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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 13 Nov 2017 (Monday) 09:52
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Family Portrait (Still learning)

 
ummechengr
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Nov 13, 2017 09:52 |  #1

I recently picked up a speedlite to help better illuminate my subjects. Me and my family are my guinea pigs as we needed a Holiday Family portrait for cards we send out to the grandparents/extended family. I think it's good enough for a mailer, but would love some CC so I can keep getting better. One area I know nothing about is "posing", so I'd really love some comments in that regard as well as general photographic improvement opportunities. Thanks!


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saea501
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Nov 13, 2017 10:00 |  #2

I think this looks pretty good.

I wouldn't mind seeing the little gap between you and your son closed up a bit. I might have your wife turn her head just a little more toward the camera so her eyes weren't so.....in the corner....have a little white on both sides. Your son looks great.

Did you do some work around the top of your head? There seems to be kind of an odd looking edge across the top.

I'm picking the nits here, overall it looks good.


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ummechengr
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Nov 13, 2017 10:29 as a reply to  @ saea501's post |  #3

Thanks saea. I agree on the gap for sure. Good point on the eye position as well. I wanted the background to have some different levels to better bring out the colors in the leaves, while not affecting the subject. Since I haven't taken the leap to a razor for my head yet, it makes it tough for me to cleanly separate my buzzed hair from the background. Open to suggestions on that for sure.


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saea501
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Nov 13, 2017 11:40 |  #4

ummechengr wrote in post #18495398 (external link)
=ummechengr;18495398]Since I haven't taken the leap to a razor for my head yet, it makes it tough for me to cleanly separate my buzzed hair from the background. Open to suggestions on that for sure.

HA! I'm right there with you, brother. I do the same thing.....just buzz it real short. I can't bring myself to shave it either. :-(


Remember what the DorMouse said.....feed your head.
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TeamSpeed
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Nov 13, 2017 11:46 |  #5

A tip I would give is as follows:

- It seems like when I print, the prints end up a bit darker than what they appear on my screen, and I even have a calibrated system. The issue is that you don't get to control the printing service. So I like to brighten them up just a bit before uploading.

- I would add just a bit of contrast and saturation and leveling to punch this image up a small amount.

Other than that, I think it would make for a great Christmas card!


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olafs ­ osh
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Nov 13, 2017 18:27 |  #6

My extra seven and a half centaurs would be a very obvious temperature shift between the family and the background.

See here, it will take 20 seconds of your time:
- open up the image in PS;
- put on a default photo filter and mask out the background, so it warms up only people;
- dublicate that layer again and put on about 60% opacity;
- put on a color balance layer and shift magenta/green slider a bit [-9] to the left, to get rid of a greenish tint of the photo.
Here you go, that's better :]


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OhLook
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Nov 13, 2017 19:49 |  #7

The adults' smiles look too frozen and unnatural for my taste. Only the boy has a relaxed expression.


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DagoImaging
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Nov 14, 2017 13:48 |  #8

If you replace the background you need to color balance the image to match the background. This is what Olaf was referring to.

Another couple options.

Option1:
1. duplicate the background
2. do an average blur on it
3. place it above the subject layer
4. use the layer mask from the subject on the duplicate layer and put blend mode into overlay or softlight

Option 2:
1. duplicate the background
2. do an gaussian blur on it where it almost removes all detail
3. place it above the subject layer
4. use the layer mask from the subject on the duplicate layer and put blend mode into overlay or softlight


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suecassidy
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Nov 21, 2017 19:04 |  #9

To add to what has been already said, here's my one piece of advice for shooting people pictures: You will often encounter people that ANY time a camera is pointed at them, they tilt their heads back slightly giving you a bit of the "up the nose" angle. This is never flattering, as it also closes up their eyes slightly as well. That person will ALWAYS do that in photos, every single time. You need to observe that about someone and point it out to them, reminding them to bring their nose down a bit. I suspect the Mom might be one of those people, or perhaps she only was in this particular shot, but watch for it when you are photographing people and you'll see what I mean. (Just like there are people who are always "blinkers" and you have to work with them to eliminate that blink reflex.)


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Columbia
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Nov 25, 2017 23:53 |  #10

Avoid cutting off hands and feet around the outside of the frame. If an arm is visible it should most times have a hand unless you're doing tight shoulder portraits or its behind someone's back.

If that was tricky to do because you were running back and forth between the timer, find a bench or something even that will place all of your waistlines at the same level. Then frame for the lowest person on the bench.

Colours are nice and the background is a good choice. Though I'd elect to take a machete (or clone tool) to those nearer branches. :-D




  
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mdvaden
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Nov 27, 2017 00:32 |  #11

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18495477 (external link)
A tip I would give is as follows:

- It seems like when I print, the prints end up a bit darker than what they appear on my screen, and I even have a calibrated system. The issue is that you don't get to control the printing service. So I like to brighten them up just a bit before uploading.

I seem to find the same.

Actually, I never calibrated my monitor ... it just happens to be correct. But monitors are lit, where photos are not. On a scale of 100, I brighten my files about 5% to 10% from what looks good to my eye on the monitor if I'm delivering files to someone on a Flashdrive.

Last few weddings I did, I sent several printed samples with the files so the couples could compare the brightness they see on their own screens against the printed samples.


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Family Portrait (Still learning)
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