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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:20 PM   #1
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Default pp -- Eyes Sharpened

My model was only home for one weekend which was the perfect time for me to try out my new 50mm F1.8 lens. However the best shot I took was focused on her hair and not on the eyes. The hair was sharp but the eyes were "soft". She's gone again so I can't retake.

Then I saw Bynx sharpened the eyes in the "Glamour wife" thread under the "Member's & Family Photos" forum and so I did the same. Thanks to Bynx (and Steve's Digicams) for all the tips I am learning.

If there are other post-processing improvements I can make I'd like to know them. (TCav already pointed out I chopped off the top of the head.) Thanks a lot!

Before:


After (only the eyes were sharpened):
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 12:51 PM   #2
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I like the pose and composition of the photo. And your model is a lovely subject.
But, IMO, even after the sharpening, it's just too soft. I would also like to see the mouth in focus on a shot like this. I think it's a rare subject where having only the eyes in focus would be good (strong, compelling eyes). I think this is a case where it's back-focused enough and the DOF is so thin the shot just doesn't work.

Also - watch the light levels - hot spots on her left cheek (and to a lesser degree over the left eye and on the lips) are distracting. So watch blowing highlights on a face for such a tight portrait.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 2:28 PM   #3
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Here i used a little plugin called Focus Magic on the face only. Then I used Portraiture to clean up the skin. Then went back and did Smart Sharpen on the eyes.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:08 PM   #4
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I always miss the subtle mistakes (and, likewise, the sometimes unintended correct techniques, etc.) I make so I like hearing comments here because they raise my personal bar.

Thanks a lot, JohnG -- I'll remember about lighting and depth of field when framing my subject.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:11 PM   #5
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I grew up in the dark-brown-eyed Orient where the eyes' pupils are not always so apparent. I'm always mesmerized by a caucasian person's eyes most especially light blue/gray with pinpoint black pupils. So I am not used to seeing my daughter's eyes' like this even in the photo I took where I tried to make the pupils show -- I immediately thought cat's eyes when I viewed it on my computer.

Bynx's version somehow makes me think of Japanese Anime cartoons which isn't a bad thing -- in fact it's a good thing because she's into anime and I'm sure like most kids nowadays makes believe she is. I also like the softened skin. It looks even better when shrunk to about half the size.

I keep a family photo album online and I hope you won't mind me using this as cover for the next couple of months. Thanks, Bynx!
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
Thanks a lot, JohnG -- I'll remember about lighting and depth of field when framing my subject.
Remember - the DOF was my own personal take on things. Keep trying. What you want to get to is a point where YOU as the photographer look at a situation and decide "do I want just the eyes in focus" or "do I want the whole face". As enthusiasts we think the blurred background is the most improtant thing. Especially when we first discover shallow-DOF photography. What I would really suggest is experimenting at different DOFs for a given shot so you can see how dramatically you need to change settings to get more of the face in focus and what affects that has on the background. The easiest way to try it is to throw the camera in Aperture priority and set ISO high enough to get a good enough shutter speed at the narrowest aperture you're going to use. THen take a sequence of shots adjusting the aperture between each (I'd recommend full stops or maybe 1/2 stop change between shots - 1/3 stop is going to be a very slim change in DOF). Just an idea.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 4:10 PM   #7
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Yes, the cool "bokeh" effect was foremost in my mind at the time, instead of the subject. OK about aperture-priority, full-stop increments, and higher ISO -- thanks, JohnG -- I'll try them the next time and look for differences.

Mostly, I see myself taking quick photos of people in group gatherings. (They're already smiling so I don't have to make them.) This weekend I had that chance and found that most of my photos didn't have enough depth-of-field. I focused/metered on one person and forgot that the other person was a little forward or backward and so became out of focus. In one case, I had two people in focus but one quickly grabbed a third who became out of focus. I'll experiment on dof to keep everbody in focus while keeping the background still somewhat blurred.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 10:09 AM   #8
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I love it, myself.

I like the out of focus background.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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Thanks, Jerolin!

BTW, Bynx, I gave you credit on my online photo album website. Near the bottom it says:

"(Thanks to "Bynx" of steves-digicams.com for the photo enhancement!)"

Unless you want it worded another way?

Without putting an "unintentional" plug to my website, in time I'd sure you'd be able to google on the credit phrase...

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Old Oct 14, 2009, 5:14 PM   #10
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hahaha no problem vvcarpio. Glad to help. Putting your website address is not a plug. We like to look at each others work.
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