lighting dilemma
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Old 02-02-2012   #1
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Default lighting dilemma

The oldest boy is going to KU next year and ESPN has voted him to go one year before going pro in basketball. He and the family say otherwise as he has a 4.0 gpa in HARD subjects.



How in the world, besides lots of photoshop do you end up with a usable image when you have such a range of skin tones? I tried to keep Mom as far from the lights as possible yet she wanted to be next to her husband who's the darkest of the bunch!

Thoughts? Suggestions?? They may be coming again when the next one graduates.

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Old 02-02-2012   #2
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

I'd start by putting the person with the darkest skin closest to the main light and in front of a lighter area of the background.
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Old 02-02-2012   #3
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

Benji gave a short answer to this question in the discussion on his tutorial:

Benji - PS Technique For Checking Exposure (Portraits)

Basically it involves using layers and masks in Photoshop to allow adjusting the exposure of each face individually.
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Old 02-02-2012   #4
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

Thanks, that's basically what I did but would like to avoid so much of it next time. I fear there really isn't anything I can do to avoid some but I would like to try to light the back of Dad's head without bleed onto Mom's blond head, I think that would improve it.
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Old 02-02-2012   #5
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

Brooks, Dad has the darkest skin and to move him to the closest, I'd also be moving Mom there and probably turning her head and getting her broad lit.
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Old 02-02-2012   #6
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

Maybe you could have had the boy with the white shirt exchange places with the one in the plaid, so Dad's head would be in front of the white?
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Old 02-02-2012   #7
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

That IS a good idea. I think I was fixated on putting the boy in front since he's the oldest and was there for his senior photos but that would have 1. lightened Dad's head and 2. gotten his white shirt both behind darker stuff and farther from the light.

Of course, then the big expanse of plaid would have been in front, too. SO wish they'd have done beter with their clothing choices.
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Old 02-02-2012   #8
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

I actually don't think the plaid looks bad, Linda. It's not glaringly colorful or anything, so even though it is a little bit eye catching, it's not a deal breaker.

And to tell the truth, I think you did a good job with this. Maybe the goal with a family that has such a variety of skin tones would be to light it so you only have ONE tone to brighten or darken...idk.

Still, I think you did a good job with this.
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Old 02-03-2012   #9
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

Nice work! I'm intrigued by the background ... is it a tapestry or what is back there?
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Old 02-03-2012   #10
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Default Re: lighting dilemma

I would probably mount the camera on a tripod, bracket the exposures, layer them in photoshop and erase the areas (i.e. mom is overexposed on the top two layers, but great on the third etc) should not be too hard to blend the image and make it seamless.


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