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Thread: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

  1. #1
    epmi314's Avatar
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    My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Well eventually you have to start taking pictures of people. Here are a couple of shots of the coolest little lad I know.

    My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Let me know what you think.

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Hi Scott,
    I am a beginner in portrait photos myself
    What kind of software are you using for PP?
    The first one I like. A couple small things I might try to tweak if this was my photo - the color cast on the boy's face looks a little yellow to me, at least on my monitor, perhaps an adjustment on color temperature? Second, the dark side of the boy's face is a little too dark, for my taste in this type of photo. Perhaps you could adjust the overall exposure and gain just a little detail in this area? If you did a global adjustment, this would of course blow out the sky even more, so you might try a layer mask to control this, or just use dodge/burn tool - though I don't USUALLY have much success with this tool for brightening. At the time of photo capture, you could use some fill flash to help with this too - I would try -1 to -2 FEV.
    The second one is cute, and I do like it. It appears the DOF is VERY shallow. When you do this, it is very easy to get one eye tack sharp and the other... not so sharp - I have done this MANY MANY times myself! It appears there is some added blurring around the face also, which is fine, though for my tastes, the edges of the face get lost in the blur, and I'm not sure I like this. Did you add some extra saturation to the blue eyes? The whites of the eyes look very white, maybe just a little too white. Many people like this type of look and if that is what you were going for, then well done - again this is a matter of taste and what look you are going for. What lens was this taken with?

    Now you could help me by letting me know if any of my assumptions are incorrect, as I am trying to learn as well.

    Thanks

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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Hi Scott,

    Just a couple of quick observations ...

    With the first shot, the white balance / saturation seems a tad on the orange side for the young chaps face; not sure if it's the white balance that's off, or if you've just boosted the saturation to make the other items in the shot more colourful. If so, using a vibrance adjustment as opposed to a saturation one will generally have less effect on skin tones.

    With the 2nd shot, I think you've fallen foul of the (seldom mentioned) curse of shallow DOF from shooting too wide open. Assuming that you're on a crop-factor camera and not cropping the image, I'd be aiming for F5.6 minimum with a shot like that (it's looking more like around F1.8).

    PS: In between starting and finishing this post, I see that Brian has snuck a post in, mentioning the same things.

  4. #4
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Brian,

    Pretty good call on everything. Firstly, I am running my new 50mm 1.8f through its trials. There is some learning curve to be sure with a razor thin DOF when set as such.

    On the first shot I was trying for a warm look as it was outside in late fall in Michigan. I just thought it fit but I can appreciate another eye and it may be a tick too warm especially the skin tones.

    The second was a bit of an improptu shot. There were a number I tossed out but as I develop my own understanding of portaiture, the angle of the head relative to the focus is important. This shot would never have worked if the back eye was in focus. I have read a few replies on posts from folks that find the shallow DOF on portraits a bit of a peeve and I understand it in general but not as a steadfast rule. If properly used it can work very well... IMHO.

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    Scott, thanks for your reply and thank you more for posting these photos! Both of them are pretty good.

  6. #6
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    It is important for me to communicate what I was trying to do. It is also vitally important that you (Colin and Brian) let me know what can be improved. It is obvious the first is too warm and the second suffers from the traditional issue with a razor thin DOF. I can understand the first but wonder if the second is good as is given the angle of the chin or face. That is to say, I think and have seen portaits with this type of focus very well received. Honestly, it is my highest rated photo on 500px right now.

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    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: My Nephew. C&C welcomed...

    For super shallow DOF - I have seen it work very well too. I think if you show both eyes, you have to be almost straight on with the face for it to work - this keeps both eyes in that thin plane. I'm no expert as I haven't succeeded with this type of portrait before.

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