Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Our Family"
©David A. Ziser

I don't post many family portraits, but this is one of my favorite family portraits I've captured. I had a conversation with the mom about clothing at our planning session a week or so before the portrait was scheduled. She can up with the wonderful combination of tans and blacks for the family. The image was made in their backyard. Fortunately the trees were so far away from my subjects, so that they went out of focus beautifully with my fairly wide aperture creating a wonderfully beautiful backdrop for the portrait. The direction of light was created with my off-camera flash firing through a translucent umbrella to the left of the group. Camera specs; Nikon D1x fitted with 80-200mm non IS lens at 185mm mounted on a tripod, F4.5 @ 1/500 second (native sync speed on the Nikon D1x was 1/500 second - I loved it), ISO 200.
Enjoy! -David


  1. Beautiful! A question on lighting this group, though: does it necessitate lots of fussing with placement to achieve both a good composition and limited shadows? Would shadows have been more of an issue if black had not been selected? Thanks, Brian.

  2. Photo has good quality as lighting etc but people .. looks plastic and unnatural

  3. Love the photo David, but you keep talking about the off camera flash and i am learning to use one as often as possible but you assistant uses a monopod, where can i get a bracket to attach my umbrella, i am in the UK and have searched but can't seem to find one? Keep up the great work.

  4. @Dean - not sure about shipping to the UK, but B&H photo, Adorama, Amvona, Midwest Photo Exchange and Flash Zebra (to name a few) all carry the umbrella bracket. [m]

  5. David I must admit the stretch lines on the shirt on the girl in front is distracting to me. She looks like the youngest but the most full figured.Personally I would have cloned these out.

  6. I just think it is beautiful and love the warm feeling it conveys. It has been one of my favorites in looking at many of your portraits for awhile.

  7. I think everyone in this photo would look at it and say "I look really nice in this photo".
    I raised the over-all brightness with levels and it looks a lot more snappier, the greens are greener and the skin comes alive.
    I'm not sure about the tan clothing. I got a feeling its too close to the color of skin. It is basically a tricolor photo - mostly green, lots of tan and some black, which is ok I guess.
    David,I read you everyday. Keep up the GREAT work.