Thursday, December 28, 2017

I finally took our OWN family portrait! How I took the shot with just my camera, lens, tripod and phone.

Today was a special day for the Cable family. We actually had both kids in town and had the whole family together for once. Since I have been taking all of our friend's family portraits for the holidays, I figured that it was about time that we get one of our own family.

I mentioned this yesterday and my daughter suggested that, with the Olympics coming up and us having all this USA clothing, we use this as a theme. I loved the idea and so this is what we did.

But it was just us, and even though I have some photographer friends in the area, I did not want to bother them to take the photo. I was trying to figure out the best way to take the photo, when I remembered that the Canon 5D Mark IV has WiFi and can be mounted on my Gitzo Mountaineer tripod and easily triggered from my iPhone X. Because the Canon CameraConnect application (which is free) allows me to make changes to the aperture, ISO, shutter speed and more, I was able to determine the proper settings while in the posing for the shot.

And one feature of the app that REALLY helped, was being able to see what was in the viewfinder. I can't tell you how many times I have tried using a wireless trigger only to find out that the composition was not good. With the CameraConnect app I could look at the live image on the screen, and move us around before hitting the shutter release button.

There were numerous times when I noticed that my head was out of the frame or that the flag that my daughter was holding was partially out of the shot.

I set the camera to a 2 second timer so that I could hit the shutter button on the app and then hide the phone and look up before the photo was taken.

I took 17 photos, using the Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon 70-200 2.8 lens, to make sure we had one with everyone looking good (including the dog who was looking everywhere but the camera). As I usually do, I had my Canon 600 EX-RT flash on the camera and set to -1 stop of flash power.

Once I got home and looked at all the images on my computer, I determined that one photo had the best composition, but that I looked better in another photo. If you look at the partially retouched image below, you will see the original photo of me, with the iPhone clearly visible in my hand). Using Adobe Photoshop CC, I took myself from another photo and cloned it into a separate layer in the main photo. I thought I was done, but then my daughter pointed out that she did not like her pose (and we all agreed). So I then took her from yet another photo and dropped her into a layer of the image.

For both of us, I created a layer mask and painted us into the scene. If you look at the image above you will see my original pose and my daughter as I was halfway done masking her into the image.

The layer masks did the trick and I was all set. Voila, we had our first family photo in a long time!

(Canon 5D Mark IV, 70-200mm lens at 150mm, ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/200 sec, Canon 600 EX-RT flash at -1)

Here is the final photo.

We now have a holiday photo to share with all of you.  We hope you like it.

Happy New Year from the Cable Family!

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1 comment:

Jodi Newell said...

Great looking family and wonderful article Jeff! Happy New Year!