The Ball and Chain

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by ChangshaNotes, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    I don't think any of us are feeling too sorry for you, Colin. :D
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Such a "strong" portrait!!! :thumbup:
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    A very expressive portrait, despite the closed eyes. Was it a blink or deliberate?

    Also, Colin, I am always very curious to know which lens you use for your shots, as I keep asking ;)

    It would be great if you would give a few details on the lens and maybe also on the processing? It think the processing fits the subject perfectly.
  6. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    Thank you. It was deliberate, well not a pose, but it's very hot here and she had her eyes closed feeling some breeze on her face when I decided to take the photo.

    It was the SEL 35mm 1.8

    I'm in education and we are in the middle of final exams so I don't have time for photo walks but I carry the NEX-7 with me everywhere (that was the point of getting it in the first place). My go-to walk around is the 35mm. Sometimes the kit but I'm indoors a lot so....

    I import all my raw files into Lightroom with a preset that mimics the Landscape setting with saturation and sharpness set at 0 and contrast set at -1. This is my "Standard"

    I liked the shot and thought my wife would like it as a print. I did everything here in Lightroom 5. I have some Portrait software but I find whenever I use it, the girls like how they look, but I find it a little fake looking.

    Since the photo was for my wife, the first thing I did was use 'Spot Removal' to get rid of some freckles on her nose. I like them, but Chinese girls consider freckles to be a flaw.

    Here is the original shot after spot removal and teeth whitening. (she'd kill me if I posted the file with the freckles)

    1/2000sec ƒ2.2 ISO100


    I thought that her shirt was too busy and distracting along with the strap over her shoulder so I pressed 'v' in Lightroom to check the file out in B&W. Figured it might work so I decided to process it in B&W.

    First I 'zeroed' the image. I don't always do this but prefer it when converting to B&W.

    I cropped it a bit, mostly because of her hair on the top right looking messy but also I didn't want the full strap showing on her right shoulder. The contrast of her shirt and the black strap, I felt, was distracting.

    I tried a few B&W presets I have but I didn't like them much. I usually shoot street and most of my presets are a little gritty reflecting how I see the streets.

    Since this photo was a one-off, I just played with it. I'm not much for tutorials or following rules so I learn by just playing and seeing what I like. Also because it is a photo of my wife, it was fun to show her some of the gruesome combinations that came up.

    I finally settled here.

    i-Xhvhgq7-L.png i-jL2n8Mm-L.png i-N4wb4h8-L.png i-PvCR54D-L.png i-bLKdR8C-L.png

    I did save this as a preset as it might be nice with other shots with some tweaking.

    I've decided I like Lightroom much more than Aperture. I find it easier to do everything I want in Lightroom without needing to open plugins like Silver Effects Pro. It might have been faster to do the conversion in Silver Effects Pro which I have, but I'm one of those people that likes playing with the image and I feel that I learn more this way.

    I realize this is a bit much, but since I've learned almost everything I know about photography from the people on this forum, I'm hoping that some of the things I do can help someone else out too.
  7. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Thanks a million, Colin. A superb reply and very generous to take the time to write the explanations and post the screen shots during your busy exam period.

    I do like the pictures taken with the 35/1.8 and I know where this will end. After weeks if futile resistance I will give in and get one. But I still have some fight in me.

    Thanks for describing your workflow and thought process. It's very educational for me because I get stuck in the easiest ways of doing things in Lightroom. So new ideas are very welcome.

    The final version really does justice to the subject and I am sure your wife is very pleased with it.

    On a side note, I once dated a woman from Sichuan who was very pretty and also very freckly. I had no idea it was an issue... it certainly wasn't for me. She made the best spicy food ever, so sometimes stereotypes are true. But o what a temper she had!