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Thread: Trouble with light in portrait

  1. #1
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Trouble with light in portrait

    Hi,
    Could someone give me a hint on what you would do to "repair" the light in the face of this man?

    http://www.postimage.org/image.php?v=PqJ_jV9

    Regards,
    Henrik

  2. #2

    Re: Trouble with light in portrait

    Henrik

    1. Use the eliptical marquee tool to draw an area over the bright spot
    2. Feather it to get a fade in.
    3. Use shadow/highlight adjustment from the PS menu to reduce the highlights just in selected area.
    4. Reverse the selection.
    5. Apply exposure adjustment layer to the darker area. This balance the exposure more.

    I also sharpened it, as it needed it.

    The problem is not just the bright spot, it is also one of a lack of correct exposure in the rest of the shot. It's always best to try and get it right in camera. But with shots such as this you can't always do that.


    Trouble with light in portrait

  3. #3
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with light in portrait

    Thanks, Rob! Looks and sounds like a good, realistic plan. I agree that the picture needed sharpening, but would you really sharpen so much as you did here?

    Concerning the correctness of the exposure, I might have used the wrong setting (spot) for this kind of mixed light? In that case the camera goes free.

    Regards,
    Henrik

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Trouble with light in portrait

    Hi Henrik,

    This is what's called "Butterfly lighting" (the shadow under the nose tells all). It's generally not the most flattering pattern because it illuminates the full width of the face; you get away with it when shooting "super models" (generic term) because they're usually quite thin in the face (and everywhere else too!), but with heavier people it just adds a lot more weight to the face & neck. A much better technique is to use loop or even rembrant lighting where the key light is moved around to the side and position to "glance past" the front of the face, so it reveals the character of the face, but doesn't illuminate all of it fully.

    Also, witht full-face view it's better if you can get the shoulders at an angle to the camera - square on like this makes things look even bigger.

    Finally, in Photoshop you can use a thing called the "pinch tool" to take some of the weight off the face and neck.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with light in portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    I also sharpened it, as it needed it.
    Hi again,
    Sorry for the delay. I have a lot of ships sailing about these days.
    Your sharpening is also very nice! At first I was viewing your version on a very bad monitor.
    Thanks again!

    /Henrik

  6. #6
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble with light in portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    This is what's called "Butterfly lighting" (the shadow under the nose tells all). It's generally not the most flattering pattern because it illuminates the full width of the face; you get away with it when shooting "super models" (generic term) because they're usually quite thin in the face (and everywhere else too!), but with heavier people it just adds a lot more weight to the face & neck.
    Hi Colin,
    Sorry for the delay. I have a lot of exiting ships sailing about these days.

    Thank you very much for this thorough analysis of my picture and your fine points on how to make better portraits with heavier people like my friend Knud on this one! I will definately ask him to stand up for another shot to try your suggestions, but he's not easy to work with - mostly looking silly. I may upload my next effort on this special genre of heavy-people portraits to ask your opinion again.

    As I said, I have a lot of ships floating about, and I'm not so active at this forum for the moment. But when I am in better control of things I will definately be back joining you incredible people :-)

    /Henrik
    http://herskind.aminus3.com/

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