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Slack
11-02-2009, 05:13 PM
Okay, so I got my first paid job, but it didn't work out how I'd hoped. I am didn't get paid very much, but if this turns out well then it could mean more work for me.

I did not pick the location and I was rushed, so it the shot wasn't ideal. Well here it goes:

Click photos to check the full sized shots
All color-
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3422/4069322793_38ce4ab80d.jpg (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3422/4069322793_cc469a038c_o.jpg)

BW BG-
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2617/4070080966_afc421c366.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2617/4070080966_0cda83967a_o.jpg)

I layered the shot and gaussian blurred the background and tried my best to blend it with the family. I am new at this and I could use a little help. Thanks in advance! (Please don't insert dogs humping in the background, please.) :lol:

MoLS
11-02-2009, 05:18 PM
We can't get to the full rez images since they're private - you can post a direct link to the full size jpg without making them public.

These look pretty good!

What kind of help are you looking for, exactly?

Stime187
11-02-2009, 05:22 PM
What's the question/problem? Both look good. I prefer the original color if you're asking for an opinion...

Slack
11-02-2009, 05:26 PM
Well, if you look at the full size shots, I am having some trouble seperating the edges of the husband's left shoulder/arm from the background. It shows up as a line and I am just not sure how to blend it more smoothly.


I guess I just presumed that because the quality of my work isn't quite up to par with a lot of the other photogs on the forum, that I probably need some help with the final touches on this shot. :o

Do the links work now?

Warus
11-02-2009, 05:31 PM
I only noticed that when you pointed it out to be honest. You could Chop a dog over the top of it to hide it. I would probably darken the floor tile in the small area in front of the pot as the lighter area between the pot and the dark tile makes it look like a small halo effect along the womans bum. Teach her to smile and not grin like that too lol.

ride5000
11-02-2009, 05:32 PM
mike, it looks like a pretty strong flash was used.

in this case, an immediate automatic darkening of the BG with no consequences could have occurred just by increasing shutter speed. doing so has basically no effect on the flash illumination because the flash itself is so quick, but the "ambient" light will be affected. you will be limited by the sync speed attainable between camera and flash(es). this has the advantage that it is free.

a second option is to close down the aperture. this has the DISadvantage in that the flash light IS affected, so you'll either need to increase ISO, or increase flash power output. the first option introduces noise and decreases DR, the second decreases battery life and increases recycle time. not quit free, but it still doesn't cost any money.

the final option is to get faster glass, and shoot it wide open for shallowest DOF. work close to your subjects with a fast, long lens and everything else "disappears." this costs a lot of money! :lol:

you did a decent job of masking, which is 99% of the battle. in fact i did not immediately notice they were masked, and i'm pretty critical! that same mask can be used to burn down the BG after the fact.

MoLS
11-02-2009, 05:45 PM
I've always had trouble getting something natural looking after masking a background to blur it.

I'm not sure how you did it here, but to get less haloing I might suggest that after you mask the background to copy it to a new layer and then use the clone stamp to paint in some background behind where the people would be before you blur it. That way when it is blurred it isn't blurring white into the background and creating the halos. Maybe.

Slack
11-02-2009, 08:39 PM
Thanks for the tips. I will see what I can do to spruce it up a bit.

Slack
11-02-2009, 08:49 PM
mike, it looks like a pretty strong flash was used.

in this case, an immediate automatic darkening of the BG with no consequences could have occurred just by increasing shutter speed. doing so has basically no effect on the flash illumination because the flash itself is so quick, but the "ambient" light will be affected. you will be limited by the sync speed attainable between camera and flash(es). this has the advantage that it is free.

a second option is to close down the aperture. this has the DISadvantage in that the flash light IS affected, so you'll either need to increase ISO, or increase flash power output. the first option introduces noise and decreases DR, the second decreases battery life and increases recycle time. not quit free, but it still doesn't cost any money.

the final option is to get faster glass, and shoot it wide open for shallowest DOF. work close to your subjects with a fast, long lens and everything else "disappears." this costs a lot of money! :lol:

you did a decent job of masking, which is 99% of the battle. in fact i did not immediately notice they were masked, and i'm pretty critical! that same mask can be used to burn down the BG after the fact.

I was using my two Alien Bees B400 for this shot. I knew I blew it out a bit, but I was being rushed. If you look at the picture, you can see that the parents are practically holding the little brat in place while I took the shots.

I do have a Sigma APO EX 70-200 2.8, but I my sync cord wasn't long enough and I haven't had the spare cash for wireless triggers. I did the shots with my Canon 28-105 USM.

Like I said, I haven't shot outside with my flash units before, so I was just guessing at it really. I have definitely learned a few things for the future.

Kilonad
11-02-2009, 11:05 PM
Try to get a flash off to the side somewhere behind them, use it as a rim light. That alone will give you a strong separation effect - look for it in just about every TV show and movie. It's almost always there, although sometimes it's subtle.

Slack
11-03-2009, 05:15 AM
I really wanted to do that with this shot, but the yard made it impossible to do. On the right side of the porch, the yard dropped down at a severe angle. I was already using something to prop up one of the legs on my light stand to keep it somewhat level.

Slack
11-03-2009, 06:14 AM
For reference, this is the original:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2754/4071881250_678d69670a_o.jpg

ride5000
11-03-2009, 06:53 AM
actually it looks like a lot of flash light is hitting the bg. that will make darkening the bg by increasing shutter speed useless.

your best option here is to LITERALLY separate the fg/bg. you need distance between the two to provide isolation, both with light levels from your flash and with focus from depth of field.