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Archive 2012 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style
  
 
blutch
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p.4 #1 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Yes.. Mr. Edelmann implies in his videos that this DIY is as good as $3000 worth of Kinoflos if you just dial down your shutter. Then he goes on to say that using T-8's is even better and doesn't even require dialing down the shutter. I've invested a bit into the lights and fixtures - about $150. Not a huge loss if it doesn't work out. So far, I am not doing this professionally. It may be that I will in the future, so I would like to get this working a bit better than what I have now if possible. B


Oct 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
RustyBug
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p.4 #2 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


blutch wrote:
Then he goes on to say that using T-8's is even better



This is the kind of thing that "ticks me off" ... T-8 is only the size of the bulb. It has absolutely nothing to do with the light output. There are multitudes of T-8 sized fluorescent bulbs of varying color and CRI output. It is an absolutely meaningless specification, leaving others to blindly go down a path of frustrating "trial by fire" / "live & learn" peril.

I'm not saying that fluorescent lighting isn't viable, but it is fraught with consideration that should be better understood than "use T-8's and slow down your shutter".






Oct 19, 2012 at 05:40 PM
blutch
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p.4 #3 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


So, the question is.. if I can find 6500 degree bulbs will the situation be improved?

Also, no one has explained to me the issues that are apparent from doing the saturation tests that several have done on my photos. I'd like to know what that shows other that shadow on the face. There are some red tints here and there, but that's what this face looks like IRL. So, I'm still trying to understand why it is important to change something based on turning the sat up to 100% to be able to see it. If you can't see it with the human eye, why is it important? I'm not doubting, just questioning to understand better. Thanks! B



Oct 19, 2012 at 05:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.4 #4 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


It's a good question ... one that Doug's point @ CRI factors into as well.

The +100 saturation is just used to help find the cast and the temp's that are in play that need correcting for to get to neutral. Correct in PP and go on your merry way. That should be the end of the story.

However, when we have a situation that is problematic to correct, then I start asking why is it being so difficult to correct, ... i.e. what gives, something isn't right here, why do I still see a cast (at normal saturation levels) even after I've made some corrections, what did I miss (and why)?

Sure, you can dial down the saturation for the offending cast and that has its place. B&W is the extreme example of how saturation reduction can mitigate color (although a cast can still show up there in tonal value impact) ... but for me, that isn't correcting, that is throwing away some of the good stuff unnecessarily.

I find that the more neutral my color is to start with, the more latitude I have when trying to color correct. And to Doug's point @ CRI (which I alluded to when speaking @ full spectrum) the fewer "gaps" there are in your lighting, again, the easier/more latitude you have for correcting.

As I've said, I haven't used fluorescent, so I can't tell you from the voice of experience that it will be better. I don't know where the gaps are and how difficult it will be to fill them or ignore them. I just know that casts & gaps steal from image quality. So, for me, elimination of those casts & gaps in my lighting is the goal.

Yesterday, when looking through their T-8's, the 6500 seemed to have better CRI @ 85.

Taking another look through the Philips offerings, I see where their T-12 Daylight Deluxe has a CRI of 90. But, looking through the T12's I also now notice their Colortone (C50) with a temp of 5000K and a CRI of 92. I did also now find a T-8 (different section than the 735) model TL950TG that has a 5000K temp and a CRI of 98 that I missed going through yesterday. Now, THAT T-8 might be a better choice (vs. T-8's in general as mentioned above).

5000K and 98 CRI ... I think that would be a significantly better option than 3500K and 78 CRI ... but likely at a significant price point differential, as there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to lighting (and life in general).

As to the "can't see it with the human eye" ... well, that becomes a matter of training to a certain degree. Some people can see color issues better than others.

There are some people that are pretty amazing at seeing subtle color issues ... referring to agency professionals, etc. The general populace for portraits is much more forgiving than those who are judging from years of experience based on industry standards.

Here's a link to an interesting (and sometimes humbling) test.
http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77







Edited on Oct 19, 2012 at 09:21 PM · View previous versions



Oct 19, 2012 at 08:15 PM
blutch
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p.4 #5 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


It took me awhile to arrange them but I scored perfect on that test. A score of 0. Not bad considering I'm male and old. SO, I guess I am capable of seeing the color casts, but not trained to do so. I guess I don't know how the shadows affect color cast.. i see differences in exposure a lot easier than I do differences in color across a face. Thanks again! I'm going to look for higher quality lights tomorrow. B


Oct 19, 2012 at 09:17 PM
RustyBug
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p.4 #6 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


0 ... SWEET !!!

I always get a 4 (trouble with cyan).



Oct 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM
blutch
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p.4 #7 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Ok.. i went and got new bulbs and two more large fixtures to light the background. The best I could get at HD was 6500K with a CFI of 82. I'm curious to see if y'all think the color is better and more consistent. I set the camera to 6250 K and I think the WB is good. The first is SOOC. The second is me doing some minor adjustments in lightroom. Please let me know what you think and many thanks!


Studio Session-010.jpg by blutcherama, on Flickr


Studio Session-010-2.jpg by blutcherama, on Flickr



Oct 22, 2012 at 01:16 AM
RustyBug
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p.4 #8 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


From your adjustments ...

Mostly just levels adjustment @ WB and endpoints. Simple stuff.

How's your gray card look now?






Edited on Oct 22, 2012 at 02:00 AM · View previous versions



Oct 22, 2012 at 01:39 AM
 

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blutch
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p.4 #9 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Nice.. you bumped up the whites/exposure? I had it up there, but thought it might be took much, but I like it. Let me know what you did. What do you think of the color? B



Oct 22, 2012 at 01:44 AM
RustyBug
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p.4 #10 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Set BG to WB @ 244,244,244. Then slid black & white end points in levels., pulled saturation back just a smidge -7 or so.

From here you could probably open up her eyes a bit, or make any other selective tweaks you feel are appropriate, warm skin tones, etc. ... but having a neutral/near neutral base will let you make changes without them looking "photoshopped" or exaggerated / unnatural.

I cranked the saturation to 100% (not posting it) and while the BG wasn't a pure white, it was WAY, WAY better than the previous things we were seeing. It was a touch cyan/blue (likely the subtle diff @ 6250 vs. 6500) in some areas. Which takes us to your point at detectability. Now, the ability to detect casts or gaps isn't jumping out at us screaming "unprofessional" the way the others were ... AND ... they are much more easily corrected for. While the 82 CRI isn't "the best money can buy", the move to 6500 seems to be working significantly better.

BTW, now, I can see the natural blotchiness of her skin that you mentioned before.

You might want to review your camera manual to learn how to set custom WB so it can "fine tune" things in camera a bit for you, but I definitely think you are on your way to getting things "dialed in". Now, you can move forward learning without carrying around a boat anchor of color cast draggin' you down.




Oct 22, 2012 at 02:22 AM
blutch
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p.4 #11 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Thank you so much for the time you have spent on this. I really appreciate it. I forgot to use the grey card this time. I don't know how you "Set BQ to WB @244,244,244 then slid black and white end points in levels" I don't know what that means.. I haven't learned how to use Curves, Color sliders or Split tones in LR 4 yet, so perhaps that stuff is in there.

I would like to know how to change the background without affecting the whole shot. I suppose it has to be done with specialized software?

I appreciate you words about this being a better starting points. Even though I can't see many of the differences, I certainly did see the difference at 100% saturation. I'm glad to be getting closer.

I went out with a pro portrait photog today and watched her work with a friend of mine. It was all natural light of course and was in a variety of outdoor locations. What impressed me was how great she was at getting expressions out of the subject. I'm not sure I have the right personality for that part... is there a way to learn that? B



Oct 22, 2012 at 02:36 AM
blutch
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p.4 #12 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Oh.. I did custom set the WB in my camera. Set it on 6275 Kelvin... perhaps there is more to it than that. The interesting thing is, that I could see no difference between "as shot" and "auto" so I know I'm closer.


Oct 22, 2012 at 02:38 AM
RustyBug
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p.4 #13 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


You're quite wise and astute to recognize that attribute of the portrait photographer.

It is learnable, but that's a subject for Pandora's Box ... the short answer is, imo.

Forget about equipment
Forget about technique
Forget about yourself
Truly enjoy people

When I say forget about things ... I mean you have to be comfortable with them to such a degree that they don't detract from you enjoying and and extracting / enacting comfort in your subject.

Mind you, this is coming from someone who does NOT shoot portraits, but has evaluated his own shortcomings from previous efforts to do so. Karen and other portrait photographers are better sources ... maybe check out the people forum to inquire some other members who made the transition from "lacking to thriving".




Oct 22, 2012 at 03:09 AM
blutch
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p.4 #14 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Great post. I completely get it. I'm just not sure I "enjoy people." enough. Kind of a curmudgeon sort of guy. I think I can pull off decent head shots. Not sure about portraits.. need to do it more. B


Oct 22, 2012 at 03:12 AM
RustyBug
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p.4 #15 · Head Shot Tests - Hurley style


Practice does develop your comfort zone. You being comfortable is key ... if you aren't, your subjects will pick up on it and then it'll transfer.

WAY BACK WHEN ... I met a model that took me under her wing and taught me about working with models. She was comfortable enough to make me comfortable working with her. Then I became comfortable working with other models as my repertoire with Julie progressed. As she instilled confidence in me, I was then able to carry that forward.

Working with people is largely about comfort and confidence ... the more of each that both photographer and subject have ... the better things go. You just have to be able to lead when the subject doesn't naturally have their own confidence and comfort. From there, the creativity and expressiveness can flow.




Oct 22, 2012 at 03:30 AM
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