5th January 2012, 06:57 AM
Okay, I'll try this again Please give comments to learn.
5th January 2012, 07:13 AM
I don't do people shots, so am no expert. But if you are just shooting the head, as here, having the subject lying down is always going to be problematic as they look disconnected. It just doesn't look right to me. You rarely see this done by any other photographer, probably for that reason. You need to show more of the body.
5th January 2012, 07:15 AM
Well done on managing to get your image posted. I see you have started this a new thread with the same name as the original thread in which you didn't manage to get the image posted. I have deleted that thread to avoid confusion.
5th January 2012, 09:39 AM
I'm not so sure that the pose works but if you're subject is happy with it that's what matters. My main comment is around the depth of field - it seems to me to be very, very shallow. If you zoom into your subject's eyes, it seems that your DoF is so thin that your subject's eye lashes actually go out of focus. The tip of her nose is also out of focus when here lips are more or less in focus which gives a bit of an odd look.
I'm not sure what aperture you shot at but I'd consider closing down a bit more to get a few more features in focus.
5th January 2012, 05:14 PM
Is it just me, or does the whole shot look soft?
6th January 2012, 12:41 AM
I agree it looks soft, also the red spot on the right side bothers me also.
6th January 2012, 02:42 AM
Looking at this again, I see it was f/1.4 which seems very shallow (f/1.8 is probably pushing it for a portrait). Also, the flash is quite noticeable on her face. The shutter speed of 1/25s may have resulted in some camera shake perhaps?
6th January 2012, 02:59 AM
This is a portrait of a very lovely lady.
Regarding DOF... Many photographers automatically reach for a lens with a wide aperture when shooting a portrait. I don't necessarily agree with that philosophy and I have read several posts by our portrait guru, Colin Southern, reflecting those same sentiments regarding razor thin DOF.
I shoot the vast majority of my portraits using a 70-200mm f/4L IS lens and don't feel constrained at all by using a lens with a maximum f/4 aperture. In fact, I probably shoot most of my portraits in the area of f/5.6 or f/8.
One reason for relatively large apertures is to be able to use selective focus in throwing the background out of focus. I usually try to shoot with a fairly decent distance between my subject and the background and using a relatively long focal length I can blur my background fairly easy.
6th January 2012, 05:15 AM
Found a link to get the EXIF data.
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 85 mm (Max aperture f/1.4)
Exposure: Auto exposure, Aperture-priority AE, 1/25 sec, f/1.4, ISO 320
Flash: On, Red-eye reduction, Return detected
Focus: At 1.2m, with a depth of field of about 10mm, centered on the focus point
File: 1,062 × 1,599 JPEG (1.7 megapixels)
Image compression: 98% - 14% crop of the 4,288 × 2,848 (12.2 megapixel) original
Color Encoding: Embedded color profile: “sRGB”
So I guess in summary:
- DOF's is likely to be too thin at 10mm/0.4 inches deep that will be in focus. I'd suggest stopping down the aperture to at least f/4 like Richard suggested given the focal length you're shooting at to ensure key areas of your subject are in focus;
- Shutter speed is to slow - Bump it up to at least 1/60 or faster if the light allows to keep the areas you want in focus sharp;
- Lighting I'm assuming is head on from the camera. Better if you can bounce it off a surface if possible - or perhaps turn up your ISO a little if there's sufficient light in the room so you don't need your flash (and the portrait and lighting experts can probably add a bit here if they choose)
- The pose or background from everyone's comments. The Exif data implies that the photo has been cropped - perhaps a crop showing more of your subject would work better.
13th January 2012, 05:18 AM
Thanks for all your help! I have purchased the pocketwizards so now I can keep my flash off my camera. I'll practice some more
13th January 2012, 05:51 AM
Saw this vid today, might be worth a look.
13th January 2012, 09:44 AM
Others have adequately covered the shooting aspects, so I'll concentrate on the softness issue.
I don't believe the photo was cropped, the EXIF shows 4288 x 2848px, the downsizing (to 1,599px × 1,062px) occured when you uploaded to TinyPic, who always resize it to 1599 on the longest edge.
I expect you've already seen this thread; HELP THREAD: How can I post images here?, but do have a look at post 6, in particular; the recommended method to downsize and sharpen before uploading, so that what you post is what we see, not something less, as happened here.
When downsizing, always make the height no more than 1000px regardless orientation and if landscape, as this is, then I suggest 1500 max for width, but that's less rigid.
What Post Processing (PP) software do you have?
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Last edited by Dave Humphries; 13th January 2012 at 10:04 AM.