(I always think of peanut butter when I see PB
Sorry I haven't been around much.. I was completely consumed with my son's first birthday party, so stressed in fact that I got mastitis! Speaking of which, I actually had to reschedule with this family the first time because of mastitis, and then finally the day gets here to shoot and I FORGOT MY CAMERA CARD! Doh. I'm such an airhead (the full crazy story is in my blog).
But anyway, after we finally were able to start shooting the baby was SO over it. He didn't want mommy to hold him anymore, wouldn't look at me, was getting tired and cranky because it was so late in the day. I wasn't sure we got any good shots so was pleasantly surprised that there were a few. I was even more happy that a) almost all of them were in focus! and b) almost all of them were correctly exposed (at least for the faces, the sky got blown).
Which brings me to my request for cc.. I exposed for the faces but then the sky got way too light, almost invisible. In my favorite shots (like the first one) with the river as the backdrop I opened two raw files in PS, one I brought the exposure down and the recovery up and then masked the people in etc. It's pretty time consuming, but does it look natural? Should I have exposed differently?
Also, please critique the skintones, I always struggle and according to the #s I think they are right, but my home calibrated monitor always looks too yellow and my work calibrated monitor looks too red so I never know or trust anything.
PS, if you can recommend your calibration software that ISN'T the spider2 express, please do!
The skintones look good to me, but I'm not calibrated... so scratch that. Haha! I love these, though, I think you did great given the circumstances. As for the sky, maybe you can try adding a gradient in, like in #1 I could see it working. I wish I could see more of his face in 3, 5, and 7, but I can tell you were having a hard enough time getting him to cooperate.
You did so well. Mum's smile looks completely forced to me but focus looks great 2 & 3 are my faves
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Ack, you are so right, smile is forced - I think I was just so happy baby was looking towards me that I overlooked it!
I agree, it would have been SO nice to see more of baby's face. I sort of think it works in the one where she's kissing his cheek because it looks deliberate- sort of in more of a photo journalistic vein than portrait though.
Glad the skintones look ok even to the uncalibrated!! Thanks
Ariana I'll have to look at the tones on our Mac when I get home, but I think you have some lovely shots here! One thing I can comment on with regard to color is some inconsistency in the tones. In some I see yellow, and in others I see pink.
My fave of the bunch is number 2--his eyes look so nice, and the exposure is great. Nice job!
These are nice...I like the general feel of these, not too posed which is great.
Colors are off on most of them. Mostly they are too yellow...#2, and #6 especially.
I wish you had been lower in #1 for a better composition.
#2, center is not working for me on this one. The eyes are amazing. I'm a bit distracted by the white thing behind his head.
#3 I love this one....mom might be a touch magenta? But I didn't check the numbers and it actually doesn't bother me so I'd probably leave it.
#4 I love this one except the heavy handed vignette...it's just pulling focus from the sweet expression on mom's face.
#5...I'd dump. We have a sweet moment, but no faces. I hate when that happens.
#6 Another nice shot....too bad you didn't pull out just a touch so we have a tiny bit more of mom and didn't lose a finger. The skin tone on this one needs some serious attention. He's very yellow, and his lips are so washed out...they look almost blue to me. Add some red to them.
#7 can you brighten up Mom's face some?
#8 Too bad about the forced smile. This is such a tough age! Hard to get them to look at you...not to mention look at you and have a pleasant expression.
#9 Better than 8...but too bad about the fingers being chopped.
Wife to Rich~ 8/16/03 Mom to Nathan~ 9/30/07
I only have a minute, but I didn't see this earlier to reply.
I wish mom's smile wasn't so forced in these. That's hard!
I'm with Meagan, I see the inconsistant tones too. Especially in mom's face, just more pinks that I think there should be. But the little boy's skin looks good to me. (except in #6, he also seems too pink there)
and what a fiasco in scheduling it! that sucks about the mastitis, that is NOT a good thing to have. I'm overdue for a blog visit, must check that out when I get little more time.
Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack
My blog - all things family, photography and crafty
Thank you guys so much, particularly Amber for such a detailed critique. I will try to get a more consistent tone.
For some reason when I added more yellow to make mom's numbers right the little boy ended up being way too yellow so the editing was getting crazy time consuming between rescuing the backgrounds and also dealing with the two different skins.. shouldn't there be one "right" global adjustment that will get the tones correct for both of them? Sigh. Why do I have so much trouble with this??
Skin tones can be SO challenging! I've been there! Last December or January (can't remember!) I was so fed up with skin tones that I thought I was, and always would be, a total failure as a photographer.
You are right though, if you get your WB (temp and tint) exactly right, the skin tones on both people should be true to life. An exception to that would be if there is a color cast on one person's or multiple people's skin. Setting a custom WB in the photo setting has made a tremendous difference for me--I had such an "ah-ha moment" when it started working.