C&C on my First Attempts at Portraits


TPF Noob!
Aug 4, 2010
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I generally take photos of Landscape and such, so people photography is not my thing.


The second one the face is a little dark, but with that being said, these are good for your first attempt. :)
Try shooting without the harsh shadows or use a fill flash.

#2, the focus doesn't seem to be the face, which in portraits is the first thing you should focus (mostly the eyes) on before composing.
Not bad :)
The only thing I'd suggest is learn lighting (if you haven't done so). Use of Ambient light alone will limit you as times goes on.
C&C per req:

1. A nice casual portrait. Consider your background and your settings, especially when shooting portraits out of doors. Using the tree as a backdrop, but putting more distance between it and the subject as well as using a large aperture would have rendered it more softly focused and much less distracting. As well, the "open" area immediately behind her head, image left is a bit distracting. I think her face would benefit form a minor levels/curves adjustment, and, judging from her shirt, a WB tweak.

2. Another pleasing, casual pose. This one is problematic because of the exposure; unfortunately your flash isn't strong enough to provide the needed fill lighting; consider different positions which will maximise the benefit of available light. As well, always remember to check the scene; the poplar tree growing out of the centre of her head is less than ideal. Lastly, understanding you're restricted in what you can do because of the nature of your camera, try and find softer, more even backgrounds, hedgerows, walls, etc which even if in reasonable focus will offer less distraction.

Overall, good job. There are a few minor issues, but nothing that can't easily be resolved. Keep practicing.

Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

Get a flash or reflector. The first is alright but some better lighting would remove the shadow from her eyes, but lighting in the second is not so good. Definately need some fill so that her feet arent the only thing being lit.
I like the first one on the second one I would use a reflector or a flash to put some light on her face.
They are both nice poses...and that's one of the most difficult part of portraits IMO. The rest is technique and technical understanding of lighting and camera etc.

Anyway....I agree with what everyone else said. It also looks like you are zoomed all the way out in the second photo. This usually causes the photo to have some barrel distortion and is usually not very flattering for subjects. Your depth of field is very large this way too.

I like to be zoomed in as much as my lens will allow for most portraits causing less distortion (or sometimes pincushion distortion, which IMO is better than barrel) as well as blur the background and cause your eye to focus to the subject rather than the background.
the settings in both pictures are realy nice. There are a few draw backs.

1. the picture just looks OOF to me. the lighting is off and look at the whites, they're more "blue" tinted

2. it looks fine, but needs major lights around her face

I'd suggest you use gray cards for portraits. They will come in handy over time and with some PP you can get excellent results! Looking at your pictures make me think that even for your first time, you've done well. Practice makes improvements
Thanks for all of the input. I never expected to get so much so quickly.

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