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Thread: Another street "portrait"

  1. #1
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    Another street "portrait"

    Pike place market.
    Acros, no conversion.
    A little crop up top may Ben better but didnít wanna crowd.
    Skf

    Another street "portrait"

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Nice one, might try to apply a bit more contrast to his face, my eyes are being pulled other places; the tonal jacket, the bright background lights, the sense of movement behind.

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    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Nice one, might try to apply a bit more contrast to his face, my eyes are being pulled other places; the tonal jacket, the bright background lights, the sense of movement behind.
    Thanks John yes to all. It was tough shot cuz he was indoors but outside was obviously very bright.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Sharon - shots like this are very difficult to pull of. The subject is back lit and is in shadow and the background is quite bright. This is the type of shot one would want to use a fill-light on, but that is generally not something that is done in street photography.

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    Tronhard's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    How about this?
    Another street "portrait"

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    mknittle's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Works for me.

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    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Hi Manfred thanks for the comments. Yep it is hard to pull off and I tried it anyhow w/o success lol. It wasn't the best shooting light by any means. I had to be in the city and wanted to get some practice with more candid street stuff. I may have had better luck out of acros mode as that simlation really pushes contrast. But I wanted to play.
    Trev I like your edit. The crop works better. It may have pushed it a little to the other side for me but I'm still thinking about it. What were your edits? This guy had a partner playing a mop believe it or not lol. I'll try to play with that one some
    Thanks again for comments and edits.

  8. #8
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Just a small edit.

    Not quite there yet, but ...


    Another street "portrait"

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    Tronhard's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Quote Originally Posted by lovelife65 View Post
    Trev I like your edit. The crop works better. It may have pushed it a little to the other side for me but I'm still thinking about it. What were your edits?

    I brought it into LightRoom, rotated the image to make the horizontals horizontal (!)
    Cropped to a format of 5x7
    Aligned the subject to sit within the left third focal line

    The rest of the edits are as shown below:
    Another street "portrait"

  10. #10

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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Definitely getting there, Sharon. Maybe selectively tone down the background highlights just a little. Could you get away with selectively and very carefully adding a fraction more highlight to his face while keeping the shadows dark?

  11. #11
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Definitely getting there, Sharon. Maybe selectively tone down the background highlights just a little. Could you get away with selectively and very carefully adding a fraction more highlight to his face while keeping the shadows dark?
    Thanks for the comments Geoff. I will continue to work on it a bit (and also learn from trying to shoot in this kind of lighting in the 1st place). I also wonder if I should have just spot metered instead. All a learning process for sure, including "don't even try it".

    I'm sure this guy gets his photo shot all day long, so not even that unique

  12. #12
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Quote Originally Posted by lovelife65 View Post
    I also wonder if I should have just spot metered instead.
    The metering mode is not the issue with this image; the lighting is.

    The background is brighter than the foreground. The human visual system is keyed to these bright areas, so our eyes will go there, rather than the subject.

    The other issue is that the subject's face is in shadow, which means that it needs to be brightened and that generally means that the background could get even brighter. This is a "no win" situation.

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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Sharon,
    I agree with Manfred's assessment of the contrast between the light on the subject and background, but nevertheless like your shot for its subject, and the way you've captured him.
    My suggestions would be to take your original shot, slightly increase the contrast as the subject seems to me to be a bit flat, rotate the shot to level the horizontals and then crop the shot in a portrait orientation to eliminate as much of the distracting white field as is reasonable.
    It's not a perfect solution, but merely a compromise to make the best of an unfortunate lighting situation, and save an otherwise nice street portrait.
    Robert

  14. #14
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    I understand that. MAYBE a meter against the face would have helped, probably not.

    Yes, the lighting was horrible. Yes, it was a "shot" best left untaken (or at least not posted on social media).
    Happens :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Manfred M View Post
    The metering mode is not the issue with this image; the lighting is.

    The background is brighter than the foreground. The human visual system is keyed to these bright areas, so our eyes will go there, rather than the subject.

    The other issue is that the subject's face is in shadow, which means that it needs to be brightened and that generally means that the background could get even brighter. This is a "no win" situation.

  15. #15
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Thank you Robert. All makes perfect sense. A perfect solution is to get in the right lighting, but alas that is not always (or is rarely) possible. Especially in winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by RBSinTo View Post
    Sharon,
    I agree with Manfred's assessment of the contrast between the light on the subject and background, but nevertheless like your shot for its subject, and the way you've captured him.
    My suggestions would be to take your original shot, slightly increase the contrast as the subject seems to me to be a bit flat, rotate the shot to level the horizontals and then crop the shot in a portrait orientation to eliminate as much of the distracting white field as is reasonable.
    It's not a perfect solution, but merely a compromise to make the best of an unfortunate lighting situation, and save an otherwise nice street portrait.
    Robert

  16. #16

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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Spot metering can be a good idea in theory, Sharon. However in practice it can cause more problems than it solves. It takes a bit of time to meter on the required area which may be satisfactory for static scenes but often not such a good idea for 'real life' photography. Unless you then enter the spot metered values manually into your settings the reading will change if you recompose the scene. I frequently use evaluative metering but add or subtract a little bit of exposure compensation as required.

    However, in this case, as Manfred mentioned, you have an overly bright background and a rather dark main subject, so metering for the subject will make the background even more over exposed.

    I suppose a little bit of Fill Flash might have been worth trying; but that is another contentious option which can also lead to unexpected consequences.

    With this particular image I would have shot Raw and created two conversions from that shot, one for the background and one for the subject, then merged them together with a mask.

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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Enjoyed and learned lots reading the thread.

    And as a fairly new Ukulele player, That's a "B" chord he's playing

    Dave

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    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Makes sense, spot metering is one of the more difficult types, I generally stay in multi with my Fuji. I was not shooting in manual mode this day but aperture priority as I wanted to play on the streets. Lot s of interesting stuff going on in Seattle. Iím also still learning black and white and all the contrasts and tones and what it means (reds, greens, blues, grays, etc.). This was also a pretty flat light day.. ya know, November in Washington state.
    In this case the raw file was an expected mess of a shadow man in a blown out background. No surprises. I did not ask to take his photo, but I did put some money in the jar for the music. His partner was quite impressive on his broom.
    Iím still very green of course, but I do understand a histogram and also when I should not attempt a shot like this. I took it more for just seeing what would come, if I could edit it to something reasonable, and to work on getting comfortable taking more candid stuff that I donít spend five minutes trying to get right (according to my husband... &#128512 before pushing the button.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Spot metering can be a good idea in theory, Sharon. However in practice it can cause more problems than it solves. It takes a bit of time to meter on the required area which may be satisfactory for static scenes but often not such a good idea for 'real life' photography. Unless you then enter the spot metered values manually into your settings the reading will change if you recompose the scene. I frequently use evaluative metering but add or subtract a little bit of exposure compensation as required.

    However, in this case, as Manfred mentioned, you have an overly bright background and a rather dark main subject, so metering for the subject will make the background even more over exposed.

    I suppose a little bit of Fill Flash might have been worth trying; but that is another contentious option which can also lead to unexpected consequences.

    With this particular image I would have shot Raw and created two conversions from that shot, one for the background and one for the subject, then merged them together with a mask.

  19. #19
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    Maybe I could post the photo with his partner playing the broom, and you could tell me what his chord is?
    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Enjoyed and learned lots reading the thread.

    And as a fairly new Ukulele player, That's a "B" chord he's playing

    Dave

  20. #20
    lovelife65's Avatar
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    re: Another street "portrait"

    The other thing is shooting in acros mode which I did. I thought leaving my settings on camera as is would work, but Iím reading adjustments need to be made for contrast, etc. and to not get flat images. On top of the poor lighting, this was probably strike two.

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