So, I don't think this is true flat light, mostly because of her positioning. You posing is very nice, very classic, but because of the way her head is angled, I think you've set up slightly angled, the catchlights are more towards 11:00, rather than 12:00.
In ideal portrait world, you would not want catchlights perfectly at 12:00, but that was the point of this exercise. If you have anyone else you could practice with, just for the sake of learning, try shooting them head on, perfectly parallel to the window, even if you don't get a great pose.
You asked in the main thread about your WB:
"Could it be because the white card was flat on the table and she (of course) was not flat but sitting up?"
Yes, this will REALLY affect your WB. The light hitting straight down on a table is very different than light streaming in from a window. I have a play for you that I can post in the main thread with a play for WB, just to give you a starting point. :)
And I agree with the others, your house is not cluttery!!! :)
Wow, the whole thing looks good to me. I like your use of the unbrella - very clever!
You identified issues with needing to up the ISO for better exposure and sharper focus. Your pp looks good to my biginner skills, so I feel like I don't have much to say for that.
The one thing I see is a very light streak in her hair coming out of her hands. Is that just a super light part of her hair, or a string? I don't know what it is, so it is just a bit distracting to me. I'll assume it is a highlight in her hair.
And, if that room looks cluttered to you, then perhaps I won't be showing you my house, because we clutter in a much more passionate way around here.
Love all the musical instruments around the room! So cool!
Well, I don't know if you'll get these comments, but here goes anyway! Your daughter looks beautiful, BTW! The SOOC looks a tad underexposed to me, I would bump up the ISO a bit, as you already mentioned. The edit looks a tad bit off to me, maybe a bit too warm or yellow. The house is fine, too...you need to come to my house to see what a mess REALLY looks like, lol ;-p
Project - Natural Light CC Group 2011 Lesson 1
posted 08/30/11 at 08:08 PM
Camera - Nikon D5000
Lens - 50 1.4
Settings - ISO 320, F 1.4, 1/100
First off, my focus STINKS!!! I went WAY down on the f/stop # when I should have gone up on the ISO. Plus I had just made her laugh, so her head might have still been moving a tad? I wanted to redo it, but daughter was not willing and I didn't have it in me to fight her over it.
For editing in ACR I adjusted the wb off a white card picture I had to take afterwards when I noticed there was no white anywhere.
I put the fill light up to 30 & moved the brightness from 50 to 53.
For the noise, I put the amount down to zero, the luminance to 45 & the color to 12.
In PSE9 I ran the coffeeshop blog's 2020 action for some extra contrast, but reduced it to 10%. I feel like I should be able to do this with a levels layer, but I have yet to get it to look the way I want it, so I've been relying on the 2020 action at a low opacity. I also cropped and cloned.
From the pull back, we learn that my house is a total WRECK. We also figure out that for some reason I thought it would be less work to move the entire couch than to construct a back drop. I had her sit on the coffee table (which contributed to much of the clutter). I was behind the smaller couch at the windows taking the picture.
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