Friday, April 10, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Constructive Feedback Friday

As you can tell this is my first real post to the blog that I set up back in October 2008. It's crazy that I have never posted anything to it. Life has just gotten in the way :)

I recently found the I ♥ Faces blog and love it. I love seeing other people's photos and learning from them. I have a passion for photography and have become completely obsessed with it for the past three years.

I took this photo last month of my youngest son, Jack. The sky was overcast that afternoon. I love his expression in this shot. This is a typical face I see from him and was so happy to be able to catch it on film.

Here is the SOOC shot. I took it using my 50 mm 1.4 lens. As you can see it is a little dark and the colors are too dreary for my taste. The yellow bush in the background was a brilliant golden yellow during this time, but it seems too muted in this shot. EXIF data : f/4.0, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, 50 mm.

In Photoshop I adjusted levels and ran MCP's Eye Doctor for this version. This edit is just OK to me. I am still looking for that "Wow"!

I decided to try one more action and ran Pioneer Woman's Colorized and love this one. This is from her 2nd set and if you don't have her free set of Photoshop actions, then you should jump on over to her site and download them. They are really fun!

The only thing that I don't like about this last edit is that I completely lost the golden colors of the bush in the background. However, I do love that my son becomes the focus of the shot where the background may have taken away from him before. What do you think?

I appreciate all of your thoughts and I plan on becoming a regular on this site. Thanks for stopping by!


Mrs. MadGenius said...

I love this photo, he definitely has personality :)

I tried to bring out the brightness of the background while not over powering his face. I used curves and color balance to lighten his face, a quick and light sharpening of his eyes and a very light vignette so the viewer focuses on him, not the pretty yellow leaves. :)
my edit

Cathy said...

I love this photo. I love the intensity of your son's look.

I really had fun playing around with it. Unfortuneately I can't exactly what I did because I played with it a lot. I adjusted the black slider for a couple selected colors - including yellow, black, and grey. I played with levels. I did an unsharp mask on the main image. And adjusted the brightness and contrast slightly on the whole image. Also, added an S-curve to the main image. I kept a copy of my original. Then selected all layers except the original and merged them at this point. Then, I did a sharpness and also a brightness and contrast just for the eyes. I added a quick mask (alt- the layer mask button). I painted the dark portion of the eyes with white to make this layer show through. Then, I decreased my opacity of this layer until I liked the effect. I also used the healing brush on a few spots.

Here is a link to my edit.

drewmark19 said...

I love the final edit you did. It helped lighten the face and reduce the shadows. When taking the picture, it would be great if you could turn him so that the light would hit those beautiful eyes. This would make them absolutely WOW! I know that busy boys don't always cooperate in that way, though, which makes it nice to have Photoshop. :)

theArthurClan said...

I am in complete agreement with drewmark19. I think the thing that would bother me most about this photo is the shadowing and lack of light on his face. It seems like all of the light came behind him which makes it impossible to have any beautiful catchlights in his eyes.

One of the biggest "photography moments" for me was when it clicked that indirect light and open shade were the types of lighting situations I needed to find when shooting my subjects.

That said, even when you are using indirect light (ie. standing next to a home where the light can bounce off the siding) and open shade (ie. sitting on the shaded driveway next to a home) you need to look for the source of light at all times. See what direction the light is coming from and then let that light capture the catchlights that you'll see in your husband's eyes.

By always looking for the indirect light that can be captured in the eyes of your subject, you will see your photography transform for the better!

co-founder of I ♥ Faces