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Thread: Portrait help

  1. #1

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    Salim

    Portrait help

    Hi,

    Could someone tell me what are my mistakes in this photo please??

    a1.jpg

    canon 450d
    f/5
    1/13s
    iso 400
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th July 2010 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Translate "text-speak" -> English!

  2. #2

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    Re: Portrait help

    From one of the least experienced photographers on this site (me):

    Nice looking photo, my eye was immediately drawn to the reflection in the girl's left eye though, a bit distracting for me.

  3. #3

    Re: Portrait help

    Hi Mushi and welcome. She has beautiful eyes but I am not convinced the focus was accurate enough at f/5 (presuming you were focusing on the nearest eye). The crop is a little tight and it would be better to see the top of her head and then some. There is an issue with white balance. Did you use flash? If you are not already doing so I would consider shooting raw so you at least stand some chance of correcting the white balance PP. Given that the backdrop is plain I would personally used f/8 at that distance to ensure a deeper field of focus. Colin or Alis will be able to give much better insight into getting the WB correct on camera.

    Having said all that I do like the image. Nice work

    Steve

  4. #4

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    Re: Portrait help

    Thanks stripe..

    Do you mean I should choose a different angle?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th July 2010 at 08:23 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait help

    Thanks Wirefox..

    No I did not use flash ... do you advise me to buy a flash??

    I will start shooting in RAW ... thanks again
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th July 2010 at 08:23 AM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Portrait help

    I tend to agree with what Steve has said.

    The potential problem with flash is that it can cause harsh shadows. But with formal portraits you can easily take a couple with flash and a couple without then decide which you prefer.

  7. #7

    Re: Portrait help

    Mushi

    The WB is clearly too warm, and as others have said it's best to shoot RAW. I find it best with portraits not to have the sitter central with negative space either side, best to put the sitter to the opposite side to which they are looking into. The lack of sharpness may just be in the resizing - f/5 should be OK for this type of shot. I did an edit - I put the JPEG into the RAW editor and cooled it, cropped it, and sharpened in CS4. It's potentially a very nice shot, with a good model - just needs a few details sorting.

    Portrait help

  8. #8

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    Re: Portrait help

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I tend to agree with what Steve has said.

    The potential problem with flash is that it can cause harsh shadows. But with formal portraits you can easily take a couple with flash and a couple without then decide which you prefer.
    that was a sun light coming from a window..

  9. #9

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    Re: Portrait help

    Thanks Carregwen ...

    I will learn a lot from you guys.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th July 2010 at 08:24 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Portrait help

    Yes you should have a flash. When you do get one, also get a remote cord, so you will be able to have the flash off to one side when you take a pictue such as this. Point the flash at the ceiling or at something which will reflect some light, rather than directly on the subject. This will help you balance the different light source angles. You don't want to completely eliminate shadows, just lighten them a bit.

    Very good. With a little tweaking and a bit more practice, I think you will be very pleased with the results. She is a very good subject, which makes the practice easy and enjoyable.

    Pops

  11. #11

    Re: Portrait help

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    Yes you should have a flash. When you do get one, also get a remote cord, so you will be able to have the flash off to one side when you take a pictue such as this. Point the flash at the ceiling or at something which will reflect some light, rather than directly on the subject. This will help you balance the different light source angles. You don't want to completely eliminate shadows, just lighten them a bit.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Flash-Bounce-D...item255bda55ca
    I have a couple of these. They are quite cheap now, and work well. Great if you are outdoors and can't bounce the light, or if the ceiling/wall is too far away. You need to increase the flash though as you lose some light through it. You need to get one to fit your particular flash-gun.

  12. #12

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    Re: Portrait help

    thx Pops.. so i neeed :
    a flash
    a remote
    shooting in raw nd WB..

  13. #13
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait help

    You are on the trail.

    When you get that, we'll advise you of what else you "need."

    There are many little goodies and accessories which will help you with your photography. If you try to get them all, you will need 3 jobs, a full sized tractor trailer rig (lorry) and a several thousand kilowatt generator. The "need" in this hobby/profession never ends.

    Now, that said, the flash diffuser shown above by carregwen is a truly nice addition. I cheat a bit, when setting up for walk-abouts. I take a 35mm film canister of translucent material and cut off the bottom, slice it down the side and have a diffuser which will slip over most flash heads. It is not perfect and takes a bit of experience to figure it out, but it is always in the kit bag.

    Pops

  14. #14

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    Re: Portrait help

    Yes Pops i know i have to pay alot to get good photos nd that what am planning to do... am still learning nd that why i joined this forum...
    I have a silly Q!!
    how can i know that the WB is not good enough?/
    sorry for my english :d as i said i will learn alot from u guys

  15. #15

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    Re: Portrait help

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    Point the flash at the ceiling or at something which will reflect some light, rather than directly on the subject. This will help you balance the different light source angles. You don't want to completely eliminate shadows, just lighten them a bit.
    Hi Pops,

    To be honest, bouncing off a ceiling without any forward component tends to produce what's called "office lighting" which is (a) usually flat, and (b) usually gives "Racoon eyes"; if one can, it's better to point the flash sideways and get a bounce of something like a wall (or reflector or white tux ... anything really).

  16. #16

    Re: Portrait help

    Quote Originally Posted by mushi View Post
    how can i know that the WB is not good enough?/
    Either by personal taste (just looking at the RAW shot). Or, if you use Photoshop RAW editor (ACR) you can use the white balance tool and select a light-grey area in your shot. ACR will then adjust the WB to an appropriate temperature. Another reason for using RAW.

  17. #17

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    Re: Portrait help

    Ok Rob
    thx

  18. #18

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    Re: Portrait help

    Hi Mushi,

    It all depends on how far you want to go, and how much money you want to spend. Quality portraiture is all about quality lighting ... and the tools we use to shape the light cost money; not always a lot, but it does require a bit of an investment all the same.

    If someone wanted me to shoot a professional-quality portrait, at a bare minimum I'd want to have available ...

    For indoor portraiture

    - Flash unit (eg Canon 580EX II)

    - Shoot-through umbrella

    - Stand and/or boom arm to hold the above

    - Silver / White reflector

    - Assistant and or stand / boom arm to hold the above

    - Means to trigger the flash whilst off camera (preferably wireless)

    - Big white reflector (my favourite is to use a 1.2 x 2.4 x 50mm polystyrene sheet), although even a white bed sheet works well if you can hang it up close to the subject.

    - Gray card for white balancing

    For outdoor portraiture

    - 100cm diffuser

    - Stand and/or boom arm to hold the above

    - Silver / White reflector

    - Assistant and or stand / boom arm to hold the above

    - Gray card for white balancing

    Here's a couple of shots I done with the above gear ...

    Portrait help


    Portrait help

  19. #19

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    Re: Portrait help

    PS: I've given your image a Photoshop 30-Second Makeover (TM!) ...

    - Corrected exposure

    - Corrected black clipping point

    - Crop

    - Retouched bright area on (camera) right side of nose

    - Adjusted eye levels

    Hope you like

    Portrait help

  20. #20

    Re: Portrait help

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    PS: I've given your image a Photoshop 30-Second Makeover (TM!) ...
    Portrait help
    Well that's a bit of a difference!

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