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Old 02-18-2008   #1
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I'm not shy at giving advice and giving critique to the images posted (good and bad). When it comes to the images I take myself however, it's very difficult to be objective.

Please tell me what you think is right/wrong with these. I'm man enough to take the hit. I want to learn so blunt honesty is ok

These were taken at the weekend.












Thanks
Jim

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Old 02-18-2008   #2
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For me the lighting is too flat. Did you have a second "fill" light to the right of the camera? Or is that a harsh silver reflector? Try using just a soft white reflector instead of a second light. Or at least position the fill light where it will act as a fill light instead of a second light..ie: above the camera and on the lens axis. And turn the power doen on the fill light so that it is no more than 1/2 the power of the main light.

You could also position the subject farther in front of the background so that you can light the background seperately and create a feeling of three dimensions instead of the flat, two dimensional feeling that you have here.

On my monitor the exposure looks a bit light too.

There's some posing issues as well but for me the lighting would be the first thing I'd look at. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-18-2008   #3
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Love her red hair but I agree that they look a bit hot. I like the poses except the last one which seems to lake interest for me.
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Old 02-18-2008   #4
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Brooks
Thanks for the help. Very much appreciated. Would appreciate posing help too

Yes a second light to camera right was used (f5.6) main camera left (f Overall exposure f9.

No space to get the subjects away from the background as space is very tight in my living room. It's the one thing I know I need more of!!

I do have a third light but have not used it yet due to the space restrictions.

I have a 24" reflector that I have not used here and I'll try that the next time I use the lights.

Any more help you can give would really be appreciated. I've not a lot of experience in posing people. This is an area that is hard to learn! Advice would be great.

THank you again.

Regards
Jim
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Old 02-18-2008   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwest57 View Post
Love her red hair but I agree that they look a bit hot. I like the poses except the last one which seems to lake interest for me.
I agree and I'll tone them down a bit in Lightroom. It's funny that the histogram shows a gap right though.
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Old 02-18-2008   #6
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Jim,

Here at PhotoCamel, Benji is the man for portrait posing and lighting. Look for his tutorials and posts on the subject.

I think you should try using just one light and the largest soft box or umbrella that you have. Position that light from one side of the camera, as close as possible to your subjects. Use a white fill card to lighten the shadows a bit.

Try positioning the background at an angle behind the subjects so that you can create a graded transition of tones from left to right. Do a search for a thread here about chirascuro lighting. Do another search here for "short lighting" and "broad lighting". Most subjects look best with short lighting.

i apologize for posting this same photo again on this site but it's the only one I have here in the laptop at the house. It's a photo taken with a single large umbrella strobe and a fill card. No other lights. It's an example of short lighting because the smaller, far side of the face is lit and the shadows move toward the front of the face.

For even better examples of what you can accomplish with just one light, take a look at William Coupon

Try some shots with just one light and see what you can do.
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Old 02-18-2008   #7
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Thanks Brooks. Yes I know Benji is excellent and have read his tutorials...... I'll do so again.

Because I bought three lights I never considfered using only 1! My reclector is not very large but I'll give this a go.

My goal was purely to create a few friendly looking family portrats.

I will get them over again next weekend (well to be honest it won't be a problem because the three people in the images are my girlfriend, her son and me)

Thanks for the help.

Best regards
Jim
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Old 02-18-2008   #8
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If you don't have a lot of room to separate your subject from the background you can do it in the lighting. Use your largest light (softbox works better than an umbrella), place it as close to the subject(s) as you can (so it falls off quickly making the background go dark), angle it 90 degrees across the subjects, and flag it off from hitting the background.

As for the posing, the last one is the one I like best. It looks natural. The middle three (to me) look like they have broken necks and can't hold their heads up.
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Old 02-18-2008   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EOS_JD View Post
Please tell me what you think is right/wrong with these. I'm man enough to take the hit. I want to learn so blunt honesty is ok
I see two issues: color and exposure. Some of these are overexposed, and I can't fix them. The color issue is different. I see a color cast. I would work with a tool such as PhotoTune's Skintune to try to get rid of the cast.

And sometimes converting to grayscale is your best bet. Check out Rense's black and white photocamel plug-in.
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Old 02-18-2008   #10
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EOS JD, while I like the composition, I agree with the others that these images are too hot and the light too flat. Perhaps some repositioning of the lights would help. Cheers, Bill P.


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