Portrait Help

Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 20919
Country: United States

Two versions.
Shot at a family event this weekend, so no re-dos, but that doesnt mean I cant learn!
BW because I like BW and because it also simplifies color temp issues.
Color because, hey, some people prefer color and I really need help with color temp issues!

I think the color is a bit too warm and done by eye. Light stripes were close to but not pure grey (by memory).

Slightly different crops. Do you have a preference?

No processing on flyaway hair yet.

and Yes, I wish her mouth was not open.


ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 12046
Country: United States

Ok, you covered the mouth. The skin tone looks ok to me, which is one reason I don't do portriates.

I would clone or tone down the bright spots, especially the one under her chin. But also those above her head.

Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 17890
Country: United States

Took a stab at the color first.

As Karen (et al) points out, neutral isn't always most pleasing for skin tones, but the first one is working toward that direction. I chose the camera strap for evaluating shadows & highlights. Toning to taste is of course optional and always subjective.

The middle is of course, the B&W, the third is the first one with -4 Hue adding in some tone after the neutralizing effort.

Oregon Gal
Registered: Nov 02, 2008
Total Posts: 2074
Country: United States

Scott, you have addressed the problem areas in the image. The image seems a little underexposed to my eye so I increased the exposure. I did a quick re-work isolating the background, the girl and her eye using adjustments in LR. I desaturated the background slightly, adjusted WB for the whole image and adjusted WB separately for the young lady and lastly brightened and sharpened the eye. I added clarity and vibrance to the overall image. You might consider cropping a little from the top. Barbara

Registered: Aug 05, 2008
Total Posts: 8324
Country: New Zealand

Maybe crop a little from the top space, a bit more exposure, bump the hue +3 or +4 to reduce the red/magenta, a bit of retouching, liquify to close her mouth a bit and add a hint of smile?

Registered: Nov 22, 2012
Total Posts: 197
Country: Brazil

Scott, my $0.02:
- I like the skin tone in your color version, but I don't know her so can't tell whether it's too warm or not (and my monitor is not calibrated...);
- That "thing" in the background under her chin bothers me a little bit;
- The difference in crops is too small for me to notice (either this, or I should get some sleep);
- I prefer the color version (guess this makes me "some people"? );
- I'd like exposure on her to be a bit higher; the background is comparatively too bright.
- Very nice kicker light on her hair.

Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 20919
Country: United States

Thanks to all of you!
Here is my take home.
1. She is underexposed.
2. A bit too red. I think the "actual" was somewhere in between the original and the re-worked color images.
3. Color did need a bit off the top. BW was a better crop.