Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:13PM
Hello, this photo hasn't been rejected yet so I am not looking for a critique but rather an opinion about my model's expression, this shot is from a "Little farmer" series and I am really not sure if the expression looks right, at first glance yes it looks like my son is happy and really laughing ( that is what he was doing during the shoot-really laughing ) but the more I look at it the more I think that he looks more like he is constipated and suffering with a scream. So please can you help me with your honest opinion, I seem to be a little bit over critical of my work, so your opinion would help me a lot.
Here is the photo https://www.dropbox.com/s/f2ib280otref4h1/Little%20farmer%203%20Copy.jpg
Thank you for your opinion and help.
(Edited on 2013-01-16 17:20:31 by CHBD)
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:25PM
I don't know if it's constipated, but he doesn't look like he's happy selling those veggies
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:38PM
Doesn't look like suffering, but it's not instantly recognizable joy either. It's ambiguous enough that if I were looking for an image for a client design job, I'd probably pass it up in favor of something that looked unquestionably happy.
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:39PM
That's what I thought, I guess I cought his expression in the wrong stage of laughing, thanks a lot, will have to re-shoot.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:06PM
Ok, now I have another question, I really appreciate your input, I have learned a lot from you guys so can you please let me know what you think about the lighting in this shot. I am trying to experiment with light and till today I have used only one strobe and a speedlight as fill in the slave mode to illuminate the subject ( my second strobe I use as a background and finally received my third one today
The reason that I'm asking is because besides the isolation rejection the other problem noted was for flat/dull colours and you know the rest Not for that shot, I cancelled that one due to expression not beign right but two other shots from the same series, processed the same way, I have resubmitted them by adjusting the contrast but not sure if there is anything else that I might be missing.
Thank you for your input and time.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:24PM
re: constipated, your question made me LOL, so thanks.
re: light, I think the light on the subject looks too bright. What modifiers are you using on your speedlight, if any?
Another thing I would suggest is to wet the veggies before you shoot, especially the carrots. Not really a big deal but they look more vibrant and appetizing when they're not dry.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:36PM
^ thank you, the speedlight has a stock plastic thingy/diffuser and strobe has a reflector with barndoors and honeycomb with a diffuser behind it, now that I have an additional strobe I will use that instead of speedlight.
Wetting veggies is a great idea, thank you, didn't think about that one....omg...so much to learn.
Thank you for the idea
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:37PM
I almost said something yesterday about the lighting, but it's not terrible at all, so I decided not to pile on.
But since you asked...
Again, it's FAR from bad lighting. It seems a bit overexposed overall, looking at his skin tone, the shirt which is blowing out, and the broccoli which has lost its green color. Additionally, the quality of light is on the hard side as well - note the stark shadows being cast by the broccoli and the tomatoes.
Are you using some kind of modifier on your lights? Umbrellas or softboxes? It kind of looks almost like straight unmodified light, which can work when used deliberately, but which is probably less effective in an on-white shot like this than softened light would be.
To achieve a softer quality of a given light source, you need to make the light source larger. Shooting through or bouncing off of an umbrella (or stepping up to an even larger umbrella if you are using small ones), softbox, moving the light/modifier closer to the subject (thereby increasing its relative size), bouncing the light off a large white board or wall...
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:47PM
^ thank you, that makes a lot of sense, I will reshoot using softboxes, I'm not sure why but for some reason when I diffuse the light the contrast suffers, how can I get the contrast in balance with soft light or those two things usually do not go together well ?
Thank you for all your help.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:01PM
>> how can I get the contrast in balance with soft light
I usually use the Levels dialogue - move the black point slider to right (and mask out any areas that would otherwise go pure black e.g. the eyes / mouth). I prefer this approach to the Contrast/brightness dialogue - IMO it seems to produce a better effect.
Hope this is not too simplistic...
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:13PM
Yep, I almost always push some contrast back in during post. The levels adjustment Kieran described is a reasonable approach. Move the left slider to the right AND the right slider to the left...just avoid clipping too much into the histogram. Then you get pleasing contrast and a pleasing quality of light.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:16PM
^ Thank you, I love simplistc and deffinitely will give it a try, I'm trying to get better with people shots and the more I shoot the more it seems to be harder for me to balance things out it is either too hard or too soft no good middle and when I do it right,by right I mean iStock right I forget how the heck I did it I envy all of the ones that see it simple...I'll try harder, really appreciate all the input.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:26PM
I'm sorry but I don't have access to larger images want be home for a couple of days but those are the two files that I was talking about, I think the expression is right Those are resubmitted with contrast adjusted, should I just cancel the resubmit and reshoot or give it a try.
Thank you again.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:28PM
Your image on my calibrated monitor looks way too overexposed, especially his cheek, with flat colors. Looks like you used small light source. Considering that you're advertising veggies, they have to look lively, lush and fresh in order to sell. Pumping the colors and contrast would help a bit but I would try again with bigger lighting setup.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:31PM
The last two have neat expression and good sale potential, but again, suffer inadequate uneven lighting and flat colors.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:50PM
It's hard to judge looking at the small files. The expressions certainly are good. The light is on the hard side but I think both could salvageable - it would likely take some careful & selective Photoshop work rather than global adjustments.
Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:35PM
Thank you all, I just canceled the resubmited ones and will take everybody advice and re-shoot with softer larger light source, it is going to cost me another Nintedo game since my model got smarter, what happened to those days that lollypop did the trick but I think it is woth it.
Thank you again for all your input and time.
Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:49AM
Again I would like to thank you for your time helping me it is all very valuable to me and deeply appreciated....due to storm I have managed to get back home early so I gave it a shot to salvage one of the shots using all of your suggestions. Can you please evaluate my correction including the isolation, I haven't done anything with the isolation yet.
Here is a full size before corrections:
Here is a full size after corrections:
...the colours in corrected version are going to appear a little too warm due to different colour space used, I shoot in Adobe RGB so when viewed in PS it will look much better but here is a link to converted file using sRGB colour space:
Thank you a lot.
(Edited on 2013-01-16 13:32:20 by CHBD) Edited to fix the links.
(Edited on 2013-01-16 13:36:25 by CHBD)
Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:03PM
That's looking pretty good, though in your corrected version his hand, arm, & lower section of overalls seem to have gotten a little too bright, which exacerbates the impression of harsh light. Those areas look better on the original.
IMO the greens are a little too pumped; tomatoes & carrots look good.
I think you're really close here.
Posted Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:17PM
/Thank you, yes you are right the green does look a little overdone and the sections that are too bright I will correct. As soon I get this corrected I'll post the result.
What do you think about isolation? Is there anything that I should direct more attention to?
(Edited on 2013-01-16 15:19:12 by CHBD)