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Thread: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

  1. #1

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    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    No matter how I word my title some part of it winds up redundant. LoL I can't say I "graduated" from the SoP because I'm still learning a lot, but I read all of the lessons and did my best to do my belated homework. To that end I leave it up to interpretation. Aaaaaanyways. I am trying to reach more consistant results rather than, "Ick. No. Maybe. Not even close. Cut that off. Nope" and would greatly appreciate any and all C&C to help me achieve that end.

    **note, I have do not have a calibrated monitor. I'm on a laptop right now but will be purchasing a nice new desktop this fall, or earlier should money rain down from the sky... *looks outside* ...as I said, "In the fall I will be...." **

    Thank-you in advance for your help. This forum is the most constructive and positive one I've found to date. I love it here!
    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    For me, Jen, the composition is good but it possibly looks a little 'flat' and without any zip.

    Maybe very slightly increasing the highlights would help.

    Or perhaps try a little Local Contrast Enhancement of something around Unsharp Mask at 20% and 30 or 40 radius. Although I would be rather careful of using that method on a portrait.

    A duplicate layer with the Blend Mode changed to Soft Light about 50 or 60% opacity may be another option.

    Either way, be careful of over doing any further 'enhancements'.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    I forgot to add I'm using the LR4 trial until I get my official copy. So no layers for me. Flat. That's the word I'm looking for! Thank-you. I guess. I'll try you edit suggestions that I can do. I appreciate the help!

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    This is my attempt #2. I tried to incorporate your advice. I think I managed to make him look "dirty" lol. Not a stretch and very true-to-life for my son, but.... LOL

    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Any better?

    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Jen, did you increase CONTRAST? As opposed to increasing exposure?
    The iris of the eyes looks darker in the second version, as well as the 'dirtiness' that you noted.
    Colin's edit benefits from an overall increase in exposure, as well as some sharpening I think.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    I "see" that! Thank-you yet again Colin, your version looks much better. Since my LR3 fell through *rolls eyes* I'm trying to get use to LR4. I feel like I'm learning all over again, again.. or is it still learning? continuing to le... let's just say I have a lifetime's worth of learning to, uh, learn. My monitor shows your version to be very, very bright and the rest of my screen isn't. I was worried I'd go too bright and obviously to me now, I fell a long ways off the mark. Back to try again. I can't thank you again without seeming to gush and we tomboy types don't do that... but I'm-a thinking it!

    Brian. *hangs head* I did increase contrast as opposed to exposure. Lesson learned.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    There is nothing wrong with increasing contrast vs exposure, you just have to understand what each does and do what gives you what you want.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Oh, okay. Thanks for clarifying or I would have tried to avoid contrast like the plague so I don't ruin any more pictures with lousy PP... and that would be hard because I'm kind of addicted to Fro Knows Photo right now. LoL

    ETA. I know how to check for lost highlights, is it crazy to think I can use that to help myself learn that what I might think is too bright still doesn't mean I'm blowing out all my portraits? If that makes sense? I'm scared to over-do exposure increases because I don't want my subjects faces to look like ghosts. lol

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Fro does know a thing or two, but the important thing is that YOU understand what YOU want from your image. Then when you learn how to use different tools, you will be able to create exactly what you want
    FYI, I alter contrast in almost every photo I edit, though I usually use a 'curves' tool that gives me more control over what exactly gets lightened or darkened.
    As you have probably already learned, you can apply different adjustments to different areas of a photo. Generally I don't do much editing, maybe a couple minutes on a photo. There are occasions where I do more, but not often.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    I have images in my head of how I want the picture to end up, I just have to figure out how to get there. Lr4 is maybe a little too different from Lr3 for my overworked brain to comprehend. lol I don't want my pictures to look like Fro's they are nice 'n' all, but not my style I just want to be able to learn to control what I emphasize and what I try and hid from those viewing my photgraphs. I've heard so much about "curves tool" I'm going to have to sit down and do some serious experimenting.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    My I-lost-count attempt at this. Same session/lighting etc. Different PP. I hope I realized all of your great advice better this time

    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Now that I have it posted, it looks brighter in LR. LoL. Am I getting a little further from a "flat" photograph? I'm trying to formulate what flat is in my mind so that I know what NOT to do.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Hi Jen. Your post processing looks better - good advice from Brian, he's great at portraiture, and you can learn a lot from him. If I could make one small suggestion.... Do you have any way to get your flash off of your camera? I have a feeling that once you do that, your 'flatness' problems will mysteriously disappear.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    That's a pretty good photo of a handsome young man Jen

    Regarding 'flat' photos. This term is usually used to indicate a lack of contrast and/or shadow. How much of each you have depends on your style and what image you are trying to create. I see a lot of images with very little shadow every day - this is common in fashion mags (and TV news for that matter). This doesn't make them bad images though, does it?

    I think posting on here is a great way to learn - also looking at other people's posts and commenting on their photos. This is how you develop the ability to start seeing for yourself what needs to be changed.

    So the next question is, what do you like about this last image you posted? What don't you like? When you start answering these questions, your portraiture will really take off.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Do you have any way to get your flash off of your camera?

    I have an off camera flash, but it can only function as a slave right now. But I'll figure out something, I completely forgot about direct on-camera flash flattening a photograph. THANK-you!! You are very welcome to make any suggestion big or "small" they are both appreciated. lol

    Brian: I think next time I'm going to make sure watch what my subject is wearing so that things like wet marks aren't in the photo. And I need to rig up a way to diffuse the flash (it'll be a jerry-rig to start, no photography supply less than 3 hours away) I have an idea so I'll see if it works. I do like the angle I shot it at, it goes with my son's quirky personality that I was trying to capture. I also need to get my basement done so that I can afford a little more room to pull him away from the background *just* a bit more, I had to get rid of some slight-but-noticable shadows hitting the backdrop. I had to crop a little on subject right, how can I do that an ensure the correct aspect ratio for printing? Or am I imagining the process incorrectly? I'll also need a little more lighting prior to flash so that my subject's pupils aren't so dialated. LoL

    **Just thought of something before I clicked "post". I should have turned down the on camera flash so that it wasn't so bright! that would have helped wouldn't it? it would have given me more directional lighting from the off camera slave flash I was using to subject left (at what I hoped was 45 degrees lol). Hmmmm.....

  16. #16
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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Jen, you are off to a fantastic start
    It took me quite a while to start seeing the things you are already seeing. For diffusers, personally I recommend getting a flash stand with an embrella if you want to spend a few bucks on it. Otherwise there are lots of bounce and bed sheet style diffusers you could try, especially if you have a helper
    I look forward to photos from your next shoot!

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Quote Originally Posted by M Aella View Post
    My I-lost-count attempt at this. Same session/lighting etc. Different PP. I hope I realized all of your great advice better this time

    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Now that I have it posted, it looks brighter in LR. LoL. Am I getting a little further from a "flat" photograph? I'm trying to formulate what flat is in my mind so that I know what NOT to do.
    Hi Jen,

    It looks "OK" - but something not quite right with the processing. If you've still got the RAW file, I'd be happy to give it a quick retouch for you to see if we can figure out where it's not quite right.

  18. #18

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Thank you, Colin, I would appreciate that so that I can understand the direction I need to go with my pp. I just have to find the adapter for my memory card. One of my angelic models *rolls eyes* ran off with it somewhere. Happy Easter! I'll be baaaaack.

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Here it is.. totally unedited.

    Let the magic begin!

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    Re: First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Quote Originally Posted by M Aella View Post
    First Post-School of Portraiture "official" post.

    Here it is.. totally unedited.

    Let the magic begin!
    Hi Jen,

    Unfortunately that image has been edited - it's been down-sampled (unless you camera has the smallest sensor in the world!).

    Really need the actual file that came out of your camera to begin the magic!

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