Natural Light Portraits for C&C

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by g-fi, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. g-fi

    g-fi TPF Noob!

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    I'm working on getting the focus right on the eyes in my portraits, it's been a reoccuring problem lately in my pictures, probably due to shooting wide open. (I'm a bokeh addict!)

    Nikon D50
    50mm f/1.4
    ISO 200
    Natural light

    1. [​IMG]

    2.[​IMG]

    3.[​IMG]


    3 seems a little soft to me, but I've been staring at these so long I don't know if it's me or the picture.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    #2 is my favorite. Good job man. It's got a nice warm look and her eyes are in focus.
     
  3. Foga

    Foga TPF Noob!

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    I like the balance you've found between the hard and soft light, and the warm look in the pictures, although the 3rd one looks a little cold in comparison to the other two, I'm not sure if it's a Photoshop action, or maybe that's just the way it came out.
    Great pictures non the less.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    You've done a good job of getting the eyes and the facial features in good focus on the first two shots. Your first two shots are a good example of using the sitter's body to form what is known as "the base" of the portrait. Many people will turn the subject square-shouldered to the camera, which looks masculine, while other people will turn the subject away from the camera, often leaving a large, empty, negative space at the bottom corner of the portrait. In your first shot, you have a tiny,tiny bit of her dress just barely shown in the absolute lower right hand corner, which isn't as good as in the second photo, where you use her dress as the bottom of the base, and you show both shoulder straps of the dress.

    The simple difference between #1 and #2 at the bottom, or "the base" of the portrait, makes #2 a better composition. I think however, her near-camera shoulder is too prominent in both shots, and it would have been better to turn her body a few more degrees toward the camera, to bring the far shoulder "around" more, and then have you swing the camera a few degrees to the right, to show less near shoulder, and also at the same time, to position her eyes a bit closer to the center of the frame.

    You've got these framed very tightly, and it'd be hard to improve these by cropping differently, but the overall effect in #1 and #2, to my eye, is that the eyes are too far to the right of the frame and there's too much visual "pull" being exherted by the high and right eye position. Shot #2 has a better expression,and a better base--the continuity the dress gives across the base is really noticeable when comparing shot 1 with shot 2. The eye sparkle you got is very good,and focusing looks excellent.

    Shot #3 is a pose that does not work for me, with the arm cropped off and with her positioned so squarely toward the camera...the pose isn't nearly as attractive or as close to perfected as the pose in #2.

    I know a lot of people might think I am critical of people's portraiture, but the difference between #2, your shot, and a professional's shot on #2 is about 10 degrees of body turn and three inches of camera movement between 'nearly perfect' and 'just missed', and so I'd encourage you to look very closely at the bottom of the frame and the subject's shoulder angle to the camera in 1 vs 2,and see how the very subtle "base" improvement in shot 2 makes the lower right hand corner help support the rest of the rendering of her body and face,and why #2 is a more tranquil, simply better pose than #1 is.

    I see a subtle yellow-green bias in the flesh tones in shot #1. The color in #2 is a bit warmer,and I like the expression better--she seems to connect with you a bit more in shot 2.
     
  5. g-fi

    g-fi TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate everyone's input!
     

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