25th January 2013, 03:47 PM
My Second Picture Post (Model Shoot)
Hi Everyone, here's my account of what happened with that opportunity I mentioned a few threads back, its probably going to be a long read and I apologize in advance, but since I consider this community as a great group of people willing to help a novice like me, I felt like sharing the experience, and if you want to take a walk down amnesia lane with me, read on
BTW, big thanks to Terry for sharing some insight that I definitely needed to know as well as Richard and Lex for taking the time to share their knowledge, I hope to put that into practice when and IF (I hope) I get another opportunity to do something like this again. so here goes...
This is my second picture post, recently I had the chance to participate in a model shoot with some of my buddies, (see thread "A Novice's First Model Shoot")
so my buds asked me to join them in this model shoot, now having next to no experience photographing models, I was a little intimidated and nervous but i took it as a great opportunity to learn, no pressure or so I thought at the time, one of Terry's advice involved having someone using a light meter to taking readings (see Novice First Model shoot thread) coming in early and have a chance to see the lighting set up.
what happened was there was no one who had a light meter and my buddies were doing their metering on their camera, since they were all using Nikon cameras, i didn't know how to do that with my camera (Canon) ... strike one
anyway, I was excited to participate... and after having set my camera to white balance that was not auto, (for the why, see the thread "Removing Shadows in post processing") I started to take pictures, there was continuous light w/softboxes and reflectors..and we had three models to work with, after taking a few shots, I checked out how my buds were doing with their shots, comparing them to those that I took.
I was disappointed that theirs were much more vibrant in terms of coloring (in camera) it became the running gag of the day, my shots were never going to be the same because I was using a different (Canon) camera.
I took it in stride, the fault was mine anyway, i had not sufficiently mastered the settings of my camera and here I was AGAIN in a photo shoot "chimmping" with my camera settings (Terry must be amused right about now...) I did remember some of your advice tho Terry... some not all of it tho to my great misfortune because.... then my Flash went dead! strike two
I apparently forgot that I hadn't changed my flash's battery in quite awhile and I had no spares, and neither did my buddies and they were all using Nikon flashes... they can interchange with one another, even lenses... use them on the flash stands, since I was using a Canon camera, I was left out... (most of my buds unfortunately for me are Nikon camera users... sigh)
somehow I got through the day, taking pictures only when the models where under the continuous light softboxes and refraining from taking pictures (most of the time anyway) when the lighting setup was different. oh btw did I mention, I tried that metering method of using a grey card? apparently none of my buddies carried one because.. well, who uses grey cards now a days, I asked a seller at a photography shop about it, the guy there didn't have a clue to what I was asking for...
I did that metering thing because I wanted my white balance to be calibrated so I would not have the same problem I had in the "removing shadows thread" I didn't want to have it at auto settings again... just like the last time I used my camera.
but I didnt have a grey card, no one did, so I "chimmped" around again and having spotted a can of hairspray that had a cap that I believed was grey I took a picture of it and used that image as custom white balance, here is that image below.....(I know, I know, a little knowledge can really be dangerous!) strike three!
IMG_3214 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
here's how the pictures turned out when I set that metered spray can as white balance (tho I did remember to use spot metering when I took that photo, what I didn't remeber was that it had to be under the light setup that was being used, and I had not switched from spot to evaluative metering (argh)...
IMG_3217 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
I was running on full manual at the time and I didn't understand why w/out my flash on the pictures I was taking were turning out to be dark even tho the models were under continuous lighting. here's an example...
IMG_3258 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
so I thought... maybe I should switch to F2.8 (I was running around without a tripod taking pictures using F8 ISO on 800, switched to 400 at some point and my camera was set to manual setting with the custom white balance) to brighten the pictures I was taking... and it did, but it looked too bright....
IMG_3271 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
so... chimmped with my camera again and set the metering from spot to evaluative... and then I got this image... oh man..I forgot that my flash was off...(w/c at this time was already showing signs that the battery was low, w/c was why I had it off because I was trying to conserve battery power)
IMG_3284 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
there was a brief break, then I remembered that I should meter that grey card under the lights being used (see I do remember things...not in the right order tho, but I still remember them ), so... I took that bottle of hair spray again (make up artist was giving me looks) and took another picture this time I placed it under the continuous light setup and use that as my custom white balance...yes I know... I'm an idiot (here's the spray can under continuous light setup)
IMG_3319 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
and heres how the pictures i took looked after using that as custom WB
IMG_3344 by ElectroSpud, on Flickr
and then it was over, I thought, well at least my buds would have great shots, they had that photoshoot covered...even if my pics were epic fails... shoot was over and picked up lots of learning experince (most of it was painful tho) no pressure right or so I thot...but the surprise was still to come.. (continued on Image Post Processing Forum)
25th January 2013, 04:29 PM
Re: My Second Picture Post (Model Shoot)
No idea what you're worried about, mate. That last shot's definitely a keeper. Color balance is a little out of whack (too green), but based on that relatively small preview, the light, sharpness, gesture, and framing are all just fine. There's room for improvement (and there always will be), but you walked away with a good frame, and that's what matters.
However, it does sound like there was quite a lot of disorganized running around. That'll change now that you're familiar with the job, but wait until you start organizing these events yourself. First time's a rude shock for everyone.
As an aside, I would note that a reflective surface (the aerosol cap) is not the best white balance reference. Good mechanical white balance tools (cards and filters) are analyzed to make sure they reflect or transmit all wavelengths of light as equally as possible. As a practical matter, they will never be perfect, but I suspect that the cap was reflecting more red than green and blue, possibly leading to the slightly green tint in that that shot (camera tried to correct for pinkish light that didn't exist). Fortunately, white balance is one of the easiest PP corrections.
25th January 2013, 05:52 PM
Re: My Second Picture Post (Model Shoot)
Looks like you got a few good shots, in any case. I agree that the 3rd is the best, but #3 and #5 aren't that bad either.
For white balance in PP, you could try the eye whites in a pinch to get a first approximation (seems to work reasonably well on the last one). Or try setting one based
on the lights (incandescent around 3500K, flash more like 5500K). Then adjust to taste...
And, the ones you posted could do with a little sharpening, I think (output sharpening, needed after the downsizing).
25th January 2013, 07:27 PM
Re: My Second Picture Post (Model Shoot)
I rather like the shot without flash (3284).
Just a little clone job in the bottom left corner and maybe a slight tweak with the highlights.