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Thread: Portrait

  1. #1
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Paul Melkus

    Portrait

    Been working my portrait shooting some and would like some feed back to what I need or don't need. Thanks for the help.

    Portrait
    Last edited by Melkus; 6th December 2011 at 11:02 PM.

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    I am no portrait guy but I can give you my thoughts. The first and most distracting thing is the blown area in the background. The second is the background itself. Might be a bit better with less DOF but still not optimal. I do like the sharpness of the eyes, and the fact there are no unwanted shadows. Nice job

  3. #3
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Have you read the portraiture lesson on this site that Colin has prepared?
    Paul's comments are pretty good. The lighting on the subject I like, good catch lights in the eyes too.
    The background is bright, most people find this objectionable. I assume this was done with a fill flash, with which you might experiment with underexposing the overall shot and increasing Flash Exposure Value.
    Overall, not too shabby in my opinion.

  4. #4
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Thanks all for the feed back. I knew the background was not right per say. This was like a spur of the moment thing, this is my wife and we was setting on our deck talking and like most time I had my camera out playing with it. I did read that lesson by Colin and that's what got me interested in doing more portraits. Also forgot to list the settings I used.

    22.4mm
    f-3.6
    1/80
    ISO 400
    Flash not used.
    Last edited by Melkus; 7th December 2011 at 12:46 AM.

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    Graham Heron

    Re: Portrait

    In camera work is pretty good, as is the lighting. Nothing flash, but it works.
    Suggestion, now think about your subject. How can you present her in the best way possible by posing a little.
    Ask her to lean forward slightly and stretch her chin a little more towards the camera. It helps to stretch the skin slightly as well as thinning the neckline. Pushing down the shoulders also helps. Not changing the subject, merely bringing out the best of them.
    Several friends and colleagues have said that the poses feel strange but they really like the end result.
    (I dance and am currently trying to reposition my head while moving, much harder than doing it while static ).

    Graham

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Portrait

    Paul

    I agree with the other Paul's comments about the background. Also the light on your wife's face looks a little flat and one-dimensional - its hard to see her cheek line. Do you have a flash? And are you able to take it off-camera, either with a synch cable or wireless?

  7. #7

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    Re: Portrait

    Hi Paul,

    I think that the things I noticed first were the light areas in the background (a vignette would help a little with these), and the skin -- it looks to me like you've tried using the old gaussean blur / skin smoothing technique, but applied it a bit strongly. It's be really interested to see the original (happy to give it a retouch for you if you like).

  8. #8
    Melkus's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Thanks again all. Understand about the positing of the subject. Only flash I have is what's build in but my camera dose have a hot shoe so maybe that's something to think about getting later also I can't do off -camera. Colin here the un-touch photo and after looking at what I did I do think I got the skin smoothing a tad over done.
    Portrait
    Last edited by Melkus; 7th December 2011 at 10:19 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Portrait

    Hi Paul,

    I've given the original a quick rework for you before I pop off to bed. I haven't done any work on the skin, but I did want to show you how you can coax a bit more contrast out of the tones by increasing the exposure and decreasing the brightness in post-processing (after applying a vignette around the outside). I've also tried to rotate the image a little (trying to make it look like a number of prints on top of each other) (but not really succeeding).

    There are a few techniques to decrease lines on the faces of older people; the first is to use soft light perpendicular to the skin's surface (which you've pretty much done here), then there are other techniques like duplicating the layer - using the healing brush to remove all lines - then reducing the opacity of the layer to reveal lines to taste. The blur technique can be OK too, but not too suited to this kind of subject (it's more for smoothing skin, not removing lines).

    Portrait

  10. #10
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Portrait Portrait

  11. #11

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    Re: Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Portrait Portrait
    Looks good John - nice work

  12. #12
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...then there are other techniques like duplicating the layer - using the healing brush to remove all lines - then reducing the opacity of the layer to reveal lines to taste...
    You know, I had never thought of it that way. What I have generally done is smooth out areas and then do a layer mask with reducing opacity, same effect, though not the same conceptually. Thanks for sharing this.

    Oh, I would add that this can be a multiple layer task - such as wrinkles around the eyes on one layer, around the mouth on another, etc. this way you have full control over each feature. I guess if you really wanted to, you could do a new layer for each wrinkle

  13. #13

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    Re: Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    You know, I had never thought of it that way. What I have generally done is smooth out areas and then do a layer mask with reducing opacity, same effect, though not the same conceptually. Thanks for sharing this.

    Oh, I would add that this can be a multiple layer task - such as wrinkles around the eyes on one layer, around the mouth on another, etc. this way you have full control over each feature. I guess if you really wanted to, you could do a new layer for each wrinkle
    Hi Brian,

    One of the things I like about varying the opacity is that the shadows seem to lift first, so even with the retouched layer at only - say - 30% opacity, it can make a huge difference. Of course, this can never be revealed to the subject! ...

    ... "did you Photoshop my face?" -- "no no ma'am - not at all - this is just how you look" It works well with the gaussean blur + mask also. Actually, it works darned will with a lot of things.

  14. #14
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Brian,

    One of the things I like about varying the opacity is that the shadows seem to lift first, so even with the retouched layer at only - say - 30% opacity, it can make a huge difference.
    Yes, this is exactly what I have observed using the GIMP. Thanks for giving me another way to think about it - this always increases ones comprehension

  15. #15
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    Re: Portrait

    Really looks good now. So much to learn. Thanks all for help.

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