First Portraits C&C + Catch lights Q's

Started Jun 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
Michael Thomas Mitchell
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Re: First Portraits C&C + Catch lights Q's
In reply to nemesix, Jun 12, 2012

What was your initial approach to lighting? I ask because it looks as if there is none. I don't intend to be mean or anything... just want to help, and it's not helpful to say "not bad" when they are, in fact, pretty bad. These shot demonstrate a totally random approach. Get a book and start with one light. You need to approach lighting from the standard setups, learning about keys, fills, accents, backgrounds, etc. Then light modification, from umbrellas to softboxes to bare bulbs, snoot, and grids.

Retouching... you already suspect they are overdone. And they are. Very overdone.

Don't worry if this is harsh. You are just beginning. There will be a lot of hits, misses, and everything in between. Learn from failure just as much as successes. But just don't try to learn at random. Learn intelligently.

nemesix wrote:

I recently got some basic lighting (speedlites/stands and home-made diffusers) to start learning some basic portrait photography, using helpless victims family members as subjects. I know my camera (Panasonic FZ150) is not good for this kind of thing but I'm not quite ready to get a DSRL.

Anyway, here's some of my beginner's attempts, I would love any C&C on these. Personally I like #3 best, but I felt that the women are too soft in general? I smoothed the skin in Photoshop but maybe a little too much.

Also, I don't feel great about the eye catch lights when you can see the flash diffuser and the pop-up flash trigger at the same time. Is there some sort of rule about what constitutes a "good" set of catch lights from a "bad" set?

Thanks for looking!

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