An Experiment: Natural Light

I was getting ready on Friday night and thought it a great opportunity to have my husband take a couple of pictures of me on my way out so I could keep practicing my editing.

Things I had to wrestle with:

1. I didn’t crop out the greenery. Should I so I can keep it either natural or just the building?

2. I tried to lighten up that corner! But I opted for a more natural look for my body and sacrificed the dark corner.

3. How’s the light? I feel like it’s really dark but I may have been staring at this too long.

4. Nice puffy bags under my eyes…which I didn’t edit out. It’s that candid.

What else do you see or not see?

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your help.

10 thoughts on “An Experiment: Natural Light

  1. Jodi (@sewfearless) says:

    This is a MUCH better location than the last spot! 🙂 The background is a lot less distracting. I don’t mind the blend of natural and brick.

    One thing I noticed is that the vertical and horizontal lines of the wall are tipped. There are ways of fixing it in post, but you need to have more space around the edge of the picture to work with. If that makes any sense.

  2. Mandie says:

    I like the cropping the way it is. And I like the shadow in the corner.

    It looks like your color balance is a very slight *touch* too blue (I am assuming your bag is white?)

    And I would also probably play with curves and or contrast.

  3. Mandie says:

    Here are a few other suggestions-

    I think, if you had stood in front of the other wall on your left (viewer’s right), you would have better light on your face. The side lighting in that picture is what’s giving you what you don’t like about your eyes (I think you look fine! But I understand you don’t like the shadows).

    The reflector disc thing I offered would help with that too. I strive for solving as many issues as I can in the camera and then working on the computer too. A lot of it is just LOTS of trial and error. I take pictures on usually several camera settings, too, because you can’t always tell from the viewfinder or the display how the picture actually looks. It’s easier to lighten a dark picture than to fix an overexposed one.

    (Also, I’m being very nitpicky, because you asked for advice. I’d never come to your blog and thing OMG terrible picture! I think the 2 you’ve shown are fine.)

    • Leila says:

      Thanks! This is the specific stuff I was hoping to get from people. I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to write all this out. It definitely makes sense. I’m actually playing with an overexposed photo right now. It’s great learning.

  4. Brooke says:

    NICE! You are getting better!

    Background wall is great (bricks are always a nice neutral graphic) and I don’t mind the crop either – the greenery is still neutral and nothing is making my eye stop there. Generally, people see photos from top left and move across pic to bottom right. You did good with this because you start with green, see your face, then dress, and end with the bag. So overall, nice eye pan. =)

    I’m still thinking white-balancing might need a little tweaking, but it isn’t a big deal. You might want to read your camera manual because you probably have a camera setting for it – you can set it using a piece of white paper in the light you are using.

    • Leila says:

      Eye pan success! It’s the same in theater. Your eye travels the same way on a stage. Interesting.

      I’ll have to play with white balance. Thanks for spending so much time looking at these photos.

      • Brooke says:

        Yeah, visual arts all seem to have the eye pan in common – theatre, film, painting, and photo. =)

        When I figured out how to white-balance correct in my editing program, that’s when I feel like my photos started looking more print worthy. It’s weird how something so subtle can make such a difference!

  5. Erin Erickson (@yorkiemischief) says:

    I do like the bricks! White balance is really tricky, but worth playing with. When I’m taking photos on a white background, I want everything white white. Outside I want them warmer. You can mess with it on your camera or after. Your bag is white though, so I’d actually say it’s simply the light outside. Take that same photo at a different time a day and it would look totally different.

    As far as dark shadows, yes you can lift the shadows but don’t go too far. I have 1200 watt photo lights and super bright white backdrop paper and I still get those corner shadows. As long as it’s not distracting or taking away from your subject, it’s fine.

    Good job on this one!

    • Leila says:

      Thank Erin. This gives me a lot to play with and think about. I agree with the bag. It was about 5pm when the photo was taken… I also like white backgrounds when I can get them. I need to keep playing.

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