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anything wrong with this photo? C&C please...

camera obscura

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I'm messing around with Lightroom 3 and PS CS5. I tried setting the levels in PS but don't know if I got it right. The photo was taken using the automatic settings on my camera. I wanted to make sure they came out OK. What could I have done differently in manual? Please let me know what you think. Thanks.
DSC_0061-Edit.jpg
 
Hi, Camera Obscura!

There's nothing wrong with this photo. The colors are nice and bright. However, there are some suggestions you might like to try, too. You might want to shoot from another angle (e.g. maybe with the sun behind the subject or about 45 degrees). This will give you a more consistent lighting on the subject, especially on the skin where bits of specular (hard) shadows appear. Also, if possible, shoot in the afternoon where the sun is much lower because this will give you softer lights and shadows. Then if you're using the "creative zones" (Manual, Aperture/Shutter priority, et. al.) expose on the skin tone of the subject.

Just suggesting...
 
You could have taken it in a better location, look at the background and the shadows from the roses on her face
 
The photo's composition, background and lighting are what you need to work on. Take for instance the tree growing out of her head & the shadows casted on random parts of her body. I hope this helped a little. As already said, your colors are looking good.
 
"anything wrong with this photo? C&C please..."

Yes.

You used the vertical (portrait)format. :thumbup:

You didn't get close enough.

The 2 worst lighting situations you can have, are mid-day direct sunlight, and dappled sunlight. You have dappled sunlight on your subject and shot to close to mid-day.

In manual mode, and assuming the subject was in open shade and some kind of secondary light source (reflected or strobed), I would use spot metering, a wide lens opening, a low ISO setting and a shutter speed that gives me a just slightly underexposed (no more than 0.25 stop) image.

As mentioned the background you used didn't help any. Notice that most studio portraits use a very undefined backdrop or a single color backdrop sonothing pulls the viewers eye from the portrait subject.
 
too many shadows on the subject, and its a very busy photograph, its kind of dizzying to me
 
Thanks for the responses! Next time I shoot a portrait, I will try to implement these suggestions; like suggesting a better background.

If I get my act together, I could try this bokeh thing. I'm not sure if my 18-70 lens can do that.
(from wikipedia article)
Lens manufacturers including Nikon and Canon make lenses designed with specific controls to change the rendering of the out-of-focus areas.
I can't seem to make my 18-70 lens do bokeh. What am I missing? Any good books on this? Should I try to get something like an 18-200? :confused:
 
Thanks for the responses! Next time I shoot a portrait, I will try to implement these suggestions; like suggesting a better background.

If I get my act together, I could try this bokeh thing. I'm not sure if my 18-70 lens can do that.
(from wikipedia article)
Lens manufacturers including Nikon and Canon make lenses designed with specific controls to change the rendering of the out-of-focus areas.
I can't seem to make my 18-70 lens do bokeh. What am I missing? Any good books on this? Should I try to get something like an 18-200? :confused:

you could get some, but you'll have to get your subject as close to the lens as possible, with the zoom at maybe 70, with the aperture at the lowest number possible unfortunately 5.6 at that zoom with that lens, and have the subject at least 10' from the background. I dunno what you're results are going to be but that will be your best shot.
 
If I get my act together, I could try this bokeh thing. I'm not sure if my 18-70 lens can do that.

I can't seem to make my 18-70 lens do bokeh. :confused:
Don't confuse bokeh, with depth-of-field. They are not the same thing.

Bokeh is property of a lens. It is mostly determined by the number and shape of the lens aperture blades, particularly the blade edges. The only way you can control bokeh, is by deciding which lens(s) you buy.

There are 2 general kinds of bokeh: Cream cheese bikeh, and Hollywood bokeh.

As far as depth-of-field, look here: Understanding Depth of Field in Photography
 
You could have taken it in a better location, look at the background and the shadows from the roses on her face

I was going to say almost this exact thing! The first thing I noticed was the shadow of the roses on her shirt and the background. Then my eye went to the subject. The colors are good however and not over saturated.
 

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