I was asked to repeat my first American Gothic "cover" portrait of my friends now that the kid is a year old, but this time I kinda missed the boat. For one, although not visible in this shot, is the fact that their faces went out of focus. But more worrying is the exposure. The foreground is shadowed by the tree, but even my Photoshop efforts could not salvage it. This is the raw scan with no adjustments. The time of day was chosen so that the house would be evenly illuminated, but it seems that the foreground suffered.
So what would be ya'lls advice for getting a better result here? Fill flash I assume? I want to keep the look kind of natural. In hindsight I thought maybe what I should have done was do an incident meter on the house, then on their faces and use flash to equalize the two readings? Not that I have a flash to use or anything, but I'd like to improve in the future.
I guess it would appear that the first one was made with overcast light. That almost seems to be a better situation. Hmmm. I think I was too pleased just to have clouds, and ignored the contrasty light.