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Thread: Brown-eyed girl

  1. #1
    baillie117's Avatar
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    Brown-eyed girl

    I would love any C&C on this photo. I love her eyes and smile. I welcome any suggestions for improvement. Strictly an amateur, I would like to try my hand at portraiture at family outings. Thank you.

    Brown-eyed girl
    Last edited by baillie117; 28th May 2012 at 02:24 AM.

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Brown-eyed girl

    I will agree that she has lovely eyes and a warm smile.

    On my monitor, her far eye (her right eye) seems more in focus that her left eye. This could easily be the result of a wide aperture providing a very thin DOF. I personally prefer both eyes as well as the nose in focus. But, I don't mind one bit if the focus falls off a little around the ears...

    I hope you have the chance to shoot this lovely young lady again...

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Brown-eyed girl

    It's obviously a decision you made to get in that close, but I wonder if that does her justice. I can understand that you wanted all attention on the eyes and the smile (which are lovely), but by being in that close you are really closing in on all the detail of the skin as well.

    If you want to throw attention onto the eyes and smile, you can do that from slightly further back and do so with well set up lighting.

    Have you looked at the series 'Portraiture' tutorials that Colin developed on CiC. You can get them here. I would suggest they are an invaluable source of advice and guidance for anyone wanting to think about portraiture.

  4. #4
    baillie117's Avatar
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    Re: Brown-eyed girl

    I'm adding the original photo so you can see where this started.

    Hi, Richard,
    Thank you for your comments. This was an impromptu shot of my son and his girlfriend. She is lovely and she doesn't mind being my "practice model". Correct me if I'm wrong but I read on a website when your model is not facing the camera, the preference is to have the eye closest to the camera in focus. This was shot with a 50mm 1.8.

    And Hello, Donald,
    Thank you for your comments as well. So is the preference to not get in as close or to post process to clean up any blemishes or fine details that take away from the photo? I have begun to look at the Portraiture tutorials.

    To both, my goal is to take pictures mostly for my own personal enjoyment or for family. But even though they are not for the world to see, I would like to take the best pictures I can. I don't like to click and "hope for the best". Here is the photo I started with and you can see why I cropped her out. My son had not shaved and I didn't know if I wanted to do that much work in Photoshop. I do love the tenderness displayed between them in this photo. So any additional comments to improve the crop or original would be greatly appreciated.

    Brown-eyed girl

  5. #5
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Brown-eyed girl

    Hi Cindy!

    What a great model! Especially if she is a willing one!

    I would have to agree with Richard here. If portraiture is all about the eyes, then it makes sense to me that they are in sharp focus. Then in post you can take them even further to really make them snap. I guess what that website said as far as the closest eye being in focus has merit, but that would be the other eye (her left, camera right). With this tight a shot, and after thinking about it some, would you maybe agree that both her beautiful eyes shining and in sharp focus would really set this one off?

    With your 50mm, to get in this tight will minimize the depth of field, as you know. So much so, that I am detecting different facial skin softness and even differing softness in one side of her teeth from the other. In the focal plane, her skin is much sharper that that which is out of the plane. Its not really a problem getting in this tight because you can use some softening in post to retouch the skin which includes cleaning up blemishes, but to have this much difference in the focal plane is probably going to make for mixed results. I’ve never tried it, but targeted skin softening might be a pain and it might be hard to get everything to look right.

    Typically, a head shot might likely not be cut at the chin. But to be atypical is typical for me!

    I am noticing a hard shadow line running down the camera right side of her face that Son is forming. If the face could have been a bit more in even shade that, and the bright spot on the camera right cheek would have been eliminated and more evenly lit. Maybe just some things to watch for when you get to shoot Son’s Girl Friend again!

    There is a hair running into her mouth and Son’s chin was not entirely cropped out in the upper right corner That can be convincingly fixed inside this crop, however. And I know, that’s pretty darn picky! And speaking of picky! If this were my shot I would have noted that next time I need to remind myself that if I were shooting her from a step or so to my left, I would have gotten more whites of her eyes visible on each side of her beautiful iris’!

    Then probably forgot all about it next time!

    It’s a really nice shot, Cindy. I’m a huge fan of B&W portraiture! And if these are not for the World to see, then it will be the World that suffers.
    Last edited by Loose Canon; 28th May 2012 at 10:39 PM.

  6. #6
    baillie117's Avatar
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    Re: Brown-eyed girl

    Thank you, Terry, for the encouraging as well as informative post. Obviously the biggest problem was this being a shot I just happened to take quickly at a family gathering. I could see the potential and thanks to your encouragement will venture out to take a well-planned shot. She is a lovely girl and the joke at our house is if they ever break up, I'm keeping her! LOL So thank you again for the gentle critic and hopefully I will be able to post more pics of "my girl". Thanks again.

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