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Do you like the lights?
Old 02-14-2005, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you like the lights?


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Please don\'t think I\'m. . .
Old 02-15-2005, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Picking on you. There is little wrong with your lighting as far as it goes and is common among glamour and fashion photographers.The problem as I see it is that the lighting is so flat that most of the facial character is lost. A good MUA will use cosmetic contouring so that this flat lighting will not overpower the face. I think too many of the photographers that post here fail to see this deficiency. Too many of the models are either unaware of the effect of the high powered lighting and apply their makeup too light or don’t know how to contour. Face Forward, a book by Kevin Acoin, covers the subject quite well and should be in every model and Photographer’s library. The neat part is that with Photoshop you can do it after the fact.
To me the center of attraction in glamour is the eyes. With proper contouring the face frames the eyes making them pop. Here’s how to do it:
Open any head shot. (face on is easiest)
Create a new dodge and burn layer. Edit>fill>use: 50%gray
Set Mode to Overlay
This layer is now your means to dodge and burn your image. NEVER EVER use dodge and burn tools on the image. By using a lyer if you don’t like it just toss it and nothing is lost.
Using this layer select a large soft brush set to about 15% opacity black. brush around the face starting across the top half of the forehead (this is important), around the side of the head and jaw line. I usually try the frame the eyes with an inverted triangle that runs from the outside of the eyes down to the outside of the mouth meeting about halfway to the bottom of the chin. Remember light areas appear to come forward and dark areas appear to recede. I then make the brush smaller and burn above the eye to the brow and down the edges of the nose. At this point I change the color of the brush to white and dodge an area just under the eyes, a thin stripe down the center of the nose and an upside down half moon on the top of the chin if it looks like it needs it. There some dodge and burn things you can do to eyes like cleaning up the whites and lightening the Irises. I also burn the lips a little.
I think the arms and the chest on these two images were a tad hot so I’d burn them in just enough so that it looks like a good tan.
Looks pretty grotesque to this point but this i just so that you can see what you’ve done. Now reduce the opacity of the D&B layer until the obvious isn’t so obvious. About fifty % if you are heavy handed like me. Now for the test. Click the D&B layer off and on to get the full impact. I takes a little practice but I’ve yet to see an image that can’t be improved with just a little D&B.
Check your E-mail
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Re: Do you like the lights?
Old 02-15-2005, 01:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you talking about the twinkle lights in the BG? I like them, but if it was me, I would change the color to compliment the foreground colors more. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Is it just some christmas lights out of focus? Or something more fancy?

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Re: Do you like the lights?
Old 02-15-2005, 01:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think they work in the shot of the couple. With the model by herself, it'd be nice to see more intensity and a blurring effect. Maybe different colors.

Paul
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Re: Do you like the lights?
Old 02-15-2005, 03:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not convinced that they add anything to the photo. However, your little twinkle lights don't really cause much distraction either...

The poses, models, and lighting are otherwise very good. The cropping on the other hand is a little unconventional for me. The dangling finger at the bottom of the second photo, the cropping though the right half of your male model’s torso, and chopping off half of her left arm in both photos bothers me more than the lights.

Aloha from Hawaii,

Michael

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Re: Please don\'t think I\'m. . .
Old 02-15-2005, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips... I will try it and repost..... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Re: Do you like the lights?
Old 02-15-2005, 10:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They are net christmas lights.... Like you get to hang over a bush. and then I put them way out of focus...
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Re: Please don\'t think I\'m. . .
Old 02-15-2005, 11:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Please don\'t think I\'m. . .
Old 02-15-2005, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Very nicely done. I do believe that the second looks better.

Jim

what happened to the color of the lights from the first to the second?
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Re: Please don\'t think I\'m. . .
Old 02-15-2005, 02:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd like to see your half way version.... If that makes any sense. The one that you say looks grotesque. I'm interested in seeing where all you are doing the dodging. I've never seen this but a step by step tutorial would be very informative.

Jim
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