First attempt at outdoor portraits, C&C please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crimbfighter, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, I know these seem quite "senior picture-esk" but they were all the creative juices I could muster, being my first time and all. Actually, this was the first time I have ever gone out with a model (girlfriend in this case) with the express purpose of taking photos.

    Anyway, enough excuses. From my end, the color seems a bit off, too much yellow or something. I set a custom white balance on site, and corrected more in PS, so I'm not sure what happened there. I also know they all seem a hair OOF. I think it's all motion blur because in hind sight, I was using too slow shutter speeds. Mostly between 1/30-1/60sec. Did use a tripod, though, so I thought that would have eliminated that problem... I also focused dead nuts on the eye, held focus and exposure, recomposed and shot... Perhaps it's just lack of experience/practice. :scratch:

    So, lets hear your thoughts...

    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4. This one I was trying to do something fun with the reflection, but I don't really thing I pulled it off... Other than successfully showing a lot of cleavage :lol:
    [​IMG]

    5. Do you think the background color bled onto this one and the next one? I thought that might be contributing to the color issue. Maybe more fill flash?
    [​IMG]

    6.
    [​IMG]

    I apologize for the number of pics, it was hard to post only 6...

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ovvi

    ovvi TPF Noob!

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    One thing I don't like is that your subject is smiling in all the pics you've posted here, it should've been a normal state, and not smile in all the photos. Secondly, the subject is looking at you, but insted she should've looked in a total different way, like inside the frame or outside.
    I see that you have gear, but try to use it better!
    4 - would have been a nice idea if you took the shoot only of the reflection or something like that
     
  3. MrBarney

    MrBarney TPF Noob!

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    The colour doesn't look too bad. It varies a little between shots.
    Tripods don't stop motion blur, only camera shake. The focus, recompose, shoot method might be causing you problems.

    Photos in turn:
    1. Shutter a little slow at 1/25th, but it looks like you were ok. Photo is not flattering for the subject (imho). Cutting her off mid-chest seems awkward. I can see you were trying to keep the bridge in shot, but I don't feel it worked. A portrait orientation may have been better.
    2. DoF is marginal here - perhaps a little more would have helped. Seems a little under-exposed.
    3. Awkward pose. Looks like she's uncomfortable or trying not to fall in.
    4. I quite like this (and not because of the cleavage :D). Ideally I would have liked the reflection to line up better but I expect you couldn't get a better angle without standing knee-deep in water. This, of course, would have ruined the reflection! Shutter is slow again and I think there's a little blur here. The higher camera position has helped to lift her eyes and is very flattering. I wonder if you can bring up the reflection a little in photoshop without making it look forced.
    5. You're right, I think you're getting some colour reflected from the red / orange. I'm not sure how best to avoid it though. The background isn't interesting enough to me and there's a lot of it. The pose might have been better if it was more horizontal, and turned slightly towards you, or maybe with a knee raised. Or not - I'm throwing ideas in and making this up as I go ;)
    6. To me this is begging to be portrait orientation with that archway and the flowers coming from the left framing the shot. Chopping her off at the knees is uncomfortable. The same colour-cast issues as number 5.

    You're pushing the lower limits of the shutter speed. I would have been going to ISO400 for some of these.
     
  4. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #1 could be improved by her standing on the bridge, the background as it is is distracting.
    #2 women should not clinch fists or interlock but simply lay ontop of one another. but still nice shot.
    #3 This is a nice shot, watch the hands and maybe cropped alittle more on top.
    #4 Maybe a little different angle to eliminate the tree's reflection.
    #5 Too much wall, crop down.
    #6 Use vertical framing and crop in. Doorway does nothing for me as its partially cropped out already.
    The images need to be sharpened, they're not OOF but soft. If you shoot raw you might go back in and adjust coloring, sharpen them up. I did a decent job on the reflection one but the small file size hinders good work. Heres what I could get with alittle work.
    Keep working at it.:thumbup:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the comments. I'd have to agree with all of them. The reflection issue was a tough one. I really wanted to get it straight on, but the pool was covered on two sides by a wall, so yes, I would have been knee deep in it... I actually had the last one in portrait, but wasn't sure about it. But, here it is anyway.

    [​IMG]

    I also tried to bring out the reflection more in number 4, but can't match vtf's version. And I'm working from RAW!! :gah:
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  6. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with all of your comments, too. I seem to overlook a lot of the little things like the hands. I do shoot in RAW, so I attempted to readjust the color and sharpness. I also recropped #5, is this what you were thinking?

    [​IMG]

    P.S. I really liked your edit! If that was a quickie with a small file for you, shows me how far I have to go yet...
     
  7. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If anything, I think #1 is overexposed. I adjusted exposure, and in PS the WB looks fine. Pictures get a little funky looking once you post em here. I also sharpened it a little. Like VTF said, not OOF, just need a little sharpening in post. And don't ever make excuses for including cleavage. :thumbup:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Subscuck, what function in PS are you using? I try and try, but I can never seem to sharpen images up like you guys can.
     
  9. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you have photoshop or pse use unsharp mask, but yes better color and crop.
     
  10. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Depends. Sometimes unsharp mask, sometimes smart sharpen. On people, mostly smart sharpen.
     
  11. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In PSE I use unsharp mask in the enhance menu.
     
  12. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^^^^Thanks! That's what I suspected. I think I need to do some researching on both of those functions. I've tried both but can't seem to replicate your results...

    On a separate note, I'm having issues when viewing images in PS. The images seem to have pixelated outlines. I know my monitor has enough resolution, it's a 24" Dell with 1920x1200 resolution. Oddly enough when I zoom in on the photo the pixelated outlines disappear. I think this is also causing me problems with editing, since when I fit the photo to the screen to see the overall progress, it's ruining the clarity of the image... Is this a problem with how my computer interprets the images? I know my graphics card is good. Are there settings to adjust this? Is this issue worth starting new thread for?
     

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