Took a bit of a risk (tried to take my own senior portrait)

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Trenton Romulox, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    Well, as the title says, I tried to take my own senior portrait. I made a reflector this afternoon, thought about cleaning myself up, but didn't, took my tripod, camera, 70-200mm f/2.8, reflector, and myself outside and decided to take my senior portrait. I have been getting all sorts of cards in the mail from photographers to take my senior portrait or whatever, but their prices are rather obscene ($500 for a session and a few prints? No thanks). I don't know much about posing, and I don't know a lot about portraiture (like, nothing, actually). But, I figured, hey, what the heck? So, here is what I ended up coming up with...

    [​IMG]

    I know that there's some halo'ing going on around my head, and that's due to excessive dodging that I did in PS to try and separate my hair from the background a little bit, and I'm gonna try and tackle that issue tomorrow with some cloning and burning and whatnot. But, I'd still like to know how I did. So, all you pros, help a kid out, what should I do differently if any of my friends ask me to do their portraits? Or what should I do differently in post on my own? Or do I have nothing good here and I should just do a reshoot?

    Thanks for looking! Comments, critiques, and jokes (at my expense, if you must) are welcome and much appreciated. :]

    Peace.
  2. Sw1tchFX
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    Sw1tchFX New Member

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    I think the posing is fine, little space at the top but it works great.

    Bring in a speedlight for a hairlight. it needs separation and no amount of photoshop is going to fix it, you need light. Also , can the reflector, it's at your chin anyway, bring in another light for a kicker if you want more separation there for the black shirt, the remaining daylight if you're in shade should provide a good key light.

    The greenish brown processing is pretty ugly, i'd go for something more natural.


    That's my opinion on the subject.
  3. kellylindseyphotography
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    kellylindseyphotography New Member

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    your back?!!!!! and no pm to me :(

    I think it looks good, aside from the halo-ing which was the first thing I noticed. Care to post the one that's in your avatar?
  4. bigalbest
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    bigalbest New Member

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    I don't want to sound too negative here because I like your photos, but it seems to me you've spent far more than $500 to take your own. Pricing seems a little high in this business until you try to start selling your own photos and your local professional might surprise you with some great work. Just something to think about the next time you want some portraits.
  5. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    I didn't buy any of my equipment to take my portrait, so I didn't spend more than $500, haha. Unless you want to count the cost of aluminum foil and poster board I used for the reflector. So I guess you could say having the stuff to do my own senior portrait is merely a nice bonus to the equipment I purchased. :]

    And the green/brown processing, I can see where you're coming from, definitely, but I mean, it's my senior portrait and that's the particular tone I wanted for it, but now that I really look, I might have overdone the bronze tones a bit too much. That's really a personal preference thing, but I'll definitely give some other tones a try and see if there's something I prefer, something more natural.

    Thanks again guys, I've got some stuff to think about now, and I may well have to reshoot.

    Overall though, do you guys think this shot is acceptable as a senior portrait? I mean, I'm really glad for all the details you guys have talked about, those are really important to me, and it's totally helping me learn. So, thanks again! :]
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  6. returnofa5i
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    returnofa5i New Member

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    Yea the halo around you is very distracting. Idk if thats from over sharpening or a filter you used, but you should change it.
  7. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    From neither, from dodging. And I am working on it as I type this, well, I mean, not at the same time as I am literally typing this, but you get what I'm saying. Thanks for the comments.
  8. notelliot
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    notelliot New Member

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    8x10 crop, and the halo-fix and you've a winner.
  9. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    Right on. I think I've about got the halo fixed. It might still take a bit more work though.
  10. Sw1tchFX
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    Sw1tchFX New Member

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    I dunno, I'd kind of like to see a larger version of your avatar trenton.
  11. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    Well, that's two people that wanna see it. So, I guess that means I'll do it. It looks okay when it's that small, haha, but the larger version is gonna blow your mind with its awfulness...

    [​IMG]

    It didn't end up being nearly as sharp as I would have liked, so I had to sharpen it in post way more than I usually would, yielding some undesirable results. But, it happens sometimes.
  12. Sw1tchFX
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    Sw1tchFX New Member

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    See, I think this last one is more interesting because it puts you into an enviroment and it's a more interesting angle. The lighting is softer, more flattering and you don't have fill on your neck that doesn't make too much sense in it.
  13. JubbaKing
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    JubbaKing New Member

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    Things I notice:

    1) The camera is too low.
    2) You are turned too far from the camera. Your head is turned really far back towards the camera, making you look strained and stiff (ie: see how we are looking directly into your shoulder? All your weight is on both feet which also makes you look stiff. Put the weight on the far foot.
    3) The lighting is uneven across the face, particularly near your cheek and jaw areas (compare to the forehead). You look like you used a little fill flash to compensate but you should have just moved to a location with heavier shade.
    4) You are cropped off at the elbow. The rule of thumb is to crop off between joints, not at them.
    5) Compositionally, there is more behind you then in front. Draw a line from top to bottom in the middle of the photo. It can give an odd feeling to the viewer if there is more empty space behind someone.
    6) Not sure what you were going for with the tone/effect. I don't think it's needed or helpful.
    7) The vignette is ok but normally I don't think vignettes on outdoor photos looks natural or pleasing. On the monitor it looks fine but I'm willing to bet that if you printed it with the vignette, you'd lose a lot of detail.
  14. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    Not particularly constructive comments, Alpha.
  15. kellylindseyphotography
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    kellylindseyphotography New Member

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    I think the processing is a little overdone on the flower one, but I like the idea behind it. Would you post it SOOC? And, I didn't look at it and right away think girly or gay just because of the flowers... but then alpha said it and now I can't help it.
  16. Alpha
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    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Even so, it wasn't a particularly nice or topical thing of me to say.
  17. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    I just don't really see why there is such an association between flowers and homosexuality, but whatever.
  18. Alpha
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    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Because heteronormative stereotypes don't include flowers.
  19. Easy_Target
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    Easy_Target New Member

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    The second image, it looks as if the focus was not on you, because the daisies all the way at bottom are in sharp focus to my eyes.
  20. Trenton Romulox
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    Trenton Romulox New Member

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    What do they include? Getting wasted and driving fast cars whilst throwing a football around?

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