Sunday, November 09, 2008

The differences between getting it right in camera and getting it right with post processing.

I took this picture over a year ago when I got the D80 and spend several hours to improve it with photoshop and to make it perfect. Adding layers, blurring parts of the skin adding several contrast curves to make it look 'professional'

And it was taken with just a single SB-600 and an omni bounce directed at the ceiling on camera

Now let's look at this picture

It has a similar look too it from the black and white conversion and I spend like 2 minutes on it post processing. Basically adjust the contrast and convert to black and white. Done

The difference is not the camera or the settings. They are more or less comparable. F/3.5 (90 mm) vs F/5 (200mm) gives a similar depth since the distance was more important in this case. The 200mm had maybe a bit more DOF since I was a a bit farther away since I wanted to get the shoulder in the picture.

The shutter speed is 200 vs 250. Which does not matter since the ambient light is basically knocked out in both cases.
Now the big difference I that I now have a rough understanding of what I'm doing (I still have a lot to learn) and that I used much bigger light sources which softened the skin for me. I still use a SB-600 speed light (2 actually), but thanks to the use of the umbrella (40") and softbox (28"x28") which are placed about a foot away from the model, well the skin is much softer and we have this big reflections we all love so much.
You can see the exact setup in her earrings (second picture) or in the eyes (first picture)

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