I heart faces constructive feedback friday

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This week on I heart faces they are doing constructive feedback for beginners. I chose this picture because it drives me crazy. I think they family is cute they are all looking at the camera but they came out a little dark and the thing that bothers me the most is the sky. It was a beautiful blue sky. I'm not sure why it is so washed out and that's what I'm hoping to get some advice on and anything else that could help my picture.
I use photoshop elements 5
Aperture: f/8.0
Shutter 1/250
ISO 800 (i'm not sure why this is so high but could this be the problem?)
50 mm

Thanks!

candacesoon  – (March 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM)  

I can't really give advice but I just wanted to say that the photo I posted on my blog has exaclty the same issues going on!

jamielauren  – (March 19, 2010 at 8:25 AM)  

How are you metering? Because it looks like your camera [and this is becomming a common theme i've noticed] metered for the light behind your subject. I prefer to spot meter. It's important to get the subject[s] properly exposed. The background is lovely, but it's not what's most important in the shot.

Can you open your apeture wider than f/8? I would have set my ISO to about 100 & my ap at around f/2.8ish. One trick I learned when I first started out - set your aperture for the number of people in the shot so if it's a portrait, any of the 1's are fine [1.2, 1.4, 1.8, etc.] if you have about 4 people, set it to f/4, etc.

I'm not familiar with elements so i don't know how to tell you to properly fix the exposure but it's an adorable shot of a beautiful family - I'd want to make it work too! :O) Can you mask in elements?

jamielauren  – (March 19, 2010 at 8:28 AM)  

One more thing [i'm VERY wordy today!] - you can use fill flash [do you have a speedlight?] to help with blown skies. Believe it or not, flash helps! Even in the middle of the day! :O)

And don't fret too much about the sky - even the amazing Jasmine Star blows her skies and highlights and she gets heck for it! LOL!

Sandy  – (March 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM)  

I'm pretty sure that if your ISO had been set to 100 or 200 at the most that you would have had an awesome photo. And it does look like the metering was done on the background rather than the people.

Even if you shoot on auto, you should be able to set your ISO--low numbers for outside in sunshine and higher numbers for inside. Try taking several photos of the same subject using different ISO settings and compare the images.

And to fix this one--the sky is probably blown and can't be fixed but if you have Photoshop and the MCP actions you might use Touch of Light and just add light to the subjects to brighten them up.

Joyce DZ  – (March 19, 2010 at 3:33 PM)  

Beautiful family. My recent post on my blog may benefit you. :)

http://joycedzphotography.com/blog/?p=2834

miriam  – (March 31, 2010 at 9:14 PM)  

if it's super bright out you want to keep your ISO as low as possible, and then you don't need your apeture so small (large number=small opening). but the biggest thing i would point out, the reason your sky was blown out is because your subjects are pointed away from the light so that the shadow is on their faces and they are all wearing black. this means that while the backround is all bright and beautiful and well lit, they are dark and shadowed. two things you could do next time (besides adjust your settings so they aren't so overexposed): use a reflector or a flash. this would bring some light and eliminate shadows and also keep things from being harsh.
as for post processing, i'd see if you can't lighten them up by adjusting the exposure setting. it's been awhile since i used elements, so i can't really remember what to use to fix the darkness/lighting. also, take your burn tool and use it to bring the background out more.

it's a great picture! so awesome when you can grab all three people and have them looking pleasant and interested all at the same time! and i love the ocean view behind them. so pretty. is this in slo?

and finally, i don't know if you're shooing in manual, but i don't know if i can encourage you to do that enough. it is so amazing what it can do to your photography when you start. perhaps you already know this, and i'm just preaching to the choir.

keep up the good work!

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