Beach Date

Beach Date

On Saturday I went on my first real portrait shoot. Some friends agreed to help me practice my technique by letting me do some family portraits of them. Juliette and Jason came along as well, since we figured we could get in our Christmas card shots in at the same time.

Leading up to the shoot I was a nervous wreck, even though I was working with friends in a very low-pressure situation. Once we actually got there, though, and started shooting, it was actually kind of fun. I think I learned a lot, too. For example, the next time I do a beach shoot, I'll either do it in the morning or bring a fill light. I also won't try to cram in two shoots into the same session.

Anyway, the kids had fun, as you can see. And hopefully my friends will find a few keepers out of the set.

Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/4000, ISO 200. Post-processing in Aperture 3: yellow filter BW preset; curve for contrast; burned the highlights in both kids' faces; added edge sharpening.

Thoughts for improvement: A fill light on the left would have been a good idea, although the shadows in the current version do look kind of dramatic. I also wish I had framed the shot just a little bit lower, to add a sliver more space below Jason's foot.



Is there any photoshop fix for the fill? I really like the shot.

Mike Sakasegawa:

There are different things I could do to lighten up some of the shadows, but nothing that would replicate a real fill light. Part of the problem for me here is that I've only seen it on screens, so I don't really know how it looks. On my laptop it looks great, but on my work desktop the shadows are too dark. I should probably get a print made and see how it comes out.