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Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom

  
 
londonphoto2
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


I took some (free) actor headshots at the weekend to build my portfolio. Sadly, I was so nervous that I overlooked the columns in the background.

Thankfully, I had enough common sense to vary the backgrounds, so I got a few against a plain marble wall, but I'd like to see if I could salvage some of the column shots. What's the best way to get rid of the columns in Lightroom? (or are they ok as is?)














May 20, 2024 at 11:43 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


One way to deal with this is to mask out the person and then lighten and blur the background until it looks good to you. Another would be to re-shoot it and shoot with your lens either wide open or nearly so and use the lens to take care of the background. It's possible that the Lens Filter options will allow you to do just what I'm talking about in one fell swoop.


May 20, 2024 at 01:37 PM
tonyespofoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


I did't in the least find the columns intrusive. In fact, quite the oposite. I think they would have read better with a longer lens and a wider aperture. I did not like the light fixture behind her head. A little content aware fill would fix this easily. You were photographing in a fantastic location with beautiful soft directional natural light with a very soft fill from the white marble to camera left. Had you placed her at the edge of the shadow from one of the columns and turned her head slightly to her left, her face would have been beautifully sculpted by the soft light. Likewise, turning her body slighly to her right would have done the same thing for the form of her body. Careful placement of her at the edge of the shadow, the light passing between the next 2 columns behind her might have even served as a hair light. Wedding and portrait photographers from the film days (I'm one of them) would have killed for light like that. That colonade was truly a beautiful place to photograph. You can practice lighting like this just by placing your subject at the edge of a shadow cast by a tree. Watch how the light illuminates the face. Have them turn their head left and right and do the same with the body. With some practice, you can find nice flattering light almost anywhere.


May 20, 2024 at 09:21 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Well LrC just got an update in that area.




May 21, 2024 at 02:52 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Her dour expression and bedroom hair are more distracting than any background element. The lantern is really the only piece that could stand to go if anything.


May 21, 2024 at 03:04 PM
MikeEvangelist
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


I agree with the earlier comments...the columns are good. Background could maybe be lightened/blurred a bit. The lantern should go. All easy with Lightroom 13.3.








May 21, 2024 at 03:22 PM
bobby350z
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Do the shoot again IMHO. There are more problems than just the columns. Sorry to be harsh.


May 22, 2024 at 08:08 PM
ACHILLEAS-V
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


RoamingScott wrote:
Her dour expression and bedroom hair are more distracting than any background element. The lantern is really the only piece that could stand to go if anything.


Yeah I like the background too. Those cleaning lady clothes are awful



May 22, 2024 at 08:26 PM
 


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ruthenium
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Like this? (removed in Topaz Photo AI)







May 22, 2024 at 09:50 PM
londonphoto2
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Okay, thanks for the feedback - which has taught me a lot about what not to do in the future!

I've got a shot of another actor on the same shoot, which he likes but he wants to "look younger and less red faced/tanned". What's the best way to remove wrinkles quickly in lightroom?

Also, should I desaturate the reds on the face, or try and adjust the white balance?




May 27, 2024 at 06:50 AM
ruthenium
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


To begin with, the colors of this photo may look significantly different, depending on the viewing media, e.g, on a calibrated display or on a smartphone. Make sure you see the colors of your photo, not some false colors of a misconfigured display.
When the colors look wrong (on a calibrated display), the first concern is about the WB. This you should try adjusting first.
When the WB is corrected, you can continue working with the individual colors. For example, in this photo, one may want to lighten the reds.
When doing post-processing on portraits, be careful with contrast. Reducing the contrast, especially micro contrast in midtones and highlights, might be desirable to make the skin look smoother.
There are apps that specialize in making faces look smooth and beautiful (ask for suggestions).
There is something about this photo that looks disagreeable to me: the background.
Finally, arguably, skin color is very subjective, and achieving a "pleasing" skin color can be difficult because the perceptions are different and perceptions can change with time and depending on the viewing conditions.
My vision of this portrait is given below (I am sure this can be improved).







May 27, 2024 at 08:41 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


londonphoto2 wrote:
Okay, thanks for the feedback - which has taught me a lot about what not to do in the future!

I've got a shot of another actor on the same shoot, which he likes but he wants to "look younger and less red faced/tanned". What's the best way to remove wrinkles quickly in lightroom?

Also, should I desaturate the reds on the face, or try and adjust the white balance?

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53749651301_edca687d9a_c.jpg



I'm probably out of step ... but, if this is an actor, and it is a headshot, then the point of the headshot is to provide the industry professionals a good indication of what they have to work with in this individual.

Imo, a headshot is not the same thing as a portrait. Portraits can make you "look younger", and that's fine. Similar for promotional materials, to a degree. Removing wrinkles from a head shot, sending those pics to an agency ... and then the actor showing up in person with wrinkles that had been removed from the image.

Head shots are meant to provide the agency with the information about the actor, not to be a false representation of the actor's physical attributes. Skin smoothing, eye / lip color enhancement, etc.

Portraits are one thing (subjective, interpretive, as I'd like to be seen, etc.). Headshots are a different thing (information, objective factual, as I am). They are not the same (afaik) ... understand the differences.



Now ... I say that, not having done head shots since the 1980's. What folks want, or think head shots are these days, I'm probably way out of the loop, but I'd be cautious to understand what the use case is for the images ... portrait, promotional or industry head shots (i.e. information tools).


Recommendation ... if you are truly planning on doing headshots for actors, contact an agency and find out what criteria the agency(s), desire / expect in headshot submissions. I'm an old fart, out of the loop ... but truly knowing what your "end game" is for a superior headshot image, will be valuable insight to providing a valuable service to your clients.

Great headshots get callbacks. Others, wind up in the circular file.
Right now, it seems like the situation is the "blind leading the blind" ... between the actor / photographer ... as it pertains to the industry. It seems like neither the actor, nor the photographer understand what the agency(s) are really looking for.


Consider that if aspiring actors don't know what they are doing, then they have a dependency on the photographer to know what is in the actor's best interest. If the photographer doesn't know what that is ... then, the actor doesn't have a snowball's chance amid the highly competitive industry. As the photographer, you are going to be encountering folks who are so new to the game, that they won't have a clue. Therefore, it is important for you to be able to be the true leader in the situation, knowing what the industry expects.

Since it is VERY EARLY in your career of shooting headshots, recognize that YOU need to be able to be that leader, so it isn't not a situation of the "blind leading the blind". I went down that road at first, too. Then, I was very fortunate to encounter some professional models, who took me under their wing and THEY TAUGHT ME, what they needed for their agencies / cattle calls, etc. SOMEONE ... either the actor, or the photographer (ideally, both) has to know what the agency wants. Because, the agency can spot the blind leading the blind from a country mile.

The "blind leading the blind" is never a good situation, but I get that folks "gotta start somewhere" ... and that makes it seem appealing. The good news is that you are so very early in your career, and you can become the leader in this. Of course, that first means you have to take the steps to become the "master" for the many "grasshoppers" you will encounter.


Again, I'm old school ... so, do your (professional and contemporary) homework with agencies, current in the industry.


BTW, internet sensations are not always what the industry wants. Find out from the industry, what the industry wants. Catalog work is different from fashion work, but each may be different from what the internet sensations are doing.

If you are aspiring to do head shots for actors (vs. business professionals for Linked In, etc.) ... know who your TRUE CLIENT is ... the agency.







May 27, 2024 at 10:41 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Another note ... trying to "look younger" will not distinguish him (capture the attention of the agency) from those who actually are younger. Accentuating his character (which uber soft, dead eyes won't do) is something to harness, not hide. (imo)

HTH




May 28, 2024 at 07:07 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Having cast many shoots myself and spoken with casting directors for still and film here in L.A., the worst thing you can do is misrepresent how an actor actually looks in the headshot. It's especially important when some jobs are actually cast from the photos with no live auditions, but that's not something I would ever do, as I always wanted to see how people worked in front of a camera and interacted with you as a director. Corporate headshots, on the other hand, are a completely different thing and are often retouched beyond any degree of recognition as long as the subject is happy with how they think they look.


May 28, 2024 at 08:22 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best Way to get rid of background columns in Lightroom


Peter Figen wrote:
Having cast many shoots myself and spoken with casting directors for still and film here in L.A., the worst thing you can do is misrepresent how an actor actually looks in the headshot. It's especially important when some jobs are actually cast from the photos with no live auditions, but that's not something I would ever do, as I always wanted to see how people worked in front of a camera and interacted with you as a director. Corporate headshots, on the other hand, are a completely different thing and are often retouched beyond any degree of recognition as
...Show more

This ^.



May 28, 2024 at 11:56 AM







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