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Studio, Portrait, Still Life, Lighting Equipment and Technique Continuous and Strobe Lighting. (The Sun is considered continuous!) Great ideas are really ten a penny! Technique in setting up the subject is, of course, essential. However, the ability to bring out form, texture, tonality and color is where the skill in lighting provides all the keys to engraving one's ideas on the delivered picture.

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  #1  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:50 AM
Sydney Rester Sydney Rester is offline
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Default Lovely High School Senior

I shot this delightful young lady with the 135L (surprise surprise!) for the first 2 and the Sigma 85 1.4 for the 3rd. This was my first time trying "senior" portraits and I LOVED this age. I would love some feedback. Just realized my settings are the same for all 3 photos. How funny because I changed them like a million times


135L, f/2.2, 1/1250, ISO 320


135L, f/2.2 1/1250, ISO 320


Sigma 85 1.4, f/2.2, 1/1250, ISO 320
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  #2  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:07 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney Rester View Post
I shot this delightful young lady with the 135L (surprise surprise!) for the first 2 and the Sigma 85 1.4 for the 3rd. This was my first time trying "senior" portraits and I LOVED this age. I would love some feedback. Just realized my settings are the same for all 3 photos. How funny because I changed them like a million times
Hi Sydney,

Lovely subject and great lenses, what can go wrong ...

Well, the reflection of the green wall in the first 2 images causes a color cast on your subject, and it throws the skin color off. Perhaps you can do a double Raw conversion, one for skin color, one for the overall scene, and blend the two with a mask. It will be impossible to totally neutralize the influence of the wall, but it wouldn't look natural if you did. Just look for a better balance, that's all I'm suggesting.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:47 AM
Sydney Rester Sydney Rester is offline
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Ah yes, the color cast. I should post the SOOC on these. They were positively cyan, the entire image. Worst color cast I have ever dealt with. So these ARE my corrected versions, guess they are still not corrected enough. On the first one I finally stopped and put a kind of vintage wash over it, which is not my typical style, but I sort of liked it. Maybe I should amp that up a bit if I can't totally get rid of the blue? On the second, I actually thought I had gotten it pretty clean. I'll give it another look.

Thanks for the feedback. I really should post the SOOCs. They are hilarious. The blue wall was so pretty and so so much trouble in post ...
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  #4  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 11:45 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney Rester View Post
I shot this delightful young lady with the 135L (surprise surprise!) for the first 2 and the Sigma 85 1.4 for the 3rd. This was my first time trying "senior" portraits and I LOVED this age. I would love some feedback. Just realized my settings are the same for all 3 photos. How funny because I changed them like a million times


135L, f/2.2, 1/1250, ISO 320


Sydney,

What a joy! This is your special talent, suffusing this spirit of life into your portraits. That's why I love your work so!

Asher
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  #5  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 11:53 AM
Sydney Rester Sydney Rester is offline
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Thank you, Asher! What do you think about the color? Is it a problem? Do I need to try and correct the cast more and go for a cleanly processed look? Is the slight vintage wash working? I wasn't sure ...
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 05:17 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Yes, Sydney,

As Bart points out, you can correct for her skin, (you did include a gray card, didn't you), and separately use this existing version for the walls. Have you mastered masks yet?

Asher
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 06:21 PM
Sydney Rester Sydney Rester is offline
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Yep, I included a gray card. I included it in the front pocket of my shootsac and never took it out. Ugh. I know how to use masks now. Just can't seem to get the color right. I'll give it another pass this weekend when I'm not so tired.
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  #8  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 08:18 PM
Rachel Foster Rachel Foster is offline
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Lovely work! Very nice.
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  #9  
Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:54 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney Rester View Post
Yep, I included a gray card. I included it in the front pocket of my shootsac and never took it out. Ugh. I know how to use masks now. Just can't seem to get the color right. I'll give it another pass this weekend when I'm not so tired.
Well Sydney,

You cannot get it perfectly right unless we get the exact color of the contaminating light and remove it. Everywhere you sample will give a slightly different result. There's a gradient of the effect, so there's more blue the closer the wall. So do the best you can sampling the white of her eyes or her white teeth to see how you might approach the best neutral color for her face. The residual spill for her arm, after the correction, will be acceptable as after all, she's near a blue wall. If you find a suitable neutral target to sample in one picture, use that for all the pictures if you can.

Interestingly, some folk will likely not even notice the cast! They just fall in love with the picture! I see the same with comments on B&W pictures, where the bride's veil is blown and so has no pattern detail and the groom's black tux has no shadows or definition and yet family are ecstatic about their pictures. Go figure!

Still, in this case, you can correct to a considerable extent as Bart has outlined.
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  #10  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:13 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney Rester View Post
Yep, I included a gray card. I included it in the front pocket of my shootsac and never took it out. Ugh. I know how to use masks now. Just can't seem to get the color right. I'll give it another pass this weekend when I'm not so tired.
Hi Sydney,

Since I don't have the original files, I did the following quick fix correction on the image you posted:
1. Opened your 'problem' image in Photoshop.
2. Create a new empty layer, and set the blending mode to Color.
3. Select that layer and choose Edit|Fill...
4. In the Fill dialog, select the Contents|Use: Color... option, and take a color sample from the wall
5. In the Fill dialog, set Blending Mode: Normal and Opacity: 100%, and select OK.
6. Invert the layer colors (Image|Adjustments|Invert)
7. Reduce the layer opacity till the wall color is neutralized (% depends on the color that was sampled), the skin looks almost normal now.
8. Create a layer mask filled with white, and reveal the original background color with painting the mask in Black. I didn't create a mask, just a quick paint brush on the mask, but a good mask would give even better results.



Based on the original files, I'm sure you will be able to do much better, and even give her a nice skin color despite the somewhat flat lighting.

The above trick also works when you e.g. shoot someone on grass or close to other dominant color reflecting/emitting surfaces. It automatically adjusts for the gradient fall-off of the color with distance.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #11  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:11 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Bart,

You're a wizard. This appears to be a simple and fast approach. I've always liked your sampling and inversion trick. It has a lot of potential in dealing with vignetting, for example, although I've never used it for that. I guess I like vignetting!

Here, I wonder what happened to the contrast of the face? The shadows have opened and the highlights seem dimmed. Any idea what's going on? Is that also flattening the light as if there's vignetting? Since the blend is with color, perhaps not.

Asher

P.S. had soft deleted this post right after I posted it, so I could actually check the "before" and "after" pics in Photoshop. I was not able to be sure that there were actually any definite changes in the shadows as it appeared. Meanwhile, Bart, you had already read my post, LOL.
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  #12  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:20 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

What a clever technique, and a lovely tutorial. Thanks so much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
The above trick also works when you e.g. shoot someone on grass or close to other dominant color reflecting/emitting surfaces. It automatically adjusts for the gradient fall-off of the color with distance.
I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean, or how this procedure does it. Does this relate to the "Color" blending mode?

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:24 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Here, I wonder what happened to the contrast of the face? The shadows have opened and the highlights seem dimmed. Any idea what's going on? Is that also flattening the light as if there's vignetting? Since the blend is with color, perhaps not.
Hi Asher,

On my display the shadows look the same, just with a hint of orange/red added due to correction where correction is not really needed (the shadows do not suffer from the wall colored fill light) as much as the hair and skin do. I already found the skin a bit low contrast for my taste, but it hasn't changed that much, as far as I can see on my display with a non-profiled browser.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #14  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:11 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Asher,

On my display the shadows look the same, just with a hint of orange/red added due to correction where correction is not really needed (the shadows do not suffer from the wall colored fill light) as much as the hair and skin do. I already found the skin a bit low contrast for my taste, but it hasn't changed that much, as far as I can see on my display with a non-profiled browser.

Cheers,
Bart
Hi Bart,

I tred correcting using the eye furthest away from the wall. I sampled the white for white balance and then masked that layer and painted the mask with black to allow both eyes from your correction to show through. This will, of course leave a color gradient in the face, but, perhaps not so noticeable now.




Orignal




Color balance for her skin sampled from her right eye, then eyes taken from Bart's edit below




Bart's correction (which deals with color gradient) copied from post #10 above

Asher
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  #15  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:36 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Bart,

What a clever technique, and a lovely tutorial. Thanks so much.
Hi Doug,

You're welcome.

Quote:
I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean, or how this procedure does it. Does this relate to the "Color" blending mode?
The wall color serves as a (fill) lightsource and as such it's influence depends on distance. At close distances the subject is mostly illuminated by the wall reflections, while at larger distances the ambient (sun) light takes a larger proportion.

The correction usually impacts the lighter tones (reflecting more of the (colored) light) more than the shadows. I'm not sure whether that is just perceptual, or also due to the way the Color blending algorithm works.

Stricktly speaking the Color blending mode should just affect color, but it will overcompensate the residual cast where the cast is less or absent. To get closer to perfection one would therefore need to guess at a certain gradient either in the mask or in the fill color layer itself. Also areas that were not affected by the wall color reflections (e.g. the side of the 3D subject pointing away from the wall) could use less compensation. These things could be done by dodging and burning the mask, or (de)saturating the color of the layer locally. Really strictly speaking one should do these corrections in linear gamma space, so the setting of the "Blend RGB colors using Gamma:1.00" preference (in Edit|Color settings...) matters.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:24 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Bart,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
The correction usually impacts the lighter tones (reflecting more of the (colored) light) more than the shadows.
Aha! That may be just what is happening. I wasn't thinking of the overall luminance of the areas affected by the "intruding" light being greater, but it makes sense that it would be.

Quote:
Stricktly speaking the Color blending mode should just affect color . . .
By color, do you mean chromaticity? Anything that changes the image does it by affecting color.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:39 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
I tred correcting using the eye furthest away from the wall. I sampled the white for white balance and then masked that layer and painted the mask with black to allow both eyes from your correction to show through. This will, of course leave a color gradient in the face, but, perhaps not so noticeable now.



Orignial




Color balance for her skin sampled from her right eye, then eyes taken from Bart's edit below
Well, what was your objective in this?

I think the image was quite nice as it was first presented.

The chromaticity gradient across the face, in the original, seems "natural" (in the context, of course). In your edit, not so much so.

The one thing that perhaps needs treating is the greenish cast on part of the hair (model's left side).

Best regards,

Doug
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  #18  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:46 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
Hi, Asher,



Well, what was your objective in this?
To have her face look as pretty as possible with a few quick edits, not more.

I think the image was quite nice as it was first presented.[/quote] Yes it was but awfully pale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
The chromaticity gradient across the face, in the original, seems "natural" (in the context, of course). In your edit, not so much so.
By that, it's suffused with a smooth gradient of "blue".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Kerr View Post
The one thing that perhaps needs treating is the greenish cast on part of the hair (model's left side).
That can be changed quickly too. A picture like this needs to be built according to the needs of different elements, that's why I took the eyes from Bart's work.

So, since it's the skin I was working on, not the hair, just for now, cover up the 1/3 of her face towards the wall. In which picture is her skin prettier?

Asher

BTW, in Capture One, there's a specific tool for evening out chromaticity in the skin.
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  #19  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:56 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
To have her face look as pretty as possible with a few quick edits, not more.
Quote:
Quote:
I think the image was quite nice as it was first presented.
Yes it was but awfully pale.
I usually just punch up the contrast a little - maybe the saturation a wee bit.

Quote:
So, just for now, cover up the 1/3 of her face towards the wall. In which picture is her skin prettier, since it's the skin I was working on, not the hair?
I think the original. Looks more Danish.

Best regards,

Doug
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