Portrait with a lot of potential...

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Chris FL, May 20, 2004.

  1. Chris FL

    Chris FL TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]
    Here it is. I think there's a lot of potential in this one, I just can't seem to find it with photoshop. The blue tones in the background are REALLY vibrant, but the forground is a bit dark because the sun was basically overhead...

    All in all I'm happy with it as it is, but it could definatley be improved. Anyone have suggestions?
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    To improve there are a few things off on this one.

    First the subjects are smack in the middle of the photo. The composition is a bit boring.
    The expression on your subjects faces look a bit un-natural
    Either use a reflector or a fill flash when shooting with the sun overhead. At least there is detail on their face but the lighting is too harsh. The best light for portraits is reflected light or open shade.
    The angle on this one bugs me a bit. It's not flattering for the subjects when you're looking up at them.
     
  3. Chris FL

    Chris FL TPF Noob!

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    Are you calling me fat?! ;)

    Thanks for the ideas, I'll definatley take them into account. The flash was on, there are a few pics from before the flash was on and the lighting there is even worse. The expression.. well.. we were infact laughing at my dog who was running around chasing a butterfly or something.

    Next time I suppose I could put the tripod on something, what do you suggest for a good height/angle? Eye level?
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Eye level or slightly higher is usually the most flattering. Tilt the head down slightly so you're not looking up or straight on the nose.
     
  5. canonrebel

    canonrebel TPF Noob!

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    I totally agree with voodoocat.

    If you wanted to open up the shadows on the faces, Photoshop can increase the light level in only the shadows. Dodging wouldn't be recomended. I've never found a practical use for the Dodging or the Burning tool--the results were always too faked.

    PS cs v8 has an option to achieve this dodging-like procedure. Previous versions need layers and dupes to achieve the same result.
     
  6. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I agree. I use them both, but very sparingly. Now that I'm learning more about layers, I'm going to experiment with using different layers, lightening and darkening, to achieve a better result with shots like this.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Did they want their sunglasses on for this portrait? I think it would be a lot more interesting to see their eyes....generally speaking, portraits are more expressive when you see the subject's eyes. I appreciate that sometimes it's so bright it does more harm than good, if they end up squinting at you. :D
     
  8. Chris FL

    Chris FL TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, sunglasses were a must... it was WAY too bright outside, squinting looked really bad.
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    That's usually a good warning sign you need to find a different lighting situation. If either the subjects or the photographer has to squint because of the light they are standing in, the results are going to be disappointing if steps are taken.
     

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