General Critique my informal portraits please.

OGsPhotography

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Hi! Thanks for looking. Feedback is encouraged especially if it leads to better pictures!
 

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Designer

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These are way too tiny to be asking for detailed critique.

Both are very soft, as if your camera focused on the woman's ring in the first, and maybe the child's hair in the second. Fairly good light, an o.k. frame, could be better though.

I'm curious about your setup. I know you said you use a south-facing window, but I don't know if your North window would be better. I don't know where you bounce the flash, so I'm curious about that.

The EXIF is not attached, so I am at a loss as to what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

I also don't know if you have any other lens choices.

Please include more information, post the photos at around 1000 pixels on the longest side, include the EXIF, be a little more explicit as to where you bounce the flash, and list your other lenses.
 
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OGsPhotography

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Thanks,

I will try to figure how to post larger pictures. These were synced to my phone from lightroom on my mac.

Any tips or link to proper way to post, I mean donyou really need to pixel ppep tonget the point across? I know her face is soft in the bow pic, perhaps I need more light and higher f stop. I kinda like the soft look but will need to learn both ways, people want tacks I think.

I really don't want to get on the cpu to use the forum but will if I have to. Phone is much more convenient.

I have some other lenses, tried to post them yesterday but Chrome crashed while in the middle of a lengthly post..... I'll try again sometime, seems as though this site may not be compatible with iPhone6 and Chrome. My curser is bouncing everywhere.

18-135 is stm
75-300

Will be adding 10-18is stm soon.

I think the 50mm is best by far for indoor portraits. 18-135 can do a good job as well very similar.

Thanks again and I will post more info and photos.
OG
 

ronlane

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To post photos, you can use sites like flickr or even post from you mac to here with files. I typically post files that are 800 or 1000 pixels on the long edge at 72 ppi without any trouble on here.

We don't need to pixel peep to get the point across, but a larger file helps to determine where your focus was. (For portraits it should be the eye.) Also for portraits, it's okay for the skin to be smooth but you want the eyes tack sharp.
 
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Thank you Ron,

I miss focus on the eyes a lot. I turned the beep back on to see if that helps, perhaps there is a lag from when the focus lock seems to be on until it really is. I always shoot for the eyes but maybe the aperture Im shooting at 1.8-3 usually is typicaly too low for portraits. i uploaded one more picture to test from the mac and am typing on the mac now also I will give up on the phone for now until I get a grasp on this from the larger machine. Hard learning curve, new mac, new 70D and new baby haha.

Thanks so much for the help. I'll try shooting at 5.6+ see if that helps get both eyes focused.

Can you see the EXIF in the new file posted and is that large enough? I exported it from PS at file size 7, medium.

Thanks again everyone.
OG

PS the new file is really soft too I realize. Better light and focus and I'll be a happy man.
 

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Thank you Ron,

I miss focus on the eyes a lot. I turned the beep back on to see if that helps, perhaps there is a lag from when the focus lock seems to be on until it really is. I always shoot for the eyes but maybe the aperture Im shooting at 1.8-3 usually is typicaly too low for portraits. i uploaded one more picture to test from the mac and am typing on the mac now also I will give up on the phone for now until I get a grasp on this from the larger machine. Hard learning curve, new mac, new 70D and new baby haha.

Thanks so much for the help. I'll try shooting at 5.6+ see if that helps get both eyes focused.

Can you see the EXIF in the new file posted and is that large enough? I exported it from PS at file size 7, medium.

Thanks again everyone.
OG

PS the new file is really soft too I realize. Better light and focus and I'll be a happy man.

F5.6 will help, but will still depend on how far away your subject is. Are you using a single focus point or a zone? This video should help, but I suggest you read your manual.

 

vintagesnaps

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I would think about how you're framing shots. The first one seems too tight, the girl is cut off on the right side, and it's hard to tell that's a ribbon/bow - it's a bright red eye-catching odd shape. (You'd probably need to get the picture when the person is holding the ribbon in a way that looks good in a photo.) I'd watch with printed T shirts to either get the lettering completely in the frame and make sure it's straight, or keep it out.

With the second one the background has visual distractions - a white pillow, slanted edge of a chair, a yellow shape to the right (a toy?). Especially the bright lighter colors tend to draw the viewer's eyes and can distract from the subject.

Next time notice your backgrounds, think about your vantage point - what do you see in your viewfinder? You can move yourself a step or two or more, or you might consider moving the chair a little, and get toys or other objects out of the way if needed. Or you could use toys in the pictures, but they'd need to be part of the picture not making for distracting shapes in the background.

It looks like the lens was open (large aperture) which could be making it harder to focus. You might want to learn more about depth of field, get out and take some pictures of an object/subject (maybe not active kids! try something stationary), changing the aperture each time and notice how that looks in your pictures.

You might need to get in more practice so you can nail the focus. (I focus manually but that may or may not work for someone else.) In the first picture it looks like it's on the hand lower left, not sure on other photo because nothing looks sharply in focus (the hair above the eyebrow, maybe); I'm wondering if there was some slight blur in that one.
 
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Thank you Jacka, that is a great video! I have seen it before and it is well worth watching again.

I switch between focus selection a lot. Usually single point, but I have it set up so if I switch to tall it does top zone. I also cant decide on one shot or servo, so I switch quite often to get experience with both.

I went and read another tutorial, so much to concentrate on I love photography. Cant wait its almost golden hour so I'll tray again this afternoon I hope.
 

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I kinda like the soft look but will need to learn both ways, people want tacks I think.
As you view the photos on your computer, you can verify the exact point of focus, and also re-size them to about 1000 pixels on the long side which will load here and display nicely. Furthermore, you can upload directly from your computer right to the thread using the "upload a file" button below your reply. Or if it is hosted somewhere else, just use the "image" tool in the header.

I agree that "the soft look" is fine for certain photos and certain parts of photos, but really, we usually expect to see sharply defined catchlights in people's eyes. Soft skin, sure, soft hair, in some cases, soft clothing, o.k., but people's eyes should be sharp enough to see the catchlights. That is the normal place portrait photographers will place the focus.
 
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OGsPhotography

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Thank you Vintage!

So many good points you make! I think I will go manual next shoot.

The composition is all a bit shaky, I really Feel I need to nail my settings and lighting first. I call them informal portraits because I have to just take advantage of the fact shes even sitting in a chair! Not much time to pose the scene or the time will hAve passed.

Thanks,
OG
 

JacaRanda

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Thank you Jacka, that is a great video! I have seen it before and it is well worth watching again.

I switch between focus selection a lot. Usually single point, but I have it set up so if I switch to tall it does top zone. I also cant decide on one shot or servo, so I switch quite often to get experience with both.

I went and read another tutorial, so much to concentrate on I love photography. Cant wait its almost golden hour so I'll tray again this afternoon I hope.

It's great that you shoot both landscape and portrait, but I would advise against using the zone when switching to vertical. You want that single focus point to be directly on the eye. The zone may choose the nose or the ring on moms finger etc.
 
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Thanks Designer,

I will check for a tutorial on resizing in LR/PS, exporting and storing and cloud sharing probably hAve thrown me for the biggest loop of all this. Switching from cpu to mac and adding PS same day is nonsensical lol.

By catchlights do you mean the shiny spots that are in all 3 photos, or are you looking for more light in the actual blues of the eye, retina or iris I cant remember what to call it.

Thanks you!
OG
 
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OGsPhotography

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Jaca,

I will definitely go into the vertical settings and switch it to single point.

I was for a while considering going to full auto AF to try and get sharper. I'll stick to the course!

Thanks again!
 

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