Welcome new members. If you have been recently invited to join our forum, welcome.
Please take a few minutes to introduce yourself at The Meeting Room / General Discussions / Introduce yourself

People CritiqueAn environmental portrait.

Images containing people; portraits, family, lifestyle, street, photojournalism, sports, weddings
Post Reply
User avatar
Onslow
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:42 am
Location: Whyalla, South Australia
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, you can edit but ask me first
Contact:

An environmental portrait.

Post by Onslow »

Sue and Bill are good friends of mine. They are part of breed rescue in Australia for Airedale Terriers. They asked me for a family shot of them on their property with their four rescues.
Left to right is Emma, Chilli, Lochie, and Beckham. All 4 of these were difficult cases and each has blossomed under the guiding hand of Sue and Bill.

Image

User avatar
TomCofer
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2635
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:42 am
Location: Fredericktown, MO
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by TomCofer »

I really like this shot John.
the shadows are a bit deep, but I really like it. Made me smile.
Redneck Enthusiast Photographer on a shoestring budget.

thcofer@charter.net

Failure means you tried. Success means you need to set higher goals for yourself.

User avatar
Ed Shapiro
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:29 am
Location: Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Ed Shapiro »

Great story- great people John! Super dogs for sure!

Lighting is problematic. Using direct sunlight as your main light source is always difficult even in the early morning and late afternoon when the lighting is more directional and supposedly easier to control. We portrait guys are used to overcast and hazy days and soft and more controllable studio lighting. The sun is like a giant spot light and unless it is exactly in the right place at the right time of day it can be nearly impossible to use and still get aesthetically pleasing lighting that defines the subjects' features. Sometimes with this kind of lighting we get the whole bad package deal; too much contrast, shadows that obscure the important facial features, squinting and black up detail in both the highlights and the shadows- the whole bad ball of wax!

By the same token, there are times when we get stuck with this kind of lighting for numerous reasons such as time constraints, bad backgrounds when we move the subjects into a better lighting position and a whole mess of other problems such as having to get kids or pets to cooperate- multiple dogs can be challenging.

I have ran into this problem on many occasions as a wedding shooter. We get a late morning ceremony and the couple leaves the church at high noon. The sun supposed to be up in the heavens but at high noon it yields the photographic lighting from hell! We want to capture the emotions and the festivities as the couple decent the church steps, the guest thrown rice or confetti, the hugs and the kisses- the handshakes and the back patting- all under harsh lighting! You can't re-stage this emotional time and you gotta grab it when it happens!

SO- Out comes the dirty old flash gear- BASIC FLASH FILL! Well- the shadows are still there but they become a bit more transparent. One light on the camera will do the trick. So here is the philosophy- every bride wishes for a bright sunny day for her wedding-blue skies and puffy white clouds! When we shoot with direct sunlight we can capture this effect and still get pretty decent rendition of the subjects' faces with just enough flash fill. So- you may ask-what do brides have to do with dogs? NOTHING'- except for the lighting! But- when there is just enough fill you will get better detail with dogs with darker parts of their coats and clean up the lighting on the people at the same time. With simple on camera flash and the right lighting ratio you needn't have to bother with cumbersome off camera flash or reflector setups when you need to capture the action where pets are concerned and you want to also capture natural poses and expressions.

As we have conversed about in the past; I know that you like higher ratios and more dramatic lighting and that you prints have more detail that the screen images. Of course, you do not want to wash out your images with too much flash but oftentimes just a wink of flash will make quite the difference and once the shadow detail is in the file you can regulate the effect in editing with contrast, brightness and saturation controls. If the detail is not there to begin with there is little you can do.

When there is time and where there is less hurried conditions, I prefer to use the sunlight as back lighting and fill in with on or off camera flash or reflectors. Oftentimes, background conditions permitting, just moving the subject into better lighting conditions, slightly or entirely can help in achieving a much improved aesthetic effect, however, as we advance away form sunrise or advance toward sunset, the lighting seems to change every few minutes and is hard to "chase it down" or pin it down as to effect and exposure.

Well- besides all this techno-babble- I hope that this messages finds you in good health and that you have been able to put any kind of illness behind you! When you feel up to it, do send me some of those prints we were talking about a few weeks back. There is not too much action, here on the forum nowadays, so perhaps some of this good intercommunication will set a good example for the lurkers and lazy folk who are not participating!

With kindest regards,

Ed :thumbup:

User avatar
Onslow
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:42 am
Location: Whyalla, South Australia
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, you can edit but ask me first
Contact:

Post by Onslow »

TomCofer wrote:I really like this shot John.
the shadows are a bit deep, but I really like it. Made me smile.


Thank you Tom. I appreciate the comments... :)

User avatar
Onslow
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 1075
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:42 am
Location: Whyalla, South Australia
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, you can edit but ask me first
Contact:

Post by Onslow »

Ed Shapiro wrote:Great story- great people John! Super dogs for sure!

Lighting is problematic. Using direct sunlight as your main light source is always difficult even in the early morning and late afternoon when the lighting is more directional and supposedly easier to control. We portrait guys are used to overcast and hazy days and soft and more controllable studio lighting. The sun is like a giant spot light and unless it is exactly in the right place at the right time of day it can be nearly impossible to use and still get aesthetically pleasing lighting that defines the subjects' features. Sometimes with this kind of lighting we get the whole bad package deal; too much contrast, shadows that obscure the important facial features, squinting and black up detail in both the highlights and the shadows- the whole bad ball of wax!

By the same token, there are times when we get stuck with this kind of lighting for numerous reasons such as time constraints, bad backgrounds when we move the subjects into a better lighting position and a whole mess of other problems such as having to get kids or pets to cooperate- multiple dogs can be challenging.

I have ran into this problem on many occasions as a wedding shooter. We get a late morning ceremony and the couple leaves the church at high noon. The sun supposed to be up in the heavens but at high noon it yields the photographic lighting from hell! We want to capture the emotions and the festivities as the couple decent the church steps, the guest thrown rice or confetti, the hugs and the kisses- the handshakes and the back patting- all under harsh lighting! You can't re-stage this emotional time and you gotta grab it when it happens!

SO- Out comes the dirty old flash gear- BASIC FLASH FILL! Well- the shadows are still there but they become a bit more transparent. One light on the camera will do the trick. So here is the philosophy- every bride wishes for a bright sunny day for her wedding-blue skies and puffy white clouds! When we shoot with direct sunlight we can capture this effect and still get pretty decent rendition of the subjects' faces with just enough flash fill. So- you may ask-what do brides have to do with dogs? NOTHING'- except for the lighting! But- when there is just enough fill you will get better detail with dogs with darker parts of their coats and clean up the lighting on the people at the same time. With simple on camera flash and the right lighting ratio you needn't have to bother with cumbersome off camera flash or reflector setups when you need to capture the action where pets are concerned and you want to also capture natural poses and expressions.

As we have conversed about in the past; I know that you like higher ratios and more dramatic lighting and that you prints have more detail that the screen images. Of course, you do not want to wash out your images with too much flash but oftentimes just a wink of flash will make quite the difference and once the shadow detail is in the file you can regulate the effect in editing with contrast, brightness and saturation controls. If the detail is not there to begin with there is little you can do.

When there is time and where there is less hurried conditions, I prefer to use the sunlight as back lighting and fill in with on or off camera flash or reflectors. Oftentimes, background conditions permitting, just moving the subject into better lighting conditions, slightly or entirely can help in achieving a much improved aesthetic effect, however, as we advance away form sunrise or advance toward sunset, the lighting seems to change every few minutes and is hard to "chase it down" or pin it down as to effect and exposure.

Well- besides all this techno-babble- I hope that this messages finds you in good health and that you have been able to put any kind of illness behind you! When you feel up to it, do send me some of those prints we were talking about a few weeks back. There is not too much action, here on the forum nowadays, so perhaps some of this good intercommunication will set a good example for the lurkers and lazy folk who are not participating!

With kindest regards,

Ed :thumbup:


Thank you Ed.. :) I'm now on a diet and exercise program that I hope will see an improvement in my general health. I've lost 3.5 kgs since the scare so, hopefully that'll keep going.

Re the lighting, location etc. Bill and Sue are 2 aircraft flights away from me. They have asked me to photograph their property for their business website. I came down to 2 cases totalling 23 kgs max. 7 days of clothing, gifts, shoes etc. The remainder was taken up by a tripod, heads, brackets, monopod, a camera and the various lenses I knew would be required. I had no weight or space left for flash gear at all.
The weather was quite problematic during the period I was there. This particular location was eventually chosen due to its light from the side and a darker background. Anywhere else resulted in quite bright backgrounds that would clash with the side lit subjects. This particular image was only possible on the last day due to the weather previously and the other committments of Bill and Sue. It was around 9:30 am local time. Reflectors were of no use as there was a breeze blowing and nothing to prop them with. The property has large shady trees, this was in a light hole of the shadows which gave a short window to get the images.
I do agree with using sun as backlighting and using flash to light but sadly, I had no way of accomplishing that. What I will do however is make a print of this for your evaluation. The recent health scare put them on the back burner. I have some done but not all.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest