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Thread: Family Portrait Session

  1. #1
    Junior Member C.R.S.'s Avatar
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    Family Portrait Session

    Here're a few images of an awesome family I photographed recently. Would love to know what you guys think. Thanks!

    Here you can click the images for a larger view: http://calebroyerstudio.com/122045/1...gallery/family



    1


    2


    3


    4


    5


    6


    7
    Caleb Royer

    Canon 5D III / 24-70 2.8L / 70-200 2.8L IS II / 100 2.8 macro / 50 1.8 II / 580EX II / two strobes / iMac / Creative Cloud

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mark Elberson's Avatar
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    Lately there has been a lot of talk on the forums about giving good C&C as well as how just saying "nice picture" adds little value. I 100% agree, however there is little that I don't like about this set. Here's what I like:

    #1: 9 people and they all look good! That's no easy feat, especially with 3 youngish ones. I also like the pose. There is little dead space and you obviously cared for hand positions which actually makes a big difference in the final product. People never know what to do with their hands so it's good to tell them.

    #2 Again, like the pose and the positioning of the hands.

    #3 Love the perspective. It makes faces look thinner and generally people look better when they are looking up.

    #4 I like the tight comp and how you used the rule of 1/3s for eye placement

    #5 Nice Head & Shoulders. Like the head tilt and the color pop of orange vs. the blue denim in the foreground.

    #6 Again, nice posing as well as getting 7 children to all look good! I like how the side light creates defining highlights on their faces.

    #7 I like how you found some open shade. The light is soft and natural looking. This family even has cooperative dogs :-)

    Questions:

    What did you do for light? Did you use 100% available? Did you use available for key and flash for fill? Did you use available for fill and flash for key? What was your technique? Basic adjustments? PS retouching? How much time spent per image?

  3. #3
    Senior Member iND's Avatar
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    I echo Mark on the need to start giving some feedback other than 'nice photo'
    I read Marks comments and I learned from his comments.

    My comments

    #1: I personally like the group positioning, posing a group is always a challenge.
    I don't like the space over the dads left shoulder and the sliver of background
    Thinking I would have moved the tallest boy to the center and the girl to his spot and maybe turn her in at 30 degrees.
    Not sure if I like the tree on the right or would have been better with open space like on the left.
    Moms arm and dads hand is a problem. The viewer is usually attracted to skin tones and these are a bit distracting
    All in all a great shot.

    #2 Don't like this at all, maybe cropped a little closer, too much back ground
    Don't like the head and hand positions, looks strained.
    Maybe have dad move to his left have mom swing her back to dad and put her legs up on the bench and crop some background out

    #3 Good angle, good DOF and background.
    I've studied this but with your DOF I am not sure where you focused, but mom seems out of focus to me. Mom and dad are not on the same plane in this
    narrow DOF, Looks like you are using a 1.4, this might work on a wider lens (but with potential distortion) or a full frame sensor if you are not using one.
    I generally save this angle and DOF for a single person shot, it is actually one of my signature shots for a bride. I will us a 50mm at 1.4 and take a burst of
    shots and some times frame 3-5 of these side by side reflecting expression changes.

    #4 Eyes look strained and squinted, I not sure how you focused but I would have used a single point AF and again you are a narrow DOF, I would have placed it
    directly on the eye closest to the viewer. Head crop is good but I NEVER crop an ear (left ear) would have turned the head slightly to her right hiding the
    right ear and fully exposing the left, and not cropping the left. This would have moved the left eye closer the the camera and I would have used a single AF
    point on her left eye, and maybe a slightly larger DOF.

    #5 Not a big fan of that much head tilt. Maybe would have her sit upright and rotated the camera creating the tilt effect but with less hair out of place.
    Better focus this time again at a narrow DOF, and nice catch lights.

    #6 Not sure I like the space between the 2nd and 3rd boys from the left. Boy 3 from left exposes his crotch, this is a no no.
    Watch wide lenses and distortion, the 2nd boys hand could be slightly distorted if it gets any closer.
    Center boy looks a little twisted as noted by his shirt, the girls on the left could be turned slightly to inward not a 45 but not straight on.

    #7 Good, but don't like either of her hand positions.


    This is mostly my opinion and things I was taught. Good work keep posting.
    Last edited by iND; 04-05-2013 at 06:51 PM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member C.R.S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Elberson View Post
    Lately there has been a lot of talk on the forums about giving good C&C as well as how just saying "nice picture" adds little value. I 100% agree, however there is little that I don't like about this set. Here's what I like:

    #1: 9 people and they all look good! That's no easy feat, especially with 3 youngish ones. I also like the pose. There is little dead space and you obviously cared for hand positions which actually makes a big difference in the final product. People never know what to do with their hands so it's good to tell them.

    #2 Again, like the pose and the positioning of the hands.

    #3 Love the perspective. It makes faces look thinner and generally people look better when they are looking up.

    #4 I like the tight comp and how you used the rule of 1/3s for eye placement

    #5 Nice Head & Shoulders. Like the head tilt and the color pop of orange vs. the blue denim in the foreground.

    #6 Again, nice posing as well as getting 7 children to all look good! I like how the side light creates defining highlights on their faces.

    #7 I like how you found some open shade. The light is soft and natural looking. This family even has cooperative dogs :-)

    Questions:

    What did you do for light? Did you use 100% available? Did you use available for key and flash for fill? Did you use available for fill and flash for key? What was your technique? Basic adjustments? PS retouching? How much time spent per image?
    Thank you very much, Mark! I appreciate the many compliments immensely and will keep what you've said in mind.

    So Lighting: It was obviously a sunny day, so I took cover in the shade (obvious again). For all of the images except for #4 and #7 I used a Speedlite 580EX II. I would say I used available for fill and flash for key. Here's a little sketch to explain the placement of the light and 32" diffuser: Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lighting.gif 
Views:	25 
Size:	12.3 KB 
ID:	1803

    I did quite a lot of photoshop work on these. I did basic work, I enhanced the background by cleaning it up and adding more fallness.
    I did retouching on everyones face actually. Since no one has said anything about retouching them on the forums here I guess that means I did a good job on it.
    I'm going to say I spent about 2 hours per image. I probably didn't need to spend that much time but I experiment a lot in photoshop.



    Quote Originally Posted by iND View Post
    I echo Mark on the need to start giving some feedback other than 'nice photo'
    I read Marks comments and I learned from his comments.

    My comments

    #1: I personally like the group positioning, posing a group is always a challenge.
    I don't like the space over the dads left shoulder and the sliver of background
    Thinking I would have moved the tallest boy to the center and the girl to his spot and maybe turn her in at 30 degrees.
    Not sure if I like the tree on the right or would have been better with open space like on the left.
    Moms arm and dads hand is a problem. The viewer is usually attracted to skin tones and these are a bit distracting
    All in all a great shot.

    #2 Don't like this at all, maybe cropped a little closer, too much back ground
    Don't like the head and hand positions, looks strained.
    Maybe have dad move to his left have mom swing her back to dad and put her legs up on the bench and crop some background out

    #3 Good angle, good DOF and background.
    I've studied this but with your DOF I am not sure where you focused, but mom seems out of focus to me. Mom and dad are not on the same plane in this
    narrow DOF, Looks like you are using a 1.4, this might work on a wider lens (but with potential distortion) or a full frame sensor if you are not using one.
    I generally save this angle and DOF for a single person shot, it is actually one of my signature shots for a bride. I will us a 50mm at 1.4 and take a burst of
    shots and some times frame 3-5 of these side by side reflecting expression changes.

    #4 Eyes look strained and squinted, I not sure how you focused but I would have used a single point AF and again you are a narrow DOF, I would have placed it
    directly on the eye closest to the viewer. Head crop is good but I NEVER crop an ear (left ear) would have turned the head slightly to her right hiding the
    right ear and fully exposing the left, and not cropping the left. This would have moved the left eye closer the the camera and I would have used a single AF
    point on her left eye, and maybe a slightly larger DOF.

    #5 Not a big fan of that much head tilt. Maybe would have her sit upright and rotated the camera creating the tilt effect but with less hair out of place.
    Better focus this time again at a narrow DOF, and nice catch lights.

    #6 Not sure I like the space between the 2nd and 3rd boys from the left. Boy 3 from left exposes his crotch, this is a no no.
    Watch wide lenses and distortion, the 2nd boys hand could be slightly distorted if it gets any closer.
    Center boy looks a little twisted as noted by his shirt, the girls on the left could be turned slightly to inward not a 45 but not straight on.

    #7 Good, but don't like either of her hand positions.


    This is mostly my opinion and things I was taught. Good work keep posting.
    Wow, you have a really good eye! Thank you for pointing out all of that. I like it when people can take work I think is so great and show me how much greater it could be. It's not always easy to take but I'm getting better. Super helpful! I'll have to come back and read through this a few times and take notes. Thanks again!


    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    Not an expert on posing by any means as I do very little portraiture but have learned to really watch backgrounds at athletic events by recreating every mistake in the book as well as creating new items to add to it. In shot #2 the combination of vibrant foliage colour and its brightness draw my attention away from the subjects. This was better handled in #5 with more of the subject filling the frame and blurring away the foliage to such a degree. Reds and yellows are very demanding of a viewer's attention as are any bright spots in a photo.
    I see what you mean. I spent a lot of time on the background in photoshop so I wanted to make sure everyone saw it. It should compliment the subject, not draw your eye away from them. I get that. Thank you very much for your critique!
    Caleb Royer

    Canon 5D III / 24-70 2.8L / 70-200 2.8L IS II / 100 2.8 macro / 50 1.8 II / 580EX II / two strobes / iMac / Creative Cloud

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