Feeling like throwing my camera and computer out the window...

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TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352
Feeling like throwing my camera and computer out the window...

I REALLY, REALLY HATE to share these photos here (well, the family ones at least) because they seriously suck. The family one's aren't sharp and I picked poor locations, and the colour is SO bad!!! But since Amber's comments on my set with the mom/daughter, I have been trying SO hard to figure out how to get skin tone right. I'm using one of those skin tone charts and selecting colour somewhere on their face (cheek or forehead usually, not sure if that's the best spot?) to see if it's right and/or what needs changing. And I can't seem to get it right!!! They all look so yellow, or so red to me, and nothing seems right. Clearly my monitor's calibration is not quite right, and I'm just not used to what I'm seeing.

Can someone tell me what the colour in these looks like to them? Am I at ALL on the right track? Sooooooooo freakin' frustrated with my photography and my editing skills right now. Sad

1.
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

2.
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

3.
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

4. (This guy is DH's best friend, and I swear, in all the time I've known him, this is about the biggest smile he ever gives.)
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

5. This and the next one are the only ones I really like, but still not sure about colour.
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

6.
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

I think you're being way too hard on yourself. I am no expert but I think these look overall really great. I do see some yellow in their skin in #s 1, 5, and 6, and the wood bridge/walkway is very yellow in 1-2 compared to #3, but I think relates to the sun glow in #1 and the large amount of yellow leaves in #2.

But if these were mine I'd love them! I love the sharpness. And the setting/bokeh in the last two are so pretty.

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

I like this set better than the mother and daughter set.
#1 love the setting I feel like it does not compete with the picture like it does in #2 I think the only thing I would change is mom looks a little underexposed (but my screen is way off so idk) and moms hand bothers me.

#2 The backround hill is really beautiful but the wires lead my eye to the backround rather than the family. Also this may just be something that I notice but when I am shooting people I tell them to open the hands so they don't look like the fingers are chopped.

#3 nice shot but woulda liked it more with the backs to the bridge like in #1

#4 great light, great shot u can't help how everyone smiles:)

#5 LOVE IT! beautiful great job!

#6 LOVE IT! My favorite of the set!

We all have those days but I think that is what makes it all more deserving in the end that we EARNED it. We read and looked at threads and dreaded that first shoot and did all those freebees to learn but then when you see a shot where you just GOT IT it makes it that much better! I can't even tell you how many free shoots I did before I started charging and even now I have a far way to go but I am learning thru every person I shoot.
Also, if u throwout ur camera please tell me where U live first lol jk;)

shadow_grey's picture
Joined: 05/03/12
Posts: 581

Tracey you are being way too hard on yourself. These look really nice to me. I'm sure they will love them.

That said, I can completely relate to that feeling of frustration when it seems like it just isn't working. That's part of the reason I haven't been picking up my camera as much (the other is time). I just felt like I wasn't improving and, if anything, seemed to be getting worse results. You are definitely constantly improving though and these are lovely.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Tracy, the color on these look SO much better than the ones of just Mom and Daughter. You're doing something right. If the color looks off to you, it could be your calibration. Really...they look great. Can't comment on focus at this size, but they look fine to me.

I don't think these are bad at all. A couple of things could make them a little better.

#1. Dad is tucked behind daughter too much. Would have been better to have daughter right in the crook of his arm. I realize he couldn't then be touching his son, but that would probably have looked okay.

#2. We have 2 different photos going here. The spontaneous not looking photo, and the traditional photo. The image would be much stronger if it were just one of those things.

#3. This would have been improved if they were simply standing closer together. Really just the boy on the right. The gap there makes the photo feel uneven.

#4. No problems here. Nice photo. I think it's a nice smile. My DH is the same way. It looks genuine and not forced which is perfect. The white in the corner of his eye may be too white. Did you brighten that? I'd scale it back some.

#5. The color on this is fine. It's a touch bright which makes the reds out of whack, but the ratio between colors is fine.

#6. I just love this photo. The composition is so nice and cozy.

So, there is a lot of yellow in the background, which I don't mind at all, but if you did it could be fixed. This is usually because the background is often in full sun while our subjects are in shade....so, two different colors of light. The only way to fix this is with masks.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352

Thank you SO much for the helpful feedback and encouragement, ladies! You just have no idea how frustrated I've been!! I'm really glad these come across better than I thought they did, and especially glad that the colour is good, given the hours I've spent on it!

Thank you for the CC on the shots themselves, Tia and Amber. That will help me moving forward. This is the first real 'family shoot' I've tried, and I was not entirely sure how to get them all to pose together, plus I was not assertive enough when things didn't look quite right.

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

You have no idea how many times I set people up and look thru the lens and it was not quite what I was going for. I just say lets try this and if I don't like it I say ''nope I lied were going to try it this way.'' It's just a nice way to put it:)

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352

Just a quick update, I freaked out today, after my hours of work earlier in the week, to discover I had somehow corrupted one of the images I'd struggled with the most. I re-edited and ended up doing a composite, got a much nicer result for #2 (I think), which Amber pointed out was two different styles of photos in one. I'm so glad! I think the colour, etc. looks good in this one too? Hope so! I'm quite happy with it, and happier overall with all of these, thanks to the great encouragement and huge help I've received with feedback on colour and everything! Thank you!!

New composite for #2:
Dino & Pamela Family Photos

NicholeC's picture
Joined: 06/09/08
Posts: 284

I think you did a great job! I am not the best at CC'ing but I Love them all! #5 is my favorite. I love the mountains in the background in #2 but the power lines are a little distracting to me, maybe if you take some at that location next time take them like #3 stand where you stood there! But great job! Love them! Don't throw your camera and computer out! keep up the good work!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

You got some awesome feedback! I'm sorry I didn't chime in earlier. These are all lovely photos, and I'm sure you're going to have LOTS more people asking you to take their portraits after seeing these. I love the new composite. I think it looks wonderful!

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352

Thanks, Steph and Nichole!