As part of my project this year I have been experimenting with family portrait style shoots, from dance portraits, outdoor shoots, and indoor shoots; I have come across problems during my indoor shoots based on the lighting equipment used, I have struggled with creating images using the harsh lighting provided, to try and rectify this I have taken to editing the images I produced in Photoshop.

Firstly I looked through what was needed fro ma children’s family photo, and this was to get them all together! however this proved more difficult than I had imagined, working with the children in hand I found them uncooperative and struggled to get a photo of them all together, however I had managed to snap an image of them all in the same shot and was able to enhance the image using Photoshop cloning tools.

Above you can see the before and after images, Using the cloning tool I was able to bring the left hand side over to the middle of the image creating a closer family photo, eliminating the big gap in the middle, I then used the quick selection tool and inverted the selection to paint in the white background using the eyedropper tool to select the background colour and then finally using the paint I softened to brush and went over any creases in the background and made sure all the background was an even colour.

I decided to do this as practise for any editing I may need to do when taking family photographs, as I had experienced it isn’t always as simple as getting the image right the first time.


Here you can see how I used the cloning tool to move the two boys into the centre of the image, from here I then went onto matching the background up behind them using the quick selection tool to outline the children.

During this shoot I also had to deal wit the harsh lighting caused by my continuous studio bulbs, as I had only umbrellas to use diffuse the light which wasn’t as effective, causing harsh shadows around the children, I used a soft brush tool to try eliminate the harsh lines.

When going through the editing process, I tried out using the colour balance and hue/saturation to enhance things such as the skin tone and eye colour, in the fist image you can see how I had managed to bring out the blue in the eyes by selecting the colour hue/saturation and selecting the colour and enhancing the saturation and/or lightness, this then gave me a brighter effect on the eye colour, after enhancing the colour of the eyes I then went on to colour balancing and took away some of the harsh reds in the skin tone to create a more even skin tone and more natural colour.

On some of the images The shot was very dark, so by adjusting the levels I was able to bring out the highlights from the background colour, I used the levels and curves tool on most of the images to ensure they were all correctly and evenly exposed.

Once I had managed to get the colour balance and the exposure correct I then went on to removing some dark shadows, On the fourth image of the girl on her own I used the brush tool and softened the edges, using the eye dropper I selected the background colour and then proceeded to use the brush tool to go around the shadows and got rid of the dark edges.

I found this shoot the most difficult, trying to create images with out the use of any natural light and with only harsh continuous studio bulbs, creating a light image with no shadows was difficult but by editing my images through Photoshop I was able to correct the issues that occurred during the shoot.

I will need to look into getting another method of using my lights such as soft boxes to diffuse my lights, creating a less harsh light source, this will eliminate the dark shadows I had issues with during this shoot.