Mother and Child (Portrait Outtake)

Mother and Child

Mother and Child

We *tried* to take some portraits of my wife and daughter but not everyone was cooperating.  Eden was a bit fussy when we posed her but I snapped off some frames anyway.  This is image is one — the ONLY one — worth keeping.  Despite being the only good image I call it an outtake because it’s not at all the image I was after.  I like the expression on my wife’s face and Eden’s outstretched arms but it has a few technical issues.  For starters, because I was shooting near wide-open and my wife was moving back and forth to rock the baby, the focus is a bit off.  We’ll try again soon.

This was shot with two lights: a Canon 580EXii at about 1/16 power in a small softbox at camera left for the key light and a Canon 430EXii high, behind my wife at camera right for hair/highlight (1/64 power and gel’ed with some ND to kill more of the power).  The background is a sheet we hung in the hallway (yep, I need to get some backgrounds).  I started by setting an exposure which killed the ambient.  Using my older daughter as a test subject I then added the key light followed by the hair light.  The background is not lit because my intent was to make it pitch black.

Before even shooting this my intent was to process in black and white but I haven’t even attempted to go that route in processing yet.  I tweaked some areas in Lightroom then brought the image into Photoshop.  I used masked curves to brighten the hair, eyes (a tad), and a few areas of skin.  I also used curves to darken a few areas.  One final curve dropped the red channel ever so slightly.  I sharpened the hair and used noise reduction on the rest of the image.  That’s all I can remember anyway…

Here’s another version of the same image which I processed slightly differently.  I can’t personally decide which I like best although I lean toward the one at the top of the post which blends subject/background relatively seamlessly.

Mother and Child (Alternate Processing)

Mother and Child (Alternate Processing)

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One response

  1. I’m with you, I prefer the first version more.

    December 1, 2011 at 1:12 am

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