Moira Heilbronn  

XMAS SPARKLES by Moira Heilbronn

December 2019 - XMAS SPARKLES

About the Image(s)

We were having some fun with Xmas lights & I managed to get a shot of this girl really enjoying herself, although she was a bit concerned she might be electrocuted by the lights! Luckily the voltage is so low there was no chance of any mishap. The low light & brightness of all the Xmas lights was definitely a challenge

This was processed in Lightroom & Photoshop. I usually get the exposure right in Lightroom & correct for the lens I have used & then finish off in Photoshop where I adjust contrast & saturation , crop and fix skin where necessary.

Canon 5D Mark IV
Lens: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art
1/125 sec @f/1.6 | ISO1600

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Alison McMahan   Alison McMahan
Dear Moira,
This is a lovely, lovely picture! And the lights, the color in the mist behind her, the bokeh in the lights behind her, all fantastic! And you achieved that most elusive thing, you captured a perfect moment of real happiness!
I can't think of much to suggest, except maybe crop the left side a little more. The red figure is bright and distracting at the top and the walk and greenlight are not needed. Without them you have a nice diagonal line from her figure through the purple mist. Try it and see what you think.   Posted: 12/08/2019 18:48:26

Henry Roberts   Henry Roberts
Moira, the excitement is there in the woman's candid laugh, the Christmas timing is great. This is a perfect photographic capture!

Critique: to me the lights seem too bright and distracting. Could you burn them in or reduce their brightness in some way?

Alison has some interesting suggestions to try.
  Posted: 12/09/2019 20:05:36

Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Moira, what a happy photo this is. I love the colouring of the lady in the image too. However, I do find the background too bright. I think I would tone down the white lights as they keep drawing my eye away from the main subject. I wonder if you have thought about playing with the saturation of the background to dull down the bright colors. I think this would make the lady stand out even more than she is already.   Posted: 12/13/2019 04:17:46

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I've cropped the image to the left, and since I was unable to burn the white lights, I have changed their colour (using a colour wheel to see what might go with the yellow dress) and desaturated slightly. Has this improved the image?   Posted: 12/14/2019 00:07:19
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And a purple one - not sure which looks better.   Posted: 12/14/2019 00:08:10
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Alison McMahan   Alison McMahan
Dear Moira,
I think the second one is better because the bright white light behind her left elbow is now no longer white. If you could color that white light on the one with the orange background color I think that would also work well.
I didn't have any problem with the white lights in the original version, though the bright light behind her elbow and the white blog of light to the right are distracting. I could see toning down those but keeping the white light on the fence or wall behind her. I think your crop works very well.   Posted: 12/22/2019 04:38:33
Alison McMahan   Alison McMahan
This image definitely inspired me. Look for my image next months to see what I did with a similar concept....   Posted: 12/25/2019 07:22:15

Andrew Hersom   Andrew Hersom
The woman in the foreground is very good and makes a very lively image. I think cloning out or toning down the bright lights in the background is a definite improvement.   Posted: 12/22/2019 12:43:01

Catherine Honigsberg   Catherine Honigsberg
Great capture. This not only works for the holidays, but at any time. I liked the original white lights, except for the white by her elbow. I like the way the white lights make the lighting on her face really glow in a good way.   Posted: 12/23/2019 09:24:24