Trying again... new model.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by paulpippin29, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. paulpippin29

    paulpippin29 TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so, adhering to advice recieved from users on this forum, I've tried again, using a new model. Keep in mind, this is the look I was going for as far as tonality of colors, etc...

    I did post edit these images, but never color boosted at all. The lighting was perfect as is, and I've got the camera set to "Vivid", so, a color boost was not needed. I did apply a colored "layer" on some of these, either red or green, which just really does something for me for some reason.

    Anyway, they're certainly not pro grade, but, I'm trying, and trying hard too. This particular model was a breeze to shoot, as she required no direction. She simply posed, and I took shots, that's it. I loved it too :) They're not the best, but, they're better than my previous work, I think anyway.


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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  2. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    not bad, except for the ones that are out of focus
     
  3. jwsciontc

    jwsciontc TPF Noob!

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    they look like they're from a camera phone, what were you using?
     
  4. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    While this is, um, harsh, I think when shooting portraits indoors (and often outdoors), artificial light is often necessary for good results. Especially in some of the lower-light shots (1,2,5) there is little separating the model from the background. 7,8, and 9 do seem better in this respect.

    Some of them also seem to have some white balance issues- a few of these look pretty yellow. How did you set your white balance, and did you touch it in post?
     
  5. paulpippin29

    paulpippin29 TPF Noob!

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    To jwsciontc...

    I'm using a Canon Powershot A590 IS. Certainly not the best camera in the world, but for my level of skill, or lack there of should I say, it does a descent job. I'm currently saving money as we speak, in preperation for an upgrade, as I'm just taking way to many pictures, every single day, to continue with this whole "point and shoot" conept.

    To elemental...

    I have the camera's while balance control simply set to AUTO. It has several modes of course which include:

    Daylight
    Cloudy
    Tungsten
    Fluorescent
    Fluorescent H
    Custom <-- Haven't quite figured this one out yet

    Anyway, again, I just leave it set to Auto, figuring the camera will choose the best balance, and for the most part, I assume it's intelligent enough to do so, however, I'm completely aware that it's a low end camera, and will not get it perfect :(

    So, while taking these shots, and I took many more than what is posted here... I would switch color modes, white balance modes, etc... and according to my "live view" lcd, any mode other than Auto for white balance, just sort of made the colors of the background a bit too harsh.

    The area that I took these shots at, are at my hospital where I work, down on the ground floor, which has had NO remodeling whatsoever, since the 70's at least... so the colors are "pastel" almost. Greens, yellows, odd shades of blue, etc... which I absolutely love, and I wanted those colors to show.

    I do however see what you're referring to concerning the seperation of the model from the background. There's not much of that going on at all, and frankly, I've never thought of that, until now, which is what I love about this forum.

    Thing is, I tried a couple of shots using the flash, setting it to minimum output power, and it brings the model up and out of the background indeed, but it kills my background colors. I lose those 70's colors instantly. How would I go about doing what you suggest, without killing my colors?

    And also, last thing... even though this is referred to as "Portrait" shooting, I'm not really going for that. I like to get a more candid type of shot... having the model look away from the camera, or turn her back, or to the side, or just anything different from just a straigt facial shot. The photo I posted of her face, and face only, is the only shot I took like that.

    To see my ultimate, long-term goal for skill level and dream photography, please check out http://www.hakanphotography.com That is my favorite type of photography when using a model. That guy is amazing.

    Thanks again for the advice, and any further assistance will be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

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    Looking at that gallery, I can see what you mean about the importance of the surroundings and the background. It seems like in a lot of the photos in the portfolio the color and atmosphere of the background are what's really important, more than the details. This one is an example:

    http://www.hakanphotography.com/images/inline/web907.jpg

    You can see that even though the background is very important to the image, it's blurry. In your images, many of the foregrounds/backgrounds are sharp enough to be a little distracting. How familiar are you with the concept of depth of field? Basically, the larger the aperture (smaller numbers), the more out of focus things will be at any given distance in front of or behind what you're focused on. If you want a sharp subject with a blurred background, you can (A) use a large aperture (the A590 has a manual mode that will allow this, though you aren't going to get as big as a fast prime on an SLR) and (B) move the subject farther from the background.

    You can also do this by controlling your light. Indoors, off camera flash can be incredibly useful to not only light your subject but also your background. With the right setup, you effectively control the brightness balance between the two, so you can make the background bright and the subject a silhouette if you know what you're doing. While this isn't especially practical for a point-and-shoot user, it can hypothetically be done. For now, I wouldn't worry about it.

    The third suggestion I would make would be to look at how his backgrounds work with the subjects. Again, refer to the image I linked to above: There are no distracting elements running into, out of, or through her body, and her head is surrounded only by soft blue. In the final picture you uploaded, the corner runs into the top of her head, which is distracting and takes away from her presence. It's a very easy mistake to make when you aren't looking for it, but almost equally simple to fix when you are.

    I think the depth of field-related suggestions are your best bets to work on for now, along with being a little more cautious about the model's interaction with the backdrop. Are you doing any post-processing (Lightroom, Photoshop, GIMP, even Picasa)? This will give you a lot more control over what you get, allowing you to correct for some factors that your camera makes it difficult to control. It will also let you hit the ground running with your next camera, since you will want your processing to be able to keep up with you shooting skills. The colors in the gallery that you linked to resemble a cross-process in a lot of the shots, which can be controlled an emulated digitally (or by actually doing it with film), but is a hard or impssible look to achieve in camera. I like using Lightroom for funky color setups (I like using Lightroom in general- I tried a lot of programs anfd Lightroom is just fantastic), but I know it can be easily done in Photoshop or really any high-end photo manipulation program. If money is an object, take a look at GIMP. It's open-source and free. Many Photoshop users will scoff at it, but for $0, you don't have much to lose.

    "Taking way too many pictures, every day" is the way to do it. Keep it up- it will reward you.
     
  7. Kendo

    Kendo TPF Noob!

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    I would learn how to do the custom white balance mode. All you have to do is put it in custom mode and aim the camera's lcd screen, fill the little box with a white piece of paper and push the shutter button half way.(IIRC). That is it, it is set and the colors will look better.
     
  8. Classic Cool

    Classic Cool TPF Noob!

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    the 7th one is pretty cool
     
  9. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I would say that since you're using a P&S, you might as well focus on a few things to learn until you get a DSLR. I feel like working on understanding aperture and shutter speed and blah blah would be reasonably useful. But maybe your best use of time could be working on your posing and composition, as well as harnessing natural light. Alot of the poses are decent but not quite it, and the model looks very bored in many of the pictures. So learn how to interact with the model and get genuine looks, and more natural looking poses. I think that maybe the first would be my favorite.
     
  10. paulpippin29

    paulpippin29 TPF Noob!

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    To Kendo... thank you SO much for instructing me on the custom white balance mode. I'll certainly do that immediately.

    To Classic Cool... your favorite is mine as well. I've often thought that was the single best photo to come out of this particular batch, so thank you.

    To Elemental...

    You sir, are full of wonderful advice and instruction, and I wish to thank you greatly for that. I'm taking into consideration all that you've said, and I have another "shoot" scheduled for Friday, with another model. I'll be trying my absolute best to implement all of your advice. As for some of the things you mentioned:

    My settings duirng this shoot, and most all shoots for that matter were as follows:

    Aperture was at F2.6 <-- The absolute largest my A590 can pull off.

    Shutter speed varied with different locations, but typically, was fairly fast, and was always set to let what looked like the proper amount of light in.

    Am I familiar with DOF? Absolutely, but I'm no master of it at all of course, as you can see. However, I focused on her the entire time, every shot, and just figured, with my 2.6 aperture setting, that the background would work perfectly, though, it didn't :( I'm not sure what I was doing wrong there, though I must admit, I love the "hallway" type of backgrounds.

    As for my post editing... well, yes, I do apply some things, using a free program called "PhotoFilter". It's a small app, which applies all types of filters to images. I can apply shadows, highlights, apply color boosting, and also a huge vairety of color effects. It also allows for several type of "blurs" to be applied, and just ton's of other things. Photoshop? Well, I'de love to have it, and the GIMP? Well, it will install on my machine, but it will NOT load. I see the initial screen, then it just shuts off... not sure why.

    Anyway, thanks again for your continued help, support, and advice, as it is greatly appreciated my friend, really is.

    To GeneralBenson... thanks for your review as well, for you too, point out some interesting things, and have brought my attention to matters which I had not previously thought of.. As for your initial review:

    Aperture and Shutter speed... I do have a pretty good understanding of the two, and continue to get better at that, one shot at a time. As for the posing and composition, man, did you ever nail me there. This particular model, as I stated in my previous post, just loves to take photos, and she's actually not bored, though I can see where you might would think that. She just simply starts posing, sort of likes to run the show so to speak I guess, and I don't argue with that because I'm finding it VERY hard to find willing subjects, lol. The girl above, took alot of convincing, but once she agreed, she loved it, and we shoot all the time now. I've got over 200 photo's of her as of now, and she's gotten over the whole "I don't take good pictures" thing.

    Anyway, things are coming along good overall, and I just hope to continue to improve. A DSLR is in the works though, as I just must have one. I'm going with the Canon Rebel XSI, with lens "kit". It's been referred to as a great "beginner" SLR camera, and I figure that's what I need, though the specs on this thing are incredible from what I've read, and I'm thinking it shall open up some new doors for me.

    Again though, thanks to all of you for your wonderful words and advice. Take care, and if there's more to advise me on, please do so. I check this forum every night after work :)
     

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