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Thread: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

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    Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    I photographed Ashley a lot last weekend - and today her Mum popped in to pick a shot for a canvas ... after much "discussion" this was the "chosen one".

    Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Very good, Colin. I like particularly the use of that nice tree bark as a foreground prop - it adds a lot of warmth to the shot. I've been looking at shots like this recently because of the background. There was one yesterday by David Noton (can't see it on his site) which was in a magazine, which was the same type of shot as this. He'd managed to get the background a little more blurred by using f/1.4, which rather surprised me as the girl in the shot was still OK for focus. I see you used f/5.6. Do you think a wider aperture wouldn't have worked here? I find those bright spots a little distracting above her head.

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)


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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Hi Rob,

    That branch was a very important prop for this shot ... without it she would have fallen out of the tree

    I didn't notice those highlights above her head until you mentioned them -- I'll possibly have a crack at them if I ever revisit the image - fixing them is harder than it looks when the result has to be printed BIG though.

    Had a quick look at the website you referenced - but couldn't find the shot you mentioned though

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    I can see why the Mum picked this one, she looks lovely and more her age here to me. (showing mine I suppose)
    The lighting looks like it has wrapped around her it is beautiful and green backgrounds are my favourite
    I wonder if Ashley herself would have chosen 1 of the others though maybe?...but that's to be expected of course.

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    This is my favorite, too. I think that it's the most flattering one of her. The light is really lovely for her! The other ones were so full of personality, though.... not that this one isn't..... ach, you know what I mean?

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    I can see why the Mum picked this one, she looks lovely and more her age here to me. (showing mine I suppose)
    The lighting looks like it has wrapped around her it is beautiful and green backgrounds are my favourite
    I wonder if Ashley herself would have chosen 1 of the others though maybe?...but that's to be expected of course.
    Hi Kay,

    It's actually quuite an interesting dynamic to watch (or should I say "set of dynamics"); what I might think is a great shot can result in a scream of "OMG I look pregnant in that one" along with "Mum likes this one - so we'll have to choose another one". Yet another dynamic is the fact that I work with big images all the time and this seems quite normal to me - but it's not to a lot of subjects and I think they feel a bit over-welmed / self-conscious / something about seeing themselves in print that big having being all processed etc. When I finished the canvas of this I showed it to a chap who works next door to me (who isn't that familiar with my portraiture) and he said "wow - what a beautiful girl". When Ashley came around for a few hours yesterday I introduced her as "do you recognise her" and he said "do you like it" and it was quite nice to see her a little bit embarrased to have to say "Yes" (and mean it!).

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Katy Noelle View Post
    This is my favorite, too. I think that it's the most flattering one of her. The light is really lovely for her! The other ones were so full of personality, though.... not that this one isn't..... ach, you know what I mean?
    Thanks Katy,

    I'm probably a bit biased because Ashley is quite special to me, but I can promise you that she's FULL of personality! I don't think she realises either just what a photographers dream she is to work with she's pretty good with doing her own makeup - isn't afraid to try anything (which is important because some ideas I come up with fail miserably, and some are spectacular successes) - she follows instructions for the basic posing - and then comes us with a variety of expressions that all I have to do is release the shutter for (and the has 1000 expressions!).

    I just love talking to her during the shoot and then waiting for the reaction - in one set I said "this is for the cover of Cleo magazine" (click) - and this one is for Vogue magazine (click) - and this one is for Playboy magazine (waits for shreek) (click) (got it!)

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Nice shot, Colin!

    Beside the distracting white areas that Rob mentioned, I find the whole white dress has made the left lower corner too bright and also distracting. I imagine fixing that is even harder if you print big but you may know a good way of doing it since it is over a much bigger area.

    What do you think?

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for that.

    I think you're probably right. Off memory I didn't add a vignette, but then again, I often don't when doing canvas prints. Canvas has a lower dynamic range than what we see on the screen and on canvas it actually looks OK; that's not to say that toning those areas down a little wouldn't improve it though. In reality, I had Ashley with me and she was keen to see what it looked like and I probably rushed it a little. The canvas still looked nice though - I think the fact that it's on the diagonal helps.

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    A beautiful shot, Colin. I agree with Katy - the lighting is wonderful. The shadows and highlights are so smooth and gentle, but very clear. It gives great sense of depth without any harshness.

    I have a question that popped up when I saw something else the other day, and it comes through here, as well. Would it have been better to have her right hand over the left, so as to hide the fingers? I find them a little distracting there by the face.

    Right over left might be worse, with the hand disappearing out of view. I often seem to notice problems in crowd shots, where a hand or arm is turned so that it's foreshortened, or partially obscured, and looks rather odd. Did you dictate that part of the pose? I wondered because I recall reading an article about wedding photography, and the main solution was to keep the hands out of the shot, or have them holding something. Tricky to deal with.

    Thanks;
    Rick

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Hi Rick,

    I don't know if there's a hard and fast rule about it. Personally if it's a pose that the model feels relaxed in it often makes for a more relaxed shot -- and this just happened to be what Ashley chose for that moment.

    To be honest, we tried a few other variations in that tree, but they didn't work out very well.

    In some shots I've deliberately left the hands in view - most seem to like them. What do you think?

    Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 20th November 2010 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Rick,

    I don't know if there's a hard and fast rule about it. Personally if it's a pose that the model feels relaxed in it often makes for a more relaxed shot -- and this just happened to be what Ashley chose for that moment.

    To be honest, we tried a few other variations in that tree, but they didn't work out very well.

    In some shots I've deliberately left the hands in view - most seem to like them. What do you think?

    Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)
    This is a great pose, and her hands look very natural. It fits with what you say about the model feeling relaxed: if she's relaxed, the hands don't have that "I don't know what to do with them" look.

    Her hands are important in both shots, I think, for the feeling of relaxing, but maybe more important here. In this one, if her hands weren't where they are, the tree would seem to be an intrusive element at the edge of the frame, or it would just be "girl outdoors with nice green background."

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I photographed Ashley a lot last weekend - and today her Mum popped in to pick a shot for a canvas ... after much "discussion" this was the "chosen one".

    Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)
    Hi Colin,

    The two things I'd change on the original picture above are;
    the highlights above her head do need a touch of toning down, and
    the background branch that forms a continuing arc from the dress strap should be cloned out.

    Her fingers still don't bother me, even though Rick's pointed them out, but I absolutely get what he means, just (for me) not in this case.

    Other than that, I fall in love everytime she looks at me
    A special young lady and no mistake.

    I just can't fault the second one, another great picture, well done.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Say Hello to ... Ashley (again)

    Update:

    I had the pleasure of Ashley's company all day yesterday. She read through this thread ... and in a nutshell:

    - She likes the highlights around the head (which is a relief because they would have been quite difficult to remove for a large print)

    - I applied a vignette around the image to (primarily) tone down the bright white dress at the lower-left corner, and we agreed that it looked better.

    - I took a look at removing the branch that you suggested Dave, but it was going to be a lot of work and it really didn't bother me much.

    So in the end Ashley printed the image, and with a little help from me sprayed it - made the frame - and framed it. And will be giving it to her Grandma for a present soon

    So thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

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