Am I getting sufficiently good at this yet?

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Dubious Drewski, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    I was lucky enough to get a friend of a friend to model for me. And damn can she model! But anyway, I would like to know what you guys think of these newest portraits. My responses so far on previous photos have been moderate-to-good, which is fine, but I want to impress!

    Here are some samples.

    [​IMG]

    And if you're curious for more, there's always the full gallery.
     
  2. *~*AshleyRenae*~*

    *~*AshleyRenae*~* TPF Noob!

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    The last one is my absolute favorite! I love it! Great job!:thumbup:
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    More off camera flash and more attention to the environments and distance to background.

    I can see what looks like a fold up table and a tripod in the background of one of them. What does the wood floor add? what does it tell?

    Women generally look better with softer light.

    If you're going to side-lighting, it's generally a better idea to have the light higher above the subject to the nose shadow goes long the cheek smile lines.

    Color balancing is key.
     
  4. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Hmm. None of these shots had onboard flash; the closest thing was my flashgun held at left-arm's length.

    I thought the tripod, etc in the one shot wouldn't do any harm because they are so much darker than the subject that they do not attract much attention, not to mention that I kind of wanted to include the fact that this was a studio setting in the photo. Plus All of the other shots had a pure black background and I thought some variance would spice things up. But maybe this was a bad choice?

    The wood floor adds nothing more than any other type of floor, I suppose. The shot of her on her back was supposed to imply vulnerability or desperation. I'm not sure what you take issue with, the fact that's it's a wood floor or that there's a floor in the shot at all. Is it bad to have included the floor?

    I know softer light is more flattering, and 3 of the six shots here have that. I intentionally lit the other three with a single handheld 12" softbox because that's the effect I wanted. Was that a bad choice too? Should I stick to plain vanilla portraiture?

    Don't get me wrong, I love critique! And thank you! But I'm not sure I understand nearly any of your points.
     
  5. Kanikula

    Kanikula TPF Noob!

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    I like the poses and colours on these Dubious.

    The shadows are a little on the harsh side, particually on #4, but tbh its not overwhealming any of the shots too much.

    Good Job :)
     
  6. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I think the 'floor' picture is the best one of the lot but I think Sw1tch has a good point -- the floor could be used to enhance this photo whereas right now, it's just a floor. Maybe make the crop wider and show more of the floor in the direction she's looking, that would increase the feeling of being alone and vulnerable. It's a good picture, but the elements in the photo could be used to make a great picture.

    I think you achieved the opposite. My eyes were drawn to the dark things in the background trying to figure out what they were.
     
  7. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Ah, now I see. That makes sense.

    Well when you put it that way, I can see your point. I guess that would happen, huh. Well then I wonder: how the heck can I have a non-blank background in a portrait that doesn't distract from the subject?

    I wanted the objects to be visible. I wanted it to look like she was sitting in a studio. There's got to be a way to shoot this successfully.
     
  8. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Others might have better suggestions, but one or two objects to me says 'look at me'. If you had a lot of objects and they were subject to a medium amount of bokeh, you can imply without stating explicitly.

    The other you might go about it is to integrate her into the objects and make the objects part of the scene (leaning on a folded up tripod, etc though that's probably a bad example). In-focus props in the background of a portrait are often distracting, using the props within the photo pulls them into the scene. With a few objects as part of the composition, the background objects, even if in focus, can be viewed in context. My feeling, on that picture, is that it's just stuff in the background.

    Also, temper everything I say with the fact that I'm a newbie to this as well. :)
     
  9. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    No man. An opinion is an opinion, and you articulate yours well. Thank you.
     
  10. Mardynn

    Mardynn TPF Noob!

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    Very nice. The last one is my favorite. I love the hair. Keep it up
     
  11. DragonHeart

    DragonHeart TPF Noob!

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    #1 is nice. #'s 2 & 3 are kinda creepy (especially the grin of #3). #4 & #5 very nice. #6 very abstract. I would have liked to have seen more of the floor the direction she was looking... But all in all, a good set.
     
  12. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Here, I applied a lens blur to the background of this one:
    [​IMG]
    I think it does look better, thanks for mentioning it, everbody. Though I'm still unhappy with the lighting. Next time, I'll be sure to have a subtle fill and/or rim light at least.

    As for the floor photo - that wasn't cropped, so that's all I had to work with. But now I'll know for next time.

    Plus I just learned that my umbrella can be shot through if I take the outer skin off! Neato! I'm so using that.
     

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