Story:  Shooting the Family Reunion

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The family reunion is a perfect opportunity to collect a complete set of family portraits.  With four generations present, it's an opportunity which should not be missed.

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At the last reunion, the old barn was the studio.  Since it is next to the house, it was convenient, and inside.  It is unmistakably farm.  The hay, and the old boards of the barn made it perfect.  As a prop, we had a kitchen chair.

Often, for events like this, you can make an argument for simply repeating the formula.  And maybe that is what should have been done.  But many of the women don't like the barn, and there can be safety issues.  Because we decided to shoot near the house, it became important to find a spot for the studio. 

Unfortunately, there was not a spot that would remain in the open shade all day.  During the day some subjects would be squinting into the sun.

Well the day before we were to begin the three days of shooting, our new studio arrived!  It arrived in the form of a shiny new tractor, complete with a loading bucket that had never seen dirt.

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Colton, Ryker, Blaze, Oarn, Shawna

The tractor was easily moved from open shade to open shade.  As the sun moved around the big pine tree, so did the tractor. 

The weekend was windy, too.  Our movable studio could be kept out of the sun and out of the wind. 

In addition, it was the perfect prop.  It says, quite clearly, "Farm!" And the bucket turned out to be a way seat the subject and pose small groups.

Because of the outdoor, open shade setting, it was possible to do three days of shooting with nothing more than my camera and a 70-200mm lens.  (Although I will admit it probably would have been good to have a light or two hand.  And, in addition to the camera, we did have a brand new $150,000 tractor.)

The Feature Image
Date Taken:  Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 5:41 pm
Camera:  NIKON D800E
Exposure:  1/250 sec at f 4.5 ISO 500
Exposure Mode:  Shutter Priority
Lens:  Sigma 70-200mm D f/2.8 APO DG HSM
Focal Length:  100 mm
Flash:  No Flash
Software:  Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 (Macintosh)

Here are the Photoshop layers, in the order I would have created them:

* Image layer:  Minor clean-up with the Healing Brush.
* A Frequency Separation group to deal with some minor skin rash.
* Curves adjustment layer, Soft Light Blending mode to add a touch of contrast.
* A Curves Adjustment Layer, masked to show only the eyes and adjusted to brighten the eyes. 
* A Curves Adjustment Layer, to brighten the skin tone. 
* Curves Adjustment Layer, set to Multiply Blend, to darken the image green and provide some vignette.

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Posted August 05, 2016 at 10:51 pm.