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More family photos for critique

Discussion in 'People' started by Terri French, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. I'm still working on my Thanksgiving photos. I really haven't seriously been taking people photos for very long. It has taken me a long time to get brave enough to do it. Daughter No. 2 and her husband wanted their photo taken on Thanksgiving. Mike hates to have his picture taken and Jenny had to do a lot of persuading to get him to do it. Here are the two they liked the best. Am I closer on the skin tones and post processing on these? I need all of you to help me train my eye as to what to look for.


    View attachment 20231
  2. Terri, your skin tones are quite nice. Beautiful couple and their expressions are very good. I will say that the bright spots in the background are a little distracting and could easily be cloned to a darker color. I do this often for light shining through the leaves, etc., and it helps the overall look of the image. I like the shots.
  3. This is very, very nit-picky, but...

    Second picture

    Just above crook of girl's right elbow

    About level with guy's right ear lobe

    A white speck.

    See it?

    Easily cloned or (even better) spot healed.
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Love the shots, esp the pose in #2, but the colors are imo, still off. There is much too yellow in them. I realise that all skintones are different, but I just calibrated my monitor with Gretag Macbeth Eye One Display 2 calibration device, so I think what I'm seeing is pretty accurate. Also, the bright spots in the BG could be toned down. I still maintain that it's best to shoot a grey card, then tweak a little (if necessary) in post.
  5. You guys are great

    This is what I wanted, some very honest feedback. Clive, you have got eagle eyes. Don't know what the spot is, but I will clone it out. Steve, thank you for telling me what you think about the skin tones. I took these the same time as the first ones. Haven't been able to order a WhiBal yet. Think I will ask for one for Christmas. Gordon and Steve, I will work on the spots in the background.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.
  6. Hi Terri,

    Nice shots. I think that steve makes a good point about the yellow. Nice work and i bet they looked great framed and put on the wall.

    Great work again.
  7. Chev71

    Chev71 Guest

    I like them alot

    especially the first one. It's not easy shooting portraits of someone who doesnt like to be photographed. These have a real nice feeling to them, as do other people pics on your webpage. You've obviously got a knack for making people feel comfortable, which is a skill in itself. By the way, I love the "Close to Home" part of your site. There is a lot of talent on this forum, I'm glad I joined.
  8. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Terri, both are great shots, but I think I prefer the first one for the natural expression.

    also, I recommend that you crop a bit further up the body and cover the watch. That area of the first photo is a bit distracting. I tried an 11x14 crop and it brings the bottom up to a few inches below her elbow. I think if you do that, and some slight tweaking of the background, you have an awesome great shot.

    The second image is great too, but that t-shirt just gets in the way of my eye. It is less noticeable in the first shot.

    Great skin tones, I wouldn't change anything on their faces. Looks fine on my monitor, which is also calibrated, so who knows! lol? Only way to tell is print it. Great natural feel and texture to the faces. i wouldn't add or change anything you have done.


  9. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005
    Oh Terri - I feel I have so much to learn!

    Looked at the shots and immediately thought WOW - these are beautiful.

    OK, I did think the bright spots at the back could go - easy fix.

    However, I had not realised about the yellow???

    You see to me, on my monitor, they don't look yellow or wrong....?

    OK, may be my monitor.

    BUT...it shows how critical getting a good shot can be - I would never have considered or realised there was an issue of colour here.....need to learn so much.

    However, for me....still beautiful pictures.

    Best wishes

  10. I too just cailibrated today using Spyder2 Pro. Why is it that the photo looks good in the post, but if I paste it into PS CS2 I see the yellow cast?
  11. PixelPete

    PixelPete Guest

    Hi Terri...I see the yellow as well but that should be an easy fix. On pg.56 of the D70 manual there is a setting suggestion for portraits.Dont know if this helps I just wanted to mention it..I have NOT used the setting myself.Mike and Jenny sure are a cute couple!
  12. Beautiful children, and lovely portraits, Terri! Adjusting skin tones is an art, not a science, so you can expect different viewers to have differing reactions to any people pic. The solution is to determine what suits you, and go with it. Besides, the viewer has no idea of the light at the time of the shot. A picture taken at Golden Hour will always have a warmer cast than one taken at noon.

    I'm going to offer you a very simple way to adjust the white balance of your pictures. Here's your picture again.


    Open it in Photoshop, and then select the levels menu. You'll see 3 eyedroppers at the bottom right. Click on the middle (gray) one.

    View attachment 20233

    Then find something that shouldn't have any color in it, like your daughter's dark colored sweater, and click on it. You'll see an immediate change, as the levels utility subtracts any color cast from that spot... and adjusts the rest of the picture by the same amount. You may have to click on several areas until you find one that adjusts the WB to please your own critical eye. I've put a red circle over the area that I felt gave the "best" result for my eyes, but you may find it too "cold" for yours. So please yourself... please ;-).

    View attachment 20234

    Hope this helps.
  13. Am I on the right track?

    I tried to take everyone's suggestions into account and do another conversion and edit of my favorite of the two photos. Is it better, or not? I think that part of the problem is that I am working on a calibrated laptop. When I am outside of Photoshop, my colors look much more red than they do in Nikon View or Photoshop. I called Eye-One and their technician explained that Microsoft software does not use the same color management that Photoshop does. It uses certain aspects of the calibrated profile, but not everything. Therefore the colors aren't the same in and out of the graphics software.

    Before--the uncropped version with the yellow tint

    After--cropped, used a lower color temperature for the raw conversion, ran the custom vignette action on photo to tone down the background. Not sure if the photo is bright enough now. I need to print it and compare.

    View attachment 20236
  14. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Skintones look great now Terri, much improved. Brightness is pretty good, but could maybe use a touch increase in the midtones. Is this posted pic in aRGB? Fine for print, but not ideal for web display. I can't tell what it is. You know about the only thing I'd do now is a Quick Mask & burn in her hand & other fingers a bit to darken them. I did this and increased the midtones a touch, and it's even better! :wink:
  15. Thanks for your help, Steve. I have a couple of questions for you. How do I brighten only the midtones? I haven't done that before. Also, why do you think the pic is in aRGB? It is in sRGB. I thought I had linked to the original version in pbase which should have the profile attached.

    You have been most helpful to me, and I appreciate it very much.
  16. Thank you Frank

    I knew about the black and white eye droppers, but I did not know that the gray eyedropper could be used on any neutral color. Your explanation was great. I'm sure it took you some time to put it together, and I appreciate your efforts very much. I hope that others with questions like mine are following this thread and learning from all the wonderful experts here.

    I used the technique in making my corrections that I posted a couple of entries ago. I also used info from an ACR calibration post that I read on DPreview.
  17. Vince

    Hi Vince,
    I worked on the skin tones. My new efforts are posted in this thread. Do they look better or worse to you? Thanks for helping me.
  18. Hi Chev71 (don't know your real name yet to address you properly),
    I don't know about a knack for making people feel comfortable. Most of these people are my family, so they should feel comfortable around me. I sure appreciate you taking the time to look at my website. I'm glad you joined in here. My guess is that you will like it here. It is a diverse group of people with one thing in common, all are very nice.
  19. Hi Wade. I sure appreciate your observations. I have two calibrated monitors at home and one at work. The skin tones looked fine on my laptop (which is the computer I use most), but too yellow on the other two. If I look at them in Photoshop on all three they look fairly consistent. I decided to tone down the yellow and I have posted my results here. I also went for the crop you suggested. I want to get this photo really nice, because my daughter wants it enlarged and framed. I've spent hours on it, but it has been worth it as a great learning experience.
  20. Hi Pete,

    I'll get out my manual and read up on it. I don't remember reading about portrait suggestions before. Thanks for referring me to a source for help.
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