Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro lens, f/11, 1/200s, ISO 200. Copyright Levi Sim

Most of the time, when I’m making a portrait I have a million things running through my mind all at once: How bright is the light? How soft is the light? Is the light flattering? Is the pose flattering? Is my subject comfortable? Is she enjoying herself? Are my jokes too cheesy? Did I have lunch?

There’s a lot to think about, but I’d like to encourage you to consider one last thing: how do the details look? As you can see from the image above, I didn’t think about the wrinkles in her shirt until after I’d made the first frame. Fortunately, I did notice the wrinkles in her shirt over her belly and spent ten seconds smoothing them out before clicking again (well, I asked her to smooth them out). Sure, I could fix something simple like that in Photoshop, and if I did that every time I would surely bemuch more efficient at using Photoshop than I am. But if I take the ten seconds to refine my image beforehand, I can then engage with her and make more images of different expressions without having to fix them all later.

It’s a little thing, but someone pointed it out for me and improved my work, so I thought maybe you’d benefit from hearing it, too.

Incidentally, these images are straight from the camera, save the toning. I used the yellow filter option in my monochrome settings (most modern DSLR’s have this option–check your manual) to brighten and smooth the skin tones. The toning is a Lightroom/Adobe Camera RAW setting Scott Kelby has shared. Go to the Split Toning Tab in the Develop Module and set the Shadows to a Hue of 28 and Saturation of 17.

______

This Post Sponsored by:

lynda.com Learn photography anytime, anywhere, and at your own pace—from bite-sized tutorials to comprehensive courses. Try lynda.com free for 10 days by visiting lynda.com/ Photofocus.

Mosaic A complete solution for photographers using Lightroom who want to manage and share their photos. You can easily view images with their iOS app or web service. Plus your photos are backed up to the cloud with several plans to match your needs.

Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom for US$9.99/mo. Limited-time offer for Photoshop CS3 and later customers. Get it here.

500px Join the world’s premier photo community. 500px lets you discover, share, buy and sell inspiring photographs.

Drobo Not only is Drobo 5D fast, but it’s easy-to-use, expandable, flexible, and protected.

The Topaz Labs Image Enhancement bundle. Open up a world of creative possibilities with a seamless, integrated workflow. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to look like one. Click here and use the code photofocus to get a 15% discount.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Ahh, you got me! I thought this was going to be insight into some great post techniques, but you actually are emphasising getting it right in camera, tricky tricky! Great advice though to slow down and get more right in camera!

    Reply
  2. Good way to say it!

    Thanks Levi for recommending the Get it Right in Camera.

    I hate sitting in front of the computer.

    Reply
  3. Caught you, Greg! Pablo, I like finishing my pictures on the computer, and reealizing my vision…but spending time fixing stuff makes me grumpy.

    Reply
  4. It such is amazing how the tiny little things can sure add up on a batch edit.

    Reply

Let us know your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About Levi Sim

Photography is my life, and I'd like my photography to be part of your life, too. Whether I make pictures with you or help you learn to make your vision pop out of the camera, I'm happy to help.

Category

Adobe, Photography, Portrait, Shooting, Technique & Tutorials

Tags

,