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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Weddings & Other Family Events 
Thread started 30 Mar 2018 (Friday) 22:00
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Some pictures from a recent maternity shoot. Honest opinions please!

 
Point-n-shoot-n
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Mar 30, 2018 22:00 |  #1

All natural light, no reflectors all shot with the 135L.


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valdano
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Mar 31, 2018 10:15 |  #2

Hey pal,

Okay if i'm being honest, let me firstly they these are nice shots. They're not 'OMG WOW', but they're not bad photos either. Here are a few things I saw thought could be changed or done better next time.

Image One:
1. Hotspot on her chest is blown out and it's a little distracting.
2. The overall images has a green look to it. Don't know if that's intentional, but I would put some magenta in there.
3. Her expression seems a little off. The one in the second photo is much better. She looks happier in the second photo.
4. The background has a whole lotta sun patches (hotspots). What you could have done was move to your left to get more of the darker trees/shrubs in the background and get rid of the unnecessary clutter and hotspots.

Image Two:
1. Same green tint as above comment
2. Hotspot distractions in the background
3. Background a little busy (park bench, post, tree bark, etc.)
4. The expressions in this one is great though. This is my favourite of the two images.

Hope I was of some help :D


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Talley
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Mar 31, 2018 13:50 |  #3

valdano wrote in post #18597607 (external link)
Hey pal,

Okay if i'm being honest, let me firstly they these are nice shots. They're not 'OMG WOW', but they're not bad photos either. Here are a few things I saw thought could be changed or done better next time.

Image One:
1. Hotspot on her chest is blown out and it's a little distracting.
2. The overall images has a green look to it. Don't know if that's intentional, but I would put some magenta in there.
3. Her expression seems a little off. The one in the second photo is much better. She looks happier in the second photo.
4. The background has a whole lotta sun patches (hotspots). What you could have done was move to your left to get more of the darker trees/shrubs in the background and get rid of the unnecessary clutter and hotspots.

Image Two:
1. Same green tint as above comment
2. Hotspot distractions in the background
3. Background a little busy (park bench, post, tree bark, etc.)
4. The expressions in this one is great though. This is my favourite of the two images.

Hope I was of some help :D

Spot on. I second this.


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Point-n-shoot-n
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Mar 31, 2018 15:56 |  #4

Thanks for the input guys! Maybe I need to calibrate my monitor as the skin tones look pretty good on my screen. I can see where the darker B/G would have been a better choice...I’ll try that next time. The hotspots are as drawn down as I could get them in Lightroom...they were much worse as I metered for the face to avoid under exposing. Still learning...always learning. I have other shots from the same set that are on a darker background that do look better. Thanks again for the input!


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valdano
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Mar 31, 2018 16:05 as a reply to  @ Point-n-shoot-n's post |  #5

Not a problem pal. Don't worry, we're all learning. I too suffer from the same things I mentioned with your images. It's easy to see the end product and critique, but it's a totally different ball game when you're in the moment and people are counting on you to tell them what to do.

Time and practice will get us there in short order.


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OhLook
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Mar 31, 2018 16:36 |  #6

Point-n-shoot-n wrote in post #18597769 (external link)
The hotspots are as drawn down as I could get them in Lightroom...they were much worse as I metered for the face to avoid under exposing.

The sunlight from the left was too bright for white fabric and pale blond hair. This was a very light family to begin with, including their clothes. Posing them earlier or later in the day and trying different places without harsh sunrays would have produced more consistency in tones and made PP easier.

Reflections from grass and trees all around can add a greenish cast to skin.


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Silver-Halide
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Mar 31, 2018 16:45 |  #7

Subjects appear in focus and well dressed. Overall compositions are decent.

Biggest area to improve is lighting. Lighting is more important than location and as I have become fond of saying: quantity of light is more important than quality of light. Generally speaking, the subject should be brighter than the background. That's a huge miss in the first photo and the beautiful green and soft bokeh doesn't make up for it. Second image is a little better and I'd go for a brush and burn down those hot spots in the background. A strobe or really big reflector would have made these images much, much stronger. If you don't have that, find a pocket of light where the background will be darker than the subjects.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 31, 2018 18:03 |  #8

Point-n-shoot-n wrote in post #18597769 (external link)
Thanks for the input guys! Maybe I need to calibrate my monitor as the skin tones look pretty good on my screen. I can see where the darker B/G would have been a better choice...I’ll try that next time. The hotspots are as drawn down as I could get them in Lightroom...they were much worse as I metered for the face to avoid under exposing. Still learning...always learning. I have other shots from the same set that are on a darker background that do look better. Thanks again for the input!

If you aren't going to light your subjects (and you really should) then you have to find better light. At the very least you need to find consistent light so that the light falling on the subject isn't dappled. Also without .ighting your subjects you have little control over the ratio of subject brightness to the background.




  
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Point-n-shoot-n
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Mar 31, 2018 21:50 |  #9

gonzogolf wrote in post #18597825 (external link)
If you aren't going to light your subjects (and you really should) then you have to find better light. At the very least you need to find consistent light so that the light falling on the subject isn't dappled. Also without .ighting your subjects you have little control over the ratio of subject brightness to the background.

Therein lies the problem with shooting outdoors. I have used strobes to add light but I am trying to get some decent shots using just the natural light. I have a large scrim and some reflectors at my disposal....perhaps I could have benefitted from bringing them along. This shoot was of my wife's Niece and just an afterthought after her baby shower, so nothing was expected or compensated...just playing with the 135L wide open to see what it could do. I shoot indoors in my studio most of the time where the light is never a problem to control. I need to improve my ability to find the good light when outside. I usually look for even shade to shoot in but thought about getting some backlighting in these too see how it would look. I think I remember a tutorial where the instructor was shooting in broad daylight and used the idea of a dark background on backlit photos....I think I will go at it with that in mind next time. Thanks again guys!


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George ­ Zip
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Post edited 3 months ago by George Zip.
     
Apr 01, 2018 03:04 |  #10

Hey man.

The main thing I noticed on the first photo were how bright the grass is which distracts from the lady. Also she is half in and half out of that dark background element. To fix it I would have move her more to the right assuming you could position her with the dark background and continued to backlight her for the hair highlights. Imo you really need to have the sun directly behind them to avoid hoot spots on clothes and the face. From there you need to decide if you want to add some light with flash. I usually do both.

I can’t really offer any advice on the second one as I am an abysmal family photographer. I’m not very good at it. I do like the expressions on their faces.

The only thing I do know for sure is your clients will mirror you. Meaning if I am not bringing energy they will be the same. Or if you are not super proficient with your gear they sense hesitation. I kinda treat photo shoots like when I used to do a gig as a professional musician. I find personally that’s the most important thing. I find great emotion with reasonable tech competence will trump technically perfect photos.

*edit* just read the last post. Sorry to repeat what you said.




  
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George ­ Zip
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Apr 01, 2018 08:44 |  #11

This is a metter of taste. When shooting in greenery , I tone down the green a bit because it's a primary colour and tends to be distracting.

This is just a personal preference.




  
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George ­ Zip
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Post edited 3 months ago by George Zip.
     
Apr 01, 2018 08:52 |  #12

Here is one I posted on FB today of an engaenent shoot I did yesterday in similar circumstances. That green element in the background is a bush way off in the background and was the only dark element amoungset some houses. And i am standing in line with their shadow.

You might hate it, but I think it makes the best of what I had to work with.

They liked it so I guess that's the main thing.


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Post edited 3 months ago by jcolman.
     
Apr 01, 2018 10:52 |  #13

I agree with most of the aforementioned comments. I find that the key to getting good photos outdoors is to find some shade, preferable with a dark background, then adding some off camera flash to the subject. A few examples below.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/rr3CQa6.jpg

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/XxQJ5ta.jpg

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/w2xY3rw.jpg

However if you don't want to use flash, then find some "bright" shade.

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/UYFVUfP.jpg

Or a patch of sunlight with a shady background

IMAGE: https://i.imgur.com/9186cbZ.jpg

I probably spend more time looking at backgrounds as I do anything else when looking for a location to place my subjects.

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Point-n-shoot-n
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Apr 08, 2018 19:00 |  #14

jcolman wrote in post #18598234 (external link)
I agree with most of the aforementioned comments. I find that the key to getting good photos outdoors is to find some shade, preferable with a dark background, then adding some off camera flash to the subject. A few examples below.

Or a patch of sunlight with a shady background

QUOTED IMAGE

I probably spend more time looking at backgrounds as I do anything else when looking for a location to place my subjects.

Great suggestions guys! The hair being backlit as in your pic is the look I was going for actually. I am going to hopefully get to take some pics with my newly acquired 200mmF2L this weekend, so I can try some of your ideas to see how it goes! Thanks for all the excellent input and sample photos!


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Post edited 3 months ago by mdvaden.
     
Apr 17, 2018 10:56 |  #15

jcolman wrote in post #18598234 (external link)
I agree with most of the aforementioned comments. I find that the key to getting good photos outdoors is to find some shade, preferable with a dark background, then adding some off camera flash to the subject. A few examples below.

I probably spend more time looking at backgrounds as I do anything else when looking for a location to place my subjects.

Dark backgrounds isn't necessarily"the key" ... it's more of a want or hope. I was adjusting an image last night from a redwood wedding. It was scheduled a specific time of day at a specific park. The entire park was scattered mix of sunlight and shadows. There was no "key" to find, nor time to go elsewhere. Sometimes it is possible to go elsewhere or another hour. Nice option if it's available. Partially cloudy days often cause changes that may make a dark background or light background trade places throughout the day.

Back the OP -- I think the main point was getting the people out of direct sun. Personally, the hot spots in the background don't bother me very much provided it's back in the bokeh. Some people may even prefer the bright spots of bokeh instead of an even darker background.


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Some pictures from a recent maternity shoot. Honest opinions please!
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