Author Topic: Backlit Willow shot  (Read 117 times)

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Offline Joe Federer

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Backlit Willow shot
« on: November 04, 2017, 03:03:03 PM »
... both the couple and the tree were backlit. ;)




Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 06:50:37 PM »
I'm going to try to set aside the fact that I have strangely become annoyed by these shots. They have become way too trendy and overdone and I'm starting to ask myself "why?" - as in they don't make much sense and aren't as cool as they were when we didn't see them all the time.

Objectively, I think you did a very nice job of getting tons of light spread out into the tree.

I think the couple is lit a bit too harsh and you may have considered trying to make it more seamless between the light highlighting the couple and the light hitting the tree. So I'd clone out the horizontal shadow at the base of the tree that breaks that up and see how that looks.

The shadow on the dress is also distracting. I'd try to soften that up. Right now, it actually looks kind of like a head.

Perhaps for this scene, a more dramatic silhouette may have been better.
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Offline Joe Federer

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2017, 01:47:11 AM »
I was actually looking for more of a silhouette,  but with all the light around,  it wrapped.   Good observation.

I'll try healing the shadow.

Offline Todd Muskopf

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2017, 03:51:30 AM »
I think it's pretty awesome :)

Offline Joe Federer

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 06:09:39 PM »
Quote
I think the couple is lit a bit too harsh and you may have considered trying to make it more seamless between the light highlighting the couple and the light hitting the tree.

Darren -- so I was looking to add a rim light to the couple so they showed even stronger against the light tree trunk (which I wanted to be careful not to blow out).  Further, I like the shadow coming out from the bottom of my couples (it's not particularly strong in this shot... but often it ends up being some solid leading-lines type stuff).

Adding the light behind them, pointed AT them, to achieve said rim light and shadow works.  However, as you observed, it makes it hard to get a good silhouette.  Over the years, I've given up on the perfect silhouette and actually aim it at their chests (wearing white) so that it bounces attractively onto their faces and gives you a glimpse without ruining the overall mood of the shot.   

Do you have any suggestions as to how to achieve the rim light without having the light bounce of the white clothing and 'wrap around' a bit?

Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 06:07:53 AM »
Did you try cloning the shadow yet? I don't think it is a good sight line. Since the couple is centered in the image but also in the center of the tree trunk and the tree, you already have lines drawing to them. Other lines are distracting.

What was the lighting setup employed? One thought would be to hide a small GoBo behind the couple so the light doesn't creep between them. I've also layered images it achieve the extra dark foreground/silhouette I desire.
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Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 08:37:04 AM »
Joe, they're part of your signature work.  I wouldn't worry about what other photographers say, and give your clients what they want until they or you decide it no longer works.  Part of serving the public is doing things that have become redundant to us, but are still fresh to them.

Offline Joe Federer

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 08:58:54 AM »
Thanks for the kind words, Jeff.

"I wouldn't worry about what other photographers say,"

I think we do that to our own peril.   We can eventually discard what they say, but I think if a professional photographer has a critique of your work, it's worth listening and exploring.



Darren, let's continue the processing discussion in a new thread I'll make after I make your changes.   Did you mean to say I should clone out the shadow coming from the BOTTOM of them... or the darker area coming from the side between the two sourcs of light (hits him about mid-thigh on the right).

Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2017, 09:57:32 AM »
When I said "I wouldn't worry", it wasn't in reference to how to improve a particular shot technically or in some detail, but as it pertains to a question left over from a sister thread as to whether a certain style has passed it's prime.  Other photographers are not paying your rent, your clients are.  Thus the importance of providing the imagery for which they seek you.  These backlit portraits have become part of your signature look and influence your prospective clients.  Of course, our imagery also has to evolve so that we add new signature looks to the repertoire.  As with all things, older ones lose their appeal eventually, and staying relevant is staying alive.

As for the shadow line at the lower right of the couple, it doesn't bother me at all. It feels like foundation.  However if it bothers you now that its been pointed out, by all means, give removal or reduction a try and go with what appeals to both you and your client (who - surprise - may be bothered by something else completely.  Something you never noticed).

Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 11:32:27 AM »
Did you mean to say I should clone out the shadow coming from the BOTTOM of them... or the darker area coming from the side between the two sourcs of light (hits him about mid-thigh on the right).

The shadow by the tree behind the couple, not the one in front. The one in front of the couple is a good sight line and I don't have an issue with it either. Jeff seems to think that's that's the shadow I was talking about as well, so i apologize for the confusion.

Other photographers are not paying your rent, your clients are. 

Contrary to what I said in this thread, I totally agree with Jeff. I hate 75% of the "signature" shots the studio I shoot for takes during weddings. Some are over 25 years old! But they do steady business and it seems to keep the clients coming, so why change unless it is for your own motivation? If you're feeling stale, change. If not, keep with it.

So my comment was more regarding my own personal tastes and aesthetics and not related to business. I just personally tend to get mored with things once they become mainstream. Have always been that way. Although I'm sure if you saw my own work you'd say - hey, he's full of shit - that stuff is all dated! Lol...
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Offline Duck

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 01:24:34 PM »
If it comes down to semantics, isn't the majority of what wedding and portrait photographers do both dated and overdone?

The standard shot list, from formals all the way to the cake ceremony, are all dated and definitely overdone. They've been that way for about a century now. The bride and groom together, the bride with her parents, the groom with his parents, bride and bride's maids, etc., etc., etc.

One can argue that the whole photojournalistic trend of capturing modern weddings is a result of trying to break away from the dated methods of wedding photography but even with that mentality a photographer can not break away from the dated because, in the end, they are tried and true techniques that still resound an emotional chord in the people requesting them.

In the tattoo industry there is an old saying, "there is nothing new in tattoos. It's just a rehash of what's been done before. It's just about how you present it now."
My name is Charles Unitas but friends call me Duck

"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."

Offline Darren Cassese

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2017, 05:41:01 PM »
In the tattoo industry there is an old saying, "there is nothing new in tattoos. It's just a rehash of what's been done before. It's just about how you present it now."

LOL...there are so few true innovations, aren't there? ...From Music/arts to sports... "New" plays are usually just something you haven't seen in about 30 years!
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Offline Jeff Behm

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Re: Backlit Willow shot
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 08:35:15 AM »
And Beethoven used the same 8 notes as I, when I play guitar and "write".