Portrait Shots

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bosstatus, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. bosstatus

    bosstatus TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, I'm a noob as you will probably be able to tell by my photographs, but I was wondering if you guys could give me any tips on my portrait shots, as they are my favorite shots to take. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

    1.
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    2.
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    3.
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    4. I did a small amount of post processing to give this one an older look.
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    5.
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    5. edited. I took the power cord out. still have a lot to learn about editing. to the left side of her head you can still see some blurriness. I had a hard time cloning the carpet and then blending it in with the rest of it.
    [​IMG]

    6.
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    I'm shooting with a Nikon D40 and the 18-55mm kit lens. I'm currently absent of photoshop so I do very little post processing.

    Thanks in advance everyone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Expensive advice:
    www.strobist.com

    For about $150 you can get an off camera flash setup.

    One light:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Okay, hold on to your hat, here we go:
    Overall, they're a nice group of images, however, they're not all what I would class as portraits, at least not in the pure sense. A protrait is [generally] a planned and composed picture taken in controlled circumstances, achieving an expected result.

    1. This is a good, strong profile shot, well exposed on the face, but suffers from an over-exposed and distracting background.

    2, 3. Not bad, I think this would work better with a closer crop on the face. The B&W is nicely done.

    4. A cute idea, but would work better as a portrait (vertical) aspect, showing her top of head to waist.

    5. Cute, well exposed (albeit just a little bit bright on the face due to flash), be careful of things like her cropped left elbow. Note the background in this image, very cluttered, and less than attractive. THe grey floor is ideal, and a matter of two seconds would have cleared the powerbar out of the way.

    6. This one is very nice; I'd like to see the left side of his face, just a little lighter. The background isn't too bad, but it would be better if was just all light wall.

    7. Much better background in this one; soft, releativley homogenous, and doesn't distract the eye from the subject. It appears about 1/2 stop over-exposed, but that can easily be corrected by further post.

    Overall, nice work. Remember backgrounds, and make use of selective focus to isolate your subject against soft backgrounds, in particular avoid backgrounds with lines.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your milage may vary.

    ~John
     
  4. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    *edit* John was posting at the same time I was... I say ditto to what he said

    Well, first of all, welcome to the forum.

    The first piece of advice I would give is to number all of the photos you post like this. That way they are easier to respond to. That being said...
    I like the first one, although the patch of sunlight on the back of his head is a little distracting, the contrast is good. This one caught my eye.

    One thing I would recommend is to really watch your background. With one of the baby ones there are power cords running into the top of the photo which is quite distracting.

    Other than that, they aren't bad for just learning, just try to watch your exposure these photos look a little flat. (I don't know why you don't have photoshop, but if it's cause of funds I would recommend getting gimp, it's a freeware program that mimics much of what photoshop does and will allow you to modify your photos well).

    Welcome, post back often :)
     
  5. bosstatus

    bosstatus TPF Noob!

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    thanks a lot guys! I'm going to try to do some more stuff with controlled backgrounds and I'll definitely decrease the amount of pictures that I post and watch my backgrounds in my pictures.

    & thanks again everyone!
     
  6. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    no, no, the numbers of pictures you posted was fine. I'm just saying do this

    1.
    (insert picture here)

    2.
    (insert picture here

    that way we can respond to the picture by number
     
  7. bosstatus

    bosstatus TPF Noob!

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    ^oh I see. my mistake, I'll edit the post now. thanks!
     
  8. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    You should really try to get your hands on a decent post processing software. I believe some people are using a freeware. Search the forums, it believe the free one is called Gimp. I use Photoshop CS2. I’m a newbie too so my ideas may be a little off but this is what I think.

    First of all, try to use the rule of thirds. I am pretty sure you know what this is but if not, here is a link to a handy, basic video.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/Quick_Tips_Using_the_rule_of_thirds/4660-10621_7-6824377.html


    You shots are pretty nice but be careful with the background light flooding onto your subject. Example; photo #1. The background light is spilling over onto your subjects head.

    Photo #4 has a really distracting power cord in the upper left hand corner. Easy aperture fix. If you had photoshop, you could easily clone or Gaussian blur this out.

    Also, I didn’t notice any vignette in your photos. Try adding some when you post process. It helps with eliminating distracting objects in the corners of your photos.

    I think your photos are pretty good, overall. Just need some minor adjustments and your good to go. Hope this helped

    BTW, nice job on focussing.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You've got two "#3's" :wink:
     
  10. bosstatus

    bosstatus TPF Noob!

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    ^haha wow. edited! thanks.

    I'm currently in the process of trying to fix some of the errors I have in my pictures, so when that is done I'll post them and let you guys see my progress!

    I downloaded gimp as well so that is what I will be using to do so.
     

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