First Portrait Session (56kbs warning 5 photos)

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Adour, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Adour

    Adour TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I had the opportunity to shoot my friends after their wedding yesterday, it was very ad hoc and although I had done some research on this and other sites for shots and settings I had not done any real on-site preparation.

    I used my trusty D40 with a 50mm 1.8 AF-D (maual focus) and I would really appreciate your time for some feedback. This is what I would love to be able to do for my friends with this hobby so please don't hold back if I am producing a bad product.

    5 of the best shots follow; Note: Given the available light I made the conscious decision to spot expose the couple and accept blown skies.

    #1: 50mm 1.8, 1/500, f6.3 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    #2: 50mm 1.8, 1/500, f7.1 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    #3: 50mm 1.8, 1/3200, f4.5 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    #4: 50mm 1.8, 1/320, f9 ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    #5: 50mm 1.8, 1/4000, f3.5 ISO 800 (Yes I screwed up the settings but I love this shot)!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Good choice to spot expose, but I do believe that problem could be solved with a decent amount of fill flash. I think I like the last one the most, but the first too, even if her hair is a little hot.
     
  3. Adour

    Adour TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, my next step is to get some off camera flash and I have been getting some pre-purchase strobist time in!!

    by 'hot' do you mean almost overexposed?

    LJ
     
  4. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They all look good to me except for the overexposed backgrounds. As mentioned, a fill flash could have also helped.
     
  5. Tony123

    Tony123 TPF Noob!

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    I love all the compositions. It's hard to get the posed but not posed look, and you did.
     
  6. g-shroti

    g-shroti TPF Noob!

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    the back facing and the last one are i liked....outdoor there are two alternatives, either use fill-in flash (more handy) or use reflectors....sometimes washed out bg looks good but not always.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm typically not a fan of overexposed backgrounds, but I like the overall look here. I like how they are in black, very monotone, and you have such a bright background. Kinda makes it feel black and white but yet, its in colour.

    Great job getting the focus on the right places.

    I don't mind the hair blowing around, but its a bit much in #4, to the point where it distracts from his face. Although it does help to isolate her in the picture

    Any particular reason why there are none of him looking at the camera?

    Nice job overall though, I like them
     
  8. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My 1st impressions.
    #1: Not a fan of the background (and crop the thing in his hand), but nice idea. Would have liked to see more of his face, tho.
    #2: Don't like it. Sorry, but it looks like an 'in between shots' shot.
    #3: Again, nice idea but I would crop her whole arm out behind him. It is very flat and doesn't look very feminine.
    #4: Probably the nicest of them all, IMO, except the guy looks sort of disinterested, staring off somewhere else (nude beach maybe? :) ) Also, might be nice for you to retouch a bit in Photoshop to ease some of the wrinkles on the womans face that were enhanced by the light. I can tell from the other shots that those wrinkles dont' do her justice.
    #5: This is my second favorite of them all. There is something off about it, IMO, but I can't tell what it is. :(

    Random thoughts: I really don't like the processing done to these. It isn't bad but for me, it doesn't seem to fit the mood. Also, the guy looks like James Bond. Cool for him :)
    #5:
     
  9. Adour

    Adour TPF Noob!

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    Wow, thank you all for taking the time to comment!

    I understand the comments about the backgrounds and I am not sure whether I like it mself, not wanting to rule anything out though so thtas what i tried for these ones. Fill flash woudl have helped but I hope to move to off camera flash soon and hence increase my options.

    @ Bigtwinky; good spot with him not looking at the camera, I spend so much time shooting around my firends and it has taken months to get them not to pose every two seconds! Of course for this kind of thing I need to get them to engage more on some shots.

    @ Dimitri; great feedback, thank you! I can see now the sunglasses are a unnecessary distraction, also I see your pont about #2 being a it off, I think it looks like he is in mid-movement, I think my desire for the compostion be good made me include this one. Finally, I love #5 too, there is something about it which is hard to define, I too thought it would make a fantastic Bond Movie billboard!

    Again, thank you all, it is really helpful to get such thoughtful feedback.

    LJ
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    You too eh? I'm spending lots of time on Strobist; the Lighting 101 and 102 Archives are amazing. I wouldn't have figured-out colour correction on my own nearly as fast (and it made me feel good about getting as many gels as I did, even if green and CTO are the bread-and-butter of colour correction). I'm going to get my flash off camera this weekend, I hope (and purchase another; a 580EX, ST-E2, and couple stands and shoot-through umbrellas plus reflector...and then save the rest of this money I'm getting >.< ). Then put some real effort into off-camera lighting.

    However, it is still useful to be skilled with on-camera flash, despite the hate-on Strobist has for it (and rightfully so). On-camera flash (not pop-up, of course) can be used well in many situations, and is the only practical option when you have to move fast and react quickly to changing lighting conditions (outdoor events/festivals/street portraits/yadda-yadda). Unless you've got five assistants lugging and entire lighting set-up around for you. :p
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Decent choice to spot expose. In terms of exposure the faces generally came out quite nicely... technically everything came out quite well because the over and underexposures lend to a antique-ish visual style, but that kind of style just isn't my kind of thing. If you were aiming for the normal style with proper exposure for everything, I'd still say the sky looks OK because it contrasts nicely with the darker clothes. The sea, however, is completely blown out to the point where the waves are barely recognizable as such... a circular polarizer would help you here with either the water reflecting or getting a blue sky. You also start to lose some detail in the shadows of the clothes which would benefit from some fill flash as you start to see the need for in the faces of #5.

    If I were your friends, I would frame 1 and 3. 1 is simply a better version of 2, and the lighting is off in 5 as suggested above. #4 is almost nearly quite there, I love her expression and pose and the exposure overall but he's got this expression that just screams disinterest (and I know that's wrong in reality, but it is as it is).

    In the future, see if you can get the eyes of the couple to align to both be the same distance away from the camera, instead of one person being closer to the camera and one laying back a bit. What happens otherwise is that you go to focus on the eyes and only 1 person's eyes are in focus...
     
  12. Adour

    Adour TPF Noob!

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    bash,

    Thank you, lots of great information for me here. I have not yet worked with filters or polarizers so I will look into that.

    I think your take on the 'good' photos is spot on, although #5 still does something for me!

    I can't wait to twist some more arms and try out some new things. I think next time I will experiment more so i can directly compare results with fill flash etc.

    Musicale... mmmmmm, shopping lists!!! ;)
     

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