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- Nadezda on Composition..”Rule of thirds”
- Guillermo B. Weaver on Keep the eyes in sharp focus in portraiture…
- Anonymous on Composition..”Rule of thirds”
- Conrad on How to protect your images from copyright infringement.
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Here’s a fast and simple tutorial for retouching portraits in Photoshop.
Portrait retouching can be accomplished using a variety of tools from Lightroom to third party software such as onOne. This is my preferred method since it allows you the most control over your post processing retouch. If you use something other than Photoshop such as Gimp or Paint Shop this tutorial can also be applied to the software of your choice as well.
Here’s an example of a before and after image. I shot this model about three years ago and used this post processing retouching method to smooth her skin.
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When composing an image, the addition of geometric patterns or basic shapes such as lines, circles, squares and triangles can add structure and organization within that photograph. It can help the photographer convey an idea or feeling to the viewer. The overall purpose of this is simple, to keep the viewers eye within the frame of the image. The viewer may perceive only a “pleasing image” without ever knowing or asking why.
There is a psychology behind the use of geometric patters in art and how the human mind perceives each of these shapes. Geometric shapes have been used in all types of art throughout the centuries and photography is no exception. The human mind perceives squares and rectangles to suggest conformity. Circles suggest completeness, triangles represent tension and lines represent movement. Be aware there are variations of these shapes such as vertical versus horizontal lines versus diagonal with each representing something different but the basic idea is the same. The goal being to engage the viewer.
There are two basic forms of geometry in photography, true and perceived. A true form would be the rectangular window or doorway on a house. A perceived triangle could be three people in an image that when connected by an imaginary line form a triangle. Which form is used weather perceived or true depends on the opportunity presented to the photographer at the time.
This is one of the techniques used in composition. Examples of other techniques used include the use of opposing colors and perspective Again, depending on the subject, intent and overall goal of the message to be conveyed by the photographer will determine the technique used.
The above image shows an example of use of a few geometric shapes within an image. Also note the the image is in black and white to place emphasis on the shapes rather then the color version which may distract the viewers attention from the basic geometric shapes.
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Adding color to your images using flash gels can give an ordinary image a little “pop”. Gels are generally plastic colored filters that are placed over a light source, in this case a flash, that add or correct color in a photograph. In this image, 2 flashes were used. One on the model that was filtered with a warming colored gel and one hidden behind the pillow on the scanner table with a blue gel to give the scanner a high tech bluish “glow”. Color used was a personal preference and could have been any number of colors that gels come in.
Sometimes gels are used to correct color in a scene. If shooting a scene that has ambient florescent lighting with a flash the lighting color in the resulting photo can be an undesired orange. To correct this, a gel can be placed over the flash to compensate.
Gels are fairly inexpensive and a great way to add a splash interest in a photo or correct unwanted color.
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When shooting images that require the use of flash or strobes consider the use of off camera lighting. Controlling the position and angle of the light source can yield much better results than using a flash connected to the hot shoe of your camera. When the light source is in line with the lens the image tends to look cold and flat. By removing this source from the camera and moving it at an angle to the subject the light becomes more natural and pleasing. The angle used will vary depending on the mood the photographer is trying to make. I shot the image of this model in a small studio using three off camera lights. The look here was a soft, evenly lit model.
The diagram below represents the actual lighting setup used in the studio. Similar results can be achieved using one strobe and a reflector or two. The softness of the light is achieved by using light diffusers. This is a material placed between the light source and subject to help soften the light. In this case a soft box was used as the main or “Key” light. The strobe on the right was used to fill in shadows created by the key light and the strobe behind the model was used to light the screen in the background. A fairly simple but effective setup for the look I wanted to achieve.