Night Portraits

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Clawed, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Just thought I'd share a couple of portraits my wife and I took of each other. Any comments or criticism is welcome.

    [​IMG]

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  2. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    I remember you posted the 2nd one as what a bw ? It looks no better in color... #1 A wider angle would have benefited this picture, we can only see half of your hands.
     
  3. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I posted #2 as a B&W a bit ago in the beginners forum but I thought it had a bit more impact in color. Guess not :(

    My wife knew the crop would come up, but in all honesty, I do not think it detracts much (my opinion, but I realize it's a photography no-no in general).

    Any other comments? How about composition? Lighting?

    Thanks Ocular!
     
  4. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Definitely prefer #2 in B&W. In color, it might work better if her skin was not blue and without the buildings in the background.

    #1 is a snapshot to me. Well lit but that is not enough to make it interesting. And the missing hands do bother me.
     
  5. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Wow, a snapshot huh? I am here to learn, but that comment is actually quite insulting. What you are implying here is that this particular shot was achieved in the moment without regard to composition, lighting and decent photographic technique. Yes, the decision to not include more hands is somewhat distracting, but there was clearly thought given to composition (the way in which the subject was placed in the third quadrant and allows the curve of the bridge and the purple horizontal to converge on the subject. Plus, the subject's placement on the diagonals of the non-distracting backdrop of the bridge was a well thought decision. The viewers eye naturally sweeps from left to right and is drawn down through the subject). Also, the color scheme is dramatic, and although the purple and orange are not 'true complementary,' the contrast of the two vivid colors (in my opinion, of course) creates a backdrop that is visually stimulating and energetic without overshadowing the subject and the equally vivid tones of his shirt. Even the strands of orange light upon the water define the edge of the frame on the left so the viewer is not left with an open composition. The orange strand near the center adds another vertical and frames the subject in close proximity to the near conversion of vertical, horizontal and diagonal elements. Even the two largest lights create a line that runs nearly through the eyes.

    I do regret that we could not diffuse or bounce the flash, so the light is indeed a bit flat :( However, the shutter speed was right on in order to properly expose for the background.

    Thank you for looking and your input!
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Don't mean to be insulting. It is just my opinion. Yes there is thought that went into this image but the hands kill it. Again, in my opinion and the value of my opinions is always quite debatable. :)
     
  7. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the input c.cloudwalker. I do value your opinion. I just wanted to clarify/show there was specific intent behind the shot.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Question from someone new to digital: on that second shot, couldn't you have done a second exposure with enough flash to get the right skin tone and then "mix" the two so as to have the funky colors but the right skin tone?
     
  9. lisa_13

    lisa_13 TPF Noob!

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    i'm a fan of #2 actually. i like that she's blue & all that lighting is damn cool. where is that?
     
  10. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    Actually he probably could have just used a bit of fill to make her not as blue and been able to just correct the lighting on her face in PP.

    I have to agree with everyone else about #1, the cut off of hands kills it, it leads the eye out of the photograph.

    On #2, I like it actually. I like the way the V leads right to her. Having just a little wink light (just a bit of fill on her face) would have made it even better. You might be able to do a little of that in PP. Just a thought.
     
  11. vegasvisionstudios

    vegasvisionstudios TPF Noob!

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    The hands do not kill the first image at all. Simply crop the shot at the wrist and be done with it. IMO more distracting is the cool white balance of the skin tone, the blue undercast it has leaves the image frigid and looking like a on camera flash photo which is what gives it that snap shot feel even though the composition was thought out. Truly though there is nothing wrong with this image that some basic adjustments in post won't correct.

    #2 well I am undecided on if I like it or not which in it's self is a good thing as it means the image is provoking thought from me. The model being bathed in blue does not really bother me as I can clearly see that she is lit with ambient neon.

    I do like that the v shape of the structure draws my eye to her but I dislike the orange v growing out of her head like horns.

    If the image were mine I might be tempted to try an alternate process on it and go for a very high color contrast super saturated abstract with it. Or (and this is just a thought that should work but is untested) maybe since there is already such a preponderance of cyan in the image a conversion to a duo-tone cyanotype, followed by adjustments as if to create an infrared conversion which should create a high contrast image followed by a duplicate layer with blending mode of soft light with opacity reduced to around 30 then bring the color layer back to the top and reduce opacity to around 40 and adjust the individual color saturations up for magenta, green and yellow and pull the blue saturation down. This should give a nice b&w skintone while preserving the overhead neon colors. Though the amount of processing needed to reach the final effect could introduce enough pixel distortion to be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009

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