View Full Version : Can someone help?
05-13-2009, 02:38 AM
My mother wanted some pictures done for mothers day. I am so disapointed because under all the circumstances, this was the only one I liked out of all the ones I took, and I am still not even happy with this one.
I used the light from my window, and it was just to much, and I don't know how to even it out.
Can anyone fix this? I don't have photoshop, just picasa which doesn't do much.
I am going to redo them if they let me(they as in my mother and father in law)because I have had much better results in the past, but for my own sanity, I would like to see if the picture can be saved!
05-13-2009, 05:39 PM
juli - this is a tough one with the light coming in from the side. I know there are some very talented individuals that may be able to help out. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.
05-13-2009, 05:55 PM
Sorry Juli...but my suggestion (and don't take this as being harsh, just honest) is to re-take the shot. I'm not good at portraits but I know the ones that appeal to me and this is definitely not one of them. I don't believe it appeals to you either or you wouldn't be asking for help. In my opinion, the black sheet is way too winkled to be used as a backdrop and if it was, its too close to the subjects. Maybe if it was further behind it would not be as noticeable. Another thing, your focus is right in the middle of their chests so their faces are blurred. Not even Photoshop can fix that. And side lighting from a window, just doesn't work here...maybe because it is two people or the window isn't big enough. Maybe if you positioned them facing the light and you between it and them..I don't know. You definitely needed a reflector to the left of them to bounce the light back on their left sides.
I hope you don't take this to hard..but I'd shot them again.
05-13-2009, 05:55 PM
Ya this one's too tough for me. There are some things you can do with the rest of the image, but where things are blown out I don't know. There just isn't any detail there anymore.
Here is a few things I would do next time you give this same shot another try. Using the sunlight is good, but that light you had there is very harsh. Must have been midday. Take this shot in the morning or evening when the light isn't to harsh. Or go outside and find some shade somewhere if it's midday. Or use a curtain for diffuse that light. Also put more distance between them and the backdrop so the background is more blurry and you don't see the harsh lines of the black backdrop. There is also a lot of camera shake there, or a focus issue. Did you use a tripod? If not just make sure your shutter is fast enough to take camera shake out of the mix.
Jerry or someone else that do more portrait work will pipe in eventually and help out more.
05-14-2009, 04:10 PM
Thanks everyone! I don't take your suggestions as to harsh at all! I just couldn't get any of it to look right, and I was very disapointed with the whole session in itself.
I actually took these at about 5:30 pm, and the light looked o.k., until I actually took the shot. I think my lense may have brightened it even more. I have noticed it doing that on some of my other pictures too indoors. It works great outdoors, but for some reason it distorts things inside. Its a lense made for my point and shoot camera by Canon, but I dont think its very good quality, and I will not be using it in the future for indoor portraits. I was so flustered with the situation too. I feel I have an eye for more Kandid shots than I do positioned ones. I was realy hoping my husband would be there to help with the details and my father in law didn't seem to realy want to be in the spotlight, so it made me nervous. Any suggestions on how to pose them next time? I have talked to them and we are re-doing them this weekend.
I have other muslin backdrops, but they are just black and white, do you think those would have gone better?
I was a smidge disapointed with their clothing too. They didn't coordinate at all, and I am to darn passive to say anything about it.lol I know I need to get over that fear, I love my inlaws dearly, but I am intimidated by them a bit when I am by myself.
I did use a tripod, but sometimes I think I have a more steady hand than my tripod does for a light camera.
I am saving up for a better camera, but taking it one opportunity at a time to practice while I have the time.
05-16-2009, 05:04 AM
As Joseph noted, there are no details left in the highlights, so there's really no way make a good quality images.
I love window light and for most cases find it beautiful, but I seldom put my subjects next to or close to a window. Instead, I stand next to the window and move the subject out into the room where they are facing the window at about 45 degrees and place a reflector close to them on the opposite side. This way the lighting is not as harsh.
There's science at work with light and this image shows what's known as the inverse square law of light. When a subject is moved twice as far from the light, you'll loose 4 times the amount of light. That's to say if the light source is 2 feet from a subject and you move the light source to 4 feet away, there will be 4 times less light on the subject. The inverse square law really shows this effect the closer the light is to the subject. With a light source just 1 foot from the subject at 6 inches of depth you will loose half the light. That's what's happened here. If your subjects were 4 feet from the window light source there would not be that rapid light fall off causing the contrast. I hope I done a fair job of explain it.
Plus, with digital always meter for the high lights. Check your histogram and make sure you're not pegging out the right side.
I'm sure you're parents will still appreciate the image and will be gracious volunteers for another session.
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