Question: Eyes From a Distance


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Jan 27, 2008
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Bemidji, Minnesota, USA
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In a full body shot where the subject is a considerable distance from the lens, is it still important for their eyes to be noticeable? In the photo I've posted here, you cannot see the eyes really. The subject has darkness around his eyes normally but I'm wondering if it is necessary to come up with a technique to bring out their eyes when the distance is far away. How would I go about lighting their eyes from that distance anyway?

A reflector but no, it's not as important to have his eyeballs lit up in some unnatural way.
I was holding my only reflector to fill his right side (photo left)...

I was thinking the eyes wouldn't be as important at that distance but not sure...had to ask...I did do this one of another friend (no reflector this time) but he was facing the setting sun for the most part, plus I was a little closer and I post-processed some brightening to his eyes...maybe this does look a little unnatural now that I think about it

Personally I would say yes. The eyes are still a very important factor in portraits whether from far away or close up, granted that the eyes are visible to the camera. A reflector or fill flash would be useful for this.
That's something to think about. This guy (first photo) is a squinty mcsquinterson (not unlike Gottfried). I only have the one reflector and no flash, so I suppose I could have pointed him more towards the sun but then the photographer (aka me) would have had to de-wuss and enter the water.
I would not call #1 a portrait. I would call it an environmental candid. Particularly since the environment is the primary image element. After all, the guy only occupies about 1/20th of the image frame.
I suggest cropping some off the top, left, and bottom.

The light is harsh, the source to high (dark eye sockets, AKA raccoon eyes), the pose is very static with the shoulders square to the camera (football player pose), and the chin a bit to high.
Thank you, thank you KmH!!! Perfect. Now I have a name for this likey...also...side note...dude has raccoon eyes regardless of angle of sun...but it is still a good tip for future shots like this...also the posing tips are helpful but in this instance, the subject was a little difficult to control in that regard for one reason or another

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