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Thread: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

  1. #1
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Where can I improve this B/W conversion?
    Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Here is the original OOC:
    Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

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    chrisa62401's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    I think it would look better if the hair did not blend in to the background.

    Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Hi Kris,

    I think you pushed the exposure too high (in PP), and the lighting which was very flat anyway (on-camera flash?), has lost almost all 'shape and shade' on her neck and cheek, in the B&W

    I've not had a great week at work and daren't say more
    Better feed myself and see if it makes me more constructive

    Sorry,

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    Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Here is my take on it.
    I hope you don't mind?
    I toned down the lighting on the lower part of the face and cleaned up the blemishes and softened it up.
    I also cropped it to 8x10 and tightened it up to concentrate on the face.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Here is my take on it.
    I hope you don't mind?
    I toned down the lighting on the lower part of the face and cleaned up the blemishes and softened it up.
    I also cropped it to 8x10 and tightened it up to concentrate on the face.
    Thank you!
    Guess I still have a lot to learn - appreciate the feedback and the edit.
    Last edited by Kris V; 29th October 2011 at 01:54 AM.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Kris,

    I think you pushed the exposure too high (in PP), and the lighting which was very flat anyway (on-camera flash?), has lost almost all 'shape and shade' on her neck and cheek, in the B&W

    I've not had a great week at work and daren't say more
    Better feed myself and see if it makes me more constructive

    Sorry,
    This was taken last year with a P&S - no raw capabilities.
    Does it make sense to retry for either low key or high key? Her mom really likes the expression on her face, so I would like to work with it some more.

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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Personally, Kristianna Marie, I rather like the first high key B&W except for that large area of black at the top. Try cropping it square so that the top edge is just above her forehead.

    I suspect this will create a totally different effect.

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    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Personally, Kristianna Marie, I rather like the first high key B&W except for that large area of black at the top. Try cropping it square so that the top edge is just above her forehead.

    I suspect this will create a totally different effect.
    Worth a shot - I have this weekend to play some more.
    I was trying for High Key, but didn't succeed completely. I'm gonna do some more work on it for sure. Her mom absolutely loves the fact that her snapshot could turn out so different.
    I may post a retry after the week-end.
    Thanks all for the advice. At least I don't feel like a total klutz. I don't do much portrait photography - I'm not equipped for it.
    This snapshot was worth a little effort.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris V View Post
    Thanks all for the advice. At least I don't feel like a total klutz. ~
    This snapshot was worth a little effort.
    Absolutely not Kris!

    If her Mum likes it, that's fine (she's obviously biassed (I mean that in a nice way)), but it is a very good reason to 'make the effort' as you say.

    I think you were on the correct lines with the B&W idea, but I do prefer Chris's crop and treatment of the shot, posted while I was writing my initial reply.

    If you want high key (or low key), it generally has to be planned that way; with a background choice/lighting and clothing to match. High key = light toned background and that isn't going to happen with just the on-camera flash of a P&S, at least not without a lot of careful choices being made and balancing the ambient lit background with fill from flash.

    Mark's subsequent attempt is more in harmony with yours and attempts to make a low key from it, but it also suffers from the subject merging into background, when (with experience even I don't have), I feel it can be achieved, but not without a lot of practice/experience/knowledge/luck. Mark's highlight treatment is better.


    Without wishing to appear rude about the young lady, there are several issues with this pose that could have made it a more flattering shot for general viewers who don't know her, apart from any lighting issues.

    If you get a chance to reshoot and the model is willing to be gently directed, you might want to try;
    shooting from level with her or even slightly above
    have her other hair 'bunch' in front of her right shoulder
    get a little further away and shoot with a longer focal length
    get more distance between subject and background


    I really don't feel qualified to give this level of advice, at least, not with any personal/practical experience - all I am doing is reacting to what I see in this one shot and suggesting what to avoid 'next time' - it should help (I hope).

    It really is something I should try, especially with a P&S, which is on my "Santa's list" for when I don't have the DSLR to hand.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 29th October 2011 at 11:25 AM.

  10. #10
    Kris V's Avatar
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    Re: Snapshot to B/W Portrait - C+C please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Absolutely not Kris!

    If her Mum likes it, that's fine (she's obviously biassed (I mean that in a nice way)), but it is a very good reason to 'make the effort' as you say.

    I think you were on the correct lines with the B&W idea, but I do prefer Chris's crop and treatment of the shot, posted while I was writing my initial reply.

    If you want high key (or low key), it generally has to be planned that way; with a background choice/lighting and clothing to match. High key = light toned background and that isn't going to happen with just the on-camera flash of a P&S, at least not without a lot of careful choices being made and balancing the ambient lit background with fill from flash.

    Mark's subsequent attempt is more in harmony with yours and attempts to make a low key from it, but it also suffers from the subject merging into background, when (with experience even I don't have), I feel it can be achieved, but not without a lot of practice/experience/knowledge/luck. Mark's highlight treatment is better.


    Without wishing to appear rude about the young lady, there are several issues with this pose that could have made it a more flattering shot for general viewers who don't know her, apart from any lighting issues.

    If you get a chance to reshoot and the model is willing to be gently directed, you might want to try;
    shooting from level with her or even slightly above
    have her other hair 'bunch' in front of her right shoulder
    get a little further away and shoot with a longer focal length
    get more distance between subject and background


    I really don't feel qualified to give this level of advice, at least, not with any personal/practical experience - all I am doing is reacting to what I see in this one shot and suggesting what to avoid 'next time' - it should help (I hope).

    It really is something I should try, especially with a P&S, which is on my "Santa's list" for when I don't have the DSLR to hand.

    Cheers,
    Great advice - if I'm ever inclined to get serious about portrait photography!
    This snapshot was totally impromptu, she was not aware there was a camera pointed at her. I pretty much doubt if I or her mom can recreate a similar shot.
    Once we have finished product, her mom wants to print it - size still to be decided. I actually like Marks' edit, although I would not smooth out her face that much. After all, this is not, and was never meant to be a professional shot.
    Her mom took it last Christmas with my P&S. Most of the time, she really doesn't look this serious....

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