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    candidrachel's Avatar
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    Default How to get soft and dreamy skin tones on children portraits

    I'm not sure if this belongs in this section or not so please feel free to move...

    On to my question. I've seen some really lovely soft, dreamy lighting on children's portraits. How do you get it? Its like the skin tones are completely flawless. My daughters skin tone is kind of red and peachy by nature but I've seen kids with clear baby skin.

    I'm hoping Susan can reply because she specializes in this but thought I'd ask anyone else how to achieve this,

    Tried Googling it but got nowhere.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelgingell/

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along" - Napoleon Hill

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    Hi Rachel, got your message and came here to reply!

    I like to shoot in open shade if it's bright and sunny out and I need to shoot mid-day; I prefer shooting about an hour or so before sunset for the best light, though. The photo you mentioned was shot at around noon on a bright, sunny day. I had my, err, assistant (haha, my son) hold my reflector as a gobo to block the sun and put her in open shade, which also put nice catchlights in her eyes. I also ETTR, that helps with getting the creamy skin. It's really just all about proper lighting and exposure.

    Hope this helps!

    Link to photo you mentioned: 30 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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    candidrachel's Avatar
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    Thank you so much Susan! What is ETTR?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelgingell/

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along" - Napoleon Hill

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    candidrachel's Avatar
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    Googled ETTR it means Expose To The Right. Whatever that means...... Back to Google to find that out!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelgingell/

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along" - Napoleon Hill

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    candidrachel's Avatar
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    Another question. When you ETTR do you use spot metering and meter of the face? I understand by google that you shoot in RAW and then up the exposure by a stop or 2.

    I'd really appreciate a reply not just from you Susan but anyone else who shoots kids in natural light.

    BTW I left a reply on flickr
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelgingell/

    "Do not wait, the time will never be just right. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along" - Napoleon Hill

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    With my nikon if I jut leave the exposure compensation at 0 it automatically overexposes by about 1/2 stop...I've learned to leave it there and adjust in post.
    Overexposing the skin tends to "wash out" the blemishes...correcting the skin tone is most easily done by adjusting the exposure "gamma" in post (at least that works well for me usually).

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk66 View Post
    With my nikon if I jut leave the exposure compensation at 0 it automatically overexposes by about 1/2 stop...I've learned to leave it there and adjust in post.
    Im glad someone else has this issue. My Canon always seems to overexpose stuff a little unless I'm in mid-day sun. Early morning or late evening it seems to like to try and make it look brighter outisde. There are times when you want the picture dark - because thats what the light is like. I usually leave my compensation on 1/2 stop low so I dont have to play with it in post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by candidrachel View Post
    Another question. When you ETTR do you use spot metering and meter of the face? I understand by google that you shoot in RAW and then up the exposure by a stop or 2.

    I'd really appreciate a reply not just from you Susan but anyone else who shoots kids in natural light.

    BTW I left a reply on flickr
    I do spot meter off the cheek, and shoot in manual. I make sure the meter is at +1/3 - 2/3 (my Canon tends to underexpose at 0). Once I have my exposure set, I focus on the eyes and shoot.

    I also shoot in RAW and if there are any small blowouts I use the recovery slider in ACR, no more than +10 or you start to lose contrast.

    Thanks for the note on Flickr!
    Susan
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