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Wm. Bates | all galleries >> Picture a Day for a Year of Wanda Gallery >> Click here for Wanda In August Gallery > Wanda08_19_04.jpg
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I can't put my finger on it but I'm not really happy with this photo. We took 28 frames. I think Wanda felt like it was 500. She was pretty well done after a long hard day when we started and maybe that is what shows. Heck and I was being a crusty bear, too. I'm sure that didn't help. Hey, you can't be "on" everyday.

For those that didn't notice this buried down in the comments, I did a slightly different crop on this photo. I think it improves the composition. Here is the link

Canon EOS 10D ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
1/100s f/4.0 at 85.0mm iso400 with Flash full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
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Wm. Bates19-Mar-2005 16:43
Considering I was NOT in the mood to put up with Bill being a "cranky bear" while behind the camera, I think this picture turned out "ok". Not one of My favorites, but it doesn't make Me cringe to look at it either.

Guest 29-Aug-2004 06:49
Bill, you take wonderful photos, and I really appreciate some of the insights and tricks you share regarding how you shot and processed them. I've learned some good stuff by checking out your gallery. I also think it's great that you and Wanda can share this hobby. You inspire. Keep it up. Thanks!

Ian 23-Aug-2004 15:54
Thanks Bill, loads of info to read at leisure on Normans site. To start with though I checked out the settings on the new LCD monitor I'm using here. On a scale of 1 - 100, Conrast was at 86 and Brightness at 92. No wonder I thought the bra too bright! It could also help explain the eye strain ... NO ... from the monitor settings, silly, not Wanda's bra!!
Wm. Bates23-Aug-2004 14:13
Boy what a fun image. I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

Something of very minor note. The bra is a very light pastel blue. I use a pretty decent Mitsubishi tubed based CRT monitor that I calibrate every two weeks with SpyderPRO. My prints and monitor match perfectly. On this picture the bra is a very light blue when viewed on a calibrated monitor. If you have never calibrated your monitor either with good software (at the very least Adobe Gamma) or even better a measuring puck/spyder it is really something worth doing. IT sometimes will make a major difference in how some photos look. Here is great link on monitor calibration with some good test
CJ Morgan23-Aug-2004 14:06
Bra is too bright; too visually distracting; it's throwing the visual
balance of the composition off. But apart from that, no matter how
tired each of you were, from where I sit, it's a fine image.
Sean Garnett23-Aug-2004 13:21
Perhaps this is heresy, but a loose (sightly oversized) flannel shirt might have worked better than the white bra. Also, despite the "always show those beautiful eyes" mandate, it might have worked better with the eyes closed (and if the model falls asleep in that pose, so be it). I wouldn't touch the hair at all - I think it's perfect as is.
Ian 23-Aug-2004 12:20
Difficult to put your finger on why this doesn't quite work, it's nothing major, just subtle nuances. My feeling is that the bra is too bright [sorry Wanda, I'm not implying that you would or should wear tired grey underwear.] That why cropping part of it away in the other post improves the feel, perhaps a pastel coloured bra would work better.
There's also that shoulder - it's a bold asymmetric diaginal dividing the picture. I think the hair across Wanda's face should be brushed down to follow the jaw line to frame her face, as it would improve the balance between light areas either side of her arm i.e. the light area of her face balancing the light area of her bra.
Like I said, it's difficult to be sure without trying it!
As to the post processing info Bill, many thanks [I think] but I'm not sure were to even start to emulate that!
Wm. Bates22-Aug-2004 23:27
David, on this photo I had one Canon 550EX on a light stand shooting through an umbrella just to camera left. Just above and behind Wanda I had a white reflector on a boom.
David 22-Aug-2004 23:03
Great shots! What is your lighting setup?
Sean Garnett21-Aug-2004 14:46
I'm not so sure it's the shoulder dividing or distracting. With both the hand and shoulder hidden, the arm is forming a very distinct, contrasting, but somewhat disembodied "V". Instead of drawing the eye through the picture, it both divides the image and bounces the eye around.
Guest 20-Aug-2004 16:23
I think the image is excellent Bill,The composition is perfect.You framed her beautifully.:-)
Max@Home20-Aug-2004 12:31
Dear Mr. Bates,

Thank you so much for sharing your conversion techniques!

..from a loyal watcher and admirer of your works..

Kenneth Zimmerman20-Aug-2004 12:14
I like the cropped image better too
Kenneth Zimmerman20-Aug-2004 12:12
I use the same process with the gaussian blur on the skin in portraits. It works well.
You do great work!
Steve Patterson20-Aug-2004 11:57
I agree with you, Bill. The cropped version seems better, seems to have better visual balance. And I think it is more flattering to Wanda, also. The more I look at that (cropped) shot, the better I like it.
Wm. Bates20-Aug-2004 05:43
Doug, I think you are spot on with the shoulder splitting the frame. I did a slight crop of the photo and I think It looks much better

I would swap out the PAD photo; but, some how that seems like cheating. Maybe if we ever get around to doing this in book form I'll make the change.
Gordon Hughes 20-Aug-2004 05:24

A lovely picture of Wanda yet again, though I would love to have seen her full bra.
As an amature compaired to you, it could be the hair over her eyes that is just not right but thats my opinion. Keep them comming.
Wesley Aston20-Aug-2004 05:23
I was hoping it was a tank top :) But still its a good picture.
Guest 20-Aug-2004 05:22
I think it is the shoulder too! it seems to split the image into two sections and you don't know where to look!
Wm. Bates20-Aug-2004 05:18
I'm not sure it is the bra I find distracting as much as the shoulder. Maybe a little tighter crop would help.
Guest 20-Aug-2004 05:08
I like the left side of this image..! Interesting to see this image cropped vertically right through Wanda's shoulder... For some reason the bra is a bit distracting to my eye in this image..! thanks for the PS tips to get those amazing skin tones..! I need all the help I can get!
Wm. Bates20-Aug-2004 04:55
David, speaking of processing maybe it is time to tell everyone about my post processing work flow. I shoot these photos in RAW but I do take a custom white balance shoot. I process the raw files with CaptureOne LE where I make very minor white balance and exposure adjustments. I convert the files to 16 bit tiffs in AdobeRGB color space.

Next, I open the file in Adobe Photoshop CS. First I will use the healing brush to remove any blemishes...not many today. I do minor color, contrast and level adjustments. I may also do a little adjustment with curves. Next I might bump the saturation of each color as needed. This photo didn't need any saturation adjustment. I did use the lasso and increase the brightness (+4) just a very little bit in the face.

When those corrections are made I save a new renamed tiff file. After that, on this photo and others with lots of skin, I make a duplicate layer and add a Gaussian blur filter about 12 to 15 pixels. Then I erase through that layers to the original layer at the eyes, mouth and anything else that isn't skin. I reduce the opacity to about 20 to 30%. This gives the skin a nice soft glow without looking to plastic. Then I flatten the layers and re-save.

After that I resize the photo for the web at 72dpi, convert the color space to sRGB. The very last thing I do is add a little Unsharp Mask Filter as needed. With todays photo that was amount 400%, radius 0.2, threshold of 1.

That is pretty much it. I save that as a jpeg and upload to the web.
Wm. Bates20-Aug-2004 04:12
Angela, I notice that they were kind of the same. I hope you get feeling better. Summer time colds really suck.
Wm. Bates20-Aug-2004 04:11
DANG, just printed this out at 11x14" on Epson Premium Luster paper. It looks really nice. Maybe with some time I'll warm up to this photograph.
Guest 20-Aug-2004 03:59
Wanda and I have similar poses for tonight. :) Guess we're both pretty tired. She still looks divine, despite exhaustion. Lovely shot.
Guest 20-Aug-2004 03:36
Nice shot, great processing.