Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Portraits - Take II

  1. #1
    spngr311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    Posts
    84
    Real Name
    Rob

    Portraits - Take II

    All,

    I took some more pics of my wife this weekend. We tried taking pics outside this time. We had her brother help with the reflector/diffuser. For the first two pictures, he held the diffuser to camera left, very high and close to her. I think it helped soften the light some and keep her from squinting so much, but I think it dimmed her too much. However, I did have her face away from the camera and turn around towards me. This definitely helped for posing her.

    1.
    Portraits - Take II

    2.
    Portraits - Take II

    I didn't have the lighting how I wanted. I had her brother hold a silver reflector to camera left, but I don't know how much light was getting on her.

    3.
    Portraits - Take II

    Any tips?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA USA
    Posts
    1,382
    Real Name
    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    I'm not portrait specialist, or specialist of any kind for that matter but, WOW! That is a huge difference from the first ones you posted. I'm sure Colin will peek in or someone else. I think your wife must be very happy with these... and you too... a lot of improvement. Good shooting!

    In the first photo, there are some wisps of hair that can easily be cloned out in PP.

    In the second one (I think it's the second one) there's quite a bit of hair over her face... but it looks natural, beachy and windblown... but that's just a personal observation... I like it.
    Last edited by ilovelucydog; 18th July 2011 at 03:05 AM.

  3. #3
    speedneeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,532
    Real Name
    Brian

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    I think the first one is pretty good. I like the background of the third one better, the highlights on the hair are nice, but not enough light on her face for my tastes. From my experience with a reflector, it's tough without a shady background and a shade to stand the model in while you point a reflector at them.
    I'm going on vacation soon and I will be packing a reflector and some cheap flashes. Hopefully my family will humor me with some attempts at portraits on the beach

    More light on the eyes or less light everwhere else would improve all of these photos. Have you tried shooting at different times of the day?

  4. #4
    spngr311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    Posts
    84
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    Thanks Mary for the comments - my favorite is the second one because of the same reasons you pointed out. From a photography standpoint, I'm not happy with any of them! LOL! But that is why I post them here, to get some advice and improve.

    Brian, I agree with you that there is not enough light on her face (on any of them). We were standing in the shade from a condo, but I had trouble reflecting the light back to her face. I have to play with positioning the reflector. It's a lot harder than I anticipated.

    I shot these around 6:30 pm, but I think we should've tried a little later. You wouldn't believe how the sky looked just 45 minutes later, but we were getting worried it was going to rain on us. What suggestions do you have for getting more light on her? I had two flashes, remote triggers and stands in the car, but was trying to keep it a little simple - maybe that was my mistake?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA USA
    Posts
    1,382
    Real Name
    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    From a photography standpoint, I'm not happy with any of them!
    But you should be... there's a lot of improvement from the first set... that is something to be pleased about. I look forward to the next set... if they show the same amount of improvement... they'll be great!

  6. #6
    speedneeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,532
    Real Name
    Brian

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    You are making good progress with the reflector. There is much to learn from using ambient light with a reflector - and many many times ambient is all I have! That said, I do have some flashes as well and I dabble with those. From a purely learning point of view, I would stick with the reflector for another shoot of two. From a fun point of view, do what interests you!
    I take great satisfaction when someone looks at one of my pictures and says 'wow, you must have a really nice camera'

  7. #7
    spngr311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    Posts
    84
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    Thanks guys!

    I think I am going to focus on using ambient light and reflectors for now - really work on the basics for now.

  8. #8
    paulwilbur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Connellsville, PA USA
    Posts
    99
    Real Name
    paul wilbur

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    thanks Mary, good word paul

    sugestion, again do some basic study on head shots vs portraits... it will help in the learning curve.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    Hi Rob,

    Just a couple of quick notes ...

    1. Big improvement over your first set - congrats

    2. The idea of a reflector is two-fold; (a) To get some light into those "hard to reach places" (like eye sockets), and (b) To get some direction into the light (you expose for the highlighted skin so that everything else drops down a stop of so) - can't see where you've done that here - again, the lighting is still looking very flat. With a reflector you really have to position it so you can (at least) see the light on the face, and (preferably) producing what we call a loop lighting pattern.

    3. Try to get away from the practice of putting the head in the middle of the frame; as a guide, try to get the eyes on a "rule of thirds" intersection, even if it means cropping away some of the hair (which is perfectly acceptable - you'll see it all the time in magazines).

    4. A diffuser is used to soften light, but it's only going to work when you have light shining through it eg it's great for fixing dappled light shining through tree branches - or making a bigger light source out of something like a small flash. It's effectiveness is inversely proportional to the distance from the subject. If there's no active light source involved then it's really just performing the role of a reflector.

    I dealt with reflectors a lot in my portraiture series -- you might light to re-read those bits to see if anymore fits into place.

    Coming along nicely though

  10. #10
    spngr311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Satellite Beach, FL
    Posts
    84
    Real Name
    Rob

    Re: Portraits - Take II

    Colin,

    Thanks for commenting - your comments are always helpful!

    1. Thanks!

    2. After talking with my friend at work, I realized I had the reflector in the wrong location. I will try it again in a different spot.

    3. I tried to crop the image to the rule of thirds with the eyes at the third level, but I was worried about including too much background or not enough of her head. I will try your advice though by cropping off some of her hair.

    4. I see what you mean about the diffuser. I was trying to soften some of the light from the sun, but it probably wasn't necessary and was just acting as a shade.

    I'm still trying to make it through all the threads, hopefully, I'll get through them in time for the weekend.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •