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Thread: Flat person

  1. #1
    Shambhala's Avatar
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    Flat person

    I am new to photography and don't quite know how to achieve those stunning photos where people look 3D ... This photo I took at a political event looks flat to me.. Any comments or suggestions would be VERY HELPFUL! Thanks!!
    Last edited by Shambhala; 19th May 2011 at 02:41 AM. Reason: picture didn't attach

  2. #2
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    Re: Flat person

    I can't seem to see any image here, Shannon. Try reading this link and see if it can help you post an image at CiC: HELP THREAD: How can I post images here?

  3. #3
    Shambhala's Avatar
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    Re: Flat person

    Hopefully the picture will post this time.

  4. #4
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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks Jiro.. just clicked on the link and hopefully it will work when I try it for the third time.. Sorry I am new, I just joined yesterday.
    Flat person

  5. #5
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    Re: Flat person

    This is what I think is wrong so hopefully someone can help me out and let me know if I am thinking in the right direction.. I didn't understand Depth of Field when I took this picture. I think I need to work on that now that I know what it is. I also think I cropped it too much and didn't leave enough room for the subject to be looking at something.. If you can think of anything else please let me know. Thanks. !!

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    Re: Flat person

    Quote Originally Posted by Shambhala View Post
    Thanks Jiro.. just clicked on the link and hopefully it will work when I try it for the third time.. Sorry I am new, I just joined yesterday.
    Flat person
    Well, you learned how to post an image quickly than I did the first time. So, back to your image. It doesn't look that "too flat" to me. My guess as to what probably made you think or look at it as a flat image are:

    1. The color tones of the man and the background seems to be too close without strong contrast.
    2. The depth of field is not that shallow to really make the guy stand out from the background.
    3. The main subject (the guy) needs some strong sharpness to make him really become prominent on the shot.

    I did a fast edit on this one and this is what I came up with:
    Flat person

    I extracted the image of the guy so I can isolate the background data. Once extracted, I applied some lens blur on the background to mimic a shallow depth of field and then darken the whole background a little bit. By the way, I am using photoshop so all the commands I am describing pertains to photoshop commands. Next, I sharpened the image of the guy so he can stand out more on the shot. I have to say you composed this shot well. Good work, Shannon. Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Re: Flat person

    WOW Thanks for the feedback Jiro! I love what you did with the picture.!! I will keep that in mind. I have Photoshop, I just don't know how to use it yet.. LOL, My classes for Photoshop don't start until June... I can't wait ! I only started to seriously take pictures two months ago. I am addicted!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Flat person

    Quote Originally Posted by Shambhala View Post
    This is what I think is wrong so hopefully someone can help me out and let me know if I am thinking in the right direction.. I didn't understand Depth of Field when I took this picture. I think I need to work on that now that I know what it is. I also think I cropped it too much and didn't leave enough room for the subject to be looking at something.. If you can think of anything else please let me know. Thanks. !!
    Shannon,

    The DOF could be reduced, but there is still enough separation from the background for me. If you could have taken a step or two to the left, it would have given the subject enough room as well as removed the person in the background from the image. Technically, the focus and exposure both look spot on, so you have got that going for you.
    I am no expert but I think that a slight boost of contrast, and sharpening of the eyes will really make the subject pop.

  9. #9
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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks abhi, I technically didn't know anything about exposure when I took the picture. I didn't even know we have meters in our camera's. I just played around until I got a colour that looked close to what my eyes were seeing .. LOL.. I know better now. I think it would have been great if I had of been able to step to the left.. I think it would have given the guy more room to look, but we were crammed into an area like sardines!! I think I had a bit of room on the left that I could have left but I cropped it out because I didn't know how much better picture's look when you leave a little room for the subject to "look" .. Love all of your suggestions .. Thanks everyone!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Flat person

    Shannon, you are improving at a remarkable rate! So much to learn, so little time.

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    Re: Flat person

    Shannon

    I go with what everyone has said above, including the comment about the speed of learning. Learning is great fun, isn't it?

    You also have already worked out the bit about composing to have given him more speace to be looking into. So, all you needed was that confirmed - you had already done the critical analysis yourself. Well done.

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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks everyone!! I probably read and practice at least 4-5 hours a day.. I think I have become obsessed! LOL, I am sure that is common among photographers.. I will keep practicing and try my best.

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    Re: Flat person

    Hi Shannon, I think you should be proud of this picture if you are saying that you are just starting to get hooked up in photography For me, this capture is sharp and you have done the basics in photography. Cheers!

  14. #14
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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks so much Chong .. Yes I just got my camera two months ago. I think I have become a little obsessed.. lol! I am trying to work on the "basics" but I tend to want to take giant leaps instead of baby steps.. I really need to remember to take baby steps and get the basics under my belt first.

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    Re: Flat person

    Hi Shannon, and welcome to the CiC forums from me.

    A comment you made earlier made me fear that you no longer have access to the original image

    I think I had a bit of room on the left that I could have left but I cropped it out
    My advice; shoot raw and always keep a back up (i.e. don't overwrite it with any changes, use "Save As") but also, don't be afraid to go back to it and have another go.

    Personally, looking at the above shot, I'd crop the right hand side hard to remove the half a guy in background.

    You're right that more space to 'look into' would be better (and as others have commented, shows you are a fast learner), but at least not having the distraction would be better

    Cheers,

  16. #16
    Shambhala's Avatar
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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks for your help Dave!! I am afraid to shoot in RAW ... I am just a beginner so I am trying to get the basics down and I don't know how to edit photos with photoshop yet, Those classes start in June. Would you suggest I just take the plunge and shoot in RAW? It seems like it would be more complicated, but that might just be in my head.. I guess the worst that can happen is I try and they don't turn out.

  17. #17
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    Re: Flat person

    Shannon, if you have the disk space to save the RAW files and the software to convert them to Jpeg then by all means shoot in RAW. It gives you so much more latitude when it come to extracting details and your PC has the processing power that is unavailable in your camera to do a better job at conversion. It will also be easier to overcome the temptation to overwrite the original which you may want to return to in a few months when you post processing skills have improved. Wait! Ah yes. Shannon! ...in a few weeks when your post processing skills have improved!

  18. #18
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    Re: Flat person

    LOL, I like your comment at the end Frank, You are getting a sense of me. I have to completely absorb myself in something until I master it. What if I shot on the setting that saves them in raw and jpeg at the same time? Or maybe I should just be brave and try raw altogether. I do know like you said that you have more room to work with Raw in PP .. I guess I am just nervous because at the moment I know zero! BUT in June my first photoshop class starts. I have Cs5 I just don't know how to use it.. Maybe I will try some raw and save them for my June classes. I will let you know how they turn out. Thanks for the help!! Frank..

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Flat person

    Quote Originally Posted by Shambhala View Post
    Or maybe I should just be brave and try raw altogether.
    Shannon - The question to ask yourself is - What am I going to lose by switching to RAW now?

    You're still going to be learning about exposure and composition. You're going to continue to learn more about what your camera and lens can and cannot do. Your goign to continue to increase your knowledge of operating the camera.

    I suspect you are not doing, but if you are ....... set aside any idea of making a stunning image at the moment and concentrate on the learning. So you know you're not going to have an 'A-list' keeper for a while. It's the learning that you're focusing on.

    I would say that the sooner you immerse yourself in RAW shooting the better. Yes, in the short term, it will add to the stress and frustration. But the immense pleasure and achievement that counters that, is the fact you will know you're now really in the mix and doing it the way that is going to help you produce the best possible results.

    Go for it.

  20. #20
    Shambhala's Avatar
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    Re: Flat person

    Thanks Donald.. I think I will be brave and shoot in RAW tomorrow.. Wish me luck! I am not going for any stunners at this point.. I am still trying to learn everything, as soon as I learn one thing it seems like I forget all the things I learned before that. LOL. Sort of like the more you know the less you know kind of thing.

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