Group Photography: 12 ways to make your portraits shine

Group Photography: 12 ways to make your portraits shine

Group photography tips: 12 Add some attitude

For our shots of the members of the band, Electric Jesters, we wanted a grittier, grungier look – just the sort of thing you might want if you were taking a photograph for a poster or an album cover.

We were happy with the composition of the image we’d taken, but wanted to add a moody feel in the digital darkroom.

We did this using Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6, but the techniques are pretty straightforward and could be applied using almost any image-editing program.

There are just three key steps to achieving this particular high-contrast, desaturated look: first boost the contrast; then adjust the colour temperature and saturation; and then finally add a vignette effect to darken the corners.

Boost the contrast

Boost the contrast
Adobe Camera Raw has a ‘Clarity’ slider which makes objects and outlines stand out more clearly when pushed to the right to increase midtone contrast; push this up to its maximum. Next, apply a hefty increase to the ‘Contrast’ slider, and reduce the setting for the ‘Exposure’ slider so that the highlights don’t burn out.

 

Adjust the colours

Adjust the colours
The faded retro colours come from two adjustments. First, push the Temperature slider to the right, as this gives the image a much warmer colour balance. Then, reduce the Saturation value to fade the colours.

 

Adjust the colours

Add a vignette
Adobe Camera Raw has its own Vignetting tool which you’ll find on the ‘fx’ panel, but you can achieve a similar thing by darkening the edges of the picture manually. This focuses attention on the main subject, and gives the picture a stronger look.

PAGE 1: What makes good group photography?
PAGE 2: Group photography tips: 01 Tripod and remote
PAGE 3: Group photography tips: 02 Best camera settings
PAGE 4: Group photography tips: 03 The classic line-up
PAGE 5: Group photography tips: 04 Handheld settings
PAGE 6: Group photography tips: 05 Change your viewpoint
PAGE 7: Group photography tips: 06 Wide-angle perspectives
PAGE 8: Group photography tips: 07 Go with flash
PAGE 9: Group photography tips: 08 Act the fool!
PAGE 10: Group photography tips: Natural frames
PAGE 11: Group photography tips: Lively line-ups
PAGE 12: Group photography tips: Make a moody sky
PAGE 13: Group photography tips: Add some attitude

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