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Thread: Portrait in sunset

  1. #1
    Meisam's Avatar
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    Portrait in sunset

    Hi all

    Portrait in sunset

    I tried hard to learn edit and photography.
    Today I went to seaside to take some seascape but we arrived late and sun was went.
    I decide to take a photo from my friend who came with me.

    What do you think about this shot?!
    The composition, the edit?

    I didn't crop it. Thanks in forward.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Hi Meisam,

    It looks "OK" to me, but I would probably have done a few things differently.

    - For a full body shot like that I probably wouldn't have had the subject fold his arms -- it looks a bit "stiff and posed" to me.

    - I'd probably have zoomed in more so that the rocks became the total background and cars & buildings weren't visible in the background.

    - It looks like it needs better sharpening

    - Logo in bottom right-hand corner yanks the eye away from the desirable flow through the image.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    One I did on similar rocks a million years ago that might give you some good or bad ideas ...

    Portrait in sunset

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Hi Colin. Thanks for your time. Nice tips.

    I was on one of those rocks... haha... and wind was blowing...
    Camera was on tripod (my tripod is not strong) and the light was not enough (my lens 18-55 also is not a fast lens)
    I think it had some shake... and focus maybe was not that great... (9 point focus on 550D seems not enough).

    I agree about the pose this is what he did and I think he could have a more relax pose now.
    And about background I agree with you, it was not a good location I think, I was so unstable and uneasy when I was stood on those rocks.

    I try to be more careful about background and pose next time. By the way your shot is great as usual. Thanks for tips.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Hi Meisam,
    It`s an okay picture, better than Uncle Fred. If you were a little lower, subject would stand out more from background, especially if you were more to the right (leaving less stuff behind subject). Plus being more to right would give the leading line of the rocks a stronger angle. They are pretty much central and do little for the composition as they are. That said, good location to work some more to get better shots.
    And for these forums, when discussing an image, a logo/name/watermark is a distraction from the image - and it is that which you are trying to discuss. No-one wants to steal an image of somebody we don't know, so you are pretty safe there. Good to show to prospective customers as a reminder but not to other photogs.
    Graham

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Thanks Graham. No the watermark was not for that reason. I didn't edit that photo for here I just uploaded here to know your opinion.

    Now I just work a bit on it to see how it might be (some none accurate cloning tools... and masking)

    Portrait in sunset

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    When I saw the shutter speed in the EXIF data I thought you actually did well to get it as sharp as you did, with just a hint of subject (head) motion. Why did you shoot it at ISO 100? I'd have been up to 400 or even 800 in that situation.

    You'r camera may "only" have 9 AF points - but you only need 1 so long as it's on the face (preferably eye).

    I've given it a quick retouch for you:

    - Pushed the levels a touch (although you'd already done that pretty much to the maximum

    - Used a touch of vibrance to bring out the clothing colours

    - Sharpen

    - Used a GND from each edge to apply a pseudo vignette to give the appearance of targeted lighting.

    Portrait in sunset

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    PS: I'd call that (with the edits) professional quality -- if that were on canvas and hung on a wall, anyone seeing it would be saying "nice photo" - so well done.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Nice retouch, now colors look more live and fresh.

    I am just a little unsure to use curve and level, I am afraid of causing an overdone, overexpose or underexpose! (I know I can mask them away and use curve color adjustment to fixing the color) but I am always exaggerate then I reduce the opacity or adjustment itself, sometimes I see before&after I see I didn't do anything!

    I will retouch that again. And I will put the results here. Thanks for your great help Colin.

    P.S:
    About ISO, 550D is not good with high ISO, even in ISO100 I see lots of noise in darker part, and so much color noise, I know how to fix this... but... I just thought it is better to set ISO on 100...

    I used flash as a fill light, actually I prepared camera for sunset seescape and some slow shutter speed on aperture 22-36... but we arrived late and sun was gone!

    I had tripod, maybe it was one of the reasons I tried to use lower ISO and also longer shutter speed! If it was hand held for sure I would use higher ISO.

    I think lower ISO with longer shutter speed helps the quality! Am I wrong?
    Somewhere I read longer shutter speed cause more noise?! Is this true?
    Last edited by Meisam; 23rd March 2013 at 12:44 AM.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Quote Originally Posted by Meisam View Post

    I am just a little unsure to use curve and level, I am afraid of causing an overdone, overexpose or underexpose! (I know I can mask them away and use curve color adjustment to fixing the color) but I am always exaggerate then I reduce the opacity or adjustment itself, sometimes I see before&after I see I didn't do anything!
    I know what you mean, but so long as you're working from a calibrated and profiled monitor then it just comes down to experience. I hardly ever use curves -- 99% of my edits are done in ACR using the exposure, brightness and blacks. Usually I'll increase the exposure around about a stop in ACR and then reduce it using the brightness slider to drive the levels apart a little, but that technique relies on the exposure being correct in the first place. The key things to watch for are that the brightness slider increases the contrast of the midtones compared to the highlights, but don't push the highlights (exposure) to the point where you get hot spots will loss of detail.

    Your original edit was very close already though - normally I can push it close to a stop over what people often present, but with yours I only got to 1/2 a stop, and even that was with leaving some slightly hot areas (so it was more a case of me thinking the hot spots were in an area that wouldn't matter so the compromise was worth it, rather than you having done anything "wrong"). Or put another way = in terms of levels, I think you're doing just fine.

    About ISO, 550D is not good with high ISO, even in ISO100 I see lots of noise in darker part, and so much color noise, I know how to fix this... but... I just thought it is better to set ISO on 100...
    No. High ISO modes don't CAUSE noise per se - the noise usually comes from under-exposure and is revealed when the under-exposure is corrected in post-production. In this case though I'm defining under-exposure as the "safety margin" between highlights and what the camera is capable of recording. In a normal reflective scene the camera will normally have about a 2 1/3 stop safety margin above the highlight -- which you can get away with at base ISO, but you need to over-ride that margin at higher ISO settings. It'll look over-exposed on the camera LCD, but so long as no significant highlights are blown you'll be fine, and can adjust it back down in post-production.

    The effectivenes of high ISO modes comes down to the dynamic range of the scene. In your example - if the light was behind your subject and you didn't have any fill light then your subject would be mostly silhouette. If you then used a fill light slider in post processing to reveal the subject detail then you're drawing on the recorded dynamic range quite deeply in which case if you'd used a high ISO mode then it would have bitten you in the bum, but if you had a fill flash then high ISO modes would have been fine.

    It's always a compromise - many worry about high ISO noise to the point where they don't use it and end up with camera shake, subject motion, or depth of field issues that have a far bigger impact on the image.

    I was in this predicament a couple of weeks ago photographing a funeral. Quite low levels inside the church - bright windows often in the scene - and not allowed to use flash. Hard work. In the end I just left the camera on auto ISO - set my minimum shutterspeed and aperture and left the rest in the hands of the photography gods. For the most part they were just fine.

    Also - with high ISO noise - it always looks worse when you pixel peep - so just don't pixel peep!

    I think lower ISO with longer shutter speed helps the quality! Am I wrong?
    It lowers noise, but increases the effect of camera shake & subject motion. Which looks better (a) a photo with noise than you can only see when zoomed to 100% or (b) a blurred photo that's obvious when looking at the whole photo?

    Somewhere I read longer shutter speed cause more noise?! Is this true?
    Yes, but only when you start talking many minute exposures.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 23rd March 2013 at 02:30 AM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Thanks Colin.
    I learned so much. I will use these tips in my future works.
    These tips are so helpful.

    I saw funeral shots, - my condolence to you - and yes those were great shots.
    Last edited by Meisam; 23rd March 2013 at 11:48 AM.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Quote Originally Posted by Meisam View Post
    Thanks Colin.
    I learned so much. I will use these tips in my future works.
    These tips are so helpful.

    I saw funeral shots, - my condolence to you - and yes those where great shots.
    Thanks Meisam - at least it gave me something familiar to do, and that was of historical value too.

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    I’ll add some general comments about Portraiture of Men and Portraiture at Sunset –

    I note that you have used the Flash as Fill for your Sunset Portrait – and that is fine if that is what you want.
    What I would suggest is that you ALSO look at how you might use the SUN as the KEY light or as a RIM light, without using Flash as Fill.
    The point is the Sunlight (at sunset) has two aspects which we can use to advantage: firstly the “glow” or the Colour Temperature, and secondly the low angle, directionality.

    The “glow” can be used to enhance the skin tone and warmth of the Subject – I term this as a feminine aspect of the light.
    The low angle, directionality of the light van be used to emphasise strength of character and also physical strength – I term this as a masculine aspect of the light.

    I am referring to the aspects of the light and the effect of the light on the Subject as either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. This is all about describing the LIGHT: you can think of it as “yin and yang”; “high note low note” however you wish – it is NOT about male and female people - it is just a mechanism for describing the LIGHT.

    Now applying that to a Portrait of a MAN when the sun is near SUNSET, we can use the low angle directionality to emphasise depth to the face; and also to add character and purpose to the pose generally – here:
    Portrait in sunset

    Using the warmth of the light and also the very low angle directionality when the sun is almost set – can result in a RIM light which can be used to accentuate “thinking” or “purpose” in this Portrait of a Man – here:
    Portrait in sunset

    At Sunset also, using the Sun as a Rim Light, can be useful for accentuating “power” or “action” or “determination” – here, in this portrait of a female swimmer:
    Portrait in sunset


    WW

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Thanks Bill (WW), it helps a lot. I will remember these on next shooting day...

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    Re: Portrait in sunset

    Quote Originally Posted by Meisam View Post
    ......

    Now I just work a bit on it to see how it might be (some none accurate cloning tools... and masking)

    Portrait in sunset
    Hi Meisan,

    I tried this crop and blur. The idea is to really focus on your subject and lessen the distracting rocks. Almost similar to Colin's pix and Bill's closely cropped images above. I did leave the crossed-arms feeling it shows the subject's personality. cropping also because the original image had his feet cut off.

    Portrait in sunset
    Last edited by nimitzbenedicto; 30th March 2013 at 03:02 PM. Reason: add info

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