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Comments and tips on portrait wanted

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  #1  
Old 10-30-2005, 03:47 PM
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PerJ PerJ is offline
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Comments and tips on portrait wanted

Hi!

I have two daughters, 11 and 12 yo, who are playing handball.

I have promised to take portraits of their teams for a player presentation on a website. There will also be a possibility for the players to order prints up to 8”x12”.

There will be up to 60 players and coaches presented so I want to find out a simple work flow.

I’ve done some practice with my younger daughter as a model and I’m quite satisfied with the result but I want your comments and suggestions for improving my work flow and skills.

I used a Konica-Minolta A2 with 5600HS (D) flash in wireless mode to take the picture:

f 3,2
ISO 100
1/125s
Focal length 136mm
Focus distance 2,20m

My work flow with Elements 2:
Copy original layer, apply USM 20;50;0
Copy original layer (on top), apply Gauss 2,0, Erase hair, eyes, lips, text.
Make to one layer.
Levels 0;1,20;255
Dodge tool; midtones; 25% over the hair
Saturation ;Master;+10

Picture resized to 480x640 for attachment1

And for the final picture that will be on the website:
Cropped
USM 20,50,0
Resized to 200x267


The original file from the camera can be found here:
http://www.johnni.se/photo/bilder/PICT4631.jpg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PICT4631_480x640.jpg (89.3 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg PICT4631_200x267.jpg (30.4 KB, 71 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2005, 10:15 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Location: Grand Junction CO USA
Posts: 683
I think your main light is too low and should be more on her left side. I would fill the right side of her face with either another light or use a reflector. I would use another light or reflector to provide a light on her hair which would help seperate her hair from the background. Is there a reason for the black background? Could you use something else?

By the way, if you do not have reflectors, they can be easily made by taking some aluminim (spelling?) foil, crumple it up, then flatten it back out and tape or staple it to a piece of cardboard. Kind of crude, but cheap and it works.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2005, 02:50 AM
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PerJ PerJ is offline
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A Lastolite collapsible reflector is already on my birthday wish list, nov 9.
A second flash is on my christmas wish list.

I have attached two files:

setup0
Shows how my picture was taken, models body towards the flash, head pointed somewhere between the flash and the camera and the eyes looking into the camera.

setup1
Is this what I should try?
Move the flash more to the left of the model.
Find a position for a reflector at the models right side.
(A second reflector for the hair? Where?)


I have one white and one black fleece background, I'm trying to find out which one I should use and when.

BTW, I attached a third file, last years picture on the website, I have improved since then.

Per
Attached Images
File Type: jpg setup0.jpg (10.1 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg setup1.jpg (10.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg AJ2004.jpg (15.8 KB, 22 views)
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2005, 06:32 AM
Vikki Vikki is offline
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This is in reply to your workflow in Elements:
Copy original layer, apply USM 20;50;0 First, make a copy of the original image (always save the original, untouched)
Sharpen last, not first.

Copy original layer (on top), apply Gauss 2,0, Erase hair, eyes, lips, text.
Not sure what you're doing here. Didn't you just sharpen everything in your previous step. Now you're blurring? If you want to touch up blemishes etc., do it as needed, not globally. Also, create a transparent layer for your touchups.

Levels 0;1,20;255 Levels settings should not be static, and would depend on the individual image.

Dodge tool; midtones; 25% over the hair The dodge tool is destructive and there are alternatives that work better. Also, not sure why you are doing this step either. Everyone will have their hair retouched?

Saturation ;Master;+10 Use adjustment layer for this, and change the layer mode to "color".

[I]Picture resized to 480x640 for attachment1[/I] If you intend to sell 8x10 of the image you just retouched, you should make a copy and save your work before downsizing.

And for the final picture that will be on the website:
Cropped
USM 20,50,0
Resized to 200x267

Consider using "Save for Web".
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2005, 08:01 AM
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kschulz kschulz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki
Saturation ;Master;+10 Use adjustment layer for this, and change the layer mode to "color".
Vikki, can you comment more on why you suggest changing the layer mode to color for the Hue/Sat adjustment?

Thanks,
- Kurt
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2005, 08:35 AM
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Panpan Panpan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki
Copy original layer (on top), apply Gauss 2,0, Erase hair, eyes, lips, text.
Not sure what you're doing here. Didn't you just sharpen everything in your previous step. Now you're blurring?
Hi Vikki
Usm 20;50;0 doesn't sharpen. At radius 50, the effect is an increase in local contrast.

Pierre
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2005, 09:26 AM
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Duv Duv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki
This is in reply to your workflow in Elements:
Copy original layer, apply USM 20;50;0 First, make a copy of the original image (always save the original, untouched)
Sharpen last, not first.
An alternative to sharpen last, not first is the sharpen early, often and late method. Digital images come out soft. A small amount of early sharpening will add detail without noise. Often, well, as necessary to sharpen specific parts of the image. Finally, sharpen to your output device..printer, web, etc.

You can get the TLR Sharpening Toolkit plus tutorial from The Lights Right website which is an excellent resource.

Also, Mike may be right about the main light being too low but be careful not to raise it so high as to lose the catchlights.

Cheers

Dave

Last edited by Duv; 10-31-2005 at 09:45 AM.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2005, 10:44 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Per,

Just made a quick adj to your picture, to try and improve the lighting a little.

Duplicated layer, desaturated, then inverted. Set blend mode to soft light, and reduced layer opacity to 30%. Masked to reveal just LHS of girls face.

Flattened image.

Duplicated layer, then applied Hi Pass Filter, rad 10. Set blend to soft light. (To sharpen and up contrast), lastly reduced layer opacity till I got look I wanted.

Obviously easier and more effective to just alter lighting, but thought I'd have a go at faking it.
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File Type: jpg PICT4631_480x640 copy.jpg (86.0 KB, 23 views)
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2005, 11:39 AM
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PerJ PerJ is offline
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Location: Sweden, Stockholm
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Yes KM-A2 gives quite soft pictures so instead of changing the camera settings I usually apply USM first of all, not right all times.

I have changed my way of using PSE2, so I made a second try.
I have tried to use adjustment layers.


Can anyone tell me what Hi Pass Filter is, I got a swedish edition of PSE2 and have no clue at all.


Per
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File Type: jpg layers1.jpg (20.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg PICT4631ver2_480x640.jpg (99.7 KB, 17 views)
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2005, 12:02 PM
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Duv Duv is offline
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You will find High Pass under Filters in PSE2. Duplicate your background, drag the High Pass onto your image and adjust to Gary's numbers. Then go back to your top layer, change to Soft Light and adjust opacity to suit.

Cheers

Dave
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