December 18, 2014, 07:44:28 AM

Author Topic: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos  (Read 1391 times)

TAW

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:24:28 AM »
I am hoping someone can provide some ideas/direction on how to improve these photos.  I took pictures of ~40 kids with company sponsors names against a grassy hill.  This is a volunteer project so I know everyone will be happy with whatever I submit but I just can't get the pictures where I am happy with them (pay or not, I want to produce a great product).  These will be displayed on a projected presentation in a large hall (seats dinner for ~400) and prints (8x11.5) will be made and given to each sponsor with their children.

The auction is for a school that specializes in Spanish, Japanese and Chinese immersion language programs. My kids have gone to this school since they were 3 years old (9 & 8 now) and my wife has worked here for 10+ years. 

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.  I am good with Lightroom and get by with Photoshop (with the help of youtube and Lynda.com) but I am open to trying anything...

Thanks!

tom

It's not the the snake bite that kills you, it chasing after the snake.

canon rumors FORUM

Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« on: November 05, 2013, 11:24:28 AM »

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2837
  • Ermintrude says "moo"
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 12:00:23 PM »
They are very flat looking, I just brightened her, adding a little contrast and warmth, particularly to the eyes, and darkened the background.

Took two adjustment brushes in ACR or Lightroom, about three minutes an image, if you have that time I'd work to something like that.

When shooting them I would have used flash to create contrast and bright eyes, I'd have underexposed the ambient by 1-11/2 stops and exposed the kids correctly, this is all I have emulated in post, but it takes longer as you can't apply custom brush selections via actions.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 12:09:22 PM by privatebydesign »

dasoussan

  • SX60 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 12:27:52 PM »
White balance is way off. Near upper left corner of the sign the girl is holding reads 220 235 252, so Auto White Balance didn't. And you have a great WB card - the white of the sign everyone is holding! I'd start there with white balancing the raws with DPP (1 click and their skin looks way better), then a quick click of the middle "Tone Curve Adjustment" made the girl pop nicely. Or, use LR and do what PrivateByDesign suggested.

memoriaphoto

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 12:38:24 PM »
As already mentioned by both PBD and DaSoussan - your colors are off and need an adjustment. Easily done i LR but you might also need to take it a bit further in PS due to the surroundings. Reflections from green grass and foliage can be a pain to correct with just the WB slider.

The first image can be your guide for curves. Use curves and set your black and white point from the baseball cap. Then colors should be better. Then save that as a curve preset and use on the others (given that the exposure and WB setting is the same)

Add an S curve for some contrast and the overall image should be better.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 12:42:41 PM by memoriaphoto »
1Ds3 (two bodies) | 1D4 | 6D | 16-35/4 L | 50L | 85L |135L | 70-200/2.8 II | the 40 pancake and my beloved Fuji X100 which smokes all my fancy gear any day :-)   www.memoriaphoto.se

bholliman

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 04:48:38 PM »
Great suggestions above.

One other suggestion:  keep an eye on your background.  The girl has a clean background, but there is a bush or something in the upper right of the picture of the boys that is somewhat distracting.  Moving them a few feet to the left would take it out if the picture.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M
EF Lenses: 35mm f/2.0 IS, 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, 135mm f/2.0L, 16-35mm f/4L IS, 24-70mm f/2.8L II, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II; EF-M Lenses: 22 f/2, 18-55
Speedlites: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

BozillaNZ

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 11:04:26 PM »
My suggestion is try to let the kids hold the billboard in upright position. The photos are good as they are, but when a big rectangle in the frame is tilted, it feels the frame gets tilted.
Look ma, me cameraz can push shadow 10 stoops w/o noizes, OMGWTFBBQChickenwingHaxorz!!!11
www.flickr.com/photos/bozillanz/

TAW

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 09:17:17 AM »
Thanks everyone for your help and direction.  Applying some of the techniques above, I was able to significantly improve the photos.  Also, I made notes on what to different next year based on your comments.

Have a GREAT week!

tom
It's not the the snake bite that kills you, it chasing after the snake.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Help please - Ideas to improve these photos
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 09:17:17 AM »