Speckled Lighting

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  • #53100
    Kina Lamb
    Participant

    While I’m embarking on my “Flood The Lenspiration Forum With Questions Campaign Extravaganza” I thought I might as well put up a photo for critique as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

    So, at my last Family Portrait shoot, there was this lovely path back to the back pasture that lent itself very nicely for some photos. I knew I didn’t want to put the couple in spotted/speckled lighting, though, because I knew that would detract from the focus on the couple. I specifically made sure I put THEM in even lighting. But then after I got home, I hit myself on the forehead because I know better than that. Even if they’re standing in the most perfect light, it still matters what type of lighting is behind them! In this case, there was still a lot of speckled lighting behind them.

    I still love this photo though, and I think to an untrained eye, I think it is still beautiful. And thankfully, these were not the ONLY photos of them I took. I took more pictures in really good lighting, too.

    So, what do you think? Is the speckled lighting too much of a distraction? Or is it fine? Thoughts ๐Ÿ˜€

    ~ Kina

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    #53102
    Kina Lamb
    Participant

    Also, here’s another photo with the same situation. Again, I’m really glad I got some other pictures in other places with nice even lighting, but I’m really wondering if it’s a good photo or not. Does the speckled lighting distract from the family, or does it blend? Or other? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Attachments:
    #53104
    Kina Lamb
    Participant

    (And yes, haha, this was one of the first photos. One of the kids wasn’t the most thrilled. lol. This was a really neat opportunity for me to use some tricks I learned in a posing course though, and later on I was able to get her to smile genuinely. ๐Ÿ˜€ )

    #53171
    Lydia Bennett
    Keymaster

    I don’t think the lighting in the background is a problem. It’s fantastic that you kept the lighting on them even. I had a shoot where I was dealing with unavoidable dappled lighting on the people, and it was a real challenge.

    I think it’s definitely a good idea to keep an eye on the lighting backgrounds as much as possible, you can position yourself or your subjects in contrast to the shadows or light behind them. Sounds good on paper, eh? Totally different when you’re actually out there on a shoot and you have a ton of things you’re trying to “keep an eye on”! ๐Ÿ™‚

    In your edit, I think if you brighten and warm it up (something like I’ve attached), it’ll really give it a nice touch, and you’ve got yourself some good shots!

    This was a really neat opportunity for me to use some tricks I learned in a posing course though

    Aha, now here’s an oft-discussed topic amongst photographers! ๐Ÿ™‚ It might be fun to hear what some of the “tricks” were that you employed in this case?

    Attachments:
    #53197
    Kina Lamb
    Participant

    @bennett-family Thank you so much Lydia! That’s so good to hear.

    Yes, *so* true!! Managing everything at once is a challenge for sure. I think we should give ourselves grace, especially when trying new things for the first couple of times before it becomes a habit. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I like that bright & cheery feel to the photos you edited! You’ve inspired me to step out in that direction a little bit more! One of the things I was trying to avoid though is that when I brightened the photo to a certain extent, the mom’s black dress started to look pixel-y/dusty. I really like the first photo, but the second photo doesn’t seem to pop as much, in my opinion. But that’s one of the neat things about photography – everyone can have their own style, and when you’ve found your style and can stick to it, though it may not be the favorite style of absolutely everyone in the entire world, it will be irresistible to some. And that’s the goal!

    Oh wow. It would be so hard to share everything I learned!! Besides doing my best to show interest in the children, listening to their stories of catching crawdads & such, smiling constantly (as I always try to do) and especially praising them (genuinely, not insincerely) and telling them they were doing a great job at the posing, looked “so good!” and saying things like, “oh, I love it! You’re doing such a good job!” or “oh, that is so pretty (insert girl’s name)” or “your mommy & daddy are going to love this photo!” which are the fundamental basics to posing, I think, I asked her if her dress twirled. She was very happy to show me, and after that, asked me to take as many pictures of her as possible doing all sorts of things – she wanted one by the flowers, one on the ground, one doing this pose and that one, etc. ๐Ÿ˜€ And after the sun went down, she wanted me to go inside and play beads with her. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ But asking her if her dress twirled was the turning point. ๐Ÿ˜€ (And of course I knew it twirled. ๐Ÿ˜€ ) Also, I donned a cowboy hat and she thought that I looked utterly silly in it and started to sort of smile-laugh at my ridiculousness. So I took some pictures of that too. ๐Ÿ˜€ That was when I got the biggest smile from her, because she was totally not reacting for the camera.

    #53199
    Lydia Bennett
    Keymaster

    @kina Yes, and I may have overdone the “brightening up” in my edits of your photos. I wasn’t really looking pixel-peeping or looking a whole lot at the grain, first because the photos were low-res anyways so it’s harder to tell, and second because I was just trying to give a basic example rather than perfect an edit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    One thing I personally look for is getting the actual subjects into the “right” exposure. In your original edits there, I felt that the folks looked underexposed. So I just brightened it up to bring them into proper exposure, the background then naturally became more over-exposed, and that gave it the bright, cheery feel you mentioned!

    Fun to hear that little backstory, too. That family looks like they’ve got a fun age group to work with there. ๐Ÿ™‚

    #53251
    Logan Lamar
    Participant

    @kina @bennett-family one photographer I was readingโ€”and I don’t know that I would recommend this, but maybe you could find a way to say it without being deceitfulโ€”said to ask your child subject to look for the little bug (or fairy or whatever) that lives inside your lens. You certainly get some very quizzical and fun expressions that way!

    #53259
    Kina Lamb
    Participant

    @bennett-family Oh yes, I understand. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yes, I love this family! but I admit that I do feel much more intimidated by little kids than their parents. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE little kids + babies, but I feel like I have to ‘win’ their trust, and ‘win’ their comfortability and ‘win’ their affection, and fight myself (or so it feels) for every smile. I haven’t finished the posing course yet though, I’m only a little bit through, so hopefully that will help. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve been elbow-deep in other important work, so I’ve been holding off finishing that until I need to, even though I love it so much. ๐Ÿ˜€


    @loganlamar
    Oh yes, I love that trick!! The last time we got our family portraits done by a professional photographer, she used that trick on my little brother and I’ve always remembered it and used it myself. ๐Ÿ˜€ I haven’t read the article yet so I don’t know how that photographer says it, but is it deceitful to ASK them if there’s something in the lens? For example, “Do you see any ducks in my lens?” (that’s how I usually ask it) …is that being deceitful? It’s not saying there are ducks in the lens, just asking if they see any, and of course they won’t see them, then laugh. Would love to hear what you think though because I definitely don’t want to be deceitful!! And thank you very much for the article – I will definitely want to read that! I already skimmed it, but am saving it.

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