It was good for me this week to go out and try my hand at portraits. Everyone takes pictures of people, but not everyone knows how to do it well. I had a lot of practice, learned it was more fun than I thought, and want to continue taking more portraits.



“Kolby in Corn” – 60mm, F5.6, 1/4000, October 23, 2016, Sony a7S, gold reflector

I edited this in Photoshop, added contrast and created an adjustment layer for levels. I touched up his skin (he’s a teenager, acne happens) by using the spot heal brush.



“End of Tomato Season” – 60mm, F10, 1/160, October 23, 2016, Sony a7S

I adjusted the levels in Photoshop, increased the contrast, and adjusted saturation. I cropped the image just slightly.



“Outside Games” – 64mm, F4, 1/160, October 25, 2016, Sony a7S, gold reflector

Group photos are probably the ones that I have to work on the most. I decided to make it look like a candid shot with everyone having a good time together. I took this as the sun was setting and also used a gold reflector to create the lighting.



“Autumn Portrait” – 55mm, F4.5, 1/1600, October 19, 2016, Sony a7S, gold reflector

I used the tutorial on skin touch ups to even out her skin tone. I created two separate layers, named one color and used a gaussian blur to 10px. The second layer, I used apply image to subtract the sharp details from her face, blend them with the blurred color layer, and then used the spot healing brush to even out either the details or color, depending on which layer I was working on.



“Walk by Willow” – 65mm, F5, 1/500, October 25, 2016, Sony a7S

For this photo, I cropped it slightly to make Alyssa be standing right on the 1/3 line of the image. I created two adjustment layers for levels, and one for contrast. There were also some white power boxes on the side on the house in the background, but they were easy to remove.




“Cute Couple” – 62mm, F4, 1/160, October 25, 2016, Sony a7S, gold reflector

For this image, I used the same process before to even out the skin on both of their faces. I then created another layer and used an adjustment layer to change the hue of the skin on his face. He had a very red face in comparison to Anna’s face, so with a slight adjustment, it looks a little closer to normal.



“Alyssa” – 50mm, F5.6, 1/1250, October 25, 2016, Sony a7S

In Photoshop, I used the spot heal brush to quickly eliminate a few blemishes on Alyssa’s face. I then followed a few tutorials about changing colors with the color change brush and made Alyssa’s shirt and earrings blue. I also cropped the image because she had a lot of headroom.



“Willow Tree” – 45mm, F5.6, 1/500, October 25, 2016, Sony a7S

This photo again shows the technique with the two layers to touch up skin tone and texture. I also noticed a speck of something on the side of her shirt, so using a spot healing brush, I was able to get ride of it quickly. To finish it off, I increased the contrast to help Alyssa and the willow leaves stand out from the blurry background.



“Dad” – 45mm, F5, 1/250, October 22, 2016, Sony a7S, gold reflector

This photo is the result of my first attempt at setting up and directing a male subject. Following the 1-2-2 rule, I set up the photo, made sure the focus was sharp on his face, had my sister hold the reflector just right, and got the photo. Personally, I love this one because I think it really captures the usual look and expression my dad typically has. This is one of my favorite head and shoulders portraits I have done.