Portrait Newbie :) C/C!

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by hipsanndhearts, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. hipsanndhearts

    hipsanndhearts TPF Noob!

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    I'm just starting out in the *serious* photography world and I really want to get into portrait/wedding photography.
    This site seems absolutely amazing for tips/advice/constructive cristism/ect.
    I know I need alot of work in the portrait department, but not knowing ANY fellow photographers, I'm not sure WHAT I need to work on. I have yet to master photoshop, or really, any photo editing program, therefore I'm very aware almost all my photos need editing help.
    This is where you come in :)
    Please feel free to comment/bash my work. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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    Also,
    I use a Nikon D50. What lenses are best for portrait/weddings?
     
  2. LeeLeeMelis

    LeeLeeMelis TPF Noob!

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    I think these look really good. You clearly grabbed the personality of each child. Be careful of your cropping, ie the kissing photo, I think it would be more effective to have a bit more of the subject on the right. The second shot is my favorite, slightly over exposed in my opinion but I like the look. Good work, Visit this site often, it has helped me LOTS. Good luck!!
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    As Lee Lee indicated, you really captured the personality of the kids very well. Some of the shots are too tight. You should be zooming out or backing off a bit to avoid cutting off heads etc. The eyes are important and need to be bright and sharp which are beautiful in most of the shots except the shot of the boy near the end. Getting the skin colour perfect is also a challenge. That of the girl toward the end seems a little too pink. Even if it is sunburn, it can be de-emphasized a little in postprocessing.

    Way back when, a lot of portraits used to be looked at very carefully and touched up a bit in the darkroom. Currently that darkroom involves the use of Photoshop. There are numerous books out that deal with postprocessing of portraits. I would suggest some research. As an example reflections caused by fill flash can be reduced in postprocessing to give the lighting a more natural look. Distracting elements in the background can be blurred or eliminated totally etc. Dark areas around the eyes can be selectively brightened. The challenge in postprocessing portraits is a "light hand" on the mouse so that any work looks natural.

    skieur
     
  4. Frequent Traveler

    Frequent Traveler TPF Noob!

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    You have some really great portraits - especially of kids!!! For me, they can be the most difficult subjects (at least my own are!!!). I really like number's 1 and 5 though i think 1 is the outstanding pic of the group (maybe number 5?!?), closely followed by 5 (or 1?!?) - both are REALLY well done. Can't say enough good on these two.

    For me, generally speaking, super sharp isn't *always* first. I like a balanced portrait meaning a comfortable pose, spot-on lighting (a bit variable here....), nice background (that doesn't take away from the subject), and if color, nicely saturated (neutral?) colors - if b&w, outstanding contrast gets the nod.

    For me, you've generally done a great job on nearly all of your submittals. I don't like the pose in 2 though it does look great. I think 3 is also an excellent photo, though maybe too sharp? To me #4 looks too "posed" and unnatural. Number 6, while an excellent nice pose and great capture, doesn't look "right" for some reason - maybe too soft/processed? Number 7 has a distracting background and the subject is centered. Number 8 could use a more balanced composition for the two subjects.
     
  5. Riggaberto

    Riggaberto TPF Noob!

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    I love your composition personally, I would work next on lighting. Just experiment with lighting in mind and I'm sure if you do that you'll figure out ways to improve. Those side-lit ones are great, but on the others, more attention could have been paid to light.

    Those are really great though.
     
  6. hipsanndhearts

    hipsanndhearts TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much everyone, your comments were much appreciated :)

    I was thinking of purchasing a speedlight flash to help with indoor/outdoor lighting, I've heard amazing things. Is it a good investment?
     
  7. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    :wink: Hi there,
    I think overall these are quite nice.
    #1.) I think this one is probably my favorite. Love her pose. It looks VERY natural. I shoot a lot of kids and getting them to rest their heads on their hands can be difficult to get to look natural so nice job. I would probably crop a little off the bottom just above where her thumb is on her wrist. I'd also sharpen her eyes a bit as well as use the use the dodge tool in PS to bring them out just a bit.
    #2.) is really cute too. Love all of her missing teeth! I'd just clone out those random little specks of dust I'm seeing and I'd probably clean up the little spots on her arm too, although that's very minor.
    #3.) Glad to see you used some fill flash, but I'm just not a big fan of that kind of lighting. I always prefer to just move the kids to a more flattering lighting (under a tree or somewhere where there's a lot of shade).
    #4.) Nice lighting in this one. Seems to need a bit of sharpening on her eyes though.
    #5.) Another nice portrait. Her eyes look lovely in this one. My nitpick though is that the highlights look just a tad too bright, but it might just be my monitor. I also think it's a tad too close and there's not enough room on the top.
    #6.) There's something about this one that isn't as pleasing as your others. I want to say it's probably the lighting that isn't as flattering. Her skintone looks off to me as well.
    #7.) I'm sorry, but this one doesn't do anything for me. His eyes definitely don't have enough light in them which is the main problem for me, but I also just don't think the background enhances it at all and the little crop right at the top of his head bothers me too. He looks like he has some really amazing eyelashes though. (How come boys always get them?:wink: )
    #8.) This last one doesn't do much for me either. The lighting is too harsh for my taste and I agree with what has already been said about there not being enough room on the right.

    As far as lenses, I'm no expert, but when outdoors taking shots of children, I've really liked using my 24-85 mm Canon 3.5 lens. I often set it to autofocus since I mainly shoot very young children and they don't stay still long enough for me to manually focus and the zoom is nice because I can sort of stay put in a position and figure out the crop from where I'm at which makes it easier to not be noticed by the children. I like my 50 mm Canon 1.4 lens too, but I find it harder to get a good composition when I have to move my whole body. Plus, the children notice me moving more and I have to get closer to them when I use it. But, it still gets the job done:)
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Is this wedding about the kid or the couple? I see soooo many wedding filled with kids.
    It's NOT about the kids. It's about the couple. If you have more than 5 shots of a kid, you are way out of line.
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I thnk the shots are very nice but the second to last one really needed some fill-flash but overall you dod a great job. I do think a new flash would be a great purchase and as far as a lens goes since noone has said it yet I will go ahead http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/247091-USA/Nikon_2137_Normal_AF_Nikkor_50mm.html Nikor 50mm 1.8 very sharp very fast and best of al very cheap $114 @ B+H. This is an excellent atsrter lens for anyone wanting to get better portraits.
     
  10. fstop23

    fstop23 TPF Noob!

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    number 7 definitely needs some catch light in the eyes...they're kinda scary right now. 5 is great...goes to show that some of the best kid pictures don't show the cheese.
     

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