Portrait Composition

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by darthkir, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. darthkir

    darthkir TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I would like some advice on composition. I like to close up to my subject very close and some time cropping the top of the head just to emphasize the expression of the face. I saw many photographer do this and this is how I like to shoot portrait.

    Both photos below are my self portraits with my newborn;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A friend of mine always criticize about this style becoz he prefers to have empty space around the subject. Therefore I would like some advice on this please.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i think the light may be to strong... it just seems kind of harsh on the subjects... maybe stop it down a few or throw a shoot through umbrella in front of it
     
  3. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    is it just one light to the left? i think it's cool by the way. it looks dramatic. what did you use for background?
     
  4. Ziffy

    Ziffy TPF Noob!

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    I really like the effect the light gives.
    These are good.
     
  5. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    In terms of composition, I'd move them just a tiny bit to the left. You can still leave ample space on the left as negative space, but I think these would be good with a pretty literal interpretation of the the rule of thirds. The second one where the lighted part of his arm actually touches the frame of the image I think needs it more than the first.

    Light's a little hot on the child's hand in #2, but I think overall the lighting produces a good effect.
     
  6. darthkir

    darthkir TPF Noob!

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    yes its just one light to the left. for the bg i just use a plain black cloth taped to the wall. apart from providing the black bg i wanted, it helps in absorbing light from other part of the subjects not directly lighted by the light source.
     
  7. darthkir

    darthkir TPF Noob!

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    what do u mean by this?

    thanks.
     
  8. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    I think you need to move your subjects to the left. In the second image, the arm of your subject is touching the edge of the image, thus I think he is in more dire need of being moved left than the first image.
     
  9. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    The second image would probably benefit from being composed the other way-- the space to the left doesn't really add much because you are looking to the right.
     
  10. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ha... I'm in the odd position of having to say to you what everyone said to me when I did lighting like that with my daughters. :)

    It looks kinda creepy to me.

    Now this is funny because I didn't see this with the pics of MY kids. I thought it just looked kinda cool, but everyone else said it was creepy. I wonder if it's one of those things where you know the kid, so to you it isn't creepy, but to anyone else it is.

    I think your baby's expression (particularly in the second one) amplifies the creepiness a bit. Big scay man holding terrified looking baby in scary light.

    Dunno.

    Still, aside from being creepy it's kinda neat.
     
  11. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    I DO LIKE the dark shadows in the picture, but not to the point where details of the person itself is hidden beneath them and I think your photos could use just a tiny bit more light.
     
  12. darthkir

    darthkir TPF Noob!

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    Really :D? I was going to make it "dramatic" and "contrasty". Never thought of it being creepy.. LOL
     

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