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Thread: School of Portraiture: My journey

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    School of Portraiture: My journey

    I have just finished my first reading of the SoP series. It is epic! Thank you for taking the time to put this together.
    This is one of my first shots after reading through.

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    I did some PP in PSE. Softened some under-eye shadows, brightened the eyes, and improved the exposure some. I like to use CoffeeShop PSE actions when I am touching up a photo. This was perfect portrait 3 series. Collin may laugh at my frame. I am not sure what is the easiest way to do that in PSE. I made a larger image and placed my photo on it.

    My personal critique on my image: Background- straight even SOOC, might be nicer blurred a bit more, Exposure: still a bit overexposed, missing detail across nose, Positioning- fair maybe a different tilt would improve nose definition as well

    CC appreciated

    Thanks!

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Any chance of getting your camera settings?

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Tricia,

    Settings would be great to know but I think you have nailed the self-assessment especially the slight overexposure at least on my monitor. The vignette may be a tick overdone. I think his head position is quite good, not overly or awkwardly positioned but still masculine and the expression matches his age... I see a good kid with a bit of age appropriate mischief. A really good image.

    Keep them coming!

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    School of Portraiture: My journey
    I also had an ND4 filter on my lens. Just got it and playing with it. Probably not the most appropriate use today!

    http://i716.photobucket.com/albums/w...281_resize.jpg

    I hope the exif data stayed with this. Let me know if that works. I don't know how to extract it from the file otherwise.

    Thanks
    Last edited by pudellvr; 3rd February 2012 at 03:51 AM. Reason: lens info

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    I see a good kid with a bit of age appropriate mischief.
    You read it perfectly!!!

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    I think It looks better without the heavy vignetting and frame - his face doesn't look as bright with it gone, although I think you could include a touch more vignetting. I think the background is also out of focus enough, although it looks like there's a little lens distortion just looking at the lines in the wall which you could probably correct with Photoshop.

    He certainly does look like a trouble maker. I think you've self-critiqued everything else. My one comment would be on his pose. The front on pose I think gives him a very flat look rather than a three dimensional one. A nose tilt, having his face at an angle to the camera, having both shoulders in the shot at the angle you have them at, or perhaps some directional lighting I think might help there.

    Still a very good photo - perhaps re-title it as "Mischief"

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Hi Tricia,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join with a picture.

    EXIF data for those interested;
    Canon T2i and 55mm.
    1/50s, f/5.6, iso800 (+ ND4 you said)

    My personal thought is that you're too close with that focal length on that camera for this shot, it has given what appears to be a larger nose and smaller ears due to the perspective at that shooting distance. Everything else you covered in your self-critique.

    All the best,

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    My personal thought is that you're too close with that focal length on that camera for this shot, it has given what appears to be a larger nose and smaller ears due to the perspective at that shooting distance.
    I never would have thought of that! How do you determine best distance for the focal length?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by pudellvr View Post
    I never would have thought of that! How do you determine best distance for the focal length?
    Hi Tricia,

    It just comes with experience and doesn't take long to acquire once you practice a bit more.

    That focal length (55mm) would be fine for a 'looser' shot; e.g. upper body because you'd have to stand further away at 55mm, but if you stayed just as close and shot at a wider angle with (I am guessing) the kit lens, you'll see more distortion.

    It is important to realise it is your distance to subject that causes perspective distortion, not the lens's focal length, but the two are easily confused because initially (until you know), people change their distance without thinking of the effects.

    So you can shoot Caleb's head with that lens, just stand, or sit, further away and crop it more in post production to remove the empty space around him.

    Cheers,

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    New day new photos... I am also in a photography class and needed some more photos for class tonight. I picked two of my favorites to play with.

    Here is the cropped SOOC versions

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    I shot these indoors using window light with a auto shade reflector. I used my tripod and new remote! They would probably been better with some diffused flash.

    And final versions

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    C&C welcome

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    By the way, welcome to CiC Tricia. I hope you take our comments as constructively as they are offered. I have learned more from critiques of my images that needed improvement than from images (yes, I have a couple of these) that everyone seems to like very well.

    I love the image of the boy! But, so much the girl. Shooting upwards with a rather short focal length lens seems to exagerate her nostrils.

    You asked, "How do you determine best distance for the focal length?" I usually grab my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens whenever I want to shoot head and shoulders portraits. The 70mm short side keeps me far enough from my subject that perspective distortion is not involved, especially when shooting head and shoulders portraits. However, I most often shoot my head shots using between 100mm and 150mm as a focal length.

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    Canon has a relatively low priced long focal length zoom available; the 55-250mm f/3.5-5.6 IS and I believe that Nikon also markets a lens in this general focal length and price range. This would be a great lens for head shots, especially if you had a hotshoe flash and a diffuser/reflector.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th February 2012 at 08:36 PM.

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    I agree with you on the diffused flash. For me your photos work just fine with regards to lighting, but they are just a touch on the bright side where the flash hits their faces - but only by the slimmest of margins and certainly nothing to really worry about. I do agree with Richard on your daughter's nose just being a little bit over emphasised, again probably due to the distance you took the shot from .

    Quote Originally Posted by pudellvr View Post
    I never would have thought of that! How do you determine best distance for the focal length?
    I think Dave nailed it when he said it just comes down to experience. There are times when you might want to get up close for a people shot and exaggerate things, for example if you wanted to make someone look taller you could get up close and shoot on a slight angle upwards.

    Unlike a lot of the more experienced people here, I tend to shoot with a 50mm prime lens for my portraits, which is slightly shorter than the 18-55mm you're using. This is purely because I can't afford an 85mm prime and my wife tends to have the 55-300mm on her camera, that and I like being to open up the aperture for a bit more flexibility in low light situations. I do have a 90mm these days that I could use but that also is my wife's lens and to be honest, I've grown use to shooting portraits with the 50mm.

    As a result I tend to take head and shoulder shots as if I just filled the frame I'd end up with the same feature distortion issues you're occasionally getting. Keeping the shoulders in the frame helps to make sure I'm standing back far enough to avoid any odd facial distortion effects. If I just want a head shot, I just crop the shoulders out of the frame. I do have a 17-70mm lens and I will take head shots with that lens, but only fully zoomed out to 70mm.

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Here is the SOOC uncropped version

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    The nostril issue is hers not the lens. I just have to learn how to position her to de-emphasize it.
    Last edited by pudellvr; 8th February 2012 at 01:25 AM. Reason: inserted photo

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by pudellvr View Post
    The nostril issue is hers not the lens. I just have to learn how to position her to de-emphasize it.
    Well I feel like a goose! No offense intended I guess our job description as photographers includes finding the right poses and positions to bring out the best in our subjects.

    Incidentally, I like her pose in this uncropped version and her features seem more in proportion from this view - did you try a crop which had more of her upper body in it?

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    No offense taken at all! You only know what you see. And I saw the same things. I will try another crop. My final parts come for my computer rebuild today. My laptop struggles with the challenges I throw at it with all these big files.

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by pudellvr View Post
    No offense taken at all! You only know what you see. And I saw the same things. I will try another crop. My final parts come for my computer rebuild today. My laptop struggles with the challenges I throw at it with all these big files.
    Hello, you have a good model, just have to learn to use her good sides. I would try this: ask her to say yes with head(nod)and when her chin is slightly down, to look up with her eyes only. Experiment, try with her chin down, her eyes looking pass your left sholder, as you take the picture. Correct in PP littles blemishes.
    This may help bring her nice little nose at a better angle.

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    School of Portraiture: My journey

    Let's try this one for size.

    I will have to try that position today, wlou. Thanks for the idea. She loves to be photographed and generally comes up with good poses herself. I guess the photographers job is to make the good poses great!

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Cropping such an important issue. I screw this part up according to the photo boffins, but I would have preferred to see less of the girls hair in the first one and I dont think the long one works for me. It is interesting though.
    Di

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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Darlow View Post
    Cropping such an important issue. I screw this part up according to the photo boffins, but I would have preferred to see less of the girls hair in the first one and I dont think the long one works for me. It is interesting though.
    Di
    I agree I like and dilike the 2nd one more. I like the upper body included but had to crop out so much of the right side that it looks awkward to my eyes.

  20. #20
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: School of Portraiture: My journey

    I'm thinking you really need her hands on her knee to get that pose to work properly so you can capture her right side.

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