Some shots of my wife

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The other day my wife and I had some time, so we went out in the backyard and I shot several shots. I am very novice when it comes to shooting and processing portraits, so any help out there would be very much appreciated. Criticism is definitely encouraged in this thread. I want to get better at this. The one thing that drives me crazy is the shadows in the eyes. I get that a lot. Is there a technique to alleviate that?

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dbirdsong

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PhotoDawg said:
The other day my wife and I had some time, so we went out in the backyard and I shot several shots. I am very novice when it comes to shooting and processing portraits, so any help out there would be very much appreciated. Criticism is definitely encouraged in this thread. I want to get better at this. The one thing that drives me crazy is the shadows in the eyes. I get that a lot. Is there a technique to alleviate that?



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First while I don't know you, let me say that you have over achieved with your love life. :D

Now onto the photo, IMHO when photographing a single person taking the picture a portrait style like this

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I hope you don't mind that I edited the picture.

Dave
 
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Bryan,

When shooting in bright sunlight try to position the model so that the sun is either directly behind or in directly in front of your model. That will minimize the harsh shadows that are being cast across the face.

With the sun behind you'll get nice flat illumination and a great glow. The sun in front will create nice strong butterfly lighting.

In the shot below, the model is in open shade with the sun almost directly behind her. I used a silver reflector to kick some of the light back at the model from the right.

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Also, reducing the depth of field will help isolate your subject.
 
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Nice looking lady, Brian! A coupl'a thoughts:

I can see why you would want to shoot with her! Could be more specific about cam settings, etc, if you provided the shooting data with the pics. 2 things that stick out for me. The time of day according to the shadows, looks to be mid-morning or afternoon, say about 10 am or 3 pm? Not the best time to pick as the shadows are pretty harsh by then. Also, you might want to use light fill flash to lesson those shadows a bit, and using a white reflector foam core board, just out of camera sight, angled up towards her face would help with those shadows under her eyes. Also, gotta watch out for the backgrounds, getting them more oof is a good thing. Gotta shoot wide open for that.
Edit: forgot to add that her skin has some hot spots (blown areas) in the 1st pic. A bit too much exposure.
 
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Bryan,

When shooting in bright sunlight try to position the model so that the sun is either directly behind or in directly in front of your model. That will minimize the harsh shadows that are being cast across the face.

With the sun behind you'll get nice flat illumination and a great glow. The sun in front will create nice strong butterfly lighting.

In the shot below, the model is in open shade with the sun almost directly behind her. I used a silver reflector to kick some of the light back at the model from the right.
Very nice use of light in your photograph. I will remember to position the model that way. I will have to look into getting a reflector. I saw a professional using one at the park the other day. Looked like a big egg balloon!! :lol: :lol: Thanks for the info!! :D :D :D
 
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First while I don't know you, let me say that you have over achieved with your love life.
LOL!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Yes, I am very happy. She is a good woman!! :D :D :D

By all means edit away!! Yes, I like how you cropped that image!! More concentrated. Thanks!! :D :D :D
 
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I can see why you would want to shoot with her! Could be more specific about cam settings, etc, if you provided the shooting data with the pics. 2 things that stick out for me. The time of day according to the shadows, looks to be mid-morning or afternoon, say about 10 am or 3 pm? Not the best time to pick as the shadows are pretty harsh by then. Also, you might want to use light fill flash to lesson those shadows a bit, and using a white reflector foam core board, just out of camera sight, angled up towards her face would help with those shadows under her eyes. Also, gotta watch out for the backgrounds, getting them more oof is a good thing. Gotta shoot wide open for that.
Edit: forgot to add that her skin has some hot spots (blown areas) in the 1st pic. A bit too much exposure.
Thanks for the compliment Steve. This shot was taken about 2PM or 3PM. Clear day...plenty of sunlight. I tried to position her facing the sunlight. Yes, the over exposure drives me more crazy than the shadows in the face. I shot these on regular ol' Auto setting with my D70. Ah, white foam board!! I like that. A very cost effective approach!! I will give that a try. Thanks again Steve....YOU DA MAN!!! :D :D :D :D
 
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PhotoDawg,

I shoot with the flash to provide some fill in lighting.

Thornton
 
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Lovely wife Bryan and a fitting model as well. You have received some good suggestions but I will add mine as well, get a diffuser and position that over her head to diffuse the harsh light. I also like to shoot in the shade where possible. :) :)
 
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Lovely wife Bryan and a fitting model as well. You have received some good suggestions but I will add mine as well, get a diffuser and position that over her head to diffuse the harsh light. I also like to shoot in the shade where possible.
Thanks for the kind words Gordon. Now I am going to show you how NOVICE I am..........what is a diffuser? Where can I get one?
 
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A diffuser is any material that diffuses the light. You can purchase one at any camera store - they come in many flavors.

You can also make one - stretch a bed sheet between the trees and place your model in the diffuse light created by the bed sheet's shadow. You can also build a frame out of PVC pipe and stretch your material on that.
 
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PhotoDawg said:
Lovely wife Bryan and a fitting model as well. You have received some good suggestions but I will add mine as well, get a diffuser and position that over her head to diffuse the harsh light. I also like to shoot in the shade where possible.
Thanks for the kind words Gordon. Now I am going to show you how NOVICE I am..........what is a diffuser? Where can I get one?
Hi Bryan, I see you did get an answer about the diffuser. Photoflex makes a great one that is circular and folds up to a fairly small package. I use mine all the time. If you look at my wedding shots of the bridal pair, many of them were done with a diffuser.
 
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The only real problem with a diffuser is

that you need an assistant to hold it. What you *could do, is wait for a cloud to *just* about to cover the sun, either coming or going, and THEN snap the pic! Nothing like the ease of naturally occurring diffused sunlight! The Foam core board trick for throwing some light under her eyes, & chin would be easy to buy, use, and prop up. You still might want to consider putting your built-in flash on Manual power and hitting her with a touch of fill flash. Not so much it looks like flash was even used. Set it for 1/8th to 1/16th power for starters.

It also occurred to me that you could make a cheap diffuser by stretching an old, thin, white sheet over a Hoola Hoop, then somehow getting it to stay put. You'd still need an assistant to hold it though.

Another thing we need to do is get you to start using Aperture Priority, and opening up your lens aperture to help throw the background out of focus. This really makes your subject pop off the screen, (or print). Then, you can control your exposure levels by using some negative Exp Comp if need be, esp on a bright day. Whaddya say Brian, time to start mastering that camera of yours!
 
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Sometimes sunlight is unavoidable but I try to avoid it like like the plague.
This shot is fro a while back. It's a backyard casual of my son's former girlfriend. It was dreary and overcast and her attitude was "yechy weather, let's shoot later". In my greenery filled yard overcast weather if ideal.
Get some tree or porch shade with side exposure to cloudy sky. I love it wit a little fill flash.

http://www.pbase.com/vernix/kim



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Here is my favorite natural easy setting.
Bright sunny day, under a covered area avoiding brightly lit backgrounds that would burn out. Some blue sky to the side, not behind you, when under cover on a sunny day is nice.
I'm just learning too.

reading too much can confuse, but I like this book.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/158428045X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-5678715-1036061#reader-link


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dbirdsong

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Wow, that is a great photo.


vernon t said:
Sometimes sunlight is unavoidable but I try to avoid it like like the plague.
This shot is fro a while back. It's a backyard casual of my son's former girlfriend. It was dreary and overcast and her attitude was "yechy weather, let's shoot later". In my greenery filled yard overcast weather if ideal.
Get some tree or porch shade with side exposure to cloudy sky. I love it wit a little fill flash.

http://www.pbase.com/vernix/kim



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Wossname

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For Sure You...

...are a lucky Dawg. How did you get to marry Liz Hurley without it getting in the papers? ':shock:'

Great set of shots, thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Neil
Tokyo
 
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Using the various techniques by fellow photographers whom have helped me tremendously with this. Thank you so much. Here are a couple of shots using those various techniques. I really do notice the importance of light when shooting portraits.

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Again, thanks to everyone for helping me with this!! :D :D :D
 
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