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Thread: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

  1. #21
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Cor I like #1. Rim lighting eh.

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Wow Kay, Nice Work. I too like number 1 the pose is great. All three are sensational, and I thank you very much for being brave and being the first to post. You've set the bar high.
    Colin, you are a good teacher for sure, I'm still going to try, but my helpers seem to have disappeared. I've lined up someone else, but will have to wait for a sunny day after work next week. I hope I'm not too late to participate, it could be a few days yet.

    Again, Nice Work Kay!!

    Wendy

  3. #23
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Thankyou All for the kind words of encouragement, it is a bit nerve racking this stand up in front of the class stuff!
    Our model is turning 18 in a week or so and finishes school at the end of this year.
    She wants to travel next year - so maybe she could drop by & model for some of you, if we revisit this thread next year

    However when she mentioned the idea - her brother was aghast...."Haven't you seen 'Taken'"

  4. #24
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    If you like, pick one image and send me the RAW file and I'll give it a full retouch for you.
    Yes Please! - I would like that very much
    - although sorry to be a dufus, How do i send a RAW file again?

  5. #25
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Can I humbly ask to receive the same file to interpret ?
    You don't mind Colin, do you ?
    My mail goes like this, in case you accept my proposal:

    antonioluiscorreia@gmail.com

    Thank you

  6. #26

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Yes Please! - I would like that very much
    - although sorry to be a dufus, How do i send a RAW file again?
    Hi Kay,

    Pop along to www.sendthisfile.com and sign up for a free account. When you send the file, put in YOUR address for the destination so that an eMail gets sent to you with the download link) - copy/paste the download link into a PM for me (and Antonio if you wish), and "job done"

  7. #27
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    I worked on this image for about 20 minutes, slowly and the best I could. Perhaps a little longer because I stopped to cook for some time. OK put it 45 minutes to 1 hour
    I made three versions but I through away the other two.
    She had a skin "button" on the forehead and I cloned it, or better healed it.
    I have blurred a bit her skin but not very much all over her face without overdoing it. The imperfections of the skin are part of the youth...
    The image I choose to show is brighter than the others and I like it best.
    I worked with both LR and Photoshop but mainly with the first one. To begin with I used the later program to clone some areas I wanted at the top and bottom left which were missing in the crop I wanted.
    I am not very found of twisted/bended/rotated portraits and so, I didn't introduce any rotation. Wrong. I did made a rotation but to show her in a "normal" way.
    I made something else but that you have to discover for yourselves
    Hope you like it
    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Antonio,

    Nice work ... and thanks for the reminder (I completely forgot about this last night).

    Here's my interpretation of the image - be sure to view it at 100% or the sharpening probably won't look optimal. Unlike Antonio, I DO like the rotation!

    Kay - hope you enjoy - and I can confirm that this would look just fine on a canvas! Congratulations - you're a professional-grade portrait shooter! (and it only took you 3 lessons!).

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

  9. #29
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Colin & Antonio
    Thank you both so much for showing us what can be done by people with post processing experience,skills & your generosity to share them

    - she will love both versions
    I do too, but am also still thinking what I didn't do right originally to give you more to work with - but as you say Colin - knowing what went wrong is a step along a path toward getting it right.

    She will of course now see that I call her Fashionista - but it does suit her because Georgie-Louise (her real name) is a dedicated follower of fashion and beauty equipment, most items that I don't know what they are let alone what they're for

    But the Teachers tell me she stands up to Bullys on behalf of the quiet Boys.....if only she always used her powers for good instead of evil

    So thank you both again & I will keep practicing at taking the picture that tells you this story - with less talk from me.

  10. #30
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Indeed Colin, your image is sharper than mine.
    Looking at yours and at mine and vice-versa perhaps mine is suffering of too much magenta don't you think so ?

    Yours is also a great work.

    For the sake of coherence I am not replacing my first version but posting a more sharpened one. I also warmed - a tiny bit - the hole image with an orange filter.

    "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Hi Antonio,

    I think your version is definately warmer than mine. Off memory I warmed mine just slightly in ACR from the "as shot" white balance. We haven't got to grey cards yet, so I didn't have an accurate WB, but I think auto did a pretty good job anyway. So the ultimate WB is really just down to personal taste ... personally I like to keep skin tones pretty accurate with portraiture, but nothing wrong with what you've done either.

    I'm sure that if someone saw my version printed on canvas hanging on Kay's wall they'd say "wow" ... and if they saw your version printed on canvas hanging on Kay's wall they'd say "wow".

  12. #32
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ... I'm sure that if someone saw my version printed on canvas hanging on Kay's wall they'd say "wow" ... and if they saw your version printed on canvas hanging on Kay's wall they'd say "wow".

  13. #33

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Kay,

    Before I forget, I just wanted to mention a couple of things ...

    1. I think off memory you shot this @ F3.2 - although you're on a crop-factor camera (where the DoF isn't quite as tight as on a FF model), I'd suggest being a wee bit careful about dropping below F4 on a crop-factor camera or F5.6 on a FF camera for this kind of work. You got away with it this time, but only just!

    2. With regards to ISO - I see that you shot it at ISO 200 which is 99% fine - when it comes to upclose portraiture ISO 100 on Canon cameras gives just a ever so slightly nicer skin texture. Don't for heaven's sake compromise on sharpness by risking camera shake if you're close to the reciprocal limit (about 1/100th in your case) - but having said that, if you can use ISO 100 without any other compromises then that's what I would do.

    I'll write up another lesson on post-processing soon - just hoping that we'll see more work from everybody (somebody!) else. In the meantime, do you have a grey card that you can use?

  14. #34
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Thanks so much Colin for posting this as I know many of us can surely benefit from these great tips. One thing I seem to struggle with when shooting outdoors is using the reflector correctly. I have a small two sided reflector (white/silver) and I would place my subject so they are sidelit by the sun then have an assistant bounce the light back from the other side. For some reason I still don't feel 100% proficient at it. Perhaps this last shoot in which I struggled with it the sun was still too high. I was trying to shoot them closer to sunset, but may of started too early. The shadows just seemed too harsh in which the reflector didn't help any. Would that be the right assessment? Also, what tips do you have regarding using reflectors? Size, distance, color?

    Chris

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by flipmode View Post
    Thanks so much Colin for posting this as I know many of us can surely benefit from these great tips. One thing I seem to struggle with when shooting outdoors is using the reflector correctly. I have a small two sided reflector (white/silver) and I would place my subject so they are sidelit by the sun then have an assistant bounce the light back from the other side. For some reason I still don't feel 100% proficient at it. Perhaps this last shoot in which I struggled with it the sun was still too high. I was trying to shoot them closer to sunset, but may of started too early. The shadows just seemed too harsh in which the reflector didn't help any. Would that be the right assessment? Also, what tips do you have regarding using reflectors? Size, distance, color?

    Chris
    Hi Chris,

    The very first thing to do is get the subject into the shade, but with direct sunlight close at hand (have you read through the first two lessons?) - then reflect light back towards the subject, but at an angle that puts some "across the face" direction into the light - and - avoids illuminating the background that will be captured in the shot (so the subject will "pop").

    Personally I find silver sometimes too efficient - it can be like having direct sunlight shone into your eyes from a mirror, so I tend to use it more if the sunlight is some ways away (the further away you reflect the light, the less intense it is) - but - the softness of the light is also proportional to the size of the lightsource, and a small reflector - far away - might have a tendency to produce some harsh shadows (I normally suggest 80 to 110cm).

    White reflectors are my favourite - far less likely to get you punched and kicked by the subjects! You need to get a LOT closer with them though.

    As a rule you'll want to get the reflector holder at around 30 to 45 degrees to the background plane (at less that 30 degrees you risk ending up with split llighting, and much more than 45 degrees and you'll end up illuminating the background behind the subject) - and the higher you can get someone to hold it the better.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th August 2010 at 07:29 AM.

  16. #36
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Thanks Colin. I found the other two. I'll be reading up on those and practicing some more with using reflectors.

  17. #37
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Kay,

    Before I forget, I just wanted to mention a couple of things ...

    1. I think off memory you shot this @ F3.2 - although you're on a crop-factor camera (where the DoF isn't quite as tight as on a FF model), I'd suggest being a wee bit careful about dropping below F4 on a crop-factor camera or F5.6 on a FF camera for this kind of work. You got away with it this time, but only just!

    2. With regards to ISO - I see that you shot it at ISO 200 which is 99% fine - when it comes to upclose portraiture ISO 100 on Canon cameras gives just a ever so slightly nicer skin texture. Don't for heaven's sake compromise on sharpness by risking camera shake if you're close to the reciprocal limit (about 1/100th in your case) - but having said that, if you can use ISO 100 without any other compromises then that's what I would do.

    I'll write up another lesson on post-processing soon - just hoping that we'll see more work from everybody (somebody!) else. In the meantime, do you have a grey card that you can use?
    Thanks Colin
    Some bits understood - some not so much.
    I knew the aperture wasn't what you had suggested, but I needed somewhere with more room to get her away from the background this time around - will move to a safer DOF for the next practice.
    ISO will try the 100 next time - I have to remember to take it off 1600 where it lives permanently for Basketball (although I would like to use it on 3200 but they seem to lose a bit when I have tried), I have stopped using the 'in between' ISO stops as you mentioned that can make the noise worse, but that's a whole other topic!

    and no - no grey card yet - I did ask in the local 'Ted's' store before I did the 'on stage' pics earlier in the year...they had no idea of what I was speaking!

  18. #38

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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    Thanks Colin
    Some bits understood - some not so much.
    I knew the aperture wasn't what you had suggested, but I needed somewhere with more room to get her away from the background this time around - will move to a safer DOF for the next practice.
    ISO will try the 100 next time - I have to remember to take it off 1600 where it lives permanently for Basketball (although I would like to use it on 3200 but they seem to lose a bit when I have tried), I have stopped using the 'in between' ISO stops as you mentioned that can make the noise worse, but that's a whole other topic!

    and no - no grey card yet - I did ask in the local 'Ted's' store before I did the 'on stage' pics earlier in the year...they had no idea of what I was speaking!
    Hi Kay,

    You're doing well - so relax

    I was a bit nervous at your aperture selection - but I have to keep reminding myself that you're not shooting with a FF camera, so you can get away with a lower setting ... just don't make it too low or you might find that some parts that you DO want in focus are a bit soft, and then of course, there's not a lot you can do about it. F5.6 is my friend outside, and F11 inside (the latter because it's needed for the lowest power I can set the studio lights at!).

    By the way, I was meaning to ask you - where did the name "fashionista" come from - is it one you made up, or have you seen the name somewhere?

    PS: "Ted's" must be a hardware store!

  19. #39
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Kay,

    You're doing well - so relax
    Relax! Relax! - what language is that word part of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    By the way, I was meaning to ask you - where did the name "fashionista" come from - is it one you made up, or have you seen the name somewhere?
    I just thought it suited her - we used to call her 'Fred' for several years when there were 2 many Georgie or Georgias in her netball team, but she has outgrown that

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    PS: "Ted's" must be a hardware store!
    surely not! I'm sure I was in the right place

  20. #40
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    Re: "School of Portraiture" - Lesson 03 - "Positioning - Lighting - Taking the Shot"

    Hi all, nice work there Kay! Sorry about the lack of shots from me as it's been a busy week, work ect. Hopefully I will get some shots in this week if the weather picks up!
    Colin, fascinating stuff as always! TY

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