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Thread: Portraits?

  1. #1

    Portraits?

    This series was taken to balance out the melancholy of the images in "I Can Not Think of a Title - Suggestions? " thread. This is a family effort with my youngest daughter modeling, my wife as chief reflector stand, my eight year old son doing a sterling job as lighting rigger and an 'apparently' grumpy Dad attending the shutter release

    Portraits?

    Portraits?

    Portraits?

  2. #2
    CNelson's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    Very nice Steve. A good job by all.

    Chuck

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    A few of these images could fit in well with a magazine like Sharper Image.

  4. #4

    Re: Portraits?

    I love the concept in the last photo, but the execution is terrible. I can easily see square bluish frame around apple image and around your model. Assuming you are using photoshop to place two pictures on black background, try to blend them better - for example using technique called luminance blending (two sliders at the bottom of general blending options). Since their background looks bluish to me, you can try blending based on blue channel - just choose from dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can just mask it away.

  5. #5
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    The image I like the most is no doubt, the first one.
    However, I do like the last one in spite of the "problems" Pawel found.
    The first one is very nice and I like the idea of the cylinder pointing at us let us see her eye at the same time.
    In the last one I can't see any problem but I have seen a video about that luminance blending and I found it to be very interesting.
    Indeed, the selection issue is an important one when we want to separate an object from the background in order to compose some kind of images.

  6. #6
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    Pawel

    I can't see the problems to which you, rather bluntly if I may say so, refer. I think 'constructive' is the key part of the term 'constructive criticism'.
    Last edited by Donald; 22nd February 2010 at 07:34 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Portraits?

    Hi Steve,

    At the risk of inflaming "Applegate" ...

    ... I can "just" see the blue outlines mentioned above (something I've certainly been giulty of in the past). What I've found helps is to add a levels layer and raise the shadows to something extreme (temporarily) to see "what may be lurking semi-submerged" - then deal to it (before finally deleting the layer).

    On that note, it touches on something all photographers need to be aware of (trying to put this as "delicately" as I can) ... one needs to be careful when posting shots (especially of women) where the shot may include an angle of view that could prove embarrassing should someone "succeed in recovering some of the shadow detail that was intended not to be recovered".

  8. #8

    Re: Portraits?

    I do like it when I get these kind of comments. This area is new to me and if I am honest I find it a bit of a black art. Your responses are very helpful.

    At the risk of kicking my own a**e Pawel is correct I noticed this when I viewed it on my Blackberry at work. No very noticeable on my Mac though. I like this image so i am going to go back to the drawing board on this one. I suspect Pawel has also hit on the solution in that I did not switch to the blue channel when leveling.

    Colin I think I know what you are getting at but in this case I think the only thing she might be slightly concerned about are the shadows under her eyes from studying although I actually think that adds to this style of image. However, recovering detail out of the shadows in 'tasteful' glamour shots posted on Talk Photography sounds very raincoat and sneekers to me so you have a very good point. If we are ever tempted to post the missus in a tasteful pose involving a couple of Belgium Buns and pizza slice I am sure we will all ensure our shadowy areas are irrecoverable Seriously though it is good advice. (snigger, snigger....I know I am incorrigible)

    Steve

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    Hi Steve,

    I also see the problem in No.3, and it is "only just" at the correct viewing angle (perpendicular) on my LCD, although it does become rather more obvious if I angle the screen too vertical so I am looking downwards upon it - something I know (from viewing grayscales) causes "black lifting".

    Colin's 'temporary layer' idea is a good one, but unnecessary with my laptop LCD due to the aforementioned 'feature'

    Back to the photos ...

    No.3 is a neat idea, but was that apple is lit from different directions to your daughter?
    It occurs to me that if trying this, it might be an idea to have a selection of 'stock' apple shots; lit from varying directions, in order to be able to match one to the model shot's lighting rig.

    No.2 has a few loops of stray hairs 'above' that might be worth cloning out, but is otherwise fine.

    No.1 is good composition with the eye tube dead central (horiz). The slightly unfortunate coincidence of the sleeve cuff and the freckle might suggest cloning out the latter on this shot, but it doesn't worry me in the others at all.

    Hope that helps,

  10. #10
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits?

    I do like it when I get these kind of comments. This area is new to me and if I am honest I find it a bit of a black art. Your responses are very helpful.
    Hi Steve; I think your work is exceptional and I wouldn't say that unless it was. But these are not really my taste apart from #1. The rest are competent pictures. The eyes in #1 could be softer but you got everything else right.

    Your work is an inspiration by the way and gives me something to aspire to, so I hope you don't take it too hard because I aint as good as you yet . Cheers
    Last edited by arith; 23rd February 2010 at 07:29 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: Portraits?

    Dave excellent observations I will work on these again at the weekend.

    Steve, you are too kind. I agree about the hardness of the eyes. Too much USM I'm afraid. I wanted to try portraits but not the 'studio' standard type shots. I still need to work out in my head what I want to do with people shots. These shots were a faltering step forward. I am not overly happy with the results myself.

    Steve

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