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Author Topic: Homecoming pics, tips?  (Read 3539 times)

cheeseheadsaint

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Homecoming pics, tips?
« on: October 16, 2011, 05:52:16 PM »
Given, that my friends weren't going to hire a pro photographer anyways, I offered to take photos for them. It'll be good practice for me for portrait photography and since it will be free -they can't complain!

But I'm looking for tips. I've been looking at flickr and stuff and what I really love in some photos is how, even in the evening, in a dark background, their subjects just pop! and the subjects aren't flooded with yellow light either.

I'm pretty sure they are using flash.. Is it fill flash? what exactly is fill flash vs regular flash and do I do anything different with my camera? I hardly ever use flash.. but i think it is time to learn!

How can I get my subjects to pop so perfectly? do I need to go out and get a better flash? all i have is the pop up flash on my xsi. If thats the case what can I do without flash? Maybe I'll get one in time for prom pics.

Thanks for reading!
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Homecoming pics, tips?
« on: October 16, 2011, 05:52:16 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 09:04:10 PM »
Given, that my friends weren't going to hire a pro photographer anyways, I offered to take photos for them. It'll be good practice for me for portrait photography and since it will be free -they can't complain!

But I'm looking for tips. I've been looking at flickr and stuff and what I really love in some photos is how, even in the evening, in a dark background, their subjects just pop! and the subjects aren't flooded with yellow light either.

I'm pretty sure they are using flash.. Is it fill flash? what exactly is fill flash vs regular flash and do I do anything different with my camera? I hardly ever use flash.. but i think it is time to learn!

How can I get my subjects to pop so perfectly? do I need to go out and get a better flash? all i have is the pop up flash on my xsi. If thats the case what can I do without flash? Maybe I'll get one in time for prom pics.

Thanks for reading!


Sometimes, avoiding flash is not possible.  Avoiding the use of the on camera flash and getting a flash that can be placed off camera to provide a more flattering light is the first step.

Secondly, capture images in the RAW format and then post process them to get the right color and contrast.  If you are looking for perfect images using a on camera flash and out of camera jpegs, it sometimes happens, but very rarely.  Those photographers usually know their lighting.

Try visiting a forum like Strobist.  You can pick up lots of good information there.   http://strobist.blogspot.com/

Good Luck!

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 11:12:30 PM »
Wow that's so cool! I asked a photographer on flickr for tips and I just checked my FlickrMail and he directed me to same blog! I'm definitely checking it out! =D
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 11:33:18 PM »
Wow that's so cool! I asked a photographer on flickr for tips and I just checked my FlickrMail and he directed me to same blog! I'm definitely checking it out! =D

They have some helpful tips on how to deal with mixed color light by using gels to change the color of your flash.  If you have bright ambient light that is a different color from your flash, it can be miserable.

cheeseheadsaint

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 11:48:07 PM »
I had a lot of fun taking photos! Yeah I had to use flash as it got darker. This was my first every paid photography I did. Well.. friends were free but I charged nonfriends/people I don't know $5.

Anyways, I'm thinking about doing another shoot for prom but I am not sure on setting prices. I feel $5 is too little for the time I spent editing.

I should introduce myself better, I am just a high school student seriously interested in photography, looking to go pro as a side job one day. xD

So how should I be setting prices?

Here's some pics..


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Old Shooter

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2011, 03:53:26 AM »
I think you did a real fine job! Especially for a first effort! Mind some constructive criticism?

#1: Real nice! I'm usually not a fan of the horizon running downhill, but somehow it works for this pic. You have placed their hands very well; human hands are generally ugly. Nice little sparkle to the eyes, did you use fill flash or a reflector? As the photographer, you're in charge of appearance; have the young man tuck in his shirt (back). Have the young lady run a brush through her hair just before the shot to blend/smooth it. You blurred the background quite nicely and it really makes the couple stand out! I'll bet you were very pleased with this one!

#2: Cute! Love how she kicked up her foot! Try not to photograph the back of a ladies hand; have her rotate it slightly so it presents the edge. He looks stiff; as if he's trying to pull away from her. Have him cock his head slightly toward her. His hand looks awkward; it should be somewhere or doing something. Have him drop it in his trouser pocket, rest it on her hip, grab her sash, just something... Try not to cut part of the body if you don't have to; his left shoe... Nice job on the background and making the couple stand out from it!

#3: Yes, they are too cool for words! The guy on the left is a little too edged; you miss out on his vest and his tie. The guy on the right has a perfect angle for a gentleman. You have the two classic "guy" hands-in-pockets versions; thumbs in and thumbs out. When you pose a gentleman in a suit/tux, pull the sleeve of his dress shirt out past the cuff of the jacket. Then have him put his hand in his pocket. You should see a sliver of shirt cuff and a sliver of skin... If they're friends, try to close that gap between them somewhat. Distance between subjects in a portrait strike the eye as emotional separation/aloofness... Again, great job on background selection and selective focus!

I don't know where you shot these, but that location would definitely go into my book as a great portrait spot. Start developing a personal location guide; note location, time of day, weather, and the size of group a location will support (single, couple, or a family of 10...) Hope this was helpful!
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cheeseheadsaint

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 03:33:39 PM »
Thank you so much Old Shooter! I really appreciate how you took the time to critique! Yeah, before the shoot I browsed several photos, looking at the poses I liked for inspiration. Your critique gave me lots to think about. =D And this was at a neighborhood park.

And for the first one, I don't own a reflector but I used fill flash with the popup flash from my XSi.
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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2011, 03:33:39 PM »

Old Shooter

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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 07:55:42 AM »
You're welcome!  You learned some very valuable lessons about using that little pop-up flash!  #1. If you are close enough to your subject, that little flash can provide just the right amount of light to make your pictures "pop"!  #2. If your background is quite a distance behind your subjects, then you won't see any tell-tale shadows behind them that tip off the fact that you used a flash!  That's why I asked you if you had possibly used a reflector; I couldn't see a trace of a shadow in your pics!  #3. If you want the fill flash to be even more subtle, go into your menu and locate "flash compensation".  Drop it down, toward the negative, 1/3 of a stop and it will reduce the flash just a touch.  If you want to try a more edgy look, crank it up (toward the positive) 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop.  That should purposely underexpose the background and make the subjects even more obviously "flashed".  More of a paparazzi look...
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Re: Homecoming pics, tips?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 07:55:42 AM »