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Thread: Please comment, I need help...

  1. #1
    Toothtek's Avatar
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    Please comment, I need help...

    My First Model Shoot for 2012...

    Please comment, I need help...

  2. #2
    Toothtek's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    And a Portrait...

    Please comment, I need help...

  3. #3
    Photon Hacker's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Hello Mitch!.

    First, let me note than I'm an apprentice like you. Probably I couldn't make a great photograph of this model in these scenes or any other for that matter.

    Having said this, I think a change in lighting could have greatly improved these shots.

    In the first picture, in my opinion, the hash illumination of the hat and the bright spot on shes shorts don't goes well with the overall illumination and feel of the picture. The shadow due to flash is somewhat detracting as well. Maybe a reflector could have been better than the flash. I'm always hesitant of using the onboard flash in my bridge camera. I await the day I have a real flash with a diffuser (Umbrella); if you have have one, use it.

    Diffuse lighting is safe; I.e: it's difficult to make a flawed shoot with diffuse lighting. It definitely has a place in portraiture. However, we should also learn to take advantage of more hash lighting; that's currently something I don't shine at. I can't make suggestion as to how this picture could have been improved leaning towards this other option in lighting.

    In the second picture it seems like she had a specific pose and probably a specific picture in mind, shes right hand was in shes thigh or knee and shes left hand was in the object she was standing in. And it seems like you ignored this. The tilt and the arms look odd in the framing you choose. This pose should be framed for full body and context in my opinion. The color balance seems too cold.

    The odd framing notwithstanding I think a nice head portrait can be extracted. Here is my try. Please let me know what you think, especially with white balance. See the RawTherapee profile too.

    Please comment, I need help...

    Some generic advices: Experiment with new ideas. Don't limit yourself with what you have done or seen. For instance, consider photographs where your subject is not looking looking to the entrance pupil (Lens).

    I can't write more right now because I have to go bed.

    Regards and good luck.
    Last edited by Photon Hacker; 9th April 2012 at 06:31 AM. Reason: Add link to RawTherapee profile.

  4. #4
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Mitch - I'll chime in but am no expert. Please bear in mind that my comments may be in total conflict with what you had in mind and so feel free to ignore them! In general, it would be useful to know what sort of equipment you are dealing with - e.g. umbrellas, softboxes, bare flash, nothing but a camera etc....

    1st photo:
    To me, you have too much going on here. The subject is very close to the background and it is difficult to make out what the background is meant to be. To me, you could have gone 2 ways, you could have taken a wider view of the model and subject to show her in a different area or alternatively you could have moved the model away from the background to try and give some separation by throwing the background out of focus. As it is, I find it a little confusing.

    As Mario has also stated, the harsh light mixed with the shade doesn't work well for photos (or at least you need to be very careful how you use it). For me, I would have tried to find somewhere in full shade and then added light from a flash or softbox.

    2nd Photo:
    I didn't mind the idea of the pose you had here. Similar to point 1 - you have enough of the background to know what is going on. I do find that her blue shirt is quite distracting, you may want to tone this down a little. In terms of the overall image, you have got the model in even light, but it is darker than the background which doesn't really draw the attention to the model. You have managed to get some good separation here and good DOF.

    Again, a couple of ways of managing this. The obvious one is to look for a background darker than your subject. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. If you have a flash, what I like to do is darken the ambient by about 1-2 stops and then add flash to the subject. This can be done with the flash on the camera, however preferably you would like to do this with a softbox / umbrella if you have one.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5

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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Hi, Mitch. The first photo; choice of background, and sunlight cutting across. Try to find a plainer background, and avoid harsh light changes. Use a reflector or a diffused flash.

    Second photo; pose your (sitting) model to put her legs down so her ribcage is moved forward. Stand to one side of the camera or have someone else there so she looks just past the camera.

  6. #6

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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Mitch: really enjoyed your B&W's back there sometime ago excellent, now for these: the first one as the others have said the light from the upper right of the image, strong light on hat and arm watch that, needs some light from the lower left upwards to fill in, do not let subjects run out of side of image, hers left arm.
    Second image: lighting much better, arm runs out of image, bit of leg at bottom of page, and maybe a little bit of soft reflected light upwards to highlight her face which will also brighten up her eyes.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  7. #7
    mariaramil's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Hi Mitch;
    As you ask, I hope you are happy to get even more suggestions.
    1) It's been said, but ... make up your mind when taking a portrait: is it full body? head and shoulders? close up? try to avoid trimming half limbs... unless done with a purpose (cuts at the joints -wrists, elbows- are to be avoided). I agree with opinions about the background..
    2) the light.. too much of it, very harsh, a bit unflattering for portraits (too dark in the shade, too bright in the open)... unless you intend to use it to add character (i.e. older people, street photography, documentary style). Could you try earlier or later in the day?
    3) this is just a personal opinion: the eyes and the shirt look piercingly sharp... yet the skin, freckles on the nose and face look a bit too soft to me, as if you have blurred them on purpose (?)...
    4) I love the natural happy expression on her face, and quite like the outfit.. minus the clashing colours: Any chance you would try either one in in monochrome?

    Best wishes
    Maria

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    My thoughts are along the lines of the other comments; watch your backgrounds. They are too busy and take away from the portraits you are shooting. Long, fast lens, shot mostly wide open to throw the background out of focus might work. The white hat against the clouds does not provide a lot of separation between the subject and background.

    The lighting is quite harsh; shooting early or late in the day would help here. Fill flash, reflector or diffuser might help. You need some more light in your model's face to add a bit more "pop".

    I think the prop (the wheel) works fairly well in the second shot but does not add in the third one. It's too "into your face" there.

  9. #9
    Toothtek's Avatar
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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Thank you all very much, this is not my comfort zone, I usually shoot in studio so I thought I would start challenging myself to understand composure and lighting in the field..
    Thank you all again for the help.

    Mitch

  10. #10

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    Re: Please comment, I need help...

    Mitch,
    As I don't do portraiture I can't really offer any worthwhile suggestions. However, two things jump out at me: In photo #1 the two carriage bolt heads -left of center- one above her head and the other...well, they're both kind of distracting; in photo #2 the branches above her head. Both as mentioned draw my eye away from model, just a thought.

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