Lovely Lady B/Ws

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May 4, 2005
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San Francisco, CA
Here's a couple of shots I took of a lovely lady last week. Taken with D70 and kit lens. Comments/criticisms appreciated:

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Jan 29, 2005
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St. George, Utah
Hi Paul, I do like the B&W rendition of this lovely model. By way of critique, I feel that the fill flash is a little strong and/or the sun. The hot spots on her face are not all that flattering. I suggest the use of a diffuser for the sun and a little less fill with the flash to improve the image. I'm also hoping that you really did want critical comments.
 
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Thanks Gordon, yes I did want critical comments actually, that's how we improve as photographers... The photos were taken in very bright, direct New Mexico sun, no fill flash was used, so there are some harsh highlights - not easy to shoot in such intense sun but I think the camera handled it relatively well under the circumstances..
 
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I know about bright sun living here in St. George, Utah so I can empathise with you. I recently did a wedding in such light and used a diffuser whenever I could get someone to hold it for me. It really softens the light and eliminates the harsh highlights. I do like the tight crop on these images.
 
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Feb 5, 2005
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Another Santa Fean's thoughts...

Paul :


Shooting in the City Different just like you, I have many of the same problems with the harshness of the sun. In looking at her teeth (shot 2), the flowers (shots 1 and 3), and her blouse (shot 1), I'd say this was a touch overexposed, but then I'd expect you were metering on her skin. As a number of much better photographers than me have said, "expose for your most important highlights", which you seem to have done.

One constructive thought on this - what post-processing did you do to bring this over to B&W ? Was it "manual" in PS, or did you use one of the preset packages like Fred Miranda's ? It's possible that the conversion adversely affected the overall dynamic range in an unexpected way. I find that differing approaches or even different preset packages can have a quite amazing difference. Every so often, I'll tinker with several packages for exactly this reason, but I've not yet found an easily identified aspect that would predict which package to use.

And BTW, it's getting to the time when we might set up an NM branch of the Cafe, what with the shooters in ABQ and here in SF. Without a question, we have some of the best photographic source material here in this state...

Well, it's a thought, at least. A fair number of the Cafe visit here several times a year, especially for the Bosque del Apache in autumn through late winter, but there's so much more here than just that location.


John P.
 
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Transmit said:
... The photos were taken in very bright, direct New Mexico sun, no fill flash was used, so there are some harsh highlights - not easy to shoot in such intense sun but I think the camera handled it relatively well under the circumstances..
Not sure if these were planned or impromptu, but you could use a handheld diffuser, maybe, to soften the light. I made a ~2'x3' out of pvc pipe and white rip-stop nylon. Small and relatively portable. I made it specifically for this kind of purpose but also use it in front of other kinds of lights as well.
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
300
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San Francisco, CA
Thanks for all the replies guys, lighting is indeed the trickiest part of photography, but the most rewarding if you learn to master it. Question for Gordon: What kind of diffuser do you use? I've never used one but this would definitely be handy in situations like this.

As for the bw conversion, I used PS's Channel Mixer along with Digidaan's presets <http://www.digidaan.nl/indexframedigidaan.html?channelmixer/index.html> as a starting point which I tweak further for each color channel to get a pleasing conversion. I think though that if you blow highlights when you take the shot, there's no getting them back no matter what you do.

NM chapter? Sounds good to me...
 
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