portrait photography - just starting out - HELP! :)

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by JustABeginner, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. JustABeginner

    JustABeginner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    HI ALL

    OK so I'm just a beginner (as my name would suggest) and looking to get to the next level of portrait photography.

    I have a moslin backdrop (basically I got at a fabric store), a Canon 20D with a 18-105L Lens, using two umbrella slave flashes.

    I believe I need more equipment to get better, and also of course to learn & know more about the craft...

    I also have a book (Lighting Cookbook for Fashion & Beauty Photography)

    I have questions from the book:

    They have an illustration in the book described as "Light blue seamless paper evenly lit by two flash units". I CANNOT tell what these flash units they are using actually are. Anyone know? It's on page 88. And what is the light seamless paper they are referring to and where can I get it?

    And where can I get a softbox for cheap without building it myself?

    Ok so here are my pics I did with some friends using my setup.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Please let me know what you think, and how I can get better.

    Thanks!
     
  2. a5i736

    a5i736 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Traverse City MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You have exposure problems in every picture. YOu don't need to get better equiptment you just need to learn how to adjust the camera properly, if you are going to be doing allot of studio type stuff get a light meter. But you don't need it, just learn exposure and all the ins and outs of ur camera.

    P.S check ur COMP and FOCUS too!
     
  3. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    as mentioned above, you dont need better equipment. someone with good knowledge of lighting and exposure could take pro pics with a point and shoot. Your 20D is more than capable of producing great pictures, it just needs to be told what to do.

    Your exposures are all overexposed, and the light is very harsh. Since I know nothing about studio lighting I'll let the pros put in their knowledge. Dont get discouraged, everyone has to learn.
     
  4. JustABeginner

    JustABeginner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks a5i736 - appreciate the feedback!!

    What is COMP?

    As for exposure - any tips on how I can improve that?? I'm just so a N00B, what specifically should I be doing during a shoot to make sure my exposure is right? And how do I KNOW when it's right?

    THANKS
     
  5. JustABeginner

    JustABeginner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Good feedback! Keep it coming! Please try and "hold my hand", the more specific the better. :)
     
  6. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    comp is composition, and an example of where it could use a little improvement is on the last shot. The way you were holding the camera, your subject looks as if she is leaning back. This can be corrected in photoshop but if you can do it in camera, it is always better to do so.

    As for exposure, your images are blown out, meaning you have overexposed the highlights resulting in loss of detail, or solid white. Your second and third picture show this pretty well and they could have benifited from being underexposed a little more.

    Your first shot has a nice even exposure compared to shots 3 and 4 of the other woman. In 3 her face is overexposed from too much lighting while everything below her collar bone is exposed nicely. in the next picture her blouse is overexposed and it is really distracting from the picture. As for the overblown T on her forehead/nose area, makeup can fix that, but since the image is overexposed I suspect you can easily do it by closing up your aperture a little more, or using a lower setting on your lights.
     
  7. a5i736

    a5i736 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Traverse City MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Are you shooting all manual? cuz thats the first step if ur not. comp is placement inside the frame. google "rule of thirds". let me know what u find out and i'll keep fillin u in as needed :)
     
  8. JustABeginner

    JustABeginner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    how much would a light meter help me with this stuff? can you guys recommend a good one for beginners??
     
  9. hazzayoungn

    hazzayoungn TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    my advice is to skip a light meter for the time being and work on composition. the inboard light meter of your camera, as well as the fact that you can immediately look at it and tell whether its good or not, should do for the time being.

    i think youre trying to get the effect of the background being white and the model being normal looking (correct me if im wrong). to do this, you should have a plain, matte white background. a large cardboard sheet should do alright. however, the muslin background is good for portraits.

    im not exactly sure what type of lighting youre using, but a general rule is that the light shouldnt hit the subject immediately. you might want to try bouncing the light off of the ceiling, or off of a reflector. all you need for a reflector is a big white piece of cardboard. bouncing light off the ceiling is a bit easier though, and doesnt require another person helping out. point your light at the ceiling halfway between the lamp and your subject

    as for softboxes, you might want to consider making your own diffuser. softboxes are really expensive...even second hand. all you need to make a diffuser is pvc pipe in the shape of a rectangle and sheer white cloth large enough to cover that area.


    good luck on your photography
     
  10. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    as a5i736 stated, manual mode is the way to do it with studio lights. have someone sit on a chair where you are going to shoot and give them a pair of sunglasses while you test camera settings. In manual mode select the fasters shutterspeed that your camera can sync with (180 maybe?) and then adjust your aperture to increase or decrease the light. Shoot with ISO 100.

    Once you get it right, you'll know the settings and from there it is all slight changes to get the effect you want.
     
  11. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    11
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with what everyone has said. Manual mode only.

    Lower your ISO to the lowest for your camera, 100 probably.

    I do similar shots for what you are going for, and I like to get them on the dark side mostly, rather than perfect, and fix them in Post Processing. That's not a hard and fast rule, (Id prefer perfect) but I know I would rather have UNDER EXPOSED than OVER EXPOSED...

    Are you shooting in RAW mode? Not familiar with your camera.

    I use a Canon A610 Point and shoot, and while my shots aren't PROFESSIONAL, they all were done with that camera, a set of wal mart floor lamps and a sheet.... and the customers were happy. (www.flickr.com/photos/rmthompson)

    Good luck with your setup - and PLEASE keep posting, we want to see your inevitable progress!
     
  12. 23pixels

    23pixels TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am with the others here. Do some reading on composition and a lot of reading on lighting. You can position the lighting in a way to create a mood in your pictures. I also suggest using a tripod to get the best sharpness in your pictures. The third picture has some harsh lighting.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

just starting out as portrait photographer