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Thread: Low key home photography

  1. #1

    Unhappy Low key home photography

    Hi all the master out there,

    I am Mike, new to photography. I would love to have some help from everyone here. This is my first posting here. And I love to see the standard of everyone's photography improve day by day.

    1. In which area is critique or feedback to be given?
    I am not really sure how and which area to improve in this photograph because I am very new to it. I would like hear different feedback, like maybe how to pose, what more can I do to the PP, etc

    2. What were you hoping to achieve with this image?
    I would love to create great low key photography with the subjects feelings been capture at that moment. At the same time, the drop off on the male subject is because I want the focus to be on the female subject. Is that right?

    3. Under what circumstance was the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Low light with 1 flash shooting through umbrella on the right and a LED table lamp with control at the lowest to have a small fill on the left.

    NIKON D600
    Exposure Time 1/8 secs
    ISO - 400
    Exposure 0 step
    Focal length 36mm
    Max Aperture 4
    Metering mode Center Weighted Average

    During all the time, I am having a conversation with the female subject and using a remote while looking into her eyes (lol I am the male subject facing her). Took several shots and choose this because her smile is lovely.

    Afterwhich, PP with lightroom only as the photo is underexposed. Adjusted till I felt ok with the present colour.


    4. Thread-starter's personal thoughts about the image.

    I think I am very lucky that we are looking into the eyes and managed to capture her smile. I hope I can work more on this low key photography.

    Your sharing would be everyone's benefit and I have to say thank you first. Thanks for reading.



    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    And I need some help to post the photos and directly appear here, so that everyone can view from here. Sorry for being so noob on all these.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Good attempt, but the following is just what i preferred ..


    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...e=3&permPage=1

    1) Find that the image color needs to go warm a bit .. looks ghastly .. or try b/w
    2) try adding a reflector on the left of the image to soften the shadows more. judging from the shadows, you place a 1 light source from the right of the image
    3) ask her to stand up while doing this type of shot .. I think ladies look unglam when their legs are wide open (its just me )
    4) try zooming in more


    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...e=3&permPage=1
    1) try to ask her to hug her belly instead of her leg, this way, you can arc her elbow in a natural manner and left side of the image will not look empty.
    2) There is too much black above the head for this pose .. zoom in more .. more more..
    3) tilt the guys head more towards the light so that you can see his features. he has this
    Last edited by TamadeZ; 15th May 2013 at 10:07 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Wow, thanks!!

    I will look into that. I like the elbow and the legs part that you mentioned. Yes I agree on the guy's feature too. All points taken note. Amazing feedback! Thanks!

  5. #5
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    My quick take on this:
    1. If you are using flash, you should not be shooting at so slow a shutter speed.
    2. You should use a smaller aperture.
    3. You can use a simple reflector as fill (white board, foam, etc).
    4. I would prefer if the picture is shot landscape orientation, so that you do not cut off your left arm, and your wife's foot.
    5. Flash exposure can be better managed.

  6. #6
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    help you pull the image here.


  7. #7
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    first impressions were: not sharp leh...

    be careful with the shadows. can't see your face. normally low key is for emo or dramatic photos. your happy wife and low key just doesn't seem to fit.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    i suggest a second hard-lit speedlite directly above as a kicker light. or you may float my DIY softbox (see articles and guides >> beyond basics) just overhead and out of frame.
    I found that a small softbox gave very very interesting shadow detail because of it's relatively small size but its diffuse light is soft enough to use up close)

    Your LED lamps might not work as the flash is pretty powerful.

    Yongnuo speedlights with generic radio trigger are pretty inexpensive (i got 2 speedlites + 2 receiver + 1 trigger all below $200. all pre-owned)

    You can kill the ambient lighting by shooting as fast as 1/200 or higher if your flash system supports high speed sync,

    Shoot F8 or more (narrower) since you are doing "studio". Extra depth of field is available at a cost of battery life/ electrical power, quite reasonable considering the photographic merits and the controlled environment.

    In post process you can select the black point using Levels, such that the image darkest points are where some unwanted bright spots are killed even further.

    Good luck.
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  9. #9

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Thanks everyone for the information and advices. Wow this is amazing and might be heavy for me to absorb. I shall try step by step with the recommendation.

    Btw, how can one pull the picture directly here? lol

  10. #10

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    right click on image in Facebook and select copy image url. then use
    Code:
     [img]url  [/img]
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  11. #11
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    i suggest a second hard-lit speedlite directly above as a kicker light. or you may float my DIY softbox (see articles and guides >> beyond basics) just overhead and out of frame.
    I found that a small softbox gave very very interesting shadow detail because of it's relatively small size but its diffuse light is soft enough to use up close)

    Your LED lamps might not work as the flash is pretty powerful.

    Yongnuo speedlights with generic radio trigger are pretty inexpensive (i got 2 speedlites + 2 receiver + 1 trigger all below $200. all pre-owned)

    You can kill the ambient lighting by shooting as fast as 1/200 or higher if your flash system supports high speed sync,

    Shoot F8 or more (narrower) since you are doing "studio". Extra depth of field is available at a cost of battery life/ electrical power, quite reasonable considering the photographic merits and the controlled environment.

    In post process you can select the black point using Levels, such that the image darkest points are where some unwanted bright spots are killed even further.

    Good luck.
    Actually for low key, there is not much need for a kicker light. For Low key, the most important thing is to use the shadows to accentuate lines and forms. The use of an umbrella might not be the best choice as it might be too soft and give too much light spill.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Actually for low key, there is not much need for a kicker light. For Low key, the most important thing is to use the shadows to accentuate lines and forms. The use of an umbrella might not be the best choice as it might be too soft and give too much light spill.
    So in this case, should use a light box for a better coverage of all the angles? I would love to create lines around the subject to give it a highlight. Not sure can I put a soft light behind the subject?

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    when using artificial lighting, you are controlling the lighting, light those areas you want to accent, hide the areas with shadows.
    to achieve this, you will need to learn how to use the light modifiers by understanding their characteristic.

    if you only have umbrella lighting, best is to go and check out some lighting tutorials, go and study what kind of results umbrella lighting deliver, when and why should use umbrella lighting? and use them to create the effect you want.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  14. #14

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    My humble comments:

    1) The pose needs to be adjusted. I see more hair than the face of the mother.
    2) I am not sure why the husband is semi naked, I don't find his figure attractive. I cannot see the husband's face either.
    3) I prefer them smiling and paying attention to the belly. Now it looks like the couple are smiling to one another and the belly is like "stand alone".

  15. #15
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by foosmike View Post
    So in this case, should use a light box for a better coverage of all the angles? I would love to create lines around the subject to give it a highlight. Not sure can I put a soft light behind the subject?
    Coverage is not key.. key is the transition between dark and light. You need to know what you want and use the appropriate light modifiers. I cannot tell you what to use, because I do not know what vision you have in your head. But umbrella is one of the worst modifiers you can use if you want to control light and shadows well, because umbrellas tend to spill light everywhere.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Actually for low key, there is not much need for a kicker light. For Low key, the most important thing is to use the shadows to accentuate lines and forms. The use of an umbrella might not be the best choice as it might be too soft and give too much light spill.
    actually i have not suggested any umbrella. I suppose you must be referring to TS's use of umbrella.

    I suggested using a small softbox. 20cm x 20cm . You can give it a try also, very interesting light.
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    actually i have not suggested any umbrella. I suppose you must be referring to TS's use of umbrella.

    I suggested using a small softbox. 20cm x 20cm . You can give it a try also, very interesting light.
    the effective use of softbox, is same size as your subject, and there is also an effective distance of how far a lightbox should be place away from your subject.

    I guess not much photographers know about this.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  18. #18
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Low key home photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    actually i have not suggested any umbrella. I suppose you must be referring to TS's use of umbrella.

    I suggested using a small softbox. 20cm x 20cm . You can give it a try also, very interesting light.
    In cases like this, I will prefer to use a gridded softbox.

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