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    The link may not work so i may have to edit to fix it. But I’m not the best at directing couples. This shot came out adorable though, I wish the dog was a little bigger or less puppy floppy lab. I’ve made three different although really similar edits, because the first one had a halo, the second one my opinion friend asked me if I photoshopped them there, and then the third one, which is this one. I don’t know if I’ve been staring at it too long, but i’m about blind to it now. I also can’t decide if I like the rock between them, or if it’s terribly distracting. ehhhhhhhhhhhhh /head desk Maybe I have heat sickness or something lol.


    Ok, my two cents; it’s ok, not really all that great but not really bad.  I think you could have helped out the overall shot initially by opening up your aperture, it’s just got too much depth of field for me.  But, that’s in the past… Now what can you do?  I’d get rid of the rock, it serves no purpose – it’s not important to the subject and doesn’t act as an anchor point to the composition; get rid of it.  The water line seems a bit off as well, I can’t tell if your horizon line isn’t straight or if it’s just an illusion.  I’m not being an ass, but are you familiar with graduated filters or how to mimic it in photoshop?  If so try that from the top down… maybe isolate the subject a bit more… awwww, I gotta go… best of luck!


    I agree with Andy. Too much dof. not bad, but not super interesting. It almost looks like it could be two different images… a nice landscape, and a couple’s shot. You could have knelt down and shot slightly upwaed with shallower dof to still include the mountain. The other issue is her neck. She doesn’t have a skinny neck to begin with, but if you had her lift up her chin and then tilt downward at an angle, it would create more jaw definition.


    still got some halos, amongst other issues:


    rock is distracting b/c it is in focus but your subject is not, yet the dog seems to have more focus than the people, even though they are all on the same plane.


    A fill card in the front to bounce a little light on them would probably work better for this than trying to bump them up in post. But for now, just work on the blending. It’s a very tedious task that takes a while to get used to. Do you have a wacom tablet or the like?

    Also, for future reference, probably not best to sit her down. It makes her look bigger. I mean, you could sit her down but you just have to work on the posing. Sometimes it’s as simple as just straightening the folds in the clothing.


    The horizon is listing towards the lower right just a smidge, I only know cause there’s a weird coding error on this page with my tablet that gives me a horizonantal bar floating in the middle. Yea the dof was a sort of gut reaction to the lens I had being stoopid soft at wider apertures. It wasn’t the best choice to shoot at 8 or 9 with so much going on. I should have opened it up a bit and I probably still wouldn’t have had to worry about it being soft.

    I have a few that are cropped in tighter,I just sort of liked the whole area. I completely see what you all are saying though. It does sort of feel separate. I can try the graduated filter, this has one already to pull in the cloud detail, so I can fumble around and see if I can alter the dof without it looking cheesy. Thanks for looking 🙂




    Ebi, thanks for the post 🙂 I can’t remember between the three edits I did trying to get it right, but if I’m remembering ( I can check for sure) I didn’t bump them, I exposed for them and had to bring down the background. I first tried the radial graduated filter thing that’s new in LR5 but it had mad halo, and light room isn’t the best for me with fine tuning. So I chucked that one ( well I saved it to practice on later but eh) and then tried a regular graduated filter to bring back the clouds, and theadjusted….levels i believed…oh wait i did mask them out of the levels layer, sothat counts. Nevermind. And minor other stuff the mute the mountain a bit.

    My tablet is being eh at looking at your detail shots you pulled so I’ll look moreindepth at those tomorrow on the desktop. I used to have a wacom, backwhen I was drawing, but it was almost ten years old and conked out on me 🙁

    Thanks against. ks


    Oh and I’m not ignoring the comments on her posing. I totally see what everyone is talking about, shes not even a big girl at all. I was sad I didn’t catch how wide she was looking on the beach shots. 🙁 reasons why I don’t charge yet lol


    Two takes, after 5 hours of shooting an event that was entirely in Cantonese, so I’m a bit brain dead too.

    First one, no rock, more contrast:


    Second one, with some background blur for  JustAndy


    I’m out all of Saturday, back mid-Sunday.

    Worst Case Scenario

    Okay, I’m confused! Is this a composite or not?

    My first impression was that their heads look too cut out, and I assumed that you had cloned something out of the water behind them. In fact I was so drawn to the heads that I didn’t even notice the dog until I started reading the post. Ebi was asking about halos which I assumed were from the cut out, but then you mention the DOF was f8. So have you masked the couple to adjust the exposure on the rest of the image? Maybe you post the original image?

    She appears to have a very flat head whilst he appears to have a perfect circle, and they both have a black out line along their chins.


    Here’s my edit for you (Before vs After):


    Rock is gone, horizon leveled, bit of blur added to the background. Colour corrected, contrast added.


    LOL! Sorry no, this is not a composite. Here is the original uncropped and not edited:


    What I did was a graduated filter to bring out the clouds a bit more, but not totally. Then I adjusted levels in photoshop to darken the whole image and bring the background where I wanted it, (or thought I did lol) and then masked them out of the levels adjustment and probably tinkered with the opacity. I lost the PS file because my PSC on my computer is wonky and it’s been randomly crashing in sleep mode -_- I just haven’t gotten around to ordering a new one.

    I personally like the contrasty ones you guys have been doing, but my current teacher ( who I sort of feel is off his rocker but I’m trying to be a good girl and except his criticisms like I should) keeps yelling at me about too contrasty images so it’s made me terribly paranoid. And possibly a little twitchy. He did tell a newborn photographer in class ( who only does newborns, a few weeks old kind of babies) that she had to many sleeping babies in her portfolio… I dunno.


    Oh wait I think it’s a little cropped….yup small crop on that image, didn’t want to lie lol


    graduated filters in software like LR work best on items that are blended on straight lines that are of the same tonal value. therefore they don’t work well on people.

    Your focus is way off. Everything seems slightly unsharp, except for maybe the rock. You camera could be back focusing a little bit. On canon camera’s there is a way to calibrate the focus for each lens. I don’t know about your camera since it’s a nikon. It could also be the lens. I think you might have a smudge on the front or rear element b/c there is a little hotspot on the right side of your image where the water meets the sand. This could also account for the lack of contrast overall. You also are very overexposed.

    Here’s a variation i did very quickly and roughly. I brought everything down, made background a tad more contrasty and darker than the rest. Made it a little warmer overall, and did a little high pass sharpening (although I don’t really think that helped much.) Also cropped but kept it horizontal. I think it looks nicer that way.

    View post on imgur.com

    (once you are done and you want to delete it, you can click here: http://imgur.com/delete/PSjc6Lcmxo1wi19 )


    Just a note as a Nikon shooter that they do have AF adjustment. It’s called Autofocus Fine Tune. I think some models may not have the feature. There are articles specifically for Nikon (and some specifically from Nikon I believe) on how to use it.


    The over exposure was slightly intentional, although the sun was coming out from some clouds and got the better of me on teh beach. The whole real of beach shots is just a sliding scale of overexposure. One of my biggest issues is not taking a moment. I tend to think people want me to just rush through and get them home then I rush and make stupid mistakes ( like not adjusting my aperture for dof). It’s a mess in my head sometimes. But anyway I wanted to overexpose because of the black dog that I knew was in the shade of their bodies. Sometimes I do think, just not always on the right things.

    I’ve had softness issues with it, on two seperate lenses. Both were ‘offbrand’ so I assumed it was the lenses. The Tamron 18-270, and the Sigma 24-70 2.8. the Sigma is better at f5 ish, but obviously still not the crispest. ( that is probably not a word), and the tamron I want to throw out a window 9 times outta ten. I’ll have to look into backfocusing issues, isn’t’ that something I’d have to send in to get looked at? I want to say when I was reading about it, that it involves a chart with lines and measures, and I’m not good at all when it comes to staring at those things. my eyes go wonky. I don’t remember issues on my 50mm or 35 though. So it may just be me and my terrible skills lol

    I like your edit, i’m going to leave it up till tonight when I can have a better look and walk myself through what you did 🙂 (and the others too 🙂 )

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