Requesting Lighting and Portrait C&C

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ViceOfFire, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. ViceOfFire

    ViceOfFire TPF Noob!

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    So I posted this for C&C with a couple of photos before, and only really got 1 reply. Sorry for posting this again, but here it is on it's own.

    Just the pop up flash w/ tissues bulked up to diffuse it, and foil sitting on the lens to offset it. Any opinions/criticisms are very welcome.

    [​IMG]


    Sorry. Excuse the slightly washed out look, that happened in the upload to photobucket.
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The eyes look clear enough, but I'm not a fan of the composition. I don't like him centered and there is that thing on the wall in the back that is distracting.

    I'm not a light expert, so I'll let others give their CC
     
  3. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    It looks good, I think, by and large. It has a very eye catching nature to it, I think, and there is an interesting vibe. The big thing I'd suggest as far as problems with it is that the knob by his head is really distracting and breaks up the dynamic nature of the lines behind him. Other than that, perhaps having a modeling light of some kind would have knocked down the size of his pupils, but that's neither here nor there.

    I'd also try this with a square crop, by the by.
     
  4. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    I really like this, not bad for on board flash.
     
  5. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    I have been studying your photograph for about ten minutes now and here is what I have found.

    First, bigtwinky is right. The object behind the subject’s right ear needs to go. Usually I am a big proponent of seeing through the lens before looking through the lens. Let me explain. I try to look with my eyes and frame the shot before actually looking through the lens. So, in effect, my eyes are the lens well before I take the shot.

    This is not always going to work, as in action shots. Be even there you can have a general idea from which you wish to begin.

    Now, tsaraleksi mentions squaring the photograph. I am generally onboard with this idea, however, I think you will loose too much on the top and bottom. We are too accustom to seeing the photographed world in a 4:3 ratio. Photos do not have to look like a 4 x 6 print. Think outside the 4:3 box and recompose. This is why I like where tsaraleksi is going.

    Cropping would eliminate the visible part of the shower wall to the subject’s left. That needs to go. As I mentioned earlier, I like to see before I look. In this case, however, it’s not going to help you. I wouldn’t move the subject off-center, so the object behind the ear and wall and composition need to be done via editing.

    Now, the subject’s left shoulder is closer than his right. I like to think of the purpose or feel of the photograph to get the right attention. In my opinion, the water on the subject’s face and his staring eyes are the focus. Cropping helps with some of that depth issue.

    O.K., speaking of depth, we need to discuss some dof (depth of field). I do not see any camera in the post, or more importantly, lens specifications so I am going to make some assumptions. I did see some of the information in the EXIF data on the picture.

    I see you are shooting with an aperture of 3.5. Too deep. Close that dof by shooting at 1.8 or 2. Any lower with your aperture, (higher number) and there is too much focus on other things and not on you true intended focus. I would guess you are shooting at 3.5 because this is your lens’ limitation. I’m guessing you are using the kit lens.

    This is easy for me to say because I have a lot of Canon L series glass. I must say though there are many 50mm lenses with maximum apertures’ of 1.8 which are very affordable. While you can change dof with aperture, you can also use a telephoto lens. This combined with a F 1.8 or 2 could make this picture quite stunning. It would be hard though in an actual shower.

    Your shutter speed is 1/200 and is not fast enough. I think you either blur the water or keep it crisp. I personally would like to see crisp; inline with the subject’s eyes.

    This close and with a wide open aperture I would love to see a ring light. These are expensive, but would make this shot amazing. Besides the great rings in the subject’s pupils, it would provide an almost sketched outline around the subject. If you can’t afford one, rent one. Your local camera shop is likely to rent one to you for $10 a day, if not less.

    If you don’t like the ring light, I would use a Gary Fong clear flash diffuser. This can be attached to a hot shoe flash and really increase your contrast.

    Also you are shooting in the Adobe RGB color space. Change that to sRGB.

    Please don’t think I am being to critical, is because I think the photo is so good I am making these suggestions. I believe you have a great foundation. Use it and build on it. Recreate this photo with some of the advice you get in this forum and I think you have a great winner.

    With all that said, great job using a D90 and on-camera flash. I mean it, it’s really good.

    -Nick
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ViceOfFire

    ViceOfFire TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much everyone for the crits/comments/compliments. I've m taking them on board and I'll definitely be retaking this shot. Sorry that I regretted to mention it was actually a self portrait,in my constricted shower.

    Cos of this I wasn't too sure where the knob was in relation with my head, etc. I really wish it wasn't there, too. Maybe next time I'll use one of those dropdown bckdrop things or w/e, idk.

    Tsareleski, thanks for the compliments, I'm actually saving my pennies for more equipment as we speak, haha.

    Nick, thankyou very much for the in depth, long C&C. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that.

    I never thought of cropping it, I think that's a much better idea. Thanks for that. With the DOF, I actually dont't have the kit lens, just a the 18-200mm VR and 60mm f2.8. I was using the 60mm in this shot, but I couldn't up the f stop any more because it would overexpose the picture too much IMO, or if the flash compensated it it would have flattened the picture at 1/200. Also, I would have have loved the water 100% crisp, but with the on board flash on the D90, 1/200 is the fastest shutter speed so I had to work within limitations.

    Thanks so much for again for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it and I'm definitely going to take it all on board and look at investing in a ring flash (saving for the SB900 currently as well).

    Do you mean change the photo from Adobe RBGB to sRGB on the camera? I'd assume this would make s this to opitimize print quality versus on the monitor? Also, the detail/colour etc of the original edit I have compared to yours looks quite the same, except that Photobucket washed mine out. I think I'll get a Flickr account.

    Thanks for everything, it's been really helpful, I shall retake this picture when I have the equipment, and I'll factor in all the advice. Cheers!
     
  7. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    You are welcome!

    I don't mean change this particular photo to sRGB I mean change the camera's color space to sRGB instead of Adobe RGB. Your monitor and professional labs use sRGB color space as a benchmark.

    This way you are more likely to get the photo you see on your monitor when it is put to print. Also, the color will change with the new color profile.

    -Nick
     
  8. jwsciontc

    jwsciontc TPF Noob!

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    mind if i edit the colors? it's begging for it!!
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  9. nicholasw

    nicholasw TPF Noob!

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    ^^Very nice edit, makes the whole photo pop out at you.
     
  10. jwsciontc

    jwsciontc TPF Noob!

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    thanks, i don't know why his forehead looks so glitchy like that though
     
  11. dtornabene1

    dtornabene1 TPF Noob!

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    The original was washed out when uploaded to Photobucket. He mentioned it in the first post. Like the change in color though I think composition and dof are more of what he was looking for.

    -Nick
     
  12. Dick Sanders

    Dick Sanders TPF Noob!

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    Hey Vice: This is a very good self-portrait. You have a quality of "acting here" which works for this kind of shot. It reminds me of the kind of portraits you see of celebrities in the magazines. Think of Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I followed some of the suggestions others posted here and did a fast edit job in Photoshop -- covered the problem device on the wall, blurred the background (but erased the blur on the stream of water to bring that back). Selected your body only and pasted it into its own layer and adjusted the color and levels. Darkened the background. Oh, and I made a copy of your body for another layer and desaturated the color, but erased the desatch on your lips and eyes to bring them back. Brightened the eyes a bit. Plus, a closer cropping. Just some ideas. I think it's a good portrait, worth the PhotoShop effort.

    [​IMG]
     

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