Trying to improve on my outdoor portraits

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Kimberly81, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    I was trying to play around with exposure and light today with the new camera and I am pretty happy with how things turned out but would love some C&C from you guys:

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  2. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    I also wanted to make a little note, well, a brag on Canon really LOL. I have noticed that my exposures seem much more consistent with the xsi then they were with my d40. I love the live view feature! I set it to live view, alter the exposure, then set it back to shoot through the eye pc and I am finding it much easier to get more accurate exposures outside than I had with my other camera. My photos were all over the place, some dark some light. I am shopping for a new lens also and have my eye on the lens someone suggested in my other thread. :)
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    All in all, they are quite well done. In comparison with the pro work I see, you have done some things better, and made minor mistakes that are made by pros as well.

    The eyes are the most important aspect of any portrait and aside from squinting in 2 and 8, they are well handled. It is great to see white in eyes indicating proper colour balance and no bloodshot problems. Detail in the hair is also important which is noticeable in your portraits.

    Skin colour is pretty good, although there are a few problems. In 4, 5, and 6 the front hand and part of the arm is pinkish and does not match the colour of the back hand and arm. Pros would selectively adjust the colour to match in postprocessing.

    Framing is too tight on some shots and this applies to some pro work I see as well. The rule for portraits is Do not cut a model off at the joints and do not have important body parts too close to the edge of the frame, because the result is a visual distraction which draws the attention of the viewer away from the eyes of the model. So in 2, the elbows are too close to the edge of the frame and part of the left hand is cut off. In 5, the fingers are too close to the front edge of the frame and in several there should be more of the top or side of the head in the frame.

    The top left of 1 has a bright visual distraction. I would suggest anyone stick to colour, who does not have consider experience with black and white. It is harder to work with and I seldom see quality work in black and white, even from many pros.

    Good portraiture is attention to the smallest detail and having an eye for correcting the smallest problem before the shot. If that is your interest, then you have taken on quite a challenge, but these display some natural talent.

    skieur
     
  4. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    WOW! I really appreciate you taking the time to right up this C&C for me! You gave some really helpful points, THANK YOU! I can now see everything you have mentioned and the issues that can be fixed in PP on these will be fixed and some of your points will be great for the next shoot. I do alot of shots for modeling headshots for kids and pageants and the natural outdoor shot seems to be the trend right now which is fine with me, because I prefer natural light and today was a beautiful overcast day. Thanks again for the great advice and your time :)
     
  5. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    Also I just figured out why there is a skin color difference, I used the gold side of my reflector (she is fair skinned and blows out easy) to warm her up a bit and the warmth missed her hands, I will adjust this in pp and post the revisions and maybe you can come back and tell me how they look?
     
  6. PattiS

    PattiS TPF Noob!

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    #5 is by far my favorite... her expression seems the most natural. Beautiful girl!
    I also love #1 but wish it was rotated.
     
  7. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! She really is so easy to photograph, the camera loves her and it makes things so easy for me LOL. I also tried my hand at an indoor headshot today, there are things I want to tweak for next time, such as my choice in background lighting, but it was a fun experiment. I am SERIOUSLY loving this camera so much more than my other one.

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  8. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Usually green is a colour to be avoided in both portraits and video, but you managed to avoid it affecting either skin colour through reflection or hair colour which is great. You may have noticed that the sides of hands are more flattering than the back of hands. Hair detail is good although I would cheat a little and change the front hair highlight above the left eye to a lighter brown as opposed to grey/white.

    The eyes are well done but I make a few minor changes. I would reduce the red a little in the corner of the higher eye and in postprocessing as well, take out the lower highlight/reflection in each eye. Although some pros argue the point, I have always learned from the best that more than one highlight in the eye tends to be visually distracting.

    I would also think about toning down the white part of the light reflection in the lip as well as considering whether the change from green to yellow contributes to the photo or not. This is strictly a personal decision.

    By the way, be careful with the placement of body parts and camera angle. Either one or both can contribute to unintentional visual distortion. The hand and wrist closer to the camera will tend to look slightly larger or wider than the one further from the camera.

    These are just small details. The overall shot is great, has definite impact and is worthwhile having in any portfolio.

    skieur
     
  9. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    Thank You! Her hair can be difficult to photograph. She has natural highlights I would pay big bux for and sometimes in a photo they come through strange, honestly it looks different in every photo LOL. I don't know where she gets it. I personally hate the green, but we were doing a composite card and green matched the layout, EW. I would have put her in purples or blues, she looks great in those two colors. I think the green cools down her skin which I am not fond of either. I really appreciate all of your advice and comments, I learn something everytime I come here or pick up my camera :)
     
  10. Derek Zoolander

    Derek Zoolander TPF Noob!

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    what kind of lighting did you have for the outdoor shots? natural? what about the indoor shots?
     
  11. Kimberly81

    Kimberly81 TPF Noob!

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    For outdoor I use either an overcast day or a shaded area and fill light with a reflector, I never use my flash so I keep as much natural light as possible. Indoor I am just using 2 soft boxes, one on the face and one from above kind of behind and then my reflector flat on a table directly in front of the subject to bounce light onto the face.
     

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