It is all about the light, isn’t it?

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich, Photography, Portrait Work, Prescott, Prints, RLC Design Leave a Comment

Yesterday a customer came in to see about some printing.  A collage of a few photos that were taken by another photographer in town last year.  The customer had a few requests.

  • Collage of several images
  • Help selecting good images
  • Clean up the images
  • Oh, and fix the images as she was totally unhappy with them

The issues were pretty simple.  Her photographer wasn’t using everything to her advantage.  Shot in the Granite Dells mid-day with super harsh sun.  The photographer had the client looking into the sun (along with her family), or angled into the harsh sun in such a way that half the faces were super bright, and the other half was in deep deep shadow.  No portable strobes were used either.  So, could the photographer have dealt with the super harsh sun mid-day here in AZ?  Maybe.  With an assistant, a few flex fills, or maybe some translucent tri-grips.  Yeah, there are ways but they involve a little more work.

It’s interesting to me that my aversion to shooting people has faded as I’ve learned how to utilize portable flash and other lighting gear.  Bottom line, I wasn’t comfortable photographing people because I wasn’t comfortable controlling the light on the subjects.  Now, landscapes and harsh light?  Sure, got that dialed in.  But people????   EEEEEEEEKKKK!  Run away, run away!

Going through my print client’s photos yesterday I realized something.  I’m “there.”  I get it now.  Doesn’t mean I’m done learning.  But it does mean that when presented with a “human being” and a location I can figure something out.  Additionally, when handed something really bad (like the images yesterday) I do have ideas about how to correct stuff.  Hooray for Perfect Photo Suite from OnOne.  We really cleared up some issues in the client’s photos and were able to pull together a nice collage.  And it was nice to hear her say, “I’d been told you were really good, but you’re even better than that!”  Awwww!

Last weekend I did a shoot for two folks I know.  The image below is of them.  No harsh changes in light.  That’s because we had a good day with pleasant cloud cover, we worked around the harsh sun, and I had Kassi with me running a single strobe in a Lastolite EZY Box.  I showed a few of this weekend’s images to yesterday’s client and she’ll be scheduling a shoot with her family in the next few weeks with me……….



To other photographers out there…..  A simple suggestion.  Taking a bad photo into Photoshop, pumping the saturation to 100%, and then dropping the clarity of your subjects -50 to -100 does not improve the image.  Instead it creates people with super strange colors who look like their under greased glass.  Just saying……

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