Portrait Session

DavidSDavidS Major grinsPosts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
edited November 10, 2007 in People
A friend of my wife's had me do a shoot of her two boys last Saturday. The older boy was great. The younger boy was two and he was all over the place. It was a challenge getting him in place much less coaxing an expression out of him. I really enjoyed it though, and he was great considering his age.

I just purchased an Alien Bee 800 and it was my first time using it. Any feedback on that is greatly appreciated.

I should have used my light meter on the outdoor shots. The cameras meter measured the white shirts and underexposed everything else. I ran the pictures through DxO, but I'm not to happy with the results.

She was pleased with the pictures and her husband, who is in Iraq, really liked the shots of his boys with the footballs. I personally would like to have done better. I guess that comes with experience and feedback from folks like you.

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Comments

  • SenecaSeneca Majorette Grinner Posts: 1,661Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    I did a shot somewhat like this for a client a couple of months back...however it was with two girls...I had the older sibling on a black rug with a book in hand...reading to the young sibling. OMGosh that young child was a riot...I had to calm her down...it didn't help that mom gave her a juice box filled with sugar either. rolleyes1.gif
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,762Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    Hmmmm...... I have 2 mothers, an 11 or 12 year old, and 2 girls under 2 to photograph Saturday morning. I hope they can sit still for a bit.

    This photo you posted is excellent. The lighting and exposure are dead on by my eyes.....and I like the composition also. Very very nice. I searched for something wrong pretty hard and (you know me) found one thing to pick on you about( because I know you want me to!!mwink.gif ). The mantle is perfectly aligned at the top edge, but not so with the other edges. Not a huge deal.....or even a deal at all, but if you had set the camera up on a tripod, and very carefully framed the mantle before bringing the boys into the picture, it may have helped you to align every edge. There is a transform tool in photoshop that could straighten this one out, but it might also distort the boys a bit. Like I said....not really a big deal because it is an excellent photograph that we would all be proud to have in our porfolio.


    I say awesome.......especially the light.
  • SystemSystem Posts: 8,195Registered Users moderator
    edited November 8, 2007
    really nice david!-

    the fireplace as a bg with the shirts is a great idea-

    the one with the younger in front and the older slightly oof is great!-

    I think I would have liked the football photos in a more open area, but that's me and is a nitpick-

    if you're going to do this on an ongoing basis, it looks like you're on your way!-
  • DavidSDavidS Major grins Posts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    Two year olds are a challenge aren't they Seneca, but a lot of fun.

    I wish you well Jeff with the upcoming shoot. That sounds like a major challenge. Thanks for the nice words Jeff. To be honest I was feeling pretty bummed about the shoot. I failed to shoot the fireplace straight on and had to choose between a straight mantle or parallel verticles. On the football shots I had accidently set my exposure compensation to -1EV. It is encouraging to hear that I did a few things right.

    Thanks for the feedback and kind words and encouragement George.
  • jeffreaux2jeffreaux2 Grinning...and bearing it Posts: 4,762Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    DavidS wrote:
    Two year olds are a challenge aren't they Seneca, but a lot of fun.

    I wish you well Jeff with the upcoming shoot. That sounds like a major challenge. Thanks for the nice words Jeff. To be honest I was feeling pretty bummed about the shoot. I failed to shoot the fireplace straight on and had to choose between a straight mantle or parallel verticles. On the football shots I had accidently set my exposure compensation to -1EV. It is encouraging to hear that I did a few things right.

    Thanks for the feedback and kind words and encouragement George.

    I think you did more than a few things right. As I said the alignment was a fairly petty thing to pick on, but the ONLY area where I could see that an improvement could be made. The outdoor shots look like the shadow highlight tool got a hold to them(#4 in particular). Maybe that was not the culprit, but photos tend to look like that when you lighten the shadows and reign in the highlights after the fact.....so that would be my guess on those. You might have to work on the outdoor thing again.......but the indoor shots are outstanding. It also looks like your shutter speed outside failed to stop the action.
  • tnoisawtnoisaw Big grins Posts: 48Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    Very Nice!

    Can you elaberate on how you shot this. You mentioned your AB 800. Did you just use that or did you have reflectors ect? Where was your AB placed? I'm learning and will be getting an AB soon.

    Thanks
  • DavidSDavidS Major grins Posts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    tnoisaw wrote:
    Very Nice!

    Can you elaberate on how you shot this. You mentioned your AB 800. Did you just use that or did you have reflectors ect? Where was your AB placed? I'm learning and will be getting an AB soon.

    Thanks

    I bounced the AB 800 off a 60" white umbrella. It was to their left, at a 45% angle, above them and about 3 feet away. I had a 42" silver reflector on the floor to their right.
  • DavidSDavidS Major grins Posts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    jeffreaux2 wrote:
    I think you did more than a few things right. As I said the alignment was a fairly petty thing to pick on, but the ONLY area where I could see that an improvement could be made. The outdoor shots look like the shadow highlight tool got a hold to them(#4 in particular). Maybe that was not the culprit, but photos tend to look like that when you lighten the shadows and reign in the highlights after the fact.....so that would be my guess on those. You might have to work on the outdoor thing again.......but the indoor shots are outstanding. It also looks like your shutter speed outside failed to stop the action.

    Your right about the shutter speed. I did not pick a high enough iso for the shade at that time of day and consequently my shutter speed was too slow. I should have caught it.
  • tnoisawtnoisaw Big grins Posts: 48Registered Users Big grins
    edited November 8, 2007
    DavidS wrote:
    I bounced the AB 800 off a 60" white umbrella. It was to their left, at a 45% angle, above them and about 3 feet away. I had a 42" silver reflector on the floor to their right.

    Thanks
  • Scott_QuierScott_Quier Lovin' It Posts: 6,524Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2007
    Of the fireplace shots (great idea for a background, BTW), I think I #3 the best. The pose is very good, especially with the younger brother's hand on his brother's shoulder, and the expresion on the little guy is interesting (thought his expression in #1 is kinda cool for anything other than a family portiat session). The lighting (use of AB strobe) seems to have worked well for you. You have nicely soft and controls shadows - giving the photo just the right feeling of depth. Well done there! What did you use for a light modifier?

    In #4, if the shirts are white, I think you have a WB issue here as they appear to be blue to me.

    #5 is a nice shot, but like George, I think this would have been better in a little more open space, or at least further from the background trees - to throw them OOF a bit. But I really like the concept here.
  • DavidSDavidS Major grins Posts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2007
    Thanks for the nice words, feedback and help Scott.

    You asked about the light modifier. I used an umbrella and a reflector. There is a detailed explanation earlier in the post.
  • photogmommaphotogmomma Enormous giggles Posts: 1,644Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 9, 2007
    I LOVE #3... I just with the older boy had a cooler expression, but I love how he's posed... And the younger boy? OMG! He's precious!!

    #5 just kills me.... the little boy is hilarious!

    #6 - he just looks SO mischievous! I LOVE that!!

    #7 is really fun. Would love to see it in B&W!

    I really enjoyed these, but as usual, I like the less posed ones. Very fun!! (And adorable kids...)
  • DavidSDavidS Major grins Posts: 1,279Registered Users Major grins
    edited November 10, 2007
    I LOVE #3... I just with the older boy had a cooler expression, but I love how he's posed... And the younger boy? OMG! He's precious!!

    #5 just kills me.... the little boy is hilarious!

    #6 - he just looks SO mischievous! I LOVE that!!

    #7 is really fun. Would love to see it in B&W!

    I really enjoyed these, but as usual, I like the less posed ones. Very fun!! (And adorable kids...)

    Andi, thanks for all the nice things you said. I really enjoyed working with them. It was a lot of fun.
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