My first real portraits!

scheffer

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Hi,

The pictures below were taken at the 'zoom experience' exhibition in Utrecht (NL) last weekend. For #73 I used my own flash, but for the other three a studio setup was used. People were allowed to use their own camera (albeit properly set upfront to 1/125, f8 and ISO100) in combination with a single umbrella/softbox flash with a reflector on the left. I like the results very much, although the pictures still need some cleaning. (too many sharp details in her face e.g.) The model, don't know her name, was moving automatically in the right poses. She definitely had a lot of experience. Yet, I regret that in many of my pictures the left side of her face is rather dark. I should have asked her to turn her face a litte more towards the light. Ah well, I only had about one minute to shoot. Hope you like them.

Danny
 

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scheffer

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well, many people saw these, but nobody gave any comments. So, these are perfect?

hehe, Danny
 

Vivienne

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They're good photos. I like the first one best!
On the other photos, especcialy the last one, I can see her make-up too much (powder i guess). I guess that because the light is coming from the right and then you can see it too much. Maybe you could have tryed to let the light come from the front.
But your photos are good anyway, especially when you made them in just 1 minute :wink:
 

spiffybeth

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i didnt even notice the makeup but vivienne is right, its really evident in the last picture. regardless, that one is my favorite because of her eyes. that woman is really pretty and her eyes are especially beautiful.
 
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scheffer

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thanks vivienne and spiffybeth. both of you are right. Actually, the first picture was made in the morning, while the last three were shot at the end of the day. She did indeed complain about her make up. I noticed this as well, and I need to spend some time with PS to get rid of it. Indeed, here eyes are special.

Danny
 

photelle

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The lighting on the last 3 is very nice. The light on the first one is flat and not nearly as flattering. A surface blur on her skin will get rid of that makeup look! And you can easily clone out the blemishes that are showing from underneath, if you want.

Nice work!
 

notelliot

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the lighting is pretty good in your shots, as is the composition. but there seemed to be a lot of blemishes, like photelle mentioned.
i'm pretty bored, so i cleaned it up a little.. hope you don't mind.

IMG_0257.jpg
 

photelle

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I took notelliot's version a step further by adding a surface blur layer and masking in only her skin (not including around the eyes, bottom of nose, etc. to keep detail). Maybe a little smooth for some people, but it's an idea anyway. I like how it evens out the skin tones a little. PM if you want me to remove it!

IMG_0257.jpg
 

skieur

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I took notelliot's version a step further by adding a surface blur layer and masking in only her skin (not including around the eyes, bottom of nose, etc. to keep detail). Maybe a little smooth for some people, but it's an idea anyway. I like how it evens out the skin tones a little. PM if you want me to remove it!

IMG_0257.jpg

I agree with what you have done so far, but I would use a softening brush to do a little work on the nose and left cheek, take what look to be veins out of the eyes, take the glare off the lower lip and smooth the upper lip some. (It distracts the viewer from the eyes).

My the way, the eye lashes are the best I have seen in portraits posted.

skieur
 
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scheffer

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All, nice work so far. I see I still have a lot to learn with PS. Can somebody describe a little more in detail how this was done? Although I do think that perhaps the smoothing went a little too far. All about personal preferences I guess, but the risk is to end up with a 'barbie face'. Nobody is perfect at the end of the day...

I have attached two other pictures taken that same day. I only used the healing brush in PS and took out some of the most obvious defects. Difficult to choose which is the nicest one.

I think I am going to love portrait photography. Now I need to get me a decent flash setup and a model or two...

Danny
 

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skieur

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All, nice work so far. I see I still have a lot to learn with PS. Can somebody describe a little more in detail how this was done? Although I do think that perhaps the smoothing went a little too far. All about personal preferences I guess, but the risk is to end up with a 'barbie face'. Nobody is perfect at the end of the day...

Danny

I would suggest that you take a look at a lot more portraits. Nobody is perfect but portrait photographers who display a model's imperfections are not very successful and regarded as amateurs with regard to their skills.
One of the standards for example is that irrespective of the quality of your camera, the pores on the models skin should not be visible. Veins should not be visible in the eyes either.

A starving artist type can of course play around with portraits any way he wants, because he won't sell many or perhaps any. A professional portrait photographer however who wants to be successful, needs to learn the standards first and then apply his creative approach.

skieur
 
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scheffer

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Skieur,

Ok, I admit, I agree with you. Thanks for the advice. I do wonder if I ever will get the opportunity to shoot like this again, using that flash setup (and the model). I did learn a lot from this exercise and certainly from the hints and work you have done on the pictures. next step is to learn how to deal with PS.

Danny
 

notelliot

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next step is to learn how to deal with PS.

tools/brushes i used: clone stamp and healing brush (for blemishes, rough skin texture, veins in the eyes), dodge & burn tool (brought out a little more detail in her eyes). there's also the blur and soften brushes, but for portraits i find them more counter productive, personally (many people use them wonderfully).
getting into layers and masks is a little more work, but once you get used to using them it comes fairly quickly. someone else on the forum should step in to properly explain it.. i don't use layers and masks very often, and when i do it's usually for landscapes.
hope that helps a bit. good luck.
 

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