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Old 12-30-2012   #11
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

Fran
I'm not discouraged. You are correct in everything you said. This was my only studio shoot, taken in a friends studio. He set the lighting up and left us alone. I know so little about posing.

When I got these on the computer, I didn't really like any of them. I was bored yesterday and decided to see if I could salvage anything from them. They looked better yesterday than today (with fresh eyes).

You are so right about the highlights and shadows in the second photo. I tried dodging and burning, and was making a mess, so I undid it. I'm sure others could do better. But, I see that it is MUCH better to get it right in the camera.

With what I have learned from this, I know I can do a lot better next time.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-30-2012   #12
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

There are lots of available tutorials on portraiture, and I'll list some, but the best way to learn is to do.

Portrait Lighting - Names for different portrait lighting set-ups in photography

Posing Guide 1.pdf

Benji's Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial

How to Handle HANDS

Peter Hurley! | It's all about the Jaw

You can learn all the basics with only a single light so the investment is pretty low. A single AllienBee B800, a stand, an umbrella bracket, and two umbrellas - 43" and 60" - and you are set to go. Add a simple piece of white foam core board as a reflector when you start seeing the need then upgrade to one of the cheap 5-in-1 reflector kits.

Thomas Park - The One-Light Studio: Digital Photography Review

Zack Arias - One Light Workshop • Photography By Zack Arias

Paul C. Buff - AlienBees B800

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Old 12-30-2012   #13
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

There are lots of available tutorials on portraiture, and I'll list some, but the best way to learn is to do.

Portrait Lighting - Names for different portrait lighting set-ups in photography

Posing Guide 1.pdf

Benji's Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial

How to Handle HANDS

Peter Hurley! | It's all about the Jaw

You can learn all the basics with only a single light so the investment is pretty low. A single AllienBee B800, a stand, an umbrella bracket, and two umbrellas - 43" and 60" - and you are set to go. Add a simple piece of white foam core board as a reflector when you start seeing the need then upgrade to one of the cheap 5-in-1 reflector kits.

Thomas Park - The One-Light Studio: Digital Photography Review

Zack Arias - One Light Workshop • Photography By Zack Arias

Paul C. Buff - AlienBees B800

Impact Convertible 45" Umbrella - White Satin with Removable UBBW45

Impact Convertible 60" Umbrella UBBW60 B&H Photo Video



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Nissin Di866, Electra CLASSIC Plus studio strobes & modifiers
Sekonic L-358 Flash Meter, Yongnuo RF-602 Transmitters & Receivers
Dell 20" 2001F (1200x1800) IPS monitor, Samsung SyncMaster 23" F2380 (1920x1280) PVA monitor, Datacolor Spyder3Elite for monitor calibration
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Old 12-31-2012   #14
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ross13 View Post
Fran
I'm not discouraged. You are correct in everything you said. This was my only studio shoot, taken in a friends studio. He set the lighting up and left us alone. I know so little about posing.

When I got these on the computer, I didn't really like any of them. I was bored yesterday and decided to see if I could salvage anything from them. They looked better yesterday than today (with fresh eyes).

You are so right about the highlights and shadows in the second photo. I tried dodging and burning, and was making a mess, so I undid it. I'm sure others could do better. But, I see that it is MUCH better to get it right in the camera.

With what I have learned from this, I know I can do a lot better next time.

Thanks for your help!
If I can find some time tomorrow I will take a pass at these. While Fran is not entirely incorrect he makes a good point. The second image can of course be corrected in post, it is not that far off the mark. Thereal decision comes when you ask yourself is the image valuable enough to warrant the time and effort needed to bring it back through post.

Obviously the ultimate goal is to get it as close to print ready as we can in the camera so that as Fran also said the post can be a fine polish not a heavy paint. Ultimately there is very little that a skilled retouchers can not fix if the need is there but I would rather have my skin smoothing be providing a luster to the skin and not be relying on it to soften out harsh light.

In the case of these shots with your daughter a good foundation and translucent powder over the top of it would go a long ways towards evening the skintones and preventing the hard specular highlights through the tone.

I know a lot has been written about makeup and if you should use it or not in photography but when it comes to working with studio lighting I find properly applied cosmetics to be one of the greatest time savers I can get. Today's strobes / speed lights have real pop to them and the intensity of the light can burn right through drugstore makeup and oily skin can be a nightmare to deal with under studio lighting without a little foundation and powder.
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Old 12-31-2012   #15
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

For the purpose of discussion, usually the mask of the face should be well lit.
Lighting from below(which occurs here with the head tilt and the low main light) is usually referred to as horror lighting because it's , for the most part, unflattering and distorts the appearance of the person in that usually light is not seen on the face from a source below the person. That's why we shine flashlights from our chin while telling ghost stories. It makes us look distorted and more scary or unusual. Distorted , scary, and unusual are not the types of things a portrait usually strives for unless of course you are going for a halloween or monster shot. You're beautiful daughter doesn't look unusual or scary or distorted but good lighting and posing would be absolutely better and more flattering to her.
See below, most of the highlights are in the wrong places where there are usually shadows, and there are shadows in some of the places where there ought to be highlights. See below some the highlights are in the wrong place? And the shadows especially in the mask of the face?

IMG_2636_5255-Edit highlights.jpg


Furthermore, there are conflicting shadows, see the shadow from her hair on her cheek, camera left, that can't come from the main light on her left. It's a shadow from the accent of attempted fill light on her right. Conflicting shadows look bad usually. They should usually be avoided.
Also tilting the head like this gives the "up the nostrils" look which is often something to be avoided. It is not usually flattering.
Shadows and highlights give the face a 3D appearance when done well, and while "by the book" formal portrait lighting styles aren't absolutely necessary, they are used because they are usually the most flattering.
SPlit lighting, horror lighting, unusual shadows/lighting can all be used at times effectively, no doubt about it. But when starting out, if they are made out of ignorance or by mistake it's best to critique these so as to get the learning photographer to be aware of this. It's not innate. It must be learned.

Photoshop can do a lot of correcting, look at this:


but it's better as polish as I said above. I have no doubt Bobby and his skills can improve this photo dramatically with PS and enough time, but I'm going to say, it's not one I'd spend a lot of time on personally.


Now examples of all these things can be shown in "good" people photos at times, but they generally should be avoided. I would like to see what Bobby would do with this, but I'm sure he could make a better photo with a better pose and better lighting.
Cheers.
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Old 12-31-2012   #16
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Default Re: Two of my daughter

Sailor, you have done a lot of footwork for me. I hope you rested today. Thank you! Thanks also to Bobby and Fran, and everyone who's tried to help educate me.


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