Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simple Family Portrait (Basic)

UPDATE (12/6/10): added rim light comparison shots.

After our Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to take a quick family portrait at home.  The settings were fairly simple.  First, I reduced the ambient by selecting sync speed and not-so-high 400 ISO.  Second, for the key light, I used an SB-800 for on-camera bounce flash to bounce off camera left (TTL mode, 0 FEC).  Third, I added a rim light on camera right and slightly behind us.  I used a YN-560 on manual mode (digital slave mode) at the lowest power setting of 1/128.  From there I just kept firing the remote shutter (Meike MK-RC7) hoping to get a decent pose.

UPDATE: Here is the difference that adding a rimlight made:
(I accidentally used continuous shutter and the YN-560 missed a few shots :) ).

For post-processing, I used Lightroom 3 to add a vignette (not much else), and used Photoshop Elements 9 to remove the clutter in the background.  I noticed that PSE9's content-aware spot-healing tool works better with small or thin objects.  For larger objects, I still have to clean up the results with the healing brush and cloning.  Here's the final shot again:

Just for fun here are some of the outtakes:


  1. Nice ones Mic, I only think you need to do two things, increase the brightness (or exposure) a bit, and do some sharpening before posting on the web.

    I'm really sorry for the sudden disappearance but I'm extremely occupied, I promise you I will write back to you soon.

    BTW: I took delivery of some new toys yesterday. As Joe says, more tk.

  2. Good to hear from you, friend, and congratulations on the new gear!

    The photo looks a bit soft because it's a little out of focus. I was forced to rely on the camera to choose the AF point. Maybe the new Topaz Infocus plugin can fix it. We'll see.

    As for the exposure, I'll try out your suggestions. Thanks!


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