A couple portraits - feedback please!

pacu928

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This is Heather

treehugedit.jpg


headermoresat.jpg


closebw.jpg
 

hyp0rbyte

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#1 I like

#2 I like, but the brightness needs to be brought down a bit and her face is hidden a little too much.

#3 not so much. Something is just off and she doesn't look nearly as pretty as the other photos. Lighting/angle? I'm not sure, but it't not appealing.
 
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pacu928

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Thank you! I appreciate honesty.
I see what you are saying with #2 and #3. #2 I will work on and see what I can do to spice it up a bit.

Here's the color pic of #3. Its different and may be a bit more appealing.
121212-R1-11-10A.jpg
 

hyp0rbyte

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I like #3 a lot more in color.. It just doesn't work black/white.
 

Rob

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Ah-ha, these pictures I recognise from General!

#1 Generally a pleasing image, although there are a few things I believe could be improved: The amount of extra space in the frame. Do the tree branches help, or distract? The contrast of white sky and black branches make it a bit cluttered. Personally, I would have tried to gain a bit more height advantage over the subject to decompress the angle of her, the branch and her arm. Actually I think a square crop would work - the subject and branch aren't really portrait or landscape aspect. Also, a little fill flash can help balance the light between subject and background.

#2 Good idea for a pose, but it's a portrait aspect shot - i.e. should have been vertical to maximise her presence in the frame and minimise that nasty white sky/branch combination. It's worth bearing in mind that people have a natural squint when looking at near objects and this becomes apparant when there is a lot of eye-whites showing. As I mentioned, the black point needs adjusting. Let me know if you want me to have a go in PS and post what I mean to show you?

#3 Good shot (in colour). There isn't enough tonal separation from the background to do B&W effectively. I'd have liked it more with her eyes open/looking up, or something... just something slightly wrong that I can't pin down.

One thing to possibly consider is a gold reflector. This adds about 1/4 as much light again to the subject gently, cancelling out unwanted shadows and gently warming the subject. I'm a big fan of reflectors and they are a very underused photography tool. They are also cheap and don't need batteries!! :)

Overall you've got good captures, but they lack some polish, especially regarding the lighting and composition. Work out those two and you'll be winning in no time. I'm also heavily biassed towards vertical/portrait aspect shots of people!

Hope this is helpful and taken as constructive. Feel free to disagree - there's no rights and wrongs in photography after all!

Rob
 
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pacu928

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Rob said:
Ah-ha, these pictures I recognise from General!

#1 Generally a pleasing image, although there are a few things I believe could be improved: The amount of extra space in the frame. Do the tree branches help, or distract? The contrast of white sky and black branches make it a bit cluttered. Personally, I would have tried to gain a bit more height advantage over the subject to decompress the angle of her, the branch and her arm. Actually I think a square crop would work - the subject and branch aren't really portrait or landscape aspect. Also, a little fill flash can help balance the light between subject and background.

#2 Good idea for a pose, but it's a portrait aspect shot - i.e. should have been vertical to maximise her presence in the frame and minimise that nasty white sky/branch combination. It's worth bearing in mind that people have a natural squint when looking at near objects and this becomes apparant when there is a lot of eye-whites showing. As I mentioned, the black point needs adjusting. Let me know if you want me to have a go in PS and post what I mean to show you?

#3 Good shot (in colour). There isn't enough tonal separation from the background to do B&W effectively. I'd have liked it more with her eyes open/looking up, or something... just something slightly wrong that I can't pin down.

One thing to possibly consider is a gold reflector. This adds about 1/4 as much light again to the subject gently, cancelling out unwanted shadows and gently warming the subject. I'm a big fan of reflectors and they are a very underused photography tool. They are also cheap and don't need batteries!! :)

Overall you've got good captures, but they lack some polish, especially regarding the lighting and composition. Work out those two and you'll be winning in no time. I'm also heavily biassed towards vertical/portrait aspect shots of people!

Hope this is helpful and taken as constructive. Feel free to disagree - there's no rights and wrongs in photography after all!

Rob

Thank you for your thoughts! I'm sure they will help me in the future! I was big into this hobby a few years back and ended up giving it up due to work and financial reasons and I'm just now getting back into it. I'm gradually starting to remember the requirements for lighting and apreture settings and all that. And really, I've got too much "snapshot" in me LOL If you want to toy with my photos in PS, feel free! I don't have PS here, I only have ArcSoft Photo Studio but it works for simple needs.

Here's a little insight on your thoughts:

#1 I guess I was kind of going for a natural framing effect with the branches but I see your point with conflict in attract/distractiveness.

#2 She was hanging from that branch and I was trying to get her level and leaving the background off-kilter. Just kind of a playful effect, bringing out her playful personality. I am not sure what you mean by "black point"...I would appreciate your explaination!

#3 Kind of an improv snapshot...I can't remember if she was squinting from the sun or if she was just looking down. I saw an opp so I jumped on it LOL. I wasn't a big fan of the B&W either to be honest.

I'm not replying to bicker or anything, just offering some insight to help you understand what I was trying to do. I truely appreciate honest opinions and expertise and would also appreciate your help in helping me understand what you are talking about with the PS touching up. Thanks again buddy.
 

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