Friday, May 8, 2009

It's “Constructive Feedback Friday



The confession of an amateur photographer...

I think naturally I would like to pretend to the world that I can do anything... but I struggle in this area of photography terribly! LIGHTING! Yes lighting... which is now why I don't take indoor pictures very often anymore. Even with my two umbrella lights... I still cannot seem to get my lighting right.

This picture I have posted before on my site and I love it! I think this photo has a lot of potential... what you don't know and see is all the hours of photo editing is has taken me to get it this far... and I still I feel it is washed out and missing something.

In this picture I had terrible shadowing around my daughter. So thanks to photoshop I was able to edit most of it out. My other dilema was I used a sheet and although I ironed it prior to the picture... I still can see EVERY wrinkle I edited. So I did a vigenette blur around the photo. to blur out a majority of the wrinkles.

I attempted the white neutralizer on the background but I feel it washed out my daughter and the picture in general.

I love to use white backgrounds because they are so fresh crisp and clean... but is a sheet the wrong idea. How do you eliminate shadowing on photos "period". Why do white backgrounds washout my photos. What are the best camera settings. I just can't figure it out. How can I make my daughter pop in this photo? I have seen others take incredible photos with white backgrounds and perfect skin tones... why can't I achieve that. I have practiced and read, and practiced and read.... but it is like my camera doesn't appreciate indoor photos :D

7 comments:

drewmark19 said...

Hi, Stephanie! Is there any way you can post the original photo without any changes at all? Also, do you happen to know what shutter speed, aperture, manual/auto mode, etc. that you used? I think this photo is beautiful with lots of potential. I'd like to try to fiddle with the original version to see what can be done with it. By the way, what a gorgeous family you have! I love that picture in your header!

Becca said...

so I dont know anything to tell you because you are a way better photographer than me already . . but I wanted you to know i think it's a very cute picture and I hope you get help figuring it out! :-)

Katelyn said...

Hi! What a cute shot! I've found shooting on a white fleece throw has reduced the need for editing out wrinkles. Usually still a few here and there but not as many. I agree that even with adequate light it's hard to get right. I just have one light right now but here's a link that might be helpful to you.. http://www.geofflawrence.com/photopost//showphoto.php/photo/1863 Geoff had some helpful hints for me. Are you shooting through or reflecting? That can make a difference as well. Keep up the good work!

drewmark19 said...

I hope you get lots of rest and have a better day tomorrow. :) I'll check back later to look at your photo again. Take care!

Heasleye said...

What a beautiful family you have and a sweet little princess! :)
The first thing that struck me about this photo was the composition. She looks very small in a sea of white background. Try to fill up the frame with your adorable subject! :) We want to really see that she is holding a cupcake or cone and and smearing sweets on her face. :) Are you familiar with the rule of thirds? This rule helps us remember to not place our focal point (her face) right in the middle of the frame, making a more dynamic composition.
One way to help get rid of wrinkles in a background is to place your subject farther away from the background (at least 6 feet) and use a longer focal length lens with a shallower depth of field. Then the background will blur away. These things depend on how much space you have to work with as well.
I would be really curious to know what your camera and flash settings were and what this shot looked like SOOC. That's the best way to see what is really happening.
Studio type lighting is not something I'm very good at, but there are a lot of great resources out there.
Lighting Essentials
http://www.lighting-essentials.com/category/big-guns-in-the-studio-or-on-location/
Or, you could try a more natural light approach with something like this:
http://www.momtog.com/2009/02/backdrops/
No matter what...don't give up! Keep reading and experimenting! I've learned a lot by posting images with questions at this photography forum:
http://www.dgrin.com/index.php
Try the people or technique boards and someone can tell you just what to do. :)
Happy Clicking!

Elaine

Mom 2 Four said...

I have no advice for you since I am a beginner, but I think you did a nice job. She is adorable!!

Whimsical Creations said...

I forgot to ask you in my other comments, what photo editing software do you use? Up until a month ago I was using a 35mm minolta film camera, I just bought a new sony dslr camera and am still figuring out this digital world of photo editing.

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