I never posted any pictures from our visit to my cousin’s farm in Tennessee (Kirkhaven Farm). Mostly because they have been sitting in a folder waiting to be edited. I am making myself re-learn Lightroom and this was my first batch to edit exclusively in LR4 so there was about a month of full on protest/procrastination. I think I will really enjoy using it, especially for my personal pictures, but I’m kind of stubborn and set in my ways. My bridge/photoshop workflow is down pat and the idea of messing with it gets under my skin a little. Having said that, the amount of personal pictures I have taken since River has joined our little family has kept me super busy editing and I am either to the point that I’m just going to shoot JPG and not edit any of them (sounds quite lovely at the moment) or figure out Lightroom and do a quick edit (doesn’t sound so lovely at the moment, but I’m willing to give it a shot). Since I’m learning some new things it brought me back to a time that EVERYTHING was new. I get emails from time to time with random photography questions. I try to do my best to respond to them, but honestly I have a response email template for these questions because it’s a lot of repeat things. Most people who are just shooting for fun and want good pictures of their kiddos just want to know more about lighting and composition. So here are a few pointers as well as a few pictures of cows.
The bluest sky is always opposite of the sun. Your subject will be in full light, so it’s difficult to take images of people with a bright blue sky in the background unless you have them looking at each other. Obviously the barn doesn’t have eyes, so it didn’t have to squint for this picture.
Yetta does have eyes, but didn’t seem to mind being in full sun.
You can also have your subject split the sun, so half of their face is lit kind of like Sweetie above. You’ll still get a blue sky and they’ll most likely be able to look at the camera without tearing up. The only thing is the shadow in the face.
Same time of day. The shot above is with the sun behind me and the barn fully lit by the sun. The shot below is the sun in front of me, so my subject (the barn) is backlit. You’ll notice you can’t see the details of the barn as well. If I wanted the barn to be exposed correctly I would have had to overexpose the sky. A lot of my images are backlit and the sky is blown out because my subjects can then look away from the sun (no squinting) and I can avoid shadows on their face. I love full sun pictures because of the bright vibrant colors, but I love backlit pictures too. Try taking a picture of the same thing from several angles with the sun on either side of you. Play around with the exposure and see which one you like the best.
This little calf was just a few days old. So sweet.
And this little boy was just a few months old! So sweet and cuddly. River and I were standing near a big door which opened up to the outside. We were being lit by full sun outside but not in the sun which is why we can easily look at the camera without squinting. When photographing indoors, move your subject close to a window or door so they are lit naturally by the light coming from the sun.
This is another example of using outside light in an indoor setting. River is laying on the floor inside but he is right next to a window. If you find that there is too much sun coming in from the window or if it’s not the angle you were wanting, you can back light the photo like we talked about before. The shot below (River & Dan) is backlit. My light source is the window behind them. As you can see the windows and everything outside is over-exposed and blown out, but they are not. I would also like to point out the exposure is a bit of an opinion thing. I tend to almost over-expose my subjects because I like bright vibrant pictures. Some people like darker, richer tones in skin. It’s up to you, you’re the artist if you are taking the picture.
A special thanks to Totally Rad Actions for “Mystery Bus Lite” which is the only retouch I did on the very last photo. I also used a few of their other presets on the previous images. My favorites for this set were “Electric Skies” and “Landscape”. I do think Lightroom and I are going to get along, I just need to give it a little more time…
Peace and have a beautiful week everyone!