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Is it the editing?

crossover37crossover37 Member
edited March 2013 in technique & style & stuff
Do you think this photographer (https://www.facebook.com/camiphotography?fref=ts) achieves such amazing images by the way she edits? Is she using flash? I honestly don't know what it is but her images look like they're from magazines. The skin tones and light is really nice but I don't seem to be able to get anything near that with my work.

My website is martisphotography.com if you want to see how my work compares.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Some images there look like they have additional lighting / off-camera flash.

    The majority are either available light, or delicately enhanced with flash.

    Re the look she has in the images - post-processing!

    Ultimately, the look is dependent on how she processes her images, but she does make it easy on herself by taking care of the light / lighting at the start. That's always the best.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Martis .. I had a brief look over your galleries. Your work is solid! Very nice photography there. Some of the images are a touch heavy on the post-processing (e.g. cross-processsed look) for me, but that is a matter of personal taste. Really nice work.
  • Thank you Neil for the compliment!

    I think my work is good but I feel that lady is in a whole different league. Whenever I try to use natural light only, I always seem to get shadows or uneven skin tones and that requires a lot of post processing. Even then the images still don't look super clean and sharp. Flash helps with the shadows but if I don't have soft ambient light outdoors it seems like the images don't come out as nice. Because of that I feel I only can shoot when it's near dusk.

    I keep continuing to learn and practice but I feel there's something missing that maybe I'm not grasping...
  • along similar lines.... I have always admired the work of the following child portrait photographer


    What do you think? I am especially interested in the outdoor portraits. The pictures do have a definite 'snap' to them and also you can see catch lights in the eyes. Do you think this is off camera flash?.

  • agreenwood - To me it looks like off camera flash because the dynamic range would be too far apart if only the natural light filled in their faces. The photographer can lower the brightness of the overall image but light the subjects with flash.

    Maybe I'm wrong but that's what it looks like to me.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I would have to agree that Cristina Barton uses off-camera flash.
    You can see it in this blog post

    You can especially see it in the 2nd last shot where the mom is holding her child.

    Two shots above that, where the little guy is holding the pail, with the garden in the background - the light on him is too carefully balanced to just be a lucky coincidence with the light. She makes her own luck with off-camera flash.
  • It kind of looks like she takes care of the lighting then she runs it through an action to achieve the same color throughout her photographs.. I can see the editing in the children's skins, not a big fan but I must say she has some very nice pics of children.. .. most of the pics look to be done in available light except for a couple.. just my opinion, IM no expert,
    I will say this your work is awesome in its own way, you have what most of us photographers go through where u look at others work a d depreciate your own.. The more technical it gets or the more you learn your bothered by slight imperfections in lighting/composition.. Artists go through this too, specially painters.. They are unhappy when a painting is just perfect so they add something here and something there an in the end the entire painting is ruined.. , crossover37 your work is very nice.. I enjoyed going through your portfolio.
  • Hi guys, found this conversation through a surge of hits on my site, hope you don't mind me chipping in!

    I very rarely use OCF - I played with it in the past but it's not something I could possibly use when chasing toddlers :)

    Most of my photos are natural light only. Neil, the shot of Mum and little girl was lit using a golden reflector camera left. The little boy with the pail is natural light only. I sometimes lower the background exposure in Lightroom to draw attention to the subject, so that's probably what you're seeing.

    Quite happy to post a before/after editing of any image, once I work out how!
  • Ms. Barton,

    Thanks for joining the conversation! Your photos are exceptional. If you don't mind sharing, I'm curious to know how you get your subjects to appear so relaxed, comfortable, and happy. I imagine many on this forum would welcome any additional lighting/editing tips you may have.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited April 2013
    Cristina .. thanks for looking in! :)

    You can attach a file to any comment, or,
    if you want, send me the before & after, and I can post it here.
  • I Am Also curious to see a before and after!! great work Christina!
  • You have some good points EYESIC! And thank you for the compliments on my work, I really appreciate it!
  • Christina.. absolutely beautiful imagies. Just stunning work. Do you post process mostly in Lightroom? Very curious about your sharpening workflow if you could share. Well done.
  • Martis,

    Part of that post processing look is achieved by a bit of over exposure either in camera or bringing it up in post on the exposure slider then using processing methods to smooth it out. Getting clean exposure on shadows helps a lot too. That little bit of overexposure on skin can really clean it up especially when done in camera. But takes some practice to hit the sweet spot and not overexposed. Kind of think of the skin as your white point on the zone scales being a 9 rather than a 7..

    You can see this in Chuck Arlunds work which he has posted on Neil's blog too.
    Chuck gave me a quick look into his processing. I like it on his images but not mine. Go figure.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Jeff ... funny how that works.
    I've also applied some of Chuck's methods on my photos ... and I just don't like it. I love it on his work .. but not on mine. I kinda settle back into a "default" that I really like.
  • Did Christina ever come back?? or upload anything to you Neil?
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