Back Modifications (4)
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Just William

By ChrisWallace
This is my first attempt with lights, Using a Soft-box and BG light. The exposure was
estimated from the histogram. Any advice gratefully received.

Tags: General Portraits and people Flash and lighting

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MileJanjic 5 5 2
1 Oct 2014 2:59PM
You have worked well. It's a correct exposure for the theme. Continue practicing and, afterwards, go beyond...

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taggart Plus
15 47 14 United States
1 Oct 2014 3:37PM
Looks great!
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2119 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2014 4:11PM
Hi Chris, welcome to the Critique Gallery, I think it's the first time you've uploaded here? You've been on the site, I guess you know what we are about here...

Studio lighting isn't my area, but light is - looking at your portfolio, particularly your fungi shots, you understand light! (A surprising number of studio photographers don't...)

My only real quibble would be the ear. Light shining on and through a very thin bit of flesh can produce vivid colour, I want to tone down the yellow there. The highlight along the edge of the ear could also be toned down.

Plus I would prefer without anything on his lap - the reflected stripes, plus the light bit sticking up, spoil the lines, create a rather messy area. If his face was reflected there that could be fun. But difficult to set up.

Apart from that - brilliant! And what matters for me - it's alive, engaging, full of character and very funny.

I might crop about 1/3 of the space above his head off, that's all.

I'll try a quick modification, only a couple of minor tweaks. Thanks for a very enjoyable upload.
1 Oct 2014 4:19PM
Thank you for the comments Moira, much appreciated. I did notice the transparent ear but
didnt think of toning it down.
1 Oct 2014 4:31PM
Like the mod Moira, thank you
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4070 Canada
1 Oct 2014 5:02PM
Really nice shot Chris, youve done very well.

I have uploaded a mod with a differnt approach, cropping to A4, and re framing to add space at the top and right, crop from the bottom.

I altered the tone of the image, - it shows a slight blue and magenta tone thats corrected. Exposure reduced by -0.25.

Take a look and see what you think.


1 Oct 2014 5:12PM
Hi Willie,
Thank you for the mod, I like the tone change, an area I have problems with. I do calibrate my monitor.
The framing does suit the image. Nice one

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4070 Canada
1 Oct 2014 5:41PM
The tone change Chris is white balance, rather than anything with the monitor.

You set it manually, - what did you use as a setting? Did you measure the while balance and calibrate?

I will check back, - I can give you some tips if I know how you approached this.


mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2119 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2014 5:58PM
Re Willie's mods:

Quote:I have uploaded a mod with a different approach, cropping to A4, and re framing to add space at the top and right, crop from the bottom.

I looked at the placement / proportions, and wondered about cropping a bit from the bottom or adding space at the sides. I decided against that - just a crop at the top, which puts his head at a more natural level for my eyes. The placement looks a bit awkward, unfinished, but I think that goes with the pose. He's still in the process of settling into the frame, finding a comfortable bit of it. It's unusual but very effective. But I really like Willie's second mod.
Hoffy 15 262 16 England
1 Oct 2014 6:39PM
This is a cheeky chappy which you have captured well.
The pose and that smile is brilliant.
For a first attempt with lights this is very good, but you need to watch the level of light you have on the background. I find it harsh and effect the image a touch, In the gap between arm and body it is very bright. This is starting to burn out the edges to the model. I also find that the bright area on the screen of the ipad catches the eye, just leaning it towards to body by a very small amount would have solved this.
But great effort for first time.

1 Oct 2014 7:25PM
Thank you all for the great comments and advice. A very worthwhile process.
For Willie, I use raw and tweek the white balance and color temperature in lightroom.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4070 Canada
1 Oct 2014 9:00PM
Chris, when you say tweak, do you use a reference for what it should be, or how it looks on your screen, - keeping in mind the monitor may not be calibrated?

next shoot with the lights, set them up, and take a test shot with a white, or an 18% grey card in the shot. You can but cardbourd crads at any decent photo shop very cheaply.

Shoot in Auto WB, then in RAW, select the white balance tool, and click it on the white or grey card. This will set your white balance correctly. Read it and set all other shots in that same session to the measured white balance.

Give it a try, - its well worth the extra effort.

1 Oct 2014 9:13PM
Thank you for that Willie, I do it on screen by eye, I have a grey card so will take your advice.
Thanks again for your help

dudler Plus
16 996 1553 England
1 Oct 2014 10:17PM
A beautifully-caught expression. Possibly a grandparental favourite!

A really good balance between background light and subject lighting - if you overdo the background light, you get rather awful flare effects. David Bailey has spoken about this from time to time, as he almost trademarked bright white backgrounds.

That ear troubles me - it looks the wrong colour. I don't think this is light coming through - there's not enough of the background light to do this, I reckon. I tried reducing saturation a little, and dodging, but it needs something more subtle than I can manage.

I did go for stretching the canvas a little, and I cloned out the bit of seat by his right knee.
rontear Plus
16 21 8 England
2 Oct 2014 12:14AM
Expressive moment Chris, captivating.
FeatherFriend 12 38 217 England
6 Oct 2014 4:43PM
Bit of a cheek coming from me Chris as I don't know the first thing about portraiture but apart from the colour of the ear the little boys thumb sticking up on his right hand draws my attention and no one has mentioned that so it must be me. Other than that it looks great.

PS: (I prefer to be shot against the wall rather than have the hangman's noose and die a slow death)

6 Oct 2014 5:38PM
All comments gratefully received Geoff, all part of the learning curve

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