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Old Nov 28, 2005, 4:07 AM   #1
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It was just after a storm and the sky was still quite gray, so I used my flash with a diffuser on this one - just trying to learn to use the flash better. Of course it might have been better without flash, but this was by far the nicest capture with respect to their expresssions.

I am fairly pleased with the result, but I guess there are a couple of issues I'd like advice on.

I'm going to give them a framed print of this for Xmas.

What I've done so far:

1. Clone out some flash hotspots on the sunglasses.
2. Boost the colour and saturation of the sky to just put a little bit of detail back in.
3. RAW conversion and auto-fixing with DXO.
4. Levels adjustment.

What I'd like your advice on:

1. Crop? - I'm inclined to leave it as an 8x12 because I think the African landscape in the background adds nice context. Cropping to 8x10 seems to actually make the picture less interesting.

2. BW or Colour? - the reasons I quite like the B&W are that it evens out the skin tones between mother and daughters and it's easier to control the channels to turn down the red and blue without introducing any colour cast issues. Also the B&W solves the sky problem. The gray sky looks nicer in B&W than it does in colour.

3. Print and framing? - our local printer has a nice set of 8x12 frames with a good 3 inch matte which I think will look very nice on a B&W print. I'm not sure about a colour one - I think it might be a bit too much. Just a plain dark frame without matte for the colour?




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Old Nov 28, 2005, 4:11 AM   #2
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And the B&W which I like more the longer I look....
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 4:19 AM   #3
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Actually I think the BW looks better with a contrast boost...
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 7:52 AM   #4
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Personally, I prefer the colour photo. Of the 2 B&Ws, the higher contrast scene is the better but I think they're both missing the impact that the colour one gives. If it's going to go on their wall then a photo that 'jumps out' would be better than an understated one. I'd leave the crop as it is and, as you say, frame it with a dark frame.

Personal opinion, mind you...
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Old Nov 28, 2005, 8:47 AM   #5
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How about putting in a new sky on the colour version?

Just a quick attempt. Hope you don't mind.


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Old Nov 28, 2005, 9:05 AM   #6
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Not at all - i tried that myself, but the problem isn't the quick edit. :-)

The problem is merging the sky with the mountain, trees & hair in the slow edit so that it looks acceptable in an 8x12.

Beyond my PS skills I'm afraid.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 9:57 AM   #7
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Darn. I've just noticed another thing that bothers me. It's the slope of the ground. Of course they were standing on the side of a hill, but the line where the grass meets the trees to the left is somewhat unsettling visually.

Is this fatal? Help me please!
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 12:14 PM   #8
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First of all I think this is a very nice capture of expression and family unity. It will certainly make a nice gift!

I see your point about cropping to 8X10. The 8X12 version adds context and depth while appearing slightly distractingat the same time. On the other hand, IMO, an 8X10 crop looks more professional. Not sure what I would do here. I hope you don't mind, but here is a cropat 8X12 ratio with a slight rotationto the left. Obviously, the rotationtakes out aslight amount of the picture area. (including some of the lower left grass line. )I also did a very quick crude clone of that area. I guess this would be a compromise you will have to decide on.

As for Black and White vs Color.Since this is a gift, IMO, you can't go wrong with the color version! I doubt anybody would ever be overly critical receiving a beautiful framed photo in color. But I do know some people who aren't so fond of B&W's.Very subjective indeed! Unless you can find out her preferences, you may want to play it safe. Unless she already has a houseful of B&W's on her walls. :-)

Good luck

Thomas


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Old Nov 30, 2005, 1:23 PM   #9
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Sorry I just am so pushed for time at the moment.

Photographically I'd crop it in as the trees don't add. Of course as they mean something to you and they family and you know where its taken then, sure leave them in. I think the idea of adding a nice sky is always appalling, but not alway that necessary.

Lovely shot... such happiness.



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Old Nov 30, 2005, 3:50 PM   #10
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for me, as LB mentioned, maybe its just because the area doesn't mean anything to me and to them maybe it does, does not really add much to this shot..

i am a big fan of the contrasty black and white image.. the skin tones look better and i just find it overall more appealing in this shot.. it focuses me in on what i think is important in this shot.. which is the bond between the subjects and the expressions.. and i think it would look great with the matting!

but as a gift, i am sure they will be quite pleased either way.. if you opt color i would still suggest a simple matting of some kind.

nice capture!

-dustin
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