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Help with high school senior picture

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2007, 01:13 PM
thekevster08 thekevster08 is offline
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Help with high school senior picture

Hello, I'm taking my own senior pictures, and in my search for photoshop advice, i came across this site. I must say, I've been looking for information for about 3 months now and this site is fantastic, I just had to join.

Anyway, after reading through all the basic and retouching tutorials and the first 10 pages of threads in this forum, I decided to give it a try. I've been messing around with them for a couple of days, and I just can't seem to get it. I think that the problem is that i don't really know what i want.

Most of my friends have gone to this guy:


I really like his work. I can tell that he edits them, but they don't seem to be overly edited. They look real. I would like for mine to also.

Anyways, here is a sample picture, if anyone could just tell me what they would do to it, that would be a great help. Sorry I'm so vague, I'm just relatively new and don't know where to start with this.



Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2007, 02:27 PM
BillFrey BillFrey is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Hi thekevster08,

This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but a good portrait starts with the basics of posing. The posted photo has many things wrong with it, including a tree sticking out of your head.

I suggest reading about posing and then taking the photo over.

http://www.lumitouch.com/benstudiotutorial/rules.html
http://lumitouch.com/benstudiotutorial/index.html
http://jzportraits.home.att.net/
http://www.aesphotography.com/shootprep.htm
http://www.photographybyhartman.com/what_to_wear.asp
http://www.stonephotography.com/gallery_clothing.html

Hope it helps.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2007, 05:39 PM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Nice Snap Shot..
Removed the tree form the head by changing background
I added another light, high and to the left using Filter>Render>lighting effect..
healed the face some, levels, curves, sharpened

It would have been nice to see your hands and also would probably be better if your Knee was not almost as big as your head

Follow BillFrey's advise above and Practice, practice, practice.... U can DO IT!!
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File Type: jpg Grad.jpg (99.4 KB, 168 views)
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2007, 08:41 PM
thekevster08 thekevster08 is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

yeah, your right, not quite what i was looking for haha. Still, it is helpful. There is just so much to learn. Its nice having people sort of guiding me along. Hopefully, when i retake them in the spring, they will be much better. In the meantime though, with the holidays coming up, id kind of like to have something to pass out to my family and such. So, what about this one. I know it probably has problems too, but is it any better. I took like 20 different poses, and i narrowed it down to about 5 that i like. If its better could you tell me how you would go about editing it, and if this one is bad too, can you tell me like what sort of things are wrong with it.

I really do appreciate any help, even if its not the answer im looking for, any critique will only make me better, so its all welcome.

As for the second picture, i see what you mean, that background looks a lot better. I definatly see what you mean with the knee. It looks good. Did you work on the eyes any?

Thanks!

Last edited by thekevster08; 12-09-2007 at 08:46 PM. Reason: didn't see another post
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2007, 09:02 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Location: Grand Junction CO USA
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Try these things:

Use a lens with a longer FL.

Either turn down the flash or use a reflector, you have too much fill light and its in the wrong place.

Use a shallow DOF so the background would not be so sharp.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2007, 10:03 PM
Gary Gary is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Duplicated the original, increased the overall saturation to give it some 'pop' using curves in the A and B channels of LAB and changing the blend mode to Soft Light at approx 50% opacity; copied & pasted this to the top of the RGB version; selected the sky and reflection using Color Range and with that selection active, used Selective colors (Cyan & Black) to color the sky; added clouds to the sky and water using a white cloud brush; copied and pasted his smile from the first shot to this one, masking to blend; touched up the few skin blemishes with the Healing Brush Tool; softened the BG a bit and then applied sharpening to his eyes, mouth and hair.
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File Type: jpg Saturated-with-Sky.jpg (99.0 KB, 178 views)

Last edited by Gary; 12-09-2007 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Add photo
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2007, 12:08 AM
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grannysdc grannysdc is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Gary, Nice job on bringing out the colors and fixing the sky..

thekevster08, I don't know what camera you are using so I will use my point and shoot as an example... for normal use it stays on its wide angle setting which is equivalent to about 35MM... A good portrait lens is usually around 90 to 105MM.. If you have the capability, use your telephoto to increase your Focal Length, which will also decrease your depth of field as Mike said..

Have whoever is taking the pictures look at the whole viewing screen instead of just the face in the middle and try not to amputate any body parts.. like hands or feet (try to make them part of the composition) If you must cut off an arm or leg.. then look toward a head and shoulder shot..

If you do chop off arms and legs you can always crop later, as I did here .. Also, keep all those other shots for replacement of bad smiles and eyes later.. That way you can salvage an otherwise bad shot because of a blink, or whatever.. as Mike did above with the smile..

The second photo you provided seems very awkward to me.. It seems like there are two separate pictures just laying side by side.. One of ducks and one of you.. To me it looks like there is a line just behind your back that seems to separate the photo in half.. Which is one reason I cropped it as I did

What program are you using to fix these photos... This is an area for learning to do it yourself... not to have the work done for you.. (which BTW is why I left some things unfinished.. Tis just a sample of what can be done by you)..

I am looking forward to you showing us some samples of your efforts so we can give you further guidance if needed and/or critiques..

Click for Info on how to size and attach images to your posts
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File Type: jpg ducks.jpg (47.4 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg Grad2.jpg (99.9 KB, 110 views)
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2007, 02:22 AM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Granny,

That's what I was thinking - Ducks! :-)
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2007, 02:50 AM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Hi thekevster08,

There is always something you can do to an image to make it better, but if you set off with a really good image ....well

Image with and without frame.
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File Type: jpg DSC02170-copy1.jpg (70.2 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg DSC02170-copy.jpg (72.1 KB, 95 views)
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2007, 05:24 PM
thekevster08 thekevster08 is offline
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Re: Help with high school senior picture

Okay, I gave it a try. I realize that the sky, sky reflection needs a lot of work. Honestly I didnt even touch the water. I was just trying to see if I could do the color correction right.

I'm using photoshop CS 2 by the way.

I just boosted the saturation a bit for the picture, then I used this tutorial for skin things, then i lightened the eyes a bit. I also used liquify for the smile. I was not very confident in trying to totally replace the mouth, so i just adjusted that one.

Yeah, sorry about the ducks. Mom thought it would be cute. But yeah, I see what you mean with the whole cropping thing. It does help.

I totally understand where you are coming from with the "dont do it all for you thing" thats not what I wanted at all. I want to learn how to do it, I just was so overwhelmed looking at eveyone else's pictures on this site. I had no idea where to start.

Anyway, here is the picture (attached). Let me know what you think.

Thanks
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File Type: jpg online-2.jpg (96.4 KB, 110 views)
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