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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 12 Oct 2013 (Saturday) 00:29
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POLL: "Too much contrast for corporate headshot?"
Yes
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35.3%
No
2
5.9%
Just right
0
0%
That hotspot is killing me! Start over!
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58.8%

30 voters, 34 votes given (any choice choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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Hotspot and contrast too much for executive headshots?

 
cdifoto
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Oct 15, 2013 22:18 |  #16

Zerimar wrote in post #16369226 (external link)
Substantially better, I would move the negative space to the other side of the frame as the image would flow better.

That's the expected composition and precisely why I sometimes do it exactly as OP did...and like it that way. It obviously requires the right posing and lighting but putting all subjects to the left looking right and right looking left gets kind of boring after awhile, IMHO. Depends on intent really. Most executive headshots are cropped center anyway though so left or right and negative space is moot.


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dmward
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Oct 15, 2013 22:33 |  #17

Nice thing about neutral gray, white or black backgrounds it that its easy for a page designer to add negative space on either side. :-)
Personally, I like the backward negative space. As a graphic design element I think it adds some dynamics.


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Oct 15, 2013 22:42 as a reply to  @ dmward's post |  #18

It also would be generally better to shoot verticals as tight as you would need, to fill up as much of your frame and pixels with a subject as opposed to wasting it with negative space that can easily be added in post production.


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dmward
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Oct 15, 2013 23:01 |  #19

Zerimar wrote in post #16374469 (external link)
It also would be generally better to shoot verticals as tight as you would need, to fill up as much of your frame and pixels with a subject as opposed to wasting it with negative space that can easily be added in post production.

Great suggestion that so many photographers forget. Blank space is easy to add. Pixels to render the subject are finite. :-)
Not the best example, but about half this image space was created with the crop tool in Photoshop.


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Oct 16, 2013 08:54 |  #20

This thread is a good read. I appreciate stumbling in here and seeing all this great info.

dmward wrote in post #16374451 (external link)
Nice thing about neutral gray, white or black backgrounds it that its easy for a page designer to add negative space on either side. :-)
Personally, I like the backward negative space. As a graphic design element I think it adds some dynamics.

Interesting, and makes sense.

As a side note, I watched Boardwalk Empire in a hotel last week, and I was extremely annoyed by the conversation cinematography. The talker would have the edge of the screen right up on his face, and the whole rest of the screen is negative space. It was clearly enough space that both people in the conversation would have fit on the screen at that focal length, and it gave me the feeling that the camera had been set up, then the actors moved before "action." Very awkward.

Of course I can't find any examples :-/


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dmward
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Oct 16, 2013 16:58 |  #21

waterrockets wrote in post #16375283 (external link)
This thread is a good read. I appreciate stumbling in here and seeing all this great info.

Interesting, and makes sense.

As a side note, I watched Boardwalk Empire in a hotel last week, and I was extremely annoyed by the conversation cinematography. The talker would have the edge of the screen right up on his face, and the whole rest of the screen is negative space. It was clearly enough space that both people in the conversation would have fit on the screen at that focal length, and it gave me the feeling that the camera had been set up, then the actors moved before "action." Very awkward.

Of course I can't find any examples :-/

I appreciate your frustration with positioning in a motion picture. Its a completely different dynamic. Camera position, actor position etc. are organized by the director as part of the scene dynamic rather than pure visual balance.

And, now that HD is predominant, if you happened to be watching on an SD TV without letter boxing that did some serious damage to the positioning as well.


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waterrockets
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Oct 16, 2013 17:32 |  #22

dmward wrote in post #16376418 (external link)
I appreciate your frustration with positioning in a motion picture. Its a completely different dynamic. Camera position, actor position etc. are organized by the director as part of the scene dynamic rather than pure visual balance.

And, now that HD is predominant, if you happened to be watching on an SD TV without letter boxing that did some serious damage to the positioning as well.

On 4:3, I wouldn't even have seen most of the actor. Here's a sample scene, I realize now that they recompose between cuts, but there were longer conversations where they didn't:

http://www.hbo.com …-ZFbUuIC0VSRnnPkC68Mkmg​== (external link)

Interesting technique, but at times it's really distracting.


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Oct 16, 2013 17:41 |  #23

Ah ha, see what you mean.
I also see why the director did it that way.
Its kind of the cinematic version of the reverse negitive space we've been talking about here.
Also, works well with the cut from the nearly profile sequence to the more front sequence.

The one convention that they did maintain, is always having the two people involved in the conversation always on the same side of the screen facing the same way.


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waterrockets
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Oct 16, 2013 17:53 |  #24

Interesting stuff. Cinematography along with directing seems like it would be really complicated, but I imagine that once you get it, you get it.

Sorry for the threadjack.

I guess the negative space behind the son makes sense, like he wants out of the conversation. Maybe the dad is composed the same way just for balance? He doesn't seem like he ever wants out of anything :cool: At any rate, it seems like you'd want the effect dulled a bit so hacks like me aren't distracted by it.


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Oct 20, 2013 00:09 |  #25

OK here's the most recent attempt... Going with thunder gray this time but stuck with the same lighting setup as before and tried to keep the highlights under control... BTW, this is shot with a YN560II in a amazon 48" octabox and another YN560II for hair/rim kinda thing.

Different model too...;)

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Oct 20, 2013 06:43 |  #26

Don't know if it's been posted, but here's a nice post processing article that handles the sort of picture you posted. Pretty basic, but you could give it a go and see how far you come with these images.

http://petapixel.com …al-retouching-shiny-skin/ (external link)


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Oct 20, 2013 09:39 |  #27

Notice that dark hair and dark background don't work together too well.
Women generally look better with less contrast and short rather than broad lighting.

Generally a good setup.
Pleasant facial expression. Her body looks a little tilted, like she's sitting in a chair or something.
Not as complementary as other posing options.

Tonal control and highlight control are well done.


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Oct 20, 2013 10:52 |  #28

sticknpuck wrote in post #16384202 (external link)
OK here's the most recent attempt...

On my calibrated monitor system, the image looks significantly underexposed - too dark. I'm judging this basically on the face tones but I agree with the comment above about background vs hair tones.


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sticknpuck
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Oct 20, 2013 14:09 |  #29

Thanks for the help and advice guys. Skip I need to get my monitor calibrated - another thing on the list... Which product do you recommend?

Anyhow, here's another try just smoothed out the facial tones and brightened it up a bit. Her brokerage is getting new business cards and the background on the cards is black that's why i'm shooting on the dark background - will give a better idea of the finished product. That said, on this brighter version the dark background is acceptable to me. I think we're still going to re-shoot for a better image to fix some things she doesn't like - hair and earrings - but just want to keep practicing the retouching.

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Oct 20, 2013 14:31 |  #30

sticknpuck wrote in post #16385238 (external link)
Skip I need to get my monitor calibrated - another thing on the list... Which product do you recommend?

What I'm using now is an NEC MultiSync PA231W monitor which was provided with the Spectraview II software and an NEC private-labelled sensor made by x-rite. It's really a fantastic combination. I've not kept up with the market to see what replaces it these days.


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