My 1st Family self portrait, white flash/sparkle in eyes Q

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mtbdudex, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Late last fall, Nov-21-2009, I had the task of taking our 1st Family self portrait for Grandma/Grandpa Christmas gift. (not printed the pict yet, so gift is late)
    Doing that was quite interesting, I did a basic set-up in our backyard using simple natural background (tall grass), put 2 bar stools out there for the 3 kids to sit on, used tripod with self timer/remote, and my wife and I were in back of the kids.

    The kids got the sillies, dad got impatient at their not controlling their sillies, but we managed to get 1 sorta decent shot out of 10+ taken.

    I did some basic PP and was about to print it when the white backfill flash/sparkle in the eyes bothered me, so I PP it out manually pixel by pixel (this was before my Canon 580 EXII was ordered).

    I'm ready to print the 8 x 10 and the white flash/sparkle in eyes has me stymied, or maybe I'm overly anal and analyzing the photo too much.

    Here's my Q:
    Is white flash/sparkle in eyes acceptable for portraits or do photos studios edit them out?
    (or they don't show due to off camera flash?)

    White/sparkle eye from flash (clickable):

    PP to remove the white/sparkle eye (clickable)

    Just for fun, here is the shot I cropped from:
    (and that remote only works in line of sight, it's not RF!)
    And some of the "sillies" shots:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Very nice picture !

    Personally I don't like that much to work on eyes, I think it makes them unnatural. But I am like you, I am not a pro. I think it's better to anticipate when taking the picture, with an anti red eye flash system + a 2nd flash.

    BTW your picture looks great and I would keep the first one. Yeah know you did an extensive work on the second but huh you asked didn't you ? :p
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    The light in the eyes is a product of direct flash on the eyes and as far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be edited out.

    I love the shot but I wish the little girl got the memo about what to wear. ;)
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Generally, catchlights in the eyes are desirable. The eyes are the focal point of any portrait, and the catchlights help them "pop".

    Leave them in.
  5. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    exactly what i thought. i too am no pro, but i think the second picture with the flash reflection removed makes the eyed look unnatural, almost like the pupils are more dilated.

    i say the original is fine as you will only really notice the flash reflections if you look for them and nit pick... hey i would!
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I shot professionally for 8 years. Trust me, you want the sparkle in the eyes. Good photographers go to great lengths to add those to brighten up and keep the eyes from being dead. I used to add fill flash so that I could open up the shadows and add the catch-lights to the eye. Don't edit them out unless they are red. Catch-lights good... red-eye bad.
  8. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Thx very much, I'm "stuck" in a business mtg and just read this, very insightful.

    Thx all for your feedback, I'll keep the sparkle - catchlight - in the 8 x 10.
    Yea, I should have asked before doing the eye PP.

    I actually was concerned about red-eye, and did not know how to dial down the built in flash (I have since learned), I actually put scotch tape over the built in flash to try and diffuse it, so was happy at no red eye.
  9. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Not bad, although I'd try to hide the remote a little more in the shots where you can see it.
  10. mtbdudex thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Ha, my wife had a green top picked out for her, but she complained about being cold outside so she put that colorful sweater on.....she's my independent 7 year old redhead!!
  11. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I might try splitting the difference and just bringing down the brightness of the sparkle a bit. Then it will look like reflections from natural light rather than a camera flash.

    If I had to choose one, I'd choose the unedited though.
  12. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The only change I'd make next time is to try to get the flash higher up, so it's more like a catchlight from the sun overhead, more on the iris than the pupil.

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