Friday, January 27, 2012

photography answers

Thank you for your questions. I still have a lot to learn but I'm happy to share to those just starting out what I have learned so far, and what works for me. Hope you find this helpful. 

Do you edit/color adjust eyes? Do you know how to do it in LR?
I often do edit eyes. Just a touch though. I really can not stand googly alien eyes! If you overdo the eyes it looks so unnatural. I do not know how to do it in LR yet. I do them in PSE, if needed. 
In this photo I used PW's "bring out the eyes" action at a very low opacity.

I would say it depends if they need to be sharpened/brightened! Just please do NOT overdo them!!

How do you get such tack sharp focus? 
1. One of the biggest ways I have improved my photography was learning how to properly focus. For awhile I depended solely on auto-area AF. Which isn't bad. But I wanted to nail the eyes (or whatever else I wanted sharpest in the photo). So I switched to single-point AF and haven't looked back. I toggle my way around for the focus to land exactly where I want. You can read about that here!

Take this photo. If I would have let auto focus choose I could have missed this moment. But I locked focus on the little boy and therefore kept him in focus.

2. High Pass Filter for sharpening. In PSE-- Hit Ctrl + J.---then go up to Filter->Other-> High Pass (I usually pick 3-4 you want to see a light outline of your image), then pick soft light (where your layers are) and adjust the opacity down to 30% (or whatever looks best without sharpening too much)

3. Get the right exposure by watching your meter in your slr. As said in my previous post underexposing can really ruin a photo. And of course a low shutter speed. I use at least 1/200 second for moving subjects. Though if possible I like to go higher.

4. For my Facebook and blog I use Paint the Moon's PSE action FB resize. It sizes the photo down to the right upload size and sharpens it. You can get that for free HERE -just become a fan!

What picture size is the best? On my Nikon d3000 there are options to take pictures in small, medium, and large.
In shoot in large. I figure it will come in handy if I wanted to crop way in on a shot. 

What posts were most helpful for you when learning?
Honestly, I learned a lot by just reading a ton of photography blogs. Somewhere along the lines I would find a helpful tip here and there. So I can't point out exact posts, sorry. 
But I did read a lot of Pioneer Woman's photography posts.  And pretty much any Ashley Sisk post for post processing! Ashley is seriously awesome. Thanks Ashley!


During a session like this, how often are you evaluating the photos you just took and tweaking your settings? Do you pick your settings at the beginning of a session and stick with them? Aren't you afraid of missing that perfect moment because you're fussing with your camera? Maybe it's just because I'm slow in manual mode right now, but my daughter is long gone by the time I get all my settings the way I want them, and that's just at the beginning - I don't even try to evaluate things midway through. But then I run the risk of having a whole batch turn out off. Surely you've run into this with older children, right? Thoughts? Advice?
Yes, I try to check for just about every shot. You never know if the light has slightly changed. Which could definitely ruin many precious moments. 5 copyF'Usually I will have my ISO and aperture set to where I want, and as long as nothing major changes, I toggle my shutter speed to right the right exposure each time. You can do that without pulling the camera back, but I'd still suggest checking your image and histogram every few shots. You will get faster in manual with practice. 
This little boy did not want to smile or even look at the camera. So I had followed him around while his mommy tried everything to get him to crack a smile. You never know when that will happen. Thankfully, my settings were right on and I was able to get this photo.

Can you tell children are my favorite to photograph? Toughest clients, but most rewarding! 


Elisha(: said...

great pictures!! :) I'm your latest follower.. Follow me back??(:

Katie said...

Thanks for all of the advice and tips!!! :):)

Katrina said...

Thanks for the awesome tips! I've been a long time admirer of your work, it's simply beautiful! I was hoping you might also share an overview of your clean editing process, specifically how you get such great skin tones (nice, even, creamy, ckean, fresh, natural skin - not blotchy, red, orange or yellow tones). Any advice would be great!

Kat said...

You are so very talented. Thanks for sharing these! :)

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