1st portrait C&C please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by keith foster, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    I have been wanting to start doing more portraits and senior pictures shots and realized when I started trying a couple of months ago how much more there is to know. I have been reading and watching tutorials since Nov.
    I bought a couple of softboxes and backdrops and got my lovely wife to pose for me this past week.

    I had a slave flash through an umbrella at camera left at about 10 oclock and one at camera right about 5 o'clock. My 580ex II was set at 1/16th (I think) and turned 90 degrees right to fire the slave.

    I have so far to go.

    I am trying to get more depth in the shots and quit making everyone look flat so I played with light placement here.

    I feel like I got the focus right on her eyes, got the catchlight

    I used Lightroom, adjusted white bal, exposure, adjusted clarity and added a little vibrance.

    Even so, this this shot did not blow me away, what does it need?
    Pose? Change lights? different background? shoot the photographer?

    I would really appreciate your suggestions. Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. SushiWarrior

    SushiWarrior TPF Noob!

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    The look of confusion on her face ruins it, her left eyes twinge makes it look quite odd. But otherwise, maybe a tad more light to the right may help.
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    have her take about a step back and lighting will be better :)
     
  4. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys!

    I was surprised at how much room I needed to do this. I definitely am going to move to a bigger room next time so I can move back and adjust the light set up easier.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think the black background creates too severe a contrast between her white shirt and skin and the backdrop--a warmer-toned, lighter background would probably harmonize better with the subject. My main areas of concern are that the light placed to the right of the camera at 5 o'clock is giving a shadow of her nose on the left side of the photo, and that shadow is not helping the shot. The light is giving a good catchlight, but the shadow is detracting.

    I agree that her furrowed eyebrow is hurting the expression. She looks otherwise demure. Her hair has a bit of a color cast to it, sort of a magenta hue--not sure if that's real or created in post, but it's a very stylish hair style she's got. I think a lighter lipstick shade would help.

    Have you tried something as simple as over/under lighting, with two umbrellas stacked,one on top of the other? Or side-by-side, dual umbrellas? In each case, the camera is aimed at the subject from right between the umbrellas, and the lighting is soft, directional, and gives good eye catchlights, and is flattering to a woman.

    I'd be tempted to fire a warm-colored gel (yellow or amber or even red) onto a white wall that is 15 feet or so behind the subject who is lighted by two speedlights firing into umbrellas, to create a warm backdrop without a lot of fuss. Keep it simple, and shoot for expression.
     
  6. redtippmann

    redtippmann TPF Noob!

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    I would have a stronger lighting ratio Like 1:8? I would place the key light, or main light, pointing at the front of the subject. In this case it would be to your right and maybe move it in a little. Then I would take another strobe and dial it down a little and place it to your right and behind her pointing at her back. This should create a nice rim light so she wouldn't get lost in the background. You might also want to try having the rim light firing right towards the subject for a harder light.(so not using an umbrella)

    And if her shirt could be buttoned up a little more ;)
     
  7. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    i was thinking the SAME thing... i was wondering if this was a nude shot that you cropped in order to post it on here...
     
  8. mostly sunny

    mostly sunny TPF Noob!

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    I was wondering too.
     
  9. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    That is great feedback Derrel and Red and thank you for the ideas.
    I will try everything you suggested this weekend.
    The magenta hue is real but I did add vibrance and a touch of saturation in LR.
    You guys really SEE a photograph. I am still learning to pay attention to all the details and am overwhelmed by how many things there are that need my attention.
    The portrait IS cropped, the uncropped version implied more than the cropped. Nothing showing but I was more comfortable posting a cropped version. Good catch.
    I really struggle with cropping a portrait as well.
    Thanks again guys. The detailed C&C you have given here will really help me grow.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Try butterfly lighting like Derrel says and maybe a hair light high and over your wifes left shoulder to bring out the colour in her hair and it does look like your wife is showing a bit more than the photo shows :sexywink:
     
  11. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  12. Incognito

    Incognito TPF Noob!

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    She looks a tad orange. Im not calibrated but my monitor is close to my prints.

    Catchlights look best at 11 o'clock... something I recent found out so don't go CCing about this on my photos! lol

    Her eyes look sharp - good focus.

    Id change the crop - shes too centered... I hope you dont mind - Id crop like this - brings more interest to the photo.

    [​IMG]
     

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