Portrait

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by niccig, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    I'm a little unsure about the lighting for this portrait. Overall I'm pretty pleased with it, but it seems like it needs more "oomph" somehow. The big thing that bothered me was the way the hair fades into the background - can you give me any suggestions on how to avoid this in the future? C&C on all other aspects of the photo are welcome too - I'm trying to improve my portraits. Thanks!
     
  2. oCyrus55

    oCyrus55 TPF Noob!

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    You need to have a brighter background so that her head doesn't fade into the back; shooting in front of a window (using the window as the background) or something else that is bright would have the background stand out from her head. Maybe using on of those 500watt work light could help you light the background.

    Also, make sure you expose her face the face correctly. It is underexposed here. You can also adjust curves to make the image "pop" like you want it to.

    Just keep practicing, you will get what you want :)
     
  3. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Nice pose, reasonable comp, good subject.
    Use the histogram.
    On the left is the original
    the brightest tone in the image is down in the middle somewere; it needs to be much brighter.
    I levelled, increased saturation and contrast to give the image on the right

    In the histogram on the right the black bar on the left is the total black background.

    You need a light to separate the dark hair fom the background.

    [​IMG]

    I personally don't like the 4 x 6 aspect ratio. I don't think it fits most people and it ends up with the bottom edge at the height of the bosom, not a good place to end the image. I would actually crop this to 4 x 5.

    [​IMG]

    Please excuse the curtness; I'm much more pleasant than I type.
    Hope this is of some interest for you.
     
  4. harrisoncj

    harrisoncj TPF Noob!

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    A tip for next time would be to add a rim-light to help her stand out from the background. As for using a window for a background, I would disagree. Backlighting with the sun is a really tricky thing to handle. The sun is really freakin bright and typically you don't want to compete with it (because it usually wins.)
     
  5. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the advice, folks! I'll have my strobes handy this weekend, so I think I'll give this another try. I think my original problem was that I was originally only using one light (on the left side of the face), so either the left side was blown out, and the right side was under exposed - and dialing down the power left everything underexposed. So this time I'll try maybe more power on the left, a little fill in front (maybe 45 degrees off to the right) and a background light. Sound like a plan?
     
  6. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    Other tips:

    Use sidelighting and a contrasting background. I think the touched up photo is a little too sharp and bright, and looks more like an ID photo. Somewhere between the two should be right.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try keying the clothing with the background... white/light clothing on a white ground (high key) or deep/dark clothing on a dark background (low key).

    I think that on-camera flash has got to go. However, creating lighting for portraits is not an easy task.
     

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