Helpful Posts: 0
17th July 2010, 07:32 PM
18th July 2010, 04:26 AM
Re: How Far?
I like the pose and attitude of the model, but there are quite a few distractions in the shots. #2, for example has 'Howard Weamer', some very prominent cushions, and 'Toshiba' on the laptop, which makes it hard to focus on the model. I think they would have been better using darker cushion and pillows, and with her reading a book as if she were looking thoughtful about something she had just read. Nice try though.
18th July 2010, 08:46 AM
Re: How Far?
Rob has a valid point about the "Toshiba" and the 'Howard Weamer' picture, although I see you took that down half way through the shoot anyway There's no such easy answer for the laptop, unless perhaps, to have that 'resting' on a cushion? or deal with it in PP by vastly toning down the individual letters? or defacing the laptop by sticking a non text motif over it?
I am not familiar with the "Margaret Cameron look", shame on me?, so I'll just comment as I see them.
#1: I'd crop about 10% off the right hand side so that where your daughter's arm meets the dark cushion is just on the edge of frame. (why?: to move her eyes more to right, which a) puts them nearer a third and b) has her looking into the picture)
I guess the dark cushion in that lower right corner is to 'balance' the dark laptop lid in the lower left corner. Although with the suggested shift of composition by the crop, combined with your daughter's dark hair, might make it unnecessary.
For this image alone, I don't think you need to clone out the picture top right, it isn't too much of a distraction, although in a series; a viewer might wonder 'where it went' when not visible in later shots.
#2: Hmmm, Well, the corner of the 'Howard Weamer' picture does 'point' at your daughter, and possibly it also 'says something' about her taste (if I knew who he was/what he did). The biggest unwelcome thing for me is the large central very dark cushion, but if it wasn't here but was in other shots in series, it might look odd.
#3: Looks like one of the later shots; the picture and lamp are removed and its just a wider angle view of #1. For me, just a little too wide, I would loose the distracting cable on left and balance that with a similar small crop of the right. Although that still leaves almost the same view as #1 with the eyes left of centre looking further left, but maybe I am worrying about nothing. The inward sloping corner of the walls is a slight distraction, not sure what would happen if you tried to perspective correct it though. This one seems to have slightly less black blacks compared to the other 3, but then it is a wider angle, so possibly going blacker would have looked crushed.
#4: For me, the best composition, only three problems; the lamp and the little black labels on the pillows; one peeking out just above your daughter's head and the other below her hair which breaks up the diagonal line in lower right corner.
Overall, an interesting series, on the whole I like the exposure, sharpening, etc.
I have found it very educational commenting on these and I think it has suggested to me that if I ever tried this, it might be wise to start very wide, and slowly progressively closer during the shoot. That way, all the peripheral distractions are evident early on and can be dealt with before they become a 'continuity problem' in movie speak.
Hope that helps,
18th July 2010, 10:14 AM
Re: How Far?
Originally Posted by Dave Humphries
I find it useful for indoor stuff like this where you have some time is to take one general shot that is close to what you want then download it and have a very critical look on the monitor, rather than the back of the camera. It's surprising what small things you notice that make a big difference when adjusted.
18th July 2010, 10:39 AM
Re: How Far?
Is this any better?
18th July 2010, 11:12 AM
Re: How Far?
Hi Rob, I do see what you mean. It always pays to get a fresh pair of eyes on these things. I photographed this set as semi-candids but it is now obvious that even with 'fake' candids it does pay to do a little housework before shooting. The Toshiba is a problem and in an ideal world it would be an illuminated apple (see Colin's excellent take on the theme).
Dave, many thanks for the time you have taken for your in depth critique. It really is invaluable since I am out of my comfort zone with portraiture. I cannot argue with any of your observations and I will stow these away for future shots of this kind. I must admit the framed poster did bother me when processing. So much so that I cloned it out in shot No 3. Margaret Cameron is a female photographer working in the 1860s. She was shunned by the English photographic communities for her artistic license. The art world on the other hand loved her work and I kind of like that. My all time favourite photograph is by Margaret Cameron
Colin, that is an immeasurable improvement. I would have borrowed WireVixen's Mac Book Pro but she will not give me the key to the cuff that attaches it to her wrist. The change of name on the poster is actually very appropriate since your own landcapes are far more accomplished than Weamers.
Thanks again gents.