The Ball and Chain

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

  1. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
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  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

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

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

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

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
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  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

    Aug 15, 2012
    Real Name:
    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!