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  1. #11
    Christopher Nisperos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster
    Recently, I made a close-up potriat where I used a fast lens and have the depth of focus on the eyeball only, everything went accroding to plan except the reflection of strobe light and window frame were in the subject's eyes, which I find very distracting. This have been bugging me since and i would really like to know if there are any way I can avoid or minimise catchlight? Or is retouching the only way to go.
    Hi Hamster,

    Your question seems to ask about future portraits, and not necessarily the current one which so irks you. I would say the solution is to raise your strobe a bit, either handheld or by using a bracket.

    I don't exactly understand where the window frame reflection comes in (perhaps you could post a photo). Was this portrait "natural light-plus-fill-flash"?

    Lastly, —and maybe I'm being too technical about it, but— I've always considered a "catchlight" as being the tiny, point-like reflections in the eye which result from sources such as flash, bulb/spot or sun, as opposed to the broad reflections from a window. This picky difference will suddenly become important in determining how to solve your problem. You can't just "raise a window a bit", as with the strobe!

  2. #12
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinsnow
    Actually up until a few years ago, neg retouching was very comon, we used to do it, in the photo lab that I worked in, both color and B&W, in addition, most enlargements we did, had spotting done to them, I have done away with many a reflection or catch light for customers.


    Dave
    Quite true Dave. I remember a time as I recall in my Camera Club days when people would even retouch and/or paint directly on transparencies.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  3. #13
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    First, it's important to remember that 1) catchlights in some form or another are desirable, and 2) attractive catchlights are a side effect of good lighting. Eliminating them by changing the direction of your light source means employing lighting that is not terribly flattering for most portrait work.

    Secondly, the idea that catchlight must be single, round, and specifically placed on the eye is rather old school, and really can only apply to studio-lit portrait work. Try photographing a person outdoors in "good" light, i.e. open shade or other soft, sun-sourced, diffused light, and you'll see larger, more numerous, multi-shaped catchlights. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. Your catchlights will look like your light and your light source.

    If you're finding that your catchlights are distracting, you may need to reevaluate your lighting choices.

    If you absolutely must have single, round, specifically placed catchlights....well, you'd hate most of my work.

  4. #14
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    hmmmmmmmm, I was going to let this thread slide by, then I read Cheryl's
    post! She hits the nail right on the head! What a great post Cheryl, I agree with you 100%.

    Now on corrective retouching, You are going to have a tough time removing a catchlight or reflection on a B&W/color negative with dye or pencil. You must either retouch the print, or use an etching knife. An exacto or a very sharp needle can be used with great care on some things. The work requires removing a very tiny layer of emulsion, kind of like laser eye surgery.

    Charlie..............................

    BTW, I started doing corrective retouching in 1947 and was instructed by the same gentleman that tought Veronica Cass. (A shameful name drop!)

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs
    First, it's important to remember that 1) catchlights in some form or another are desirable, and 2) attractive catchlights are a side effect of good lighting. Eliminating them by changing the direction of your light source means employing lighting that is not terribly flattering for most portrait work.

    Secondly, the idea that catchlight must be single, round, and specifically placed on the eye is rather old school, and really can only apply to studio-lit portrait work. Try photographing a person outdoors in "good" light, i.e. open shade or other soft, sun-sourced, diffused light, and you'll see larger, more numerous, multi-shaped catchlights. Is that a bad thing? Of course not. Your catchlights will look like your light and your light source.
    Thanks for that post, Cheryl. I was beginning to wonder...

  6. #16

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    Thanks for all the input, I never thought there is so much to it. the "potriat" i really have in mind is actually a head and shoulders shot of some fluffy toy amimals, in the end I rubbed a thin layer of neutral shoe polish to slightly matt the surface of the plastic eyeball, and it proved satisfactory. However, when doing real people potriat I am sure the hint above will be greatly appreciated.

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