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Thread: Portrait of a beautiful girl

  1. #1
    alexis88's Avatar
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    Portrait of a beautiful girl

    She is one of my best friends! I like taking portraits, but I need a lot of practice...! Please C&C.

    Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Portrait of a beautiful girl

  2. #2
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hi Alexandros!

    A lovely Best Friend too if I may say!

    You have a couple of nice portraits here of her, Alexandros. Nice compositions.

    I especially like the first one. Would you consider that there may be a pretty serious color cast on both of these? From my screen, both seem to have a yellow-orange cast happening. The skin tones look a bit unnatural.

    When I opened these in my editor, I confirmed (to myself) that some of her skin and hair is blown in the first shot and the majority of your sky is blown on your second shot. As well as some of the highlights in her hair. Nothing to do for the sky, but you could probably save the hair on #2.

    I would wonder if a fill flash might have been in order? If you could get enough juice or maybe a high speed sync, possibly upping the shutter? Pretty straight-up harsh ambient lighting to have to deal with to begin with. And I wonder if dropping the ISO in the first shot rather than a -2/3 compensation?

  3. #3
    alexis88's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hey Terry!
    Thanx a lot for the comment and the critic! However, I have some questions! (I m a newbie! Please don't forget that! )
    So...First of all, I should say that I haven't used any programme. The pictures are taken directly from the camera.

    1. Yes, I see that there is a yellowish cast on the skin tone, which I would also like to change, but I don't know how! I tried to change the picture's temperature and tint, but then all the colours change, not only the skin colour! Any better suggestion?

    2. By "blown", you probably mean the not so sharp part of the picture, right? Was there any way to avoid "blowing" the sky in the second picture, while shooting it? How could I save the hair on the 2nd one? By changing the sharpness in the whole picture?

    3. The suggestions in the last paragraph are settings I could use before shooting the picture, right? So, let's see...!
    The pictures were shot like that:

    First Picture: f/5.0, 1/80, no flash, light: cloudy weather, contrast: 0, saturation: 2, sharpness: normal, ISO 450.
    Second Picture: f/10.0, 1/250, flash, white balance: Auto, contast: 0, saturation: 2, sharpness: hard, ISO 100

    What should I have done, according to your opinion, differently? And what could I have done about the light? Especially in the second one isn't the best one, because it was pretty direct. Should I have used a different angle?

    Thanks A LOT for the answer one more time. And I m sorry for the tons of questions I m having...! I hope you dont mind!
    Last edited by alexis88; 21st May 2012 at 07:36 PM.

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    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hi Alexandros,
    I'm pretty new to Photography as well and am sure Terry and the other's at CIC will be able to give you some good advice.
    I have tried adjusting your pictures to see what; if anything I could acheive, hope you do not mind.

    Please remember, my efforts are more than likely way off the mark, but the guys will be along soon to show both of us the way forward.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Portrait of a beautiful girl


    Portrait of a beautiful girl

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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Have a read of this CinC Tutorial about White Balance, Alexandros.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...te-balance.htm

    Changing the colour temperature slightly from yellow to blue should work OK here. Yes it will effect all colours to some extent, but mostly just the yellows and blues so reds and greens should still be OK.

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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hi Alexis,

    I also tried my hand at a few adjustments. First I adjusted the color temp slightly, then
    using the touch-up tool in Lightroom made a few enhancements to bring out her skin tone.
    Also removed a couple little blemishes from her skin. She IS beautiful, no doubt!

    Portrait of a beautiful girl

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Quote Originally Posted by alexis88 View Post
    Hey Terry!
    Thanx a lot for the comment and the critic! However, I have some questions! (I m a newbie! Please don't forget that! )
    So...First of all, I should say that I haven't used any programme. The pictures are taken directly from the camera.
    Hey Alexandros!

    You’re quite welcome and I’ll try not to forget! Please forgive me if I mention something you already know. I’ll be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability, and maybe some of the folks here might help us out with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by alexis88 View Post
    1. Yes, I see that there is a yellowish cast on the skin tone, which I would also like to change, but I don't know how! I tried to change the picture's temperature and tint, but then all the colours change, not only the skin colour! Any better suggestion?
    Well, there are a couple of ways you could go about dealing with this issue but at this point it would have to be done in editing. I have no idea what, if any, editing software you may have available. If you are not using any, then you might be interested in getting into some if you really want to get more serious with your results. You could adjust the global color temperature or possibly try a color balance adjustment and mask it as a couple of quick suggestions. But this is done in editing software and you would need to learn how these things work in your software. Which a huge part of the fun of working on Best Friend's photos!

    I will assume you shot these as Jpeg format originally. This is a file format and the most common. Most all modern cameras shoot in this format and some do exclusively. I had a peek at your EXIF data and saw you shot on auto. More about that in a minute. Your camera probably has shooting modes to shoot in when shooting in jpeg format. I don’t know much about them because I don’t shoot jpeg format straight off the camera, but your camera probably has one for outdoors, portraits, sports, etc. If you are planning on continuing to shoot in jpeg you might want to review your camera’s shooting modes and experiment with these.

    Also in this format it will probably have white balance settings. This is going to govern how your camera reproduces color relative to the lighting. Please do check out the recommended Tutorial here on this. It will further explain these settings. It will also mention why it is best to shoot in the RAW format rather than Jpeg. One reason is you have much more freedom to adjust the white balance after the shot is taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexis88 View Post
    2. By "blown", you probably mean the not so sharp part of the picture, right? Was there any way to avoid "blowing" the sky in the second picture, while shooting it? How could I save the hair on the 2nd one? By changing the sharpness in the whole picture?
    A photograph (or parts of one) being “blown” means that it (or parts of it) are overexposed. It has nothing to do with sharpness in this case because when it is overexposed there is nothing there. Overexposed parts of a photo will appear as stark white and detail is lost in these areas. In your second photo, a majority of the sky behind Miss Best Friend is overexposed as is some parts of her hair as illustrated by the red areas (but not her coat) in this screen shot from Adobe Camera Raw software.

    Portrait of a beautiful girl

    The sky is overexposed enough that it can’t be saved in editing software. The hair I was able to save in post production by pretty much reducing the exposure or using a “recovery” tool.

    Here is a good place to re-mention the “auto” shooting mode. If your camera meters on your subject in auto, in other words you set the focus and metering on her, your “auto” mode will do just what you told it to do. She will shoot exposed properly. However, the surrounding sky in this case will be so bright as to overpower this setting and will overexpose. The easy way to get around this is to shoot her in less direct overhead lighting. Say early morning or evening, or on an overcast day perhaps. You will have better luck getting your background and sky exposed better. Another thought is to find some continuous shade to shoot her in with a darker background. As far as angle? If you could have shot her at a different one with a darker background (say for example if the mountain extended high enough and with less or no sky in the shot, possibly to your right?) then you may have avoided the overexposure of the sky. You would have most likely, however, still seen some overexposure in the hair.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexis88 View Post
    3. The suggestions in the last paragraph are settings I could use before shooting the picture, right? So, let's see...!
    The pictures were shot like that:

    First Picture: f/5.0, 1/80, no flash, light: cloudy weather, contrast: 0, saturation: 2, sharpness: normal, ISO 450.
    Second Picture: f/10.0, 1/250, flash, white balance: Auto, contast: 0, saturation: 2, sharpness: hard, ISO 100

    What should I have done, according to your opinion, differently? And what could I have done about the light? Especially in the second one isn't the best one, because it was pretty direct. Should I have used a different angle?
    You might try dropping your saturation settings back down to 0 and sharpness to normal. I really couldn't say so much about these settings because I always shoot in the RAW format rather than Jpeg and I don't really shoot in auto. This way I can do all my adjustments in the editing software rather than trying to tell the camera how I want it and then it doing what it wants to anyway. It is kind of a matter of having more control over my final result.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexis88 View Post
    Thanks A LOT for the answer one more time. And I m sorry for the tons of questions I m having...! I hope you dont mind!
    You are most welcome, Alexandros, and please don't be sorry. They are the right questions and there are no wrong ones. I know I don't mind one little bit and I doubt anyone else does either! I hope I may have helped, at least to some degree. This is the place to get your questions answered so take advantage of that for sure.

    May I also recommend, if you haven’t already, the School of Portraiture series here on the Forum? It will give you some great in-depth advice on the very things you are asking about.

    I'll be looking forward to seeing more of Miss Best Friend! Her personality shines through these photos.

  8. #8
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hello there Alexandros,

    Overall I really like the shot. I love the playfulness that is portrayed in the second one.

    She is a very beautiful lady, however I am finding that the intense saturation of the scarf is distracting my eyes away from her face. I tightened up the crop a little and made a few other minor tweaks and here is the editing that I would have gone with.

    I like the adjustments that Mike made, but I have to disagree with taking out the blemishes. I believe slight imperfections are one of the things that make us human and there is no need to hide them.

    Once again nice shot
    Shawn

    Portrait of a beautiful girl
    Last edited by smcrews; 22nd May 2012 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    I totally agree with Shawn. The girl's face was hiden because of the very distracting colourful scarf. Cropping and selective desaturation by Shawn really improved the overall very nice image.

    My shelf I am in favour of partially removing the blemishes, at least those with the highest impact, in a separate layer of a low oppacity so that you can partially see them without totally removing them.

  10. #10
    alexis88's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Hello to all! First of all I d like to thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and comment to my pictures! It's really useful to see the same thing from different perspectives!

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Hi Alexandros,
    I'm pretty new to Photography as well and am sure Terry and the other's at CIC will be able to give you some good advice.
    I have tried adjusting your pictures to see what; if anything I could acheive, hope you do not mind.

    Please remember, my efforts are more than likely way off the mark, but the guys will be along soon to show both of us the way forward.

    Thanks for sharing.
    I thank you John for the try! And of course I dont mind if you adjust the pictures! I like the colours, esp in the second one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Have a read of this CinC Tutorial about White Balance, Alexandros.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...te-balance.htm

    Changing the colour temperature slightly from yellow to blue should work OK here. Yes it will effect all colours to some extent, but mostly just the yellows and blues so reds and greens should still be OK.
    Geoff, I ve already had a look at that link, which I find really useful. Theoretically I know how to do it, but I think I need more practice! Thanks anyway though! Is there a way to change the colour temperature of a part of the picture and not of the whole one? Does it make sense or it will mess it up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Hi Alexis,

    I also tried my hand at a few adjustments. First I adjusted the color temp slightly, then
    using the touch-up tool in Lightroom made a few enhancements to bring out her skin tone.
    Also removed a couple little blemishes from her skin. She IS beautiful, no doubt!
    Thanks a lot Mike, for giving me also the "how to do it". It helps a lot! Most of the times I see a nice result and I dont know how to reproduce it! I also prefer the blemishes off!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Canon View Post
    Well, there are a couple of ways you could go about dealing with this issue but at this point it would have to be done in editing. I have no idea what, if any, editing software you may have available. If you are not using any, then you might be interested in getting into some if you really want to get more serious with your results. You could adjust the global color temperature or possibly try a color balance adjustment and mask it as a couple of quick suggestions. But this is done in editing software and you would need to learn how these things work in your software. Which a huge part of the fun of working on Best Friend's photos!
    I m using Open Camera Raw and CS5! But I have started using both of them recently, so I m still a bit lost!

    I will assume you shot these as Jpeg format originally. This is a file format and the most common. Most all modern cameras shoot in this format and some do exclusively. I had a peek at your EXIF data and saw you shot on auto. More about that in a minute. Your camera probably has shooting modes to shoot in when shooting in jpeg format. I don’t know much about them because I don’t shoot jpeg format straight off the camera, but your camera probably has one for outdoors, portraits, sports, etc. If you are planning on continuing to shoot in jpeg you might want to review your camera’s shooting modes and experiment with these.

    Also in this format it will probably have white balance settings. This is going to govern how your camera reproduces color relative to the lighting. Please do check out the recommended Tutorial here on this. It will further explain these settings. It will also mention why it is best to shoot in the RAW format rather than Jpeg. One reason is you have much more freedom to adjust the white balance after the shot is taken.
    I actually shoot in RAW and jpeg formats. (Although these pictures were shot only in jpeg, by mistake ) So the camera saves both formats for every picture I take. I find it that this way I can learn both the camera settings and Photoshop ones! The drawback is that it takes a lot of space...


    You might try dropping your saturation settings back down to 0 and sharpness to normal. I really couldn't say so much about these settings because I always shoot in the RAW format rather than Jpeg and I don't really shoot in auto. This way I can do all my adjustments in the editing software rather than trying to tell the camera how I want it and then it doing what it wants to anyway. It is kind of a matter of having more control over my final result.
    I try to change the settings in the camera, so that I wouldnt have to do a lot of work with my pc afterwards. But I think I m not following the correct technique. The LCD screen of the camera is pretty small and you cant really judge the result of the colours, sharpness, saturation, etc...Thanks a lot for the advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smcrews View Post
    Hello there Alexandros,

    Overall I really like the shot. I love the playfulness that is portrayed in the second one.

    She is a very beautiful lady, however I am finding that the intense saturation of the scarf is distracting my eyes away from her face. I tightened up the crop a little and made a few other minor tweaks and here is the editing that I would have gone with.

    I like the adjustments that Mike made, but I have to disagree with taking out the blemishes. I believe slight imperfections are one of the things that make us human and there is no need to hide them.

    Once again nice shot
    Shawn
    Thanks a lot Shawn! I didnt think of cropping the picture before, but it really does give a different feeling. I think that it makes it more straightforward. However I think I agree with Miltos. I'd also take the blemishes off, or make them not so prominent.

    My shelf I am in favour of partially removing the blemishes, at least those with the highest impact, in a separate layer of a low oppacity so that you can partially see them without totally removing them.
    Quick question Milto: How can I put the blemishes in a seperate layer of a low oppacity?


    Thanks again folks!

  11. #11
    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Alexandre you will have to create a new empty layer above the main one. You then choose the heal brush tool and you click the "Sample all layers" from the tool options (upper bar). You do the work and then you just lower the opacity of the healing layer you created. You can also try different blending modes.

  12. #12

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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Alexandros. With regard to changing WB, and other things, which is selectively applied to different parts of an image.

    It's easy, well not terribly difficult, if you use layers and masks. Make the alteration using an Adjustment Layer. Or create a new layer and work on that with Curves, or whatever tool suits the situation.

    Another method is to create a duplicate layer from the background, change the blend mode and add a suitable mask.

    Either way, edit the mask, paint with a low opacity soft brush so only the desired areas are effected.

    Alternatively, you can draw around those areas with a Selection Tool which works in a similar way. But this can, if you aren't very careful, leave some hard and noticeable transition lines.

    Or, a more easy method, is simply to use Curves and just work on the red, green or blue channel as required. But this does change the values for all of the image. Which is where using a mask allows for a more selective application.

  13. #13
    alexis88's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a beautiful girl

    Thanks a lot everybody for the comments and for the short tutorials! I ll work on it more and I ll be back with questions!

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