ugh girl camera lights again

rknrl

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yeah so still not good enough.. my biggest sticking point is posing the model i guess? and i don't see ALL the details before I click the shutter at this point... CC would be very welcome.


#1 $DSC_5651 s.jpg #2 $DSC_5634 s.jpg
 

Gavjenks

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I'm going to throw a lot of critique at you, but be aware that these are by no means terrible. You're clearly thinking it out in terms of the direction of light at least, and there aren't any giant brow shadows or anything like that, general concepts and locations are decent, etc. That said, lots of things could be improved:

Right photo:
* Angling her shoulders and hips to the camera and popping the opposite knee would be more slimming.
* The light is VERY harsh. You would have benefitted from a much softer light source. Is this at night, it looks like (based on left image)? A bounced flash off of something might have been better for softness, or an assistant or stand with an umbrella or softbox.
* A wider aperture would help. This looks like it is shot at f/16 or something for no apparent reason.
* There is poor contrast separation between the model and the background. If the main light source here was added light by you, from a flash, then you should have used a faster shutter speed to darken the ambient in the background and allow better separation. If it was available light, then uh... I don't know. Supplement or find a better location.
* I probably would have angled her head slightly more to the right for more interesting modeling of her face. This is almost straight on.
* Her right arm is kind of floppy looking. Break the joints more, show the side of the right hand for a more elegant look perhaps. Mainly just doing something more interesting, though. Perhaps holding herself gently (swooping across toward opposite hip, seductive look), or a very slight hands-on-same-hip look (confident look), or maybe tucked behind her a little (bashful, innocent look)?
* White balance looks too cool, making her seem a little pale and sickly in skin tones to my eye.
* Model is too close to just being right in the middle of the shot, which is un-dynamic.

A good posing solution for many of these things at once would be to have her angled about 20 degrees from the wall with her shoulders, instead of 90, with her left arm holding the wall high enough for her hand to be a bit above her head, then her right arms also holding the wall just above chest height, and her head positioned so she is looking back over her shoulder, but not enough to pass the midline of the image. At about 7/8 or 3/4 to her left instead of right. This would make a pretty cool glamorous dramatic sort of Lichtenstein-esque pose with lots of mystery, and would take advantage of the prevailing light direction well (although the light would still be too harsh). It would also break all the joints, angle the hips and shoulders, and justify a full body shot more to the viewer.

Left photo:
* Background is better blurred this time, but also more distracting with all the lines, especially ones intersecting her head.
* Also very very harsh light. What on earth is that? It looks too far to the side to be you holding a flash, but maybe that's it. Or a big bright street lamp? Whatever it is, it's pretty bad.
* Also cool white balance
* Her right arm is all wrong. Joints not bent (always try to bend any visible joints), and hand is facing straight on, making it look weird and paw-like. You want women's hands to be long and elegant, ideally from the side and draping or caressing something, etc. In this case, a simple fix would be bending the elbow to have the arm follow her spine more closely, then having the hand laying across the jacket to the right (also bending the wrist, therefore), with fingers just brushing the collar.
* Pose is otherwise good. Maybe could be a little less hunched over for a more confident look, but not bad. God compositional placement in frame.
* Noticeably very grainy. Since you should probably be adding light anyway to fix the terrible street lamp look, you could also get away then with a lower ISO and fix this a bit.
 
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tirediron

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Excellent critique points! ^^ Another posing suggestion is to (assuming you have a smartphone) download one or more of the excellent posing applications. Granted, all most are is a series of images of people posed in different ways, but they're great for ideas. I have several on my iPad that I use as starting points and then fine-tune as we go.
 

radiorickm

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OK, I have to ask this. The EXIF says both were shot at f1.8 (160/250). The images don't look like razor thin DOF? The blur just doesn't add up to f1.8. I am not a Nikon guy, but could something be wrong here????
 

Mach0

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Something doesn't seem right. Exif says f1.8 and ISO of 640 but used flash?
 
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rknrl

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great thanks for the comments and suggestions. will definitely keep that in mind.

yeah the exif data is right actually. i had one flash with a shoot-through umbrella. For some reason it was blasting so hard at 1/128 that the girl looked like a one giant highlight in total darkness so i moved the flash away; and that made the light to be harsh like this.

i am not sure why DOF turned out this way.... at f/1.8 i expected the background to be more blurred too...
 

amolitor

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ISO 640 is why your flash was so powerful. Crop sensor, it's pretty hard to get skinny DoF unless you're closer.
 

jowensphoto

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at 1.8 I'd expect her to be blurry too, honestly. I think these turned out well (though improvements can ALWAYS be made) for your experience.
 

DiskoJoe

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I dont know how a model could look less enthused about having their picture taken. She just has a look like she does not care at all and her posture really emphasizes this.
 

DiskoJoe

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at 1.8 I'd expect her to be blurry too, honestly. I think these turned out well (though improvements can ALWAYS be made) for your experience.

The depth of field from the distance he was at would be fine even wide open like this.
 
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rknrl

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ISO 640 is why your flash was so powerful. Crop sensor, it's pretty hard to get skinny DoF unless you're closer.

yeah thats what i was thinking. i decided turn up ISO because otherwise she was just floating on those stairs in total darkness; and i didnt like that look.

I dont know how a model could look less enthused about having their picture taken. She just has a look like she does not care at all and her posture really emphasizes this.

lol yeah there was a bunch of things that led to her not feeling very enthusiastic

at 1.8 I'd expect her to be blurry too, honestly. I think these turned out well (though improvements can ALWAYS be made) for your experience.
1. yeah there was some sharpening done
2. thanks!
 
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rknrl

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As a side note question... How do you guys see the EXIF data?
 

12sndsgood

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for the ambient background slow your shutterspeed down to allow more light in instead of upping the iso. slower shutter speed, lower the iso allowing you to keep the umbrella/flash closer.
 

Derrel

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In the seated pose, she looks hunched over, shoulders all rounded...one of the most-important things in a seated pose is to have the person sit up tall, bust projected, back arched a bit, shoulders pulled back at least somewhat. I like the overall idea of the seated pose, but the rounded, hunched shoulders give off the gestalt of disillusionment, depression, and feeling downtrodden.

In the standing pose, her body appears similarly limp and flaccid; sort of bent over a bit from the waist, and just not looking "active" or "dynamic" in any way. The arm she is leaning against on the wall is held in a rigid position, one that she could probably hold. If her hand had been higher up on the wall, it would have appeared more fluid, more dynamic. The way she is posed makes it look like she's just leaning on the wall, waiting for you to be done. Of course, her expression also plays a bit of a role; she seems to be giving off that disaffected youth look...that, "I don't care about anything, when can I get back to my iPhone, I need to text my friends," look.
 

amolitor

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ISO 640 is why your flash was so powerful. Crop sensor, it's pretty hard to get skinny DoF unless you're closer.

yeah thats what i was thinking. i decided turn up ISO because otherwise she was just floating on those stairs in total darkness; and i didnt like that look.

I hear that. The usual solution is to use a longer shutter speed, though. Flash doesn't care about shutter speed as long as you're under the sync speed. That way you can use reasonable apertures and flash powers, and still balance with the ambient light. If your shutter speed gets down to ridiculous durations, I guess you got a problem though!
 

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