Picture time

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SLC Flyfishing, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    My son recently turned 10 months old, and my daughter made 4 years. We've been trying to take formal photos every month during the first year of their life and at least every year there after, here's the result of this go at it. I think they turned out especially nice this time. My wife did these and was sorta going for a Richard Avedon look with them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, how did she do?

    SLC
     
  2. rellik75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #2
    No one's responded yet, so I'll take a shot. You can take my comments with a grain of salt. I think the poses are great. I like the expression in your son's face and your daughter definitely poses well for the camera. As for the actual photo...be careful with the head-on use of the flash....In this case it gave you un-natural shadows around the chin. Additionally, the photo's are slightly overexposed. Try dialing it down a stop or adjust your flash strength so you don't wash out the skin tones.

    Cheers!
     
  3. SLC Flyfishing thread starter macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Thanks for the response!

    Yeah, I noticed the shadows on my daughters chin. But as far as the exposure is concerned, it was correct but my wife boosted it a little bit in PP. It's a look that she likes sometimes and this was one of those times.

    SLC
     
  4. SLC Flyfishing thread starter macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Alright,

    this morning I got around to fixing the exposure in the one of my son. I'm attaching it here and would like comments on whether or not it's an improvement or not.

    Thanks.

    SLC
     

    Attached Files:

  5. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #5
    I think they are both really nice little shots. The poses and looks are really sweet. It's just that pictures are too washed out. Besides the exposure they are white kids on a white background, and your little girl has a white shirt. There's just not enough contrast to keep the picture interesting, aside from the cute faces.

    Could you photoshop the background to darken it up? Or, could you warm up the skin tones, while leaving the background white, but you'd have to decide if the warm skin tones represent reality or not.

    On the flip side, if your wife really likes how those shots look, then that's all that really matters, unless you are entering a local photo contest or something.

    just some thoughts. cute kids!
     
  6. SLC Flyfishing thread starter macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Yeah, I'm going to look into painting in a darker background later this evening. We've got some that were taken in front of a darker back drop but the poses and facial expressions didn't look as nice as these two.

    Thanks for the comment Bking!

    SLC
     
  7. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #7
    OK. Here's a thought -- download Photoshop Elements 6 trial, and try the photomerge functionality. I had some great shots of my kids at Disney last month, but not a single one was perfect. Photomerge in PSE6 worked perfectly. It made a fantastic, blended picture where everyone was looking at the camera, and where I was able to remove a very large man in a bright red shirt in the background. It's extremely easy to use. Check out the feature here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelmac/features/#item2 and the trial is just above on this page, on the right.
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #8
    The pix are fine, white background too. Keeping shooting the kids.

    **Cliché alert** They grow up so fast... ;)
     
  9. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #9
    You might want to try shooting vertically. These shots have way to much wasted space in them.
    The 2nd pic you posted looks better but still a bit washed out
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    When I rate my photos I give myself four stars for a good photo that is one iof the "selects" from a batch but reserve the five star rating for photos that would appeal to someone who has zero interest in the subject matter. This photo, I'd give a "four plus", good but not to the point where people who don't know your son will be asking for copies of the photo.

    I think the exposure is good. If you like the white uncluttered background then this is a great photo. Technically there is still room to improve:
    • The light is very "hard". Picture like this really need a shofter but still directional light. You might try bouncing the light off a large reflector. Or maybe using window light
    • If you like white backgrounds and high key images then maybe you need to invest in a "real" background cloth or paper. Or use photohop to make it look like you did. There are some distracting grey bits on the lower part of the background.
    • The skin is reflecting specular highlights back at the camera, this happens when the light is to close to the camera. It makes the skin a bit washed out. It is very hard to corect this because the "shine" is pure white.
    • the light comes from the center of the photo. Whould be good to move it. It would give a more 3D effect but if you like the high key look don't move to far, maybe 30 degrees? Then get something lie white cardboard reflector to fill the shadows
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
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    #11
    Ok, that's much better. The exposure was too much in the originals. It's still not perfect, but honestly, they're great shots of your kids and you should be happy with them. :)

    Oh, and say no to white shirts. Get them into something colourful. Playful colours work out really really well with kids, IMO. :)
     
  12. SLC Flyfishing thread starter macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Yeah the exposure is tough since I'm trying to edit these on a laptop. It's hard to tell where it is since it looks different every time I move the screen. We do the best we can with what we have eh!

    SLC
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Histograms don't lie. ;) I don't trust my screen, or my eyes enough.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #14
    I'm a fan of high-key for children's portraits, but I'd probably bring the skin down some on these, there's too much blow out for my tastes.

    The camera angle for your daughter isn't flattering, it should be lower, and she would likely look better if she were looking up a bit with her chin down- ideally you want a bit of white under the irises of the eyes to make the eyes appear rounder and more full. She looks a bit stiff, if you could get her to laugh, then take the shot about 1-2 seconds later, it'd look much more natural- though with some kids that's all you can get.

    Your son's nose looks a bit yellow and an additional light on the background would blow out his shadow.

    I think I'd also prefer the catchlights to be higher up on your son, over the iris instead of the pupil. I'd probably also whiten your daughter's teeth a bit.

    Overall, they're nice shots- you'll be embarrassing them in front of their friends as teens in no time, with some minor changes like the above, I think that they'd be even better.
     
  15. SLC Flyfishing thread starter macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Thanks a bunch compuwar!

    And thank you abstract for clueing me in on the histogram. I do 95% or more of my editing in Lightroom, so the histogram is readily visible. But in CS3 I hadn't thought to take a look at the histogram since it was hidden in a tab and I couldn't immediately see it.

    I masked him off, adjusted brightness and contrast to center the histogram and I am much more happy with the result. Thanks for the suggestion!

    And now to implement compuwar's suggestions and see where that takes me!

    As for the shadows under his arm, I'm leaving those, I took them out already and it didn't look right. Probably a personal preference.

    SLC

    Here's the result of the histogram adjustment

    [​IMG]
     

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