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Thread: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

  1. #21

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    tried out my $13 reflector and it worked like a charm (i think) and my Model was cooperating with daddy with the help of mommy of course. ^_^ hehehe.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Hi Chriss
    Your classmate likes it! - she is gorgeous

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovean View Post
    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    tried out my $13 reflector and it worked like a charm (i think) and my Model was cooperating with daddy with the help of mommy of course. ^_^ hehehe.
    Hi Chris,

    Getting there

    Skintones are a bit over-exposed (remember that it's not like preparing a landscape -- skin tones won't be anywhere near the top end of the histogram), and you need to get the reflector a lot further around to the side to give it some directionality (it's very flat lighting as it stands). There's a few distractors in your background too; a more consistent background with a vignette applied would do wonders for this kind of image.

    I know, I'm a hard task master! (And don't think that using a cute baby will cut you any slack with me! )

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Super shot Chirs and another good lesson. You have a great model to work with and I can only imagine the shots you will be getting by the end of this.
    I'm in a bit of a rainy period here, but will try to round up a model as soon as the sun comes out. In the meantime, these lessons are really helping. Keep posting, and thank you so much Colin for taking the time to do this. Trust me when I post a my first attempt you are going to have your work cut out for you. For me this is the absolute best way to learn and it is casual enough to be enjoyable.

    Wendy

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Homework done!

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    So - I turned his left shoulder away from the camera and didn't let him fold his arms. Not sure about this last thing, as I think the pose lacks interest. Tripod mounted and used the timer, mainly so I could race over with the reflector. Managed to get light reflected onto his face using a beeg square bit of polystyrene board which acts as a window insulator for us at night. (Multi-tasking board - whoda thunk it.) PP was limited to a slight temp change - but again, this doesn't look quite right. The hat is the right colour, but the skin looks a bit yellow, I think? Small "s" curve and a tiny dodge/burn to the eyes.

    Creation date: 10/08/2010 15:09
    Camera: NIKON D80
    Lens: Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical [IF] Macro
    Focal length: 75*mm*(equiv. 112*mm)
    Aperture: F5.6
    Exposure time: 1/100"
    ISO speed rating: 200
    Program: Aperture priority
    Metering Mode: Center-weighted average
    White Balance: Cloudy
    Focus Mode: AF-C
    Noise Reduction: Off
    Flash: Flash did not fire

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    (Multi-tasking board - whoda thunk it.)
    Glad to see the real Kiwi is in there somewhere!!!!!!!

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Hi Kit,

    Great stuff - hopefully already you can see a big improvement in your portraiture, and no-doubt feeling like it's less the "hit and miss" that you may have thought originally, and more "just a collection of techniques"?

    I think the shot has a lot of things right; I love the background - the posing is more than acceptable - and the exposure isn't too bad. The biggest issue though is still the lack of direction in the lighting - it's still even both sides - so much so it's hard to tell which side the reflector was on. So try to get the reflector around more to the side (remember that you're only trying to illuminate 1 side of the face) (not quite true, but I think that that thought will get you closer to where you need to be) - another trick is to get something black (to use as a light sink) as close to the face as you can on the non-reflector side.

    Also, you need to tone back your exposures a little too so that you aren't washing the face skin tones out (repeat after me ... a tough & rugged gent's face is NOT a highlight tone!)

    But finally - after beating you up - keep in mind too that what appears on a canvas print on the wall is the end result of a process - part of that process is what you're doing now - and part of it is what we do on the PC - and although we strive to get things as close to being right "in camera" there's no denying that the computer processing can (read "usually does") change the feel of the image considerably.

    Having said all that, I've given your shot a quick re-work; It's not great quality because I had to throw away so many valuable pixels ... but take a look at it from a few feet back and ask yourself "if this were a canvas print 22" x 22" hanging on the wall - having being worked through from the full resolution capture that you did - how would it look? I'm guessing that anyone who saw it would be saying "wow - great photo" ... and they'd be right. And you took it!

    Here goes ...

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    PS: Got the title from those beer ads that used to run on TV here a few years ago

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Good shot Kit and Colin I like the way you tilted the angle a bit. Not only changing the pose to make the subject lean into the shot and appear to be jumping out of the image but also the background is not straight up and down any more. This does add strenght to the composition.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Good shot Kit and Colin I like the way you tilted the angle a bit. Not only changing the pose to make the subject lean into the shot and appear to be jumping out of the image but also the background is not straight up and down any more. This does add strenght to the composition.
    Thanks Peter,

    It's these basics I'm trying to get folks comforable with - and very quickly one can then find any suitable background - and take a professional-grade portrait relatively easily (in fact, once the basics are drilled in, the problem often becomes "which one of these 30 great shots do we want to print" (which is a nicer problem to have than 50 bad shots!).

    PS: Kit - if you want to go just a wee bit further (while we wait for the others to catch up), get your man to lean back a bit so that you increase the angle between him and the background; it'll look even better when we rotate the image.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Colin, thanks for your criticism and encouragement - both are appreciated. Oddly enough, the original image was a tad darker than the one I showed, but I felt it was a bit underexposed, so tweaked it up a tad. I'll know better next time. What you say about a man's skintone is very valid - I shouldn't be trying to make him look like a model, because he's never going to be one!
    I like the slight rotation too and agree that it adds a certain dynamic that isn't there in mine.
    The Engineer approves too and likes your footnote.
    Weather permitting tomorrow, I'll have a second go at this and try to get a better light angle.

  11. #31
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Glad to see the real Kiwi is in there somewhere!!!!!!!
    Mate - this bus is all Kiwi, right down to the #8 wire.

  12. #32
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Klickit View Post
    I shouldn't be trying to make him look like a model, because he's never going to be one!
    Right! That's the clarion call for the defence of downtrodden and beleagured Engineers, whose rugged and manly appearance has been the subject of too much ridicule. Who could be better equipped to model bush hats? Naomi Campbell is too busy being 'economical with the truth' to a Court in Europe to take on the assignment.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Right! That's the clarion call for the defence of downtrodden and beleagured Engineers, whose rugged and manly appearance has been the subject of too much ridicule.
    Out of interest Donald, to you think the skin tones are reasonably close in my version of Kit's portrait?

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Out of interest Donald, to you think the skin tones are reasonably close in my version of Kit's portrait?
    You got to remember that you're asking someone who's got a red/green colour shift issue with his eyesight. But, yes, to me, on my monitor, they look perfectly natural. Overall, a bit pale, but I suspect that's more to do with the lighting set-up, about which you are changing posts with Kit.

    ps - This is developing into a fascinating series of lessons, which I am following. Sorry I am not participating (my excuse is time and lack of readily available models). As you've suggested in an earlier post, already I'm learning that it's not a mystery, but an exercise in learning a number of steps that are not rocket-science (maybe that's still to come), and putting them into practice.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    You got to remember that you're asking someone who's got a red/green colour shift issue with his eyesight. But, yes, to me, on my monitor, they look perfectly natural. Overall, a bit pale, but I suspect that's more to do with the lighting set-up, about which you are changing posts with Kit.
    Call that "one for the Engineers" then ... I needed I neutral grey area to adjust the white balance ... all I could find were the "greypower" sideburns! Now if Kit had been shooting Naomi Campbell we'd have been in all sorts of trouble!

    Sorry I am not participating (my excuse is time and lack of readily available models). As you've suggested in an earlier post, already I'm learning that it's not a mystery, but an exercise in learning a number of steps that are not rocket-science (maybe that's still to come), and putting them into practice.
    Well I had Naomi Campbell all lined up for you -- but then she packed a hissy fit when she read what you said about her!

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Sorry I am not participating (my excuse is time and lack of readily available models).
    Donald - only too happy to export the 'fashionista' to model for you...she may look sweet, but do not be fooled.
    Whilst accompanying me to a recent Equestrian comp' where the kids were camping, she was heard to say, "I am so too much of a Princess for this lifestyle"
    And me a tomboy who played rugby & called myself 'Kevin'....
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th August 2010 at 08:47 PM.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Getting there

    Skintones are a bit over-exposed (remember that it's not like preparing a landscape -- skin tones won't be anywhere near the top end of the histogram), and you need to get the reflector a lot further around to the side to give it some directionality (it's very flat lighting as it stands). There's a few distractors in your background too; a more consistent background with a vignette applied would do wonders for this kind of image.

    I know, I'm a hard task master! (And don't think that using a cute baby will cut you any slack with me! )
    Colin,

    When you pointed out the things i can improve upon, I can imagine it already how it would make the image jump out and makes it 100 times better.

    Thanks you!

    We'll try to do another shot after a cut the grass this week where i can sit my little model on the grass.

  18. #38

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Donald - only too happy to export the 'fashionista' to model for you...she may look sweet, but do not be fooled.
    Whilst accompanying me to a recent Equestrian comp' where the kids were camping, she was heard to say, "I am so too much of a Princess for this lifestyle"
    Make her walk around after the horses and clean up their droppings ... that should sort the "Princess" out REAL fast!

  19. #39
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    fell off the chair laughing again!
    I blame the Bean Counter - he is a marshmallow

  20. #40

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 02 - Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    fell off the chair laughing again!
    I blame the Bean Counter - he is a marshmallow
    Never let the crew run the boat!

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