Thanks for sharing your pictures, I enjoyed looking through the gallery. Seeing #2 in context helped it to make sense :) #1 above seems to have an unnatural glow around the people, perhaps due to lightening them or darkening the background?
My fave is #57 in the gallery. I love the angle you shot it from, changing the composition of the landscape behind them. Beautiful colors and light too. Do you have any tips, especially re: rendering the skin tones?
I also like #102. How did you create the lighting change compared to #103? Reflector? And #117 has great landscape composition behind them, it's interesting without being busy. I love the poses, the back-to-back thing really works. And I enjoyed seeing how you worked with the natural light. Did their white shirts make it more difficult than usual? Why did you use such a fast shutter speed?
Thanks Tori. The "glow" around the people as shown in image #1 above is from applying a vignette effect post process. As for the skin tones, I have to say how pleased I am with the portrait picture control on the D700. I did add a very small bit of skin softening but it was so minuscule that it didn't effect the overall skin tones all that much. I did shoot in RAW mode 14bit which allowed me greater dynamic range to over expose a lot of the images for the perfect skin tones.
#102 vs. #103 - I used a reflector on both images but for image #102 felt that the light was a little too bright so I had my assistant back up a little to tone down the reflected light.
#117 is ok, but the merging lines between the kids head and the red rock in the background is a little distracting. Next time, it's f/2.8!
Working with natural light is tricky when you are out in the open. The white shirts were ok because the clients had white skin, but on a very dark complected person, it spells trouble.
One thing to try next time you are shooting family and friends- try to shoot at the end of the day... the last 2 hours of daylight. Put the client's back to the sun (giving you a really nice hair light effect) and then, shooting in manual, meter off the darkest face... re frame... and then take your shot. You will be surprised at how nice the exposure comes out, especially if there are nice clouds in the sky. Play around with your Aperture/shutter until you get it to your liking.
Hope this helps.
Here a few more examples of using back lighting to highlight your subject...I like to use it a lot.
And here is one that struck me as funny...this kid reminds me of the bitter beer face dude from that one Bud Light commercial years ago.
Chris, do you find that overexposing the picture results in better skin tones? That makes sense, in my last experiment with portraits I ended up raising the exposure quite a bit.
When you say the last 2 hours of daylight, do you mean the last 2 hours of direct sunlight before the sun goes behind the mountain? (Because there's often about another hour of blue twilight before it gets pretty dark.) Would that still apply if the sky was completely cloudy? Or would earlier, say 2 or 3, be better if it was completely cloudy? Your backlit shots are great, did you use a reflector on #2? I really need to get me one of those :)
I prefer skin tones when the camera meters off the face, at the expense of the background being blown out (it depends on your clients expectations too, though, because some people don't like this trendy look). I think spot metering off their face will also do the trick. I meant the last 2 hours of sunlight for the back lighting effect, but some of my best photos are taken after the sun goes behind the mountains/horizon and I have neutral lighting to work with.
Holy WOW!, this is just superb!!! The lighting blows me away. Everything is so sharp and focused. You have to let me in on what you did and used with this one. I'm really trying to get into portraits and I would love if you can also give some tips and pointers. I have the Canon 40D, and the 70-200L and 580EX II flash are on the way. Just to let you know what I'm using. Thanks
Originally Posted by Esoterra
Some of my portraits - http://alwaysthinkingphoto.deviantar...ery/#Portraits
Brian your portraits are very nice. It looks like you know what you are doing. For the lighting in the above picture, I placed this gal in the shade, with the sun heavy on her backside. Then I used a silver/gold reflector from about 20 feet away to lighten her up a bit... and metered off of her face. Voi~la. Go get you a 60 inch 5-in-1 reflector and try it on your next natural light session... you will be pleased ...just make sure you control your urge to overuse it.
Thanks but I don't feel like I know what I'm doing. I think it's a confidence thing with me. I'm all self-taught and I always feel like I'm missing out or learned the wrong way. How did exactly did you meter off her face? I'm a little familiar with spot metering and very little with using a gray card. Yeah I for sure need to get myself the 5-in-1 reflector. It's amazing that you didn't use any flash with that image(to me anyways). Thanks man.
Originally Posted by Esoterra
Holy cow Esottera, I'm totally awestruck (and devastated how far I have yet to go on the learning curve).