Outdoor Family Portraits

Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
3,625
Location
Houston, TX
My Brother and his wife and baby came to visit us over the weekend. We decided we'd drive out a bit from the city to see if there were any wildflowers left to get some pictures. I wanted to do it during good light so we decided to go to dinner first, unfortunately that took too long and by the time we found a place we had about 5-10 minutes of light left before the sun went below the horizon. I was a bit disappointed when reviewing the images that despite having a warm tone the highlights were still pretty harsh and somewhat blown, I hadn't expected problems with that this late in the day. They thought the pictures were great but I can't help but think I could have done better. Any feedback and suggestions for next time would be appreciated.

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Joined
Feb 19, 2005
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8,677
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Alabama
Jeff, I see what you mean about the light being harsh, but you know what...it works for me. If those were pictures of my family, I'd be just tickled about them. They are all very natural (ie. not posed) shots. I can tell you took your time (well, what time you had in 10minutes)! Btw, #2 is the best as far as I'm concerned...very nice shots indeed!
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
978
Location
Viera Fl
What a beautiful sunset you must have had. I think they look great and really happy folks.

They will cherish them forever.

Only thing I can say is , get take out. lololol...

watch the background better. The first is perfect background for that type of pic I think.

tough to shoot in harsh light. I sure do not know how to do it.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
I really like the second and fourth images. This late evening light is actually nice for taking pictures. Use a reflector for bouncing a little light into the subjects so that you don't get the hot spots from the sun. You might also consider adjusting the white balance a little to eliminate some of the red cast from the late evening sunset. You have done well with your poses. Cute family.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
763
Location
Davis / Bay Area
Ah golden hour. Light is extremely dynamic and will give very warm colors but since the sun is low, you really have to watch your shadows. Either turn them to fully face the sun, or have the light come in at 30-45 deg and use fill or a reflector to get rid of the shadows on the other side.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX
Leigh said:
Jeff, I see what you mean about the light being harsh, but you know what...it works for me. If those were pictures of my family, I'd be just tickled about them. They are all very natural (ie. not posed) shots. I can tell you took your time (well, what time you had in 10minutes)! Btw, #2 is the best as far as I'm concerned...very nice shots indeed!
Thanks Leigh,
My mom said the same thing, about them looking natural/relaxed. She said she likes these better than the studio portraits my brother's family recently had taken. I guess it's easy as photographers to concentrate on technical matters but sometimes that comes secondary to capturing the moment and creating memories.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
3,625
Location
Houston, TX
greyflash said:
I really like the second and fourth images. This late evening light is actually nice for taking pictures. Use a reflector for bouncing a little light into the subjects so that you don't get the hot spots from the sun. You might also consider adjusting the white balance a little to eliminate some of the red cast from the late evening sunset. You have done well with your poses. Cute family.
Thanks. I didn't have a reflector with me but I did use fill-flash, although maybe it wasn't enough. I agree the color balance is maybe a little too warm; I was trying to keep the warmth of the evening sunlight but I think I need to find a better compromise so the skintones are a little less red.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
3,625
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Houston, TX
Gale said:
What a beautiful sunset you must have had. I think they look great and really happy folks.

They will cherish them forever.
Thanks Gale,

Only thing I can say is , get take out. lololol...
No kidding. We should have had enough time but wouldn't you know it service was unually slow that day.[/quote]
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
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Location
Houston, TX
virtuamike said:
Ah golden hour. Light is extremely dynamic and will give very warm colors but since the sun is low, you really have to watch your shadows. Either turn them to fully face the sun, or have the light come in at 30-45 deg and use fill or a reflector to get rid of the shadows on the other side.
I was just reading the chapter on outdoor portraits in a book I have the other day that said you should always try to use the sunlight from the side, not front. I can see his point in that front lighting will be pretty flat, but I think you're onto something with the 45 degree recommendation. In the first two shots (most problematic) the sun coming directly from the side, as opposed to the 3rd shot where it's more diagonal. I think it will also take some practice to see what the camera will see in this regard; when I was actually shooting the light didn't look too contrasty to my eyes but I should have checked the LCD more closely instead of just glancing at the histogram.

Thanks,
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
3,625
Location
Houston, TX
PhotoDawg said:
Very good shots. Glad to see Dad remove the hat in those last shots. Looks much better. Mom and son picture together is wonderful. All of your shots are priceless!! :D :D :D :D
LOL, yeah he pretty much always wears a cap, but as soon as Thomas was up on his shoulders the first thing he did was grab it so my brother didn't have much choice in the matter. :)
 
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