Portraits (C&C please)

Wfpinky

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Recently my sister asked me to do her family photos, always good to get some more practice in! These are some of my favorites from the shoot, I'd love some feedback on them!
DSC_2939-Web.jpg

DSC_2940-Web.jpg

DSC_2952-Web.jpg

DSC_2977-Web.jpg

DSC_2971-Web.jpg
 

cherylynne1

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I think there are a bunch of great things going on here. I like the bokeh, your subjects are sharp, there's some beautiful backlighting, I like their expressions, everyone seems happy and natural. I really like the composition of the third one, with the branches curving around her head.

A few things to work on;

What focal length were these shot at? It looks to me like it might have been a little too short. Most head shots look best at 85mm (equivalent) or above. The fourth one in particular looks like it might be suffering from the slight distortions that comes from a shorter focal length.

In both the first and last pictures, the trees in the background look like they're coming out of the subject's head, in this case looking a little like antlers, lol! Just something to check for.

The skin tones, especially on the last three, look slightly cool to me.

The eyes of the young girl are fairly dark in both pictures. If she had lowered her chin, it would have opened her eyes wider, which would have been more flattering. A reflector also would have helped.

Overall, I think you did really well, and I think they'll be really happy with these!
 

Derrel

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The light in Texas is surely nicer than what we have here in the Pacific Northwest at this time of the year. I think these have a good feeling to the environment, the background: light, bright backgrounds with nice sunlight and good bokeh generally, which makes them feel welcoming, happy, free, unrestrained, easy-going. My choice would be to see just a bit more depth of field though, on the faces; there are parts of the subjects that are out of the focus plane, like the faces and noses, and the forehead hair on the boy, and that adds a type of "photographic look" that runs a bit counter to the backgrounds and the free and easy posing. In a word, that type of shallow depth of field, that which renders only the eyes in crisp focus, looks contrived, like camera-work artifice.

The eyes on the mother and father have good sparkle to them, but big sister's eyes in shot #3 are dark and sparkle-less. Some fill light on her would have really made that shot come alive. Dad's face and neck and chin show up as OOF in many places.

The shot of the boy alone is pretty good, but could use a tiny bit of very minor retouching on the skin.The exact, precise placement of the boy in relation to the sun is almost perfect! Well done on that, well done indeed! The eyes look very enhanced; some people like that look these days, but again, I just love the way you used the natural light on that shot.

The shot of the two kids together has the same relatively flat backlighting as #3. and that lack of fill makes the eyes not show up much, which is a huge contrast to the solo shot of the boy, where the eyes are a huge component part of the shot.
 
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Wfpinky

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I think there are a bunch of great things going on here. I like the bokeh, your subjects are sharp, there's some beautiful backlighting, I like their expressions, everyone seems happy and natural. I really like the composition of the third one, with the branches curving around her head.

A few things to work on;

What focal length were these shot at? It looks to me like it might have been a little too short. Most head shots look best at 85mm (equivalent) or above. The fourth one in particular looks like it might be suffering from the slight distortions that comes from a shorter focal length.

In both the first and last pictures, the trees in the background look like they're coming out of the subject's head, in this case looking a little like antlers, lol! Just something to check for.

The skin tones, especially on the last three, look slightly cool to me.

The eyes of the young girl are fairly dark in both pictures. If she had lowered her chin, it would have opened her eyes wider, which would have been more flattering. A reflector also would have helped.

Overall, I think you did really well, and I think they'll be really happy with these!


Thanks for the feedback! I used my 35mm for these, wish I had a 85mm. I'm still not totally sure on how to properly warm up skin tones and stuff like that, so any tips would be appreciated. Yeah, we noticed my niece's eyes; her mom thinks her eye makeup was too dark that day. I do have a reflector, but I didn't have an assistant to help with it!
 
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Wfpinky

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The light in Texas is surely nicer than what we have here in the Pacific Northwest at this time of the year. I think these have a good feeling to the environment, the background: light, bright backgrounds with nice sunlight and good bokeh generally, which makes them feel welcoming, happy, free, unrestrained, easy-going. My choice would be to see just a bit more depth of field though, on the faces; there are parts of the subjects that are out of the focus plane, like the faces and noses, and the forehead hair on the boy, and that adds a type of "photographic look" that runs a bit counter to the backgrounds and the free and easy posing. In a word, that type of shallow depth of field, that which renders only the eyes in crisp focus, looks contrived, like camera-work artifice.

The eyes on the mother and father have good sparkle to them, but big sister's eyes in shot #3 are dark and sparkle-less. Some fill light on her would have really made that shot come alive. Dad's face and neck and chin show up as OOF in many places.

The shot of the boy alone is pretty good, but could use a tiny bit of very minor retouching on the skin.The exact, precise placement of the boy in relation to the sun is almost perfect! Well done on that, well done indeed! The eyes look very enhanced; some people like that look these days, but again, I just love the way you used the natural light on that shot.

The shot of the two kids together has the same relatively flat backlighting as #3. and that lack of fill makes the eyes not show up much, which is a huge contrast to the solo shot of the boy, where the eyes are a huge component part of the shot.


Thank you! I really ran into some issues with my niece's eyes, a bit frustrating. Her mom thinks the dark makeup had something to do with it, but I'm starting to think getting closer would have helped. Surprisingly my nephew's eyes ARE that bright most of the time! Just depends on how the light hits them. OOF, what is that? I'm just now starting to figure out how retouching and stuff works, so pointers are always welcome! What minor retouches would you suggest?
 

desertrattm2r12

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Cute, really cute, but a longer lens would probably be a better choice and the trees in the background should go. But you are sure on the right track.
 

Derrel

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girl_retouched.jpg
OOF means out of focus. I think the issue with your niece's eyes is not the makeup, nor the camera to subject distance, but just the way the light behind her is pretty bright, and there's nothing substantial to reflect and make a catchlight in her eyes. Using Lightroom's iris enhance tool, teeth whitening, and the dodge tool and some "painted on" clarity, sharpening,and brightness applied with the adjustment brush, I was able to bring out some detail, a little bit, in the eyes, but off of a smallish JPEG, there's not a whole lot of information to process. I added some clarity to the eyes and hair, painted on a bit of sharpening, etc.

The white balance on her is just slightly cool and a tiny bit too magenta, I think.DSC_2952-Web_Derrel's retouch.JPG



It made a neat sepia tone B&W.

DSC_2952-Web_Derrel's retouch-2.JPG
 
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cherylynne1

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Here's a link that might help you to understand what we're seeing as far as focal lengths go: Untitled Document

The 35mm is a great lens, it's just not ideal for when you're this close to the subject. It works fine for half or full body shots.

The make up is a little dark, but I really think a slight repositioning of the head and a reflector would have fixed it. Heavy eyeliner does have the effect of making eyes look smaller, so we just have to compensate for it when taking the picture. Girls and women have a tendency to lean back from the camera and tilt their heads back, not realizing that rather than minimizing double chins it actually makes their hips and stomach look wider and their eyes smaller. You have to constantly redirect them to lean toward the camera, and keep their chin down, like the mother in the first picture.

I really do think the pictures are great, they just need some slight tweaks so that next time they can be amazing!
 

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I agree with Derrel.
You should also look into making or buying a reflector, a little fill light on these would do a lot! :)

You are off to a great start! :)
 
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Wfpinky

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View attachment 113378 OOF means out of focus. I think the issue with your niece's eyes is not the makeup, nor the camera to subject distance, but just the way the light behind her is pretty bright, and there's nothing substantial to reflect and make a catchlight in her eyes. Using Lightroom's iris enhance tool, teeth whitening, and the dodge tool and some "painted on" clarity, sharpening,and brightness applied with the adjustment brush, I was able to bring out some detail, a little bit, in the eyes, but off of a smallish JPEG, there's not a whole lot of information to process. I added some clarity to the eyes and hair, painted on a bit of sharpening, etc.

The white balance on her is just slightly cool and a tiny bit too magenta, I think.View attachment 113376



It made a neat sepia tone B&W.

View attachment 113377


WOW! What a difference that made! Thanks for the pointers!
 
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Wfpinky

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Here's a link that might help you to understand what we're seeing as far as focal lengths go: Untitled Document

The 35mm is a great lens, it's just not ideal for when you're this close to the subject. It works fine for half or full body shots.

The make up is a little dark, but I really think a slight repositioning of the head and a reflector would have fixed it. Heavy eyeliner does have the effect of making eyes look smaller, so we just have to compensate for it when taking the picture. Girls and women have a tendency to lean back from the camera and tilt their heads back, not realizing that rather than minimizing double chins it actually makes their hips and stomach look wider and their eyes smaller. You have to constantly redirect them to lean toward the camera, and keep their chin down, like the mother in the first picture.

I really do think the pictures are great, they just need some slight tweaks so that next time they can be amazing!

Thanks for the pointers, much appreciated!
 
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Wfpinky

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I agree with Derrel.
You should also look into making or buying a reflector, a little fill light on these would do a lot! :)

You are off to a great start! :)

I have a reflector, I just didn't have an assistant to help out with it that day. Thank you!
 

Shades of Blue

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I think there are a bunch of great things going on here. I like the bokeh, your subjects are sharp, there's some beautiful backlighting, I like their expressions, everyone seems happy and natural. I really like the composition of the third one, with the branches curving around her head.

A few things to work on;

What focal length were these shot at? It looks to me like it might have been a little too short. Most head shots look best at 85mm (equivalent) or above. The fourth one in particular looks like it might be suffering from the slight distortions that comes from a shorter focal length.

In both the first and last pictures, the trees in the background look like they're coming out of the subject's head, in this case looking a little like antlers, lol! Just something to check for.

The skin tones, especially on the last three, look slightly cool to me.

The eyes of the young girl are fairly dark in both pictures. If she had lowered her chin, it would have opened her eyes wider, which would have been more flattering. A reflector also would have helped.

Overall, I think you did really well, and I think they'll be really happy with these!


Thanks for the feedback! I used my 35mm for these, wish I had a 85mm. I'm still not totally sure on how to properly warm up skin tones and stuff like that, so any tips would be appreciated. Yeah, we noticed my niece's eyes; her mom thinks her eye makeup was too dark that day. I do have a reflector, but I didn't have an assistant to help with it!

I had been using a 55-200mm lens for portraits, but have recently begun using a 35mm. I like it, but it feels like I'm way to intimate with the subject at times, and I knew almost immediate that you used a 35mm lens and probably a very wide open aperture. I got similar results recently with a 35mm at 1.8, and realize now that I probably should increase the depth of field.

I like these shots a lot, especially the last one. Grab a 50mm prime if you can!
 

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Definitely like the last one the best for subject and composition.
 

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