Portraiture, cc pls.


TPF Noob!
Oct 20, 2008
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Sunny California
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I was playing with my 100mm and my speedlight. Here are some portraits I took this weekend. CC would be great! Thanks.


I'm pretty new to p hotography. So as far as settings and exposure and such, I'm far from giving anyone advice. But one of my instructors said my perspective and comp is really good. Not sure. But.....I'm not fond of straight on photos. I think a portrait is a lot more interesting if someone is looking on, or down...whatever. Even the two folks todgether. Maybe...facing each other and looking into the camera, or her looking at him . It just seems too set up, to sterile . I like the 2nd one much better. A little more relaxed maybe.

Nice work!

1. The mono conversion works well in this, but the highlights are a little too bright; there's a loss in her face, esp. around her cheeks and chin/teeth, as well as the whites in his shirt. Additionally, the reflections on the lenses of her glasses are partl obscuring her eyes. His on the other hand are perfect. Lastly, You've got hm looking perfectly flat and level into the camera, but she appears to be straining. Always try and have your subjects looking toward the camera; they don't have to necessarily look right down the lens, but they should both look in the same direction and they shouldn't be looking up or down.

2. This one is very well done. I think the light from camera left might be just a little too bright, but some subtle dodging/burning in post will take care of it. Again, you've got his eyes spot on. My only nit concnerning the composition is that I'd prefer to see the empty space imag left on the right side.

Overall, these are very well done. You've got a good grasp of lighting basics, and your focus is spot on. Keep it up!
The second one is good. Did you bounce the flash?
There's a lot to talk about here.

First... move that camera up! Shooting from below is seldom a flattering angle.

The direction of light too weakens these. The main light is coming from the camera, lighting their faces from edge to edge, resulting in a lighting scheme that is less than flattering.

With no light on the background, black is not a good choice. This fights any chance of precieving depth.

Clothing.... these outfits do not work in harmony. Watch collars.

I do like your choice of lens.

You did get a nice expression in the second view.

I hope this helps.

You should be directing the people you're photographing to get more flattering images of them-- the way that she is holding her head is creating a double chin that is most likely not there in real life. If you tell her to stand differently and hold her head differently, it would flatter her significantly. The other thing is that for women in particular, having them stand at an angle to the camera while looking straight on is a very flattering way of shooting 'basic' portraits, because having the shoulders at an angle makes people look more slender, and the turn of the head prevents double chins and what have you.
I am also very new but I do agree very much that the camera needs to be higher. I always find that taking pictures at a low angle gives ANYONE an un-flattering photograph. I worked in a portrait studio for a year also and would definitely recommend that you take positioning into consideration i.e. the way their heads are positioned away from each other takes away from any intimacy. #1 looks more like they are brother and sister. Head tilts add some flattery also.

#2 i like best because I love off-center portraits, I do it more often than not. It somehow makes me feel like the background (even if black or white) adds personality and character to the portrait!
Thanks everyone for the CC. I have to admit, I did have a hard time "posing" them. I don't really know how to do this. Most of the time, the girl wanted to tilt her head back because she was worried that the pics will show a double chin :(

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