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Archive 2014 · another portrait set
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · another portrait set

A few more, with varied people and locations... any thoughts overall?

General idea - use WB dropper on clothes or eyes to get a base WB, then increase Temp slightly to make it a little warmer. Definitely some obvious adjustments depending on where I clicked with the WB dropper.
Most have a red-only hue adjustment of +5 or +10. Haven't done any other skin smoothing or reductions/enhancements.

#1 - Bounce flash

#2 - Bounce flash

#3 - Bounce flash

#4 - No flash, light coming from high windows

#5 - No flash, evening light from windows in the room

Apr 10, 2014 at 06:24 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · another portrait set

A few tweaks, but the salient point I'd make is to look at the color of his shirt. If we look at the area near his waist, we see a blue vs. the white of his cuff or collar/chest area. We can also see a hint of the blue under his lapel (where our flash reaches, but ambient not so much).

Just another example of how our WB is not consistent throughout a scene as we mix light sources (warm vs. cool @ push/pull) and some areas receive more light of one color than that of another color (also in concert with our flash falloff). In that regard, it can be a tricky proposition to assess which area(s) we select for determining our WB. While we pretty much know that the entire shirt is the same color, selecting different portions of the white shirt will render different results (sometimes not so subtle) depending on what light (AI/AR) it is being illuminated by.

This is why I will select four different points on the shirt to see what color they are. A temporary increase of saturation to 50% - 100% can help reveal the color/casts that are present also. I know that they SHOULD all be the same color, so I adjust to try to get them all close to neutral. Rarely can they all be the same (in mixed lighting), so I usually go with 3 out of 4 wins. In this case, the waist area is sacrificial. If I were going to be a bit more picky, I'd selectively edit the lower portion of the shirt and the lapel area independently.

In most snapshot situations, people don't really notice these things as our eye/brain accommodation kicks in. Imo, the WB is an underlining foundation key to bringing your images to life as best you can (followed by other aspects of PP) ... even if you want to warm/cool to artistic preference. Mixed lighting (flash+ambient, sun+shade, flash+shade,etc.) is always an extra level of challenge to assess / contend with.

Looking at the supersat version of the original, we can also see the color variance in his suit and the gray portion of her dress as they also reveal the difference in ambient vs. flash reflecting off of them. So, deciding what area to use as your reference points for "click" type WB setting can be a tricky/subtle proposition in mixed lighting.

Apr 10, 2014 at 09:47 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · another portrait set

Great post, Kent.

If I keep reading your posts about different light sources I might actually start applying the knowledge (eventually!).

John - I know next to nothing about shooting like this, so bear with me. Are some of the shots cropped TOO tightly, or did you have to crop like that in order to put the subjects front and center and limit distractions?



Apr 10, 2014 at 02:20 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · another portrait set

Yeah, Kent, great analysis. Thanks so much. I had noticed different results from the WB clicker especially when shooting profile shots, when the closer shirt/shoulder would be different than the further away one. I also found my best results when using the shirt collar and shoulder area for the WB clicker. Your analysis makes it way more clear.

Jeff, I could have cropped wider in most cases. #5 is a bit odd since I was shooting from the hip at 35mm, but the others could be cropped wider. I chose to crop tighter to keep the subjects front and center.

Apr 10, 2014 at 02:52 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · another portrait set

Thanks guys,

It never ceases to intrigue me @ what color light we are really shooting in. We tend to assume that it is a uniform color, but I've come to consider that there are many instances when it is a conglomeration or gradient of mixed sources. While the cast themselves may not be strong enough to alter our perception, they can make a diff at the corrective calculation for a WB adjustment ... whether that be from a WB "click" or manual adjustment.

When our light source is uniform, things are much easier ... but, a little forethought as to which light is illuminating which portion of our image can help tweak things up a notch or two sometimes when we are faced with a mixture of light sources.

This isn't to say that all images should be neutral balanced ... but it's good to know where neutral is so that we know which way to push/pull things whether we want them to be warm, neutral or cool for our artistic/mood/vibe/technical choice of rendering.

Apr 17, 2014 at 12:03 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · another portrait set

Over all, they look like good candids.

Apr 17, 2014 at 08:44 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · another portrait set

I prefer the "natural light" over the "bounce flash" but I understand that the lighting there may have needed some help.

Some of the shots seem cropped a little too tightly, especially #3. I think your composition needs a little work ,but you are on the way! Practice makes perfect

Apr 20, 2014 at 06:37 PM

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