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Thread: Portrait Shoot

  1. #1
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Portrait Shoot

    Hello all. Here's another attempt for me. Please let me know what you think... I was quite pleased with the entire shoot, this is not the best by FAR, but I cannot post the other shots.

    To me, the lighting seems even and nice, I'm happy with the colouring, and tones, and the model was a pleasure to work with.

    Honest critiques only please!!
    Portrait Shoot

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Andrew

    It may only be a quirk of lighting and nothing of significance (I know nothing about studio shooting), but the colour of the material on which she is sitting seems very different through that gap above her left leg.

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Hi Andrew,

    Here's comes the honesty! ...

    - Personally, I only ever use a white background to convey a sense of isolation or innocence - but the crimson material she's sitting on destroys that. So I'd either keep everything the same colour (and feather a transition with the lighting), or come up with a less contrasting colour scheme.

    - Large white areas can over-power a shot

    - The bright crimson (successfully) competes for the eyes's attention - drawing it away from the model. I think it needs to be a different colour, and MUCH darker.

    - The clothing (successfully) competes for the eyes attention. Normally I'd direct the eye to the skin by having the clothing darker or more out of focus

    - The clothing looks a bit over-sharpened (it's given it high-frequency frostiness, whereas it really shouldn't have a lot of texture)

    - The models skin looks harshly processed as well (not sure if it's sharpening doing that or something else like the makeup)

    - The green bracelet is distracting

    - There's no detail in the eyes

    There are many ways to shoot something like this - if it were me, I'd probably have used a black background and fired a light through a snoot (to control it) - and through a diffuser (to soften it a little).

    If you'd like to fire me the RAW shot I'd be happy to process it "my way" and see if it improves it.

    Hope this helps (sorry for my honesty!).

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Hi Donald, I actually hadn't noticed that before.... Thanks! I'm not sure why that is, must have been lighting.

    Colin, please don't apologize, I knew I could count on you! That's how I learn. I will send you the RAW version to see what you can do. I agree about the clothes, I wanted to sharpen them, but I did go overboard. The skin I didn't do anything too though. She wore too much makeup, and I even desaturated the orange, and yellows a tiny bit to try and correct that.

    Good points about the background though. I did a handful of shots on solid white, and a couple on solid black as well. Maybe I'll post another. Thanks very much!

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Hi Andrew,

    Sorry for apologising

    It's a fine line though -- I want to be constructive, but at times I feel like someone watching the pride and joy on the face of the captain of a new cruise ship, and then giving the order to "launch the torpedoes"!

    With regards to makeup, it's an issue you'll come across time and time again. Tell you a little story ...

    Put a bride-to-be in front of a shop window that has a georgous wedding dress in it -- and all they'll see is the georgous wedding dress. Show the same bride-to-be a photo of the same dress taken through the shop window and although they'll see the beauty in the dress, they'll also see the smudges on the glass - the reflection of the camera etc. It's a fact of life that folks look at a photo differently to how they look at the real thing. And it's no different when it's a photo of a person.

    I have a theory that when we're interacting with women in real life, they put on additional makeup so that we "notice" (if not the makeup, then at least the effect of the makeup) - but in a photo of someone with the same makeup, the makeup becomes VERY obvious (especially eye liner). Put another way, when applying makeup for photography - especially eye liner - they only need about 1/4 the usual amount.

    Most folks tend to use too much, and it's very easy to end up with a "Gothic look". I tell them to only put on a minimal amount (easy to add more later) - or to come with none at all and do it under guideance at the studio. I also tell them (reassure them) that we can easily "add more makeup" in Photoshop, but it's darned hard to remove it in Photoshop.

    The best solution of all is to develop a relationship with a MUA (Makeup Artist); most around my parts charge around $60 to $90 - often doing hair as well. Some are good at "wedding" type makeup - whereas others can do more artistic work - and yet others excell at body / face painting (can be good for outdoor environmental portraiture).

    With younger women (16 to 18 year old group) makeup can be a problem as they have generally pretty low skill levels in applying it (so you have to watch for things like blending lines along jaw bones and patchy foundation) (foundation is generally a poor match with skin tones, and it makes close-up portraiture a nightmare) - and of course at that age it's a real "leap of faith" to have to turn up at some strangers place - without makeup - and HAVE THEIR PHOTO TAKEN! - so the initial reaction is to "plaster on the war paint" This is where a MUA works wonders - not only do they know their stuff, but they also have a LOT more credibility with the subject than us blokes when it comes to talking makeup!

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    This any better??
    Portrait Shoot

    PS - I'm working on a hat trick for Colin J Southern awards!!

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    This any better??
    Portrait Shoot

    PS - I'm working on a hat trick for Colin J Southern awards!!
    Sorry, no award

    Let me just run something quickly past you, to see if you see it too.

    My first thought was "wow - that's a nice bright white shirt" - it's the first thing my eye was drawn to. Is that how it should be in a portrait?

    As an exercise, how about putting a select around it and changin it to something with much darker tones - and then have another look at the portrait?

  8. #8
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Sounds good, I'll give it a try! Thanks!

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    Sounds good, I'll give it a try! Thanks!
    Beat you to it ...

    Portrait Shoot

    I also applied a slight asymetrical vignette to de-emphasise the lower half of the lady a little (to draw the eye back to the face).

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Well that works. Thanks! So, aside from my poor choice of colouring, does the lighting look ok? Any other criticism? If I can learn one thing from each photo I post, I'll be a good portrait photographer in, well, maybe years!! Thanks for the help!

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    Re: Portrait Shoot

    Hi Andrew,

    Lighting wise it looked OK - would be nice to see a bit of "energy" in the shot though -- have you thought about using a Dutch tilt?

    Portrait Shoot

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