Faces – Sharp yet Flattering?

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    • #72057498

      Hi all,

      My background is in lighting and editing, and I’ve made a couple self-produced documentaries, so not a total noob. However, I’m trying to improve the quality of my camera work—particularly with people’s faces—and I could definitely use some advice.

      Lately I’ve been shooting a lot of interviews on my Canon C100 MkII, using a Canon 50mm f1.4. I love the sharpness, bokeh, and general quality that this lens gives me. But I feel like I’m running into the problem of people’s faces looking “too sharp”, to the point where every pore and blemish is way too clear. This seems to be particularly pronounced on people with very light or pink-ish skin. Despite white balancing and proper in-camera waveform levels, I seem to always end up trying to pull all the red out of their faces in post, just to make all the blemishes less pronounced.

      I understand that this may be about lighting as well. And I also realize that, for professional quality beauty looks, a LOT of work is done in post. I’m just wondering what steps I can take—in-camera and/or during the shoot—to make my images more flattering. I don’t want to lose clarity, but I also don’t want my subjects feeling terrible about how I made them look.

      Here are two samples that I shot recently. Contrast levels have been adjusted, but otherwise they are unretouched.

      Canon C100 MkII with 50mm at f4, I believe.
      Lit with 2 Kino Flos with 5600K bulbs and Opal gels.
      (Also, I’m aware I should have used a backlight. There wasn’t a lot of setup time.)

      Canon C100 MkII with 50mm at f1.8.
      Shot in natural sunglight, with a very slight LED softbox fill.

      Any constructive advice is appreciated!

    • #72059204
      bobspez
      Participant

      The two attached pics so not show.

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