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benpsut

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Being a transportation and lanscape photographer, dabbling in portraiture is difficult. I posted in the beginner forum, might as well post here too! Be ruthless! I need to learn!




1 $AbbySean.jpg





2$Nick.jpg


3$nick-5.jpg



4$ST-8.jpg


5$ST-5.jpg



6$ST-3.jpg
 

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tirediron

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Some interesting work, but too many for which to provide critique - post no more than four for best response. I will note however that 'up the nose' (#3) is rarely a good look!
 

pixmedic

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too many for me to really comment on individually, but the first two are underexposed, (and/or need fill light).
the next 4 are overexposed. (#3 is the best shot by far, just needs a little tweaking)
the couples shot has some very harsh lighting. bare flash? or pop up flash?
I dont dabble any in the low key/shadowy type of portraits so i wont say much on those.

overall, your crops are all very tight. (except #1) some people like this as a "style", but I am not counted among them.
not really a bad start for beginner portraits. what equipment do you have?
do you have a hot shoe flash?
 
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benpsut

benpsut

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5D MKII. 2 Yongnuo 560 and one HSS 568EX. All off camera with 622C triggers. I have 4 460's that a friend is borrowing. So everything is off camera.

They are bare flash, but I do have umbrellas for my light stands. Just really don't know when or when not to use them. As for the tight crop, just a style that I'm accustomed too for my abstract stuff. This portraiture sure is a different world, haha. I appreciate the feedback though! I feel like I should give up on shooting portraits and stick with my abstract and landscape stuff!

Ben
 

pixmedic

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5D MKII. 2 Yongnuo 560 and one HSS 568EX. All off camera with 622C triggers. I have 4 460's that a friend is borrowing. So everything is off camera.

They are bare flash, but I do have umbrellas for my light stands. Just really don't know when or when not to use them. As for the tight crop, just a style that I'm accustomed too for my abstract stuff. This portraiture sure is a different world, haha. I appreciate the feedback though! I feel like I should give up on shooting portraits and stick with my abstract and landscape stuff!

Ben

depending on the ambient light, you don't necessarily NEED flash...but honestly, i am not a terribly big fan of "natural light" portrait photography. I rarely see a picture taken in only ambient light that could not have benefited either from some fill flash, or the flash softening up harsh natural lighting.
the flash doesnt have to be off camera either, unless you are using more than one. I find that a single flash on camera with a small softbox diffuser works very well for outdoor daytime portraits.
this picture was shot mid afternoon. worst possible time for harsh sunlight. shot with a hot shoe flash and softbox on camera to soften the lighting.
daytime flash is also good for getting rid of shadows and odd lighting patterns.
you have all the right equipment, you just need to apply it differently for portrait photography.


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benpsut

benpsut

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I think a good "plan" for me is to learn with natural light first then get into the strobe stuff.

This is what I do regularly as a hobby

RailPictures.Net Photo: CSXT 8769 CSX Transportation (CSXT) EMD SD60M at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia by Ben Sutton
RailPictures.Net Photo: NS 8102 Norfolk Southern GE ES44AC at Homewood, Pennsylvania by Ben Sutton
RailPictures.Net Photo: NS 6306 Norfolk Southern EMD SD40-E at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania by Ben Sutton
RailPictures.Net Photo: unknown Norfolk Southern GE C40-9W (Dash 9-40CW) at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania by Ben Sutton
RailPictures.Net Photo: EMDX 1203 EMDX EMD SD70ACe at Monongahela, Pennsylvania by Ben Sutton

Railroad photography is more, to me at least, about the post than getting it perfect in field. The norm sunny day photo for a train is nose light, sunny side of the tracks, a line going away from you with the front end in focus. Easy. Nothing to it. Harsh shadows, weird angles, etc don't apply too much. But, like above, it does take some thought to produce a "wow" image. I keep my post in mind while in field. I know my limits, I know what I can do, I know what my camera can do and I know what my post program can do. Then I adjust out in the field. So, AKA...a landscape photographer. Just so happens a train is there. Haha.

So me being able to handle natural light is pretty easy. NOW...I just need to refine everything and "soften the edges" so to say into portraiture. I think my foundation is there, we just need to fine tune. Appreciate all the help!

Ben
 

tirediron

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This:
RailPictures.Net Photo: NS 6306 Norfolk Southern EMD SD40-E at Gallitzin, Pennsylvania by Ben Sutton

is a spectacular shot! I would love to have that as a 30x40 on my wall! Intentionally or not, your work is very much in the manner of link (Heck, you could really f**k with people's minds if you 'shopped a N&W logo onto one of those SD40s and converted it to monochrome! :lol:

With respect to your thoughts on shooting "natural light" first, that, IMO, is a bad plan. It's easy to shoot half-donkey'd ambient light shots, but it takes a lot more knowledge and skill than most so-called "natural light" photographers understand to do truly spectacular shots without any sort of supplemental light. Shooting great shots using lights is easy and you're three steps ahead of most of them; you already understand the use of strobed light. Going from an GP-35 to a high-school senior isn't difficult, it just requires a little thought, and a basic understanding of modifiers.
 
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benpsut

benpsut

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Thank you John! Do I sense a little railfan in you? LOL. You dropped quite a bit of railroad there in your reply, haha!

Ben
 

tirediron

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I've been a ferroequinologist since I could walk. My childhood home was 100' from the CPRs Crowsnest sub main line. I had a steady diet of GP35s, GP38s, GP9s (and when I was lucky, the odd F7). I've got a boiler ticket, and occasionally, when I'm lucky, pinch-hit hogging on a small museum road.
 

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