Portrait atempt

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Marius, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Marius

    Marius TPF Noob!

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    Im very new at taking photos of people, but Im keen on learning.
    What could have been done better at the shoot?
    How should I PP it? (Very little has been done to it now, just softened a bit)
    Do you like the crop?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I don't really mind the top of the head off, but the chin being cut off just doesn't look right. Her face is a little dark. And something to look for is try to get a catchlight in the eyes. It just seems to give life to the subject. A catchlight is just a little touch(reflection) of light positioned in the eyes. and this can be obtained through flash, a light positioned somewhere, or even a window with some light coming through it.
     
  3. Marius

    Marius TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the reply, maybe Ill try to edit in some of that catchlight later.
    I agree on most of your points, except i dont think its too dark? The chin crop is that way because the original is too.
     
  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Portraits portray something, if she's supposed to be engrossed in an activity, include the activity, this shot tells me nothing and I'me not keen on up the nose portraits, shooting from low angles gives the sitter a superior look, its not endearing and with the eyes so dark its a drag.
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Super close-up portraits such as this say little or nothing about the person qua person. I come away from this knowing absolutely nothing about this young lady.

    Back off. Think of the most important part of your subject's personality. Then set up a shot to show it.
     
  6. Wolff

    Wolff TPF Noob!

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    I don't care to much for the chin being cropped off either and I think the lighting could be different, maybe more highlights on the face and eyes like there is in the hair. Personally I like like close up portraits. They are simple and leave a little bit more to the imagination. In my mind she is looking down at her baby, but I like how it can be something different to everyone.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Following on from what's already been said, can I recommend going to a gallery that specialises in portraits or otherwise finding some famous photographic portraits, or portraits of historical figures... find one that looks interesting, and then look at it. Then look at it some more, and continue looking until you can account for every aspect of its composition... Is the subject standing or sitting? What is their posture? What is their expression? Where are they looking? What are they wearing? What are they holding? Where are they? What would they be doing there? Does the background contain detail? If so then what is in it? And for each of these, ask why...

    I find this a very good way to learn about composition. You realise that nothing is there by accident; if it's in the shot it has a significance. A fairly expressionless face that is looking away from the camera, without anything else to establish context, makes it difficult for the viewer to establish a connection with the subject or find a point of interest.

    I should probably point out that I'm not actually very good at portraits... spending ages looking at old prints and paintings probably hasn't made me a better photographer... but it does tell me why I'm not a better photographer :) so I'd recommend it.
     
  8. struss

    struss TPF Noob!

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    Agreed with others. A bit of chin off will make viewers focus more on the eyes. The out-of-focus face actually gives the image a soft feeling...not bad in this case.
     

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