' with the kind face. Bit of eye and teeth brightening, bit of dodging, and a little USM.
Imo it got a little better, but it would have been better if you had used a (D-I-Y) reflector to open up her face a bit more.
Just my 2 cents.

Have fun!

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Old 02-24-2008   #7
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

I used a white reflector opposite the key light. Might I have used a more specular reflector instead (gold or silver)? Or perhaps brought it in closer? I'll try that next time. Yeah I did the teeth and eye job too, and it does look better. She will be surprised when she sees it.

I see you lightned up the left side of her face too. Great idea.

Thanks for the ideas and example
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Old 03-01-2008   #8
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

And here's a belated attemp to fix the glare on the glasses
(when it can actually improve a shot. Took me about 5 mins.
I like it and I can delete it if you like.
gene
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Old 03-01-2008   #9
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Superb
Can you share what you did Gene?
Like whitening the eye and teeth, I tried to mask that area and alter color and color lightness to get rid of the glare, but it didn't work for me. The originals are RAW images, and I'm using Capture NX, so I'd really like to duplicate what you did in that software (so that I still have the original RAW, AND I'll learn how to do this if I don't plan my shots again properly), AND I'll see if Capture NX has the capability to do this.
Jerry
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Old 03-01-2008   #10
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Default Re: My First Real Photo Shoot

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranchjp View Post
Superb
Can you share what you did Gene?
It wasnt me that whitened the teeth.
I just used a brush w/about 50% of traits to copy nearby pixels and brush to areas in the glare area.

Not something one wants to do often, and may not work well for enlargement if it's bad or lots of glare but in this case it seems to work pretty well.

Many would use the healing brush but I often get in trouble with that
I used CS to do this. I'm sure others can say more but I think you can open raw in CS2-3? and then resave in raw BUT I also read many tending to not alter the original raw files. They generally treat it as a negative(film days) and save mods to jpg or tif Since a different mod can always be done from the raw.

gene


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