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Help with shadows on portraits

Posted: Sun, 9th Nov 2008, 5:23pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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Please help me
I've been using the green background for a few months and are having a problem for kids school photos. How can I send a couple of photos for you to help me out. .
Posted: Sun, 9th Nov 2008, 7:27pm

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B3N

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http://imageshack.us/

Upload there.

Link us by copying the "Direct link" option not the URL. Scroll down and copy the Direct link. It's in bold.
Posted: Sun, 9th Nov 2008, 8:42pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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sorry , should be this one

http://img508.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc0112xk9.jpg

http://img201.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc0118ev3.jpg
Posted: Sun, 9th Nov 2008, 11:20pm

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B3N

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Hmm looks alright to me really. What's the problem?
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 12:02am

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Enrique Photo Art

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Hi, when you enlarge the thumbnail there are blue shadows on the girl's face and neck, if I change the background the shadow changes to that colour. On the boy's photo the same happens on the lower part of the face and shirt. I have used the tools on the screen to fix but it fixed the top of the head (hair) not the face. Any ideas why it happens and more important now how to fix it. This shot was for about 95 kids at the school.Thanks!!
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 6:45am

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B3N

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Ahh I think you'll find it's the greenscreen reflecting onto thier faces. Only way this can be helped is either reshooting or masking the kids body so they aren't chroma keyed, which sadly is a feature Photokey doesn't have.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 2:36pm

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Simon K Jones

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Can you upload the original images as well for comparison? Quite often it's easier to make suggestions based on the originals than a composite.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 3:30pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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http://img233.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc0118originalyd7.jpg

http://img241.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dsc0112originalzi8.jpg

Thanks to both of you for looking into this
Any suggestions are much appreciated as I need to get an answer back to the school and maybe do the shots again, but need to know what the problem is so I can fix it for this and future jobs.Thanks
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 3:56pm

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Simon K Jones

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There are two main problems with the original shots which will make compositing difficult, unfortunately:

1. The greenscreen is extremely wrinkled, with large creases casting very dark shadows. While you can get away with a few minor creases, the big folds here are really going to cause problems. You need to make sure your screen is pulled taut, as it needs to be as featureless as possible.

2. The subjects are extremely close to the greenscreen. This causes green light to spill onto them, which makes them less distinct. This is particularly evident in the shadowed areas of their skin. You want to have as much distance between your subjects and the greenscreen as possible - at the very least a few feet. Getting some distance will enable you to light the screen and subject separately, too.

Hope this helps - I'm afraid it's going to be difficult to get perfect results from these photos without a lot of manual fiddling in something like Photoshop.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 4:41pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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thanks so much for your help and all the tips we will try it again

what is the best way to wash the green cloth? there were no washing isntructions with the product. Also to iron before transportation to the school or location.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 4:44pm

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Simon K Jones

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It'll depend on the product - I'd recommend contacting your retailer/manufacturer. I'll admit that I've never actually washed a greenscreen! As long as the actors don't know.... wink

Regarding ironing, again it'll depend on the screen itself. However, you don't need to worry too much about little creases. As long as you get rid of the big folds by pulling the screen tight and lighting it carefully you should be good to go.
Posted: Mon, 10th Nov 2008, 5:00pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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Excellent, again so much for sharing your knowledge with me.
Posted: Thu, 13th Nov 2008, 11:04am

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Arktic

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Just another quick tip - it looks to me like the green spill is being reflected from beneath the subjects, rather than just from behind. Did you take these photos in a sports hall or similar, with a shiny floor by any chance?

If so, find yourself a black cloth, and put that under the chair that the subjects are sitting on. That way, less green light will bounce off the floor and onto the faces of the subjects. Also be careful that any light reflectors or lastolites that you're using aren't reflecting green onto the subject either.

Hope this helps smile

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Thu, 13th Nov 2008, 12:12pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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Good tip. I'll be careful with that as well. I'm re-taking the photos at the school next week so every tip will help.

All of these will help with head shots, what happens with full figure portraits, do you use a black cloth then for the floor? and then it just stays black on the final photo regardless of background you pick?
Posted: Thu, 13th Nov 2008, 12:14pm

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Simon K Jones

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You can get them to stand on a greenscreen - it's entirely doable - you just have to watch out for the issues mentioned here. Try to minimise bounced green light etc. If you can get a smoothly lit greenscreen without all the folds and shadows I think you'll find things will get much easier.
Posted: Thu, 13th Nov 2008, 12:39pm

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Enrique Photo Art

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ok, next week is a daycare, very young (short) kids from about 8 months old and up, some might even have to sit on the floor as they can not be on a chair by themselves (even the small chairs for children) so very little distance from the floor to their faces, we will strech the green cloth for the background, and position them 5-6 feet from the wall