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Archive 2012 · Winter Formal Photoshoot
  
 
JayCeePhotog
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


Hey everyone!

Would like to get some critiques on my edit. This was a photo taken after the winter formal dance. Instead of having the regular photos by the "professionals" the couple came to me.

Let me know what you guys think and what you guys would do. I wanted it to be warm, so that's why it's really yellow. Overall, I'm satisfied with the image, but I'd like to see where others would take it.

Note: I think the girl's hands are awkward, but I still love the picture.

I posted the original here for download - http://tinyurl.com/downloadxxxx

And here's my edit:




Feb 10, 2012 at 09:05 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


My impression is that there's more background context here than necessary to the point of distracting attention off the couple up into the corner to look at the umbrellas. The blown out area on the right is also a glaring distraction which pulls my attention off the couple.

As for the color balance, in person our brains "normalize" perception of things like white shirts and faces. So even in warm afternoon sun the shirt will seem white and the faces similar to how they look in the middle of the day in more neutral lighting. Simulation that perceptual dynamic in a photo requires shifting the background warmer than normal but keeping the faces in the foreground more or less neutral: a slight bit warmer than neutral but not as warm as the background. That's easily done by using flash in the foreground with custom WB off a gray card to capture the faces from a neutral "baseline" then in editing where you can see the color nuances adjust them warmer...







In the edit above made two copies of the photo and moved the umbrellas over, unifying them behind the couple compositionally which eliminates the ping-pong distraction, then cropped out the huge bright void on the right. The net result is the same location context provided by the umbrellas and background but in a non-distracting, unified way. That's something you could have done at capture by moving the couple in front of the umbrellas as I did in the edit.

For color balance I did what I suggested above, leaving the background as-is but making the faces and clothing more neutral. That was difficult given the bias in the original so cut me some slack with regards to the skintone in the edit which I did by eye with color balance.

For all the great attributes this shot has with the lighting, expressions on the mouths and the "you can lean on me" body language of the pose, the show-stopper is the his squinty eyes. If you have a similar shot with better eyes I would Photochop them into this shot, which is quite easy to do without anyone being the wiser.

Edited on Feb 10, 2012 at 02:49 PM · View previous versions



Feb 10, 2012 at 01:25 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


While I'm not certain that the "white shirt" is neutral ... we can deduce that we are working in mixed lighting because all four of the selected points on the shirt would read very similar (color balance) if they were in the same light.

Here we have point #1 with equal amounts of blue & green (i.e. cyan/opposite of red) as dominant and #2 with equal amounts of red & green (i.e. yellow/opposite of blue) as the lesser. As such, one area is dominant in cyan, the other dominant in blue. While each are influenced with proportional amounts of two of the three colors, the difference between cyan and blue is telling.

Moving to #3 & #4, we have no proportional relationships between the individual RGB channels, so our color cast is different from the cast of either #1 or #2 ... #3 & #4 do appear to be correlated to each other reasonaly well (+/- appx 80). Having three different colors for the SAME (whether it is actually white or not doesn't matter) color of shirt confirms that we are dealing with mixed lighting.

In that regard, there isn't going to be a single "correct" WB for the scene. As you "pull" one area, you'll be "pushing" another. Decisions have to be made as to which one is going to be favored as "correct", or if "split the difference" is going to be adopted.

All that being said, to suggest that it is going to be an issue of compromise (or a lot of selective corrections) and personal subjectivity.

For those who have been around, this is certainly not the first time I've spoken to this, but the young man's shirt clearly shows the effect of mixed lighting in both highlight and shadow ... as well as overlapping areas. I was limited to picking four (PS) areas for display comparison, but exploring more areas of the SAME shirt (i.e. SAME color) serve to further illustrate the inconsistency of the lighting temperature, i.e. mixed lighting.

Correct vs. pleasing is always a decision / choice to be contended with, but when evaluating and subsequently seeing things that you "don't like" ... understand to what degree it may be a "necesary" push/pull compromise ... and why it became necessary to have such a compromise oriented scenario.

BTW ... nice capture @ expressions (which can override technicals). However, she may not like having blue or magneta/purple highlights in her hair ... i.e. something to watch for from the original.

Subjectively, you wanted to take the image warm for and that is certainly fine and probably helps mitigate the need for such analysis. I simply have shared this as it is my "starting point" for assessing any image that I am going to begin work on ... i.e. understand the lighting conditions. I probably made a "mountain out of a mole hill" for most people, but I found this one to be a very clear (to me at least) illustration of the issue ... whether or not you concern yourself with it is a subjective decision, but just something to be aware of (or not).

HTH ... again, nice capture @ emotive.








Edited on Feb 10, 2012 at 03:34 PM · View previous versions



Feb 10, 2012 at 01:33 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


I come to this forum everyday.. Not, in general, as a teacher / mentor / critique but as a student.. Everybody here is extremely helpful


Feb 10, 2012 at 02:28 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


I'm still not pleased with my work on this one and the mixed lighting is still in play ... but hopefully it illustrates a few things ...like the color of her hair.

This is a "compromise" effort ... so from here, you could easily apply the toning of your choice for your subjective style & taste ... but I wanted to (hopefully) show the diff @ his shirt and her hair ... and how those two relate to everything in between.






Edited on Feb 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM · View previous versions



Feb 10, 2012 at 03:21 PM
 

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cgardner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


RustyBug wrote:
I'm still not pleased with my work on this one and the mixed lighting is still in play ... but hopefully it illustrates a few things ...like the color of her hair.

This is a "compromise" effort ... so from here, you could easily apply the toning of your choice for your subjective style & taste ... but I wanted to (hopefully) show the diff @ his shirt and her hair.


FWIW I'm seeing a strong yellow / olive green bias in your latest effort (right) compared to your file with +blue + magenta correction..










Feb 10, 2012 at 03:38 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


Thanks Chuck ... I thought it might be a tad bit olive (i.e. not happy yet), but since the OP mentioned the yellow, I posted ... knowing that other eyes/monitors would be good feedback. And, YUP ... mixed lighting is very tricky.

BTW ... I got new glasses yesterday (progressive's ... not liking them so far), so don't hold it against me too much.

See if this is any better ... and of course, when frustratin sets in @ color, you can always go B&W as though that's what you wanted all along.












Feb 10, 2012 at 03:40 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


I'd suggest something closer to the original color but with adjustments to improve the skin color by reducing the magenta. Some retouching the subjects and a few intrusions in the background.

I quite like the capture of the moment, but to me the nexus of the image is the couple and their expressions. Consider some alternate crops. Here's a set of three where we retain the landscape notion but crop closer to focus the interest more fully on the subjects. Notice in the male subject's suit. It isn't flattering. Cropping the lower portion improves his masculinity and better anchors the shot. The down side for the female subject is progressively less of her dress is shown. Depending upon her feelings, it may be a negative. The fourth image is the possibility of a squarish crop to consider. Chuck and others have addressed possible portrait orientation crops.

A crop is like a pair of shoes. Too tight isn't good. Too loose, isn't good. Which crop feels just right?





Start cropping







Crop more







A tighter crop







A squarish crop




Feb 10, 2012 at 07:06 PM
JayCeePhotog
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Winter Formal Photoshoot


Thanks for the posts everyone! @auntie, I don't like square crops :\ lol.


Feb 13, 2012 at 04:16 AM





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