Smiling Eyes

Sharing a portrait of a lovely young woman that had a mini portrait session with me. The session occurred at Lake Elkhorn in Columbia Maryland. Morgan, Kat’s older sister contacted us because she wanted to give her mother photographs of the three sisters together for a Christmas present. I love how Kat’s eyes appear to be smiling in this photograph.


9 thoughts on “Smiling Eyes

  1. Hi, thought I’d stop by and reply on here to your comments/questions on my blog 🙂

    I’d say generally it’s a great image,she has a really natural and warm expression; if I had any constructive criticism, I’d say that the hair draws my eye first as it’s the brightest area of the image. Next brightest are the teeth, which are brighter than her eyes! To balance it, I’d suggest perhaps a little bit of extra dodging in the eyes – I tend to make a kind of semicircular ‘U’ around the sides and bottom within the iris. That might help to bring attention straight to those smiling eyes, which are a great natural feature in the shot and should by rights be the star of the show! Generally though I’m only offering constructive criticism because I know how hard it can be to be objective about your own images… overall it’s a great shot!

    As far as sharpening goes, I apply a little bit of input sharpening to my RAW files in LR and then do a final sharpen in PS at the very end of the editing, often selectively masking out areas apart from the eyes, hairline and other details. I do that using some actions that are really good – they’re free and I’d be happy to e-mail them to you to try if you let me know where to send them!

    Finally, I’m thinking that if your dream 70-200mm f1.4 ever existed, I can only imagine how razor thin DOF would be at 200mm and 1.4!! lol.

    Hope you had a great weekend Stateside and enjoyed Thanksgiving! My wife and I made a pumpkin pie!


    • Hey Harry thanks for the advice! I will go ahead and re-edit this image and see what I come up with. I know that the highlights are blown and typically that is a no no but I really liked the effect on this image. But by doing that I lose out on her eyes being the focus of the image.

      It looks like the way you sharpen your images is the way I have just begun sharpening my images. I find that LR does an okay job but PS has far more powerful tools and it is quite noticeable. I would definitely love to get those actions from you and I will send you my email address today . If my dream lens existed due to the DOF I would probably have to use a tripod at all times with that lens and it would have to come with wheels lol. The cost would also probably be prohibitive for wedding and portrait photographers that are not Sue Brice or any of the other big names not charging 7k per wedding .

      We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We celebrate our Thanksgiving at my in laws in Pennsylvania and I ate until I fell asleep lol. To be honest I did not realize that Brits celebrated Thanksgiving… My grandmother spent a decade living in England and I think I remember her telling me about a similar holiday called Harvest? Does Harvest day fall on our Thanksgiving day?

      • Thanksgiving definitely isn’t celebrated in Britain generally, but here in London there is a big American community and Wholefoods stocks up with all the canned pumpkin etc – my wife lived in the US for many years and I met her in DC, so we thought we’d use it as an excuse to eat some pie, lol!

        I firmly believe rules are there to be broken, so if you intentionally use something like a blown highlight as a creative effect, I say go for it and don’t worry about what is ‘correct’ – plenty of things that are accepted now were frowned upon traditionally! I look forward to seeing what you come up with when you do your re-edit 🙂

        Talking of shallow DOF zooms, did you see the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 EX DC? It’s only for crop sensor bodies at this stage, but great to see companies pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a zoom lens!

      • Gotcha! I live in the suburbs of DC and I always like going down there just to walk around with my camera to photograph people buildings etc etc.. I took your advice actually while editing the photo I posted this morning. The eyes were slightly darker so I made sure lighten them up a bit.

        I remember hearing about that lens recently and later tonight I will go ahead and read some of the reviews. You just may have added another lens that I may now have to contemplate picking up. Thankfully my wife does not read my blog posts because I swore I would hold off on buy any more lenses or bodies until next spring. Well besides a 50mm and that is probably due to the cost :-)..

  2. Good photo and interesting debate here from highlights, to post-processing, via lenses and canned pumpkins 😀
    Beautiful model and photo. Like Lisbon over here, it doesn’t bother me that the highlights are blown out.

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