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Thread: Beginner portraits

  1. #11
    Senior Member Steph's Avatar
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    Hi,

    adjust the temp until the bathtub is white or a bit warmer if you like it that way. Also, if you use Lightroom, you can select directly something that must be neutral grey and the software will find out which temp and tint are best. Then, you adjust to your taste.

    Cheers,
    S.

  2. #12
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    I'll offer my input on the 4 pictures you've posted. White balance seems to be a consistent issue for you. The first photo is too green, for sure. Shooting RAW is the easiest way to correct odd white balances in post, but just because it's a JPEG does not mean it's beyond saving. Below is how I have altered the colour balance using Photoshop, the difference should be quite striking. Sometimes you'll want a portrait to have a cool white balance if you're trying to convey a particular mood, but very rarely will you want a green portrait. If you want me to go through the Photoshop adjustments in more detail, let me know.

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  3. #13
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    Had a break for some lunch... continuing with the critique. Pay attention to your backgrounds; if they are cluttered and/or colourful they can distract from your subject. They can also provide context and add to your pictures. The green hosepipe in the third photo is an example of a distracting background element. I know it's not always convenient to run outside and tidy up... but sometimes it's an easy way to improve a photo. I like your second photo but beware of taking photos of children when you are standing, it can make your subject looks diminutive and prevent the viewer from connecting with the photo. More often than not, squatting down or kneeling to get a lower angle will provide a more pleasing photo. I also notice that in most of these photos there are no catchlights in the eyes. Catchlights make your subject seem more "alive" and can be provided by a tiny bit of fill flash, on or off camera. If you don't have a flash, you can use a small hand-held reflector.

    I do like the soft light provided by your sliding glass doors and you have done well to abide roughly by the 'rule of thirds'. Keep at it and feel free to ask more questions. I think taking better family photos is an excellent reason to learn more about photography.

  4. #14
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    While I was thinking about white balance it occurred to me that up to ten percent of men are red-green colour blind. If the before/after example I posted isn't completely night and day this might be you. If that's the case we just need to talk about setting custom white balances in camera.

    If you're not sure, you might try an online Ishihara plate test. A quick google search reveals one here: http://colorvisiontesting.com/ishihara.htm#plate
    Using a computer monitor isn't ideal for this kind of test but it should give you a rough idea.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM1981 View Post
    just wondering what temperature do you think would make the picture better?
    There is no magic number, but from experience if you were not using a flash I am guessing the ambient light in the bathroom to be between 3200-3800K. If you shoot in RAW format adjusting the temperature is quite simple in DPP. If you shoot in JPEG it is not so simple. This is one of the biggest reasons to use RAW format, it gives you the ability to simply adjust your picture at a later date.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by w349 View Post
    I'll offer my input on the 4 pictures you've posted. White balance seems to be a consistent issue for you. The first photo is too green, for sure. Shooting RAW is the easiest way to correct odd white balances in post, but just because it's a JPEG does not mean it's beyond saving. Below is how I have altered the colour balance using Photoshop, the difference should be quite striking. Sometimes you'll want a portrait to have a cool white balance if you're trying to convey a particular mood, but very rarely will you want a green portrait. If you want me to go through the Photoshop adjustments in more detail, let me know.
    oh wow thanks, that is a big difference. I think the green color of that picture might be from the lighting. It was a rainy and gloomy day and the only light I was using was from a sliding door window. I do shoot in JPEG. I guess I will switch to RAW.

    Also another question what is DPP?

    would this picture be a good example of catchlighting in the eyes?


    I know this picture isn't great because his head is cut off.
    Last edited by FM1981; 07-10-2012 at 05:31 PM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM1981 View Post
    Also another question what is DPP?
    Digital Photo Profesional; this software came with your camera. It is from Canon.

  8. #18
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    Yes, those are decent catchlights. I noticed you said you have D60 - do you actually mean the 60D? (Canon made both but the D60 is significantly older).

  9. #19
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    yes I have the OLD canon D60. (didn't canon recently make a newer d60 also?)



    I bought it used off ebay many years ago. I just started using it since my son was born. So I'm still on the dslr learning curve. The point and shoot pictures didn't really do it for me. It's an old camera but gets the job done.

  10. #20
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    Ah I see, yes the newer version is called the 60D. I'm afraid I don't know anything about the D60 but as long as it shoots RAW and the files are supported, the advice above is the same.

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