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Thread: My little Sister

  1. #1
    JPS's Avatar
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    My little Sister

    Managed to get my Sister to pose for my real first attempt at a portrait.
    Just wondering if you guys would give me some pointers to where I have gone wrong (or may right), I've lost my way a bit and not sure what to do next.

    My little Sister

  2. #2
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: My little Sister

    Hi John,
    The one thing that jumps out at me his her dark lower lip and chin. Is this an effect of vignetting?
    A couple little things - her left cheek looks pretty hot on my screen, is this a look you were going for?
    For a monotone image like this I would prefer a little more shadow on the face to provide more shape. More contrast?
    Not a bad photo at all. I think all of my comments are very subjective.

  3. #3

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: My little Sister

    Hi John,

    Normally you'll want the eyes to be in the top 1/2 of the shot (preferably on a rule of thirds intersection). It's common practice to crop off the tops of heads to achieve this (portraiture is all about faces, and cropping the top of a dead doesn't stop us evaluating the face), but normally croppping a chin is a no-no (I'd have to say that overall the crop is too tight).

    The other thing tht stands out is the lighting / processing - not sure if this is your intended effect, but what I'm seeing looks more like it's shot with a video camera on night mode.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: My little Sister

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    Hi John,
    The one thing that jumps out at me his her dark lower lip and chin. Is this an effect of vignetting?
    A couple little things - her left cheek looks pretty hot on my screen, is this a look you were going for?
    For a monotone image like this I would prefer a little more shadow on the face to provide more shape. More contrast?
    Not a bad photo at all. I think all of my comments are very subjective.
    Brian,
    thanks for taking the time to give me some advice. I would like to say I was trying to get the vignetting effect on her lip/chin, but in truth it is down to my lack of understanding and using light properly. I am currently reading a book called 'Light, Science & Magic' which I think will cover all I will ever need to know. However, reading it and then trying out their techniques is taking time. But then, as I think we would all agree, Photography is a life time of learning, so slowly does it.
    Thanks for your advice.

  5. #5
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: My little Sister

    Colin,
    Thank you for the points raised, it makes perfect sense. I will try on my next attempt, to incorporate your suggestions. Lighting is one of my many weak points and I must try to get that right, if I'm ever going to improve.
    Many thanks, I'll be back soon with my 'New improved' shot. (I hope).
    John

  6. #6
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: My little Sister

    What was your lighting setup? This sort of looks like straight on-camera flash. How did you do the conversion to B&W?

  7. #7
    JPS's Avatar
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    Re: My little Sister

    Hi Richard,
    you are correct I only had a on camera flash when this picture was taken. I have now invested in some other lights so as to allow me to take my next steps in portraiture. In hindsight I would have moved her further away from the background and tried putting a small defused light to the side, behind her. I do agree, perhaps the light on her face should have been more even.

    Conversion to B&W was carried out using Photoshop Elements 9 'default' setting, with just a bit of tweaking of the contrast.
    Regards

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