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Thread: New model, more practice.

  1. #1

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    Kris Harmon

    New model, more practice.

    My daughter wasn't in a very photogenic mood with tomorrow being the first day of the school year, so I went out with my son and got some more practice using the 55-250mm F4 and the 50mm F1.8 I recently received.

    I took a shade over 130 frames tonight and these, I think, are the best ones for the set. Comments, questions, concerns, and critique's are greatly appreciated.

    New model, more practice.
    113 -1 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr


    This I think, is a bit over processed. The background appears to be too washed out;
    New model, more practice.
    091 -1 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr

    I may be wrong, and I usually am, but I like the way the post processing looks on these next two;
    New model, more practice.
    043 -1 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr

    New model, more practice.
    Blake 3 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr

    I played with "frames" in Corel tonight for the first time;
    New model, more practice.
    012 -1 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr

  2. #2

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    Kris Harmon

    Re: New model, more practice.

    New model, more practice.
    Blake 2 by KHarmon1971, on Flickr

  3. #3

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    Re: New model, more practice.

    Anybody have comments ordered critiques on this set? Am I making progress or spinning my wheels?

  4. #4
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Re: New model, more practice.

    Kris - no expert here, I am likewise a beginner but I'll add my 2 cents worth.

    I think the 1st 3 are a bit soft. The 4th one looks the best out of the lot in terms of focus.

    For me, the frames don't really add to the photo. Particularly your 1st frame I think detracts quite a bit.

    With regards to the photos themselves, they appear a little on the noisy side. Did you have high ISO or have you cranked the sharpening up a little too much?

    The 3rd shot - the lighting doesn't make your subject stand out from the background. It would be nice to see the background a bit darker than the subject.

    The 4th shot appears to be the strongest out of the set.

    Finally, I'd have a closer look at your backgrounds. The 1st frame I think is a bit busy, I also think the background blends too much with the shirt. 2nd frame is certainly washed out - I'm not sure if this is the effect you are going for? 3rd and 4th frames with the tree I think are better, but they are uneven in that the trunk sort of stops either side of the head. Personnally I'd prefer either an even background or one that is consistent across the frame rather than the stop / start of the tree.

    Good luck - I am going through a similar "journey" to you in trying to improve my portraits. It is good fun and I love the general advice I get from here. Keep it up!

  5. #5
    Davidd's Avatar
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    Re: New model, more practice.

    Hi Kris

    I like the 4th one most. The expression is very natural and winning. What I'd suggest with portraits is to make sure there's nothing in the pic (eg background or clothing) which is competing for attention with the face. In the case of the 4th pic, there are bright yellow highlights on each side of the tree which are brighter than the model. Try covering them up with your hands for a moment - his face stands out more now doesn't it?

    best wishes, David

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: New model, more practice.

    Hi Kris,

    OK, I'll bite too
    I'll try to be balanced and suggest improvements for the criticisms

    First = #113-1:
    He looks fed up not worth persuing, but other aspects are;
    Received wisdom is that focus should be on the eye nearest the camera
    The background, while a bit busy, is at least matching the colours for his shirt, unfortunately, I'm still trying to work out what it is, distracting me from the subject
    The face is a little bright and lacking slightly in contrast
    Composition is OK by me

    Second = #091-1:
    As a deliberate white/pale background, this doesn't worry me, although I am undecided whether I like it off-white/creamy
    It isn't quite sharp enough on the eyes, although I think the nearest is sharpest
    Better expression
    Some might argue there's too much space on the left of frame, but again, I can accept it

    Third = 043-1;
    Best expression of series I think, nice smile
    Good white balance
    Good saturation
    Like the angle
    I'd also clone out/dim down (a lot) those really bright bits in left top background

    Fourth = Blake 3;
    Another good expression
    A slightly less broad smile might be better, as in third
    Definitely over saturated, even background, compare with third shot
    I would crop the right hand side so we don't see behind the tree here
    I'd also clone out those really bright bits in left background

    Fifth = 012-1;
    The fence has too bold planking and distracts, also conflicts with angles in frame pattern
    A slightly less broad smile might be better
    There's a shadow on the fence and I wonder what it is, suggest cropping that off
    You want to look out for the nose shadow on the far cheek caused by the hard light
    Definitely over saturated on the face

    Sixth = Blake 2;
    The fence has too bold planking and distracts
    You want to look out for large nose shadows on the far cheek
    For me, slightly too wide on the white part of the border
    His expression is serious, but ok

    Did you PP #1, #3 and #6 at a different time, or on a different monitor from the others?
    I find these 3 more natural for saturation, the others (#2, #4 and #5) are a bit too saturated in the skin tones.

    In general, the hair is often sharper than the eyes, so selectively sharpen to avoid that happening

    Not a bad series, but one we can all learn from, even me, as I don't do this often myself.

    I hope that was helpful,

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