Throughout my project I have focused on what makes a good portrait, using different techniques such as indoor studio lighting and outdoor lighting, different settings and different style portraits.

After my testing I have chosen a select few images that through the correct lighting/composition and settings created images best suited for my project.

The first of my images is that from an outdoor shoot;

The original image I was happy with before processing, I managed to capture the image using f5.6 outdoors with the use of the mid day sun facing directly onto the subject, with half power flash ans 100 iso.

Once opened in Photoshop I chose to adjust the colour levels adjusting the amount of green in the image, then again taking out the yellow tint giving a more natural colouring but yet still keeping the gentle glow of the sun on the subjects skin. As well as adjusting the colour I got rid of blemishes on the skin, keeping the subjects complexion clear but with out changing their appearance.

img_5356As I wanted to create portrait images for my project I feel this suits it perfectly, the lighting created from the use of the available light outdoors created a soft shadow on the side of the face, giving the person in the image definition to their face, by placing him against the tree I was able to use the background, creating separation in the image, with the light bark and the dark background of the trees in the distance.

Using outdoor lighting worked well with creating my portrait images, the outdoors creates a nice background in the images, rather than a plain or unnatural backdrop, this creates character in the images.

Future shoots will also be taken at outdoor settings to enable me to create final images using the same techniques used here.

The second image I have chosen from my testing is one from the family shoot indoors using photography bulbs;

I chose one of the images of the babies, using a black backdrop and fluffy rug, I decided to use the levels to bring the baby from the background, by adjusting the levels I was able to brighten the hair to to stop it fading into the background.

I also decided to use the colour balance to take away the pink tone of the skin, as well as reducing the yellow creating more blue detailing in the eyes and dress, this gave the image a natural colour, separating the colours in the image.

IMG_5288.jpgBy capturing her sat looking at the camera I was able to use this to my advantage, I captured the whole of her outfit, sat still and with that all important catch light in the eyes from the studio lights, these I used with the help of an umbrella diffuser, this made the lights less harsh and created a softer glow, after taking the shoot I have looked into some soft boxes, this should create the dame effect but with out having to improvise.

I shot the image at f8 and using an iso of 3200 as the outdoor lighting from the window was limited, making the image bright but not over exposed.

I liked this image mainly because it has the baby portraiture look to it, with the soft rug and full body image, it is the kind of image people come to expect when getting children’s photographs, an image suitable to go on top of fire place!

I will be continuing to create images alike this for my project this year, using the same lighting technique however with a larger soft box to eliminate the chance of over exposure in the images.

Another image I have chosen is from my portrait shoot with the dance children, again this shoot was with a plain background indoors and with studio lights;

Using the dropper tool I chose the clearest white in the background to create a colour i can use in the brush tool to get rid of the creases and discolouration in the backdrop, this gave the image a classic backdrop look.

One I had adjusted the background I then used the levels tool to adjust the colour levels in the image, separating the subject from the background.

The lights used as like the family portraits I took were high wattage photography bulbs, so keeping the exposure just right was difficult, by moving the lights to face the backdrop rather than the girls I was able to separate them from the background but keeping them correctly exposed as well.

I created the image using a f stop suitable for a portrait at f8 and keeping the iso between 200 and 400 to make sure the image was correctly exposed.


Again I feel as though this image is well suited for a children’s photo shoot, I managed to capture a natural smile and a pose that shows off her dress, an image suitable for an album.

The last of my images are a set from the dance competition, I took these with harsh lighting over head, and a dark background, using the flash gun to fill in the detail of the dancers;

With the background of the stage being so dark I chose to adjust he levels of my images, bringing our the light in the highlights, this stopped the dancers fading into the background and even brought out the detailing of the hair, this gave a better image.

I also used the patch tool to get rid of blemishes and marks on the wooden floor, as well as small reflections from the background curtains, this created a clearer image.

When taking the images I used a flash gun on full power, to surround the dancers with light, giving them detail in the images, with no use of side lights on stage I had to make sure that I used a high iso of between 800 and 1600 to help brighten my image, using an f stop of f8 to f11 to be able to get a crisp image from a distance, this kept the detail of the dancers without taking too much detail of the background.

The images I took I feel were perfect for my project, I wanted to capture portrait images not only from a studio like setting but also during an event, this was a perfect opportunity to create individual dance portraits of the children whilst they were on stage, not only have I been able to get image that would be suitable for the dance academy as they were originally for I have also been able to create images that would be suitable for the parents of the children, images suitable for portfolios and albums.

As these images were dance images I decided to choose the images that showed the best positions as well as the clearest images.

In the images you can see the perfection of each move as well as the determination in the faces, each image I have picked shows the dancers at their peak, this is what the academy was looking for in the images they had requested, with pointed toes, perfected positions and ‘dance face’.

The term ‘dance face’is alike the saying ‘race face’ you might hear in sports photography, It refers to the determination and effort you can see on the face captured in the image, here you can see on some of the faces the big smiles that is required from the dancers during their performances.