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Thread: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

  1. #1
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Henrik Herskind

    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Hi,
    I made 5 photos of one of our political party's judicial spokesman, but I'm unsure if they would be satisfying for a magazine, and I'd like some critique.

    On the first picture the sign on the door says "Supreme court".

    #1
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    On the following three pictures the spokesman is together with the policeman and dog who was awarded "Policedog of the year 2010" at a dog's exhibition.

    #2
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    #3
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    #4
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    And finally she is together with some other dogs at the exhibition. The spokesman is very fond of dogs, and she is in opposition to the Danish legislation on dogs.

    #5
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Should I struggle harder to achieve the same whitebalance/skin tonality on all pictures? Could I make other improvements such as composition? Do the pictures tell a good story about this judicial spokesman?

    Regards, Henrik

  2. #2

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    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    #3 & #4 can solve your purpose.

  3. #3
    rob marshall

    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    #4 is the best one, I think. #2 would have been good, but you needed some fill-flash on the people and dog - the background is too bright. Nice dogs!

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Hi Henrik,

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    On the first picture the sign on the door says "Supreme court".

    #1
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman
    I feel her hair and clothes are just too informal for this shot to work, sorry. I won't comment further.


    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    #2
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman
    As Rob says, #2 needed fill flash, or some TLC (tender loving care) in PP to lift the unlit areas. I'd also clone out the 'suspicous bag' in the background.

    Unless she is well known, or the magazine article is introducing her, she could be anyone and the subject might appear to be the policeman and his dog and yet she has the lead position closest to the camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    #3
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman
    #3 is pretty good, and I can imagine it illustrating an article on the woman, however; her stance 'says something' and if that didn't agree with what a magazine wanted to say in its piece alongside, then it wouldn't be usable. I'd suggest shooting as the conversation progresses and capture varying postures and expressions so that an editor could pick one suitable. Of course, maybe you did this (but obviously couldn't present them all here)

    The other thing is the brown bit of timber puts a dark barrier between them, at shooting time, if possible, move to hide it behind the chap, or clone it out in PP.


    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    #4
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman
    Again, not bad, but a little fill wouldn't have hurt. I see you have used the 50mm/1.4 (at f/1.4) (I've just got one, do you like it?)
    The focus is good on the people, but obviously the dog looks a little soft being a bit closer to the camera. It might also have been better with her left leg/knee swung a bit more towards the dog.


    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    #5
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman
    I think you overdid the oval vignette effect on this, the dog's legs look too dark for me. A little cloning out of background distractions wouldn't hurt either; the red white between dogs and the amber light and reflection.


    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    Should I struggle harder to achieve the same whitebalance/skin tonality on all pictures?
    I don't think there's a problem of WB between shots that more consistent lighting wouldn't resolve. #4 and #5 are pretty close and shot under similar conditions. #3 looks over saturated compared to #2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    Could I make other improvements such as composition?
    Minor things like paying more attention to the background perhaps, overall they're fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik View Post
    Do the pictures tell a good story about this judicial spokesman?
    If I am honest, not on their own, but that might be more to do with you presenting them for critique and not as a finished set with a question like "What do these tell you (the viewer) about this woman?"

    I hope that helps you; I know it helped me, analysing them

    Cheers,

  5. #5

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    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Hi Henrik, I think she needs to think about modelling if she wants you to get some really good shots. Otherwise you have a pretty tough task. Generally she does not seem 100% engaged? Politicians play to the camera... look at all the posturing Obama does. (not that we want her to be like him )

    1 is a very nice concept but as mentioned before she needs to get the clothes right.. then you have a good shot...

    In 2 I think the dog is thinking stop pulling my ear... Also her interaction with the dog in 4 is ok'ish but also somewhat detached. She needs to take some lessons from Gordon Brown - he hates old people and babies but he still gave them a smile and a cuddle (through gritted teeth )

    I don't like her posture in 3 but maybe cropping can solve that. That can be a decent formal shot and you can get the police badge in nicely.
    Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    In 5 this looks good but don't labs have big tongues

    What with politicians and dogs it is certainly a difficult assignment!

    neil

  6. #6
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for your thorough walktrough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    #1: I feel her hair and clothes are just too informal for this shot to work, sorry. I won't comment further.
    I wonder if your comment is a matter of culture? Maybe we Danes are a bit more informal than other people? The photo was shot on a normal working day in the parliament, and it was hot summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    As Rob says, #2 needed fill flash, or some TLC (tender loving care) in PP to lift the unlit areas. I'd also clone out the 'suspicous bag' in the background.
    Unless she is well known, or the magazine article is introducing her, she could be anyone and the subject might appear to be the policeman and his dog and yet she has the lead position closest to the camera.
    I will definately follow your advice including removing the very suspicious (photo) bag! - The (coming) magazine article is meant to be introducing her, as she is not very well known.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    #3 is pretty good, and I can imagine it illustrating an article on the woman, however; her stance 'says something' and if that didn't agree with what a magazine wanted to say in its piece alongside, then it wouldn't be usable. I'd suggest shooting as the conversation progresses and capture varying postures and expressions so that an editor could pick one suitable. Of course, maybe you did this (but obviously couldn't present them all here)
    The other thing is the brown bit of timber puts a dark barrier between them, at shooting time, if possible, move to hide it behind the chap, or clone it out in PP.
    I agree that the stance is not the best. Unfortunately I only did this one shot of the situation
    I shall remove the brown bit of timber.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    #4: Again, not bad, but a little fill wouldn't have hurt. I see you have used the 50mm/1.4 (at f/1.4) (I've just got one, do you like it?)
    The focus is good on the people, but obviously the dog looks a little soft being a bit closer to the camera. It might also have been better with her left leg/knee swung a bit more towards the dog.
    I already worked quite a bit on this one to brighten up and adjust the white balance, so I think I'll leave it there. As a matter of fact the focus is at the dog's nose, but clearly you saw something else in this small version. And yes, I simply love the 50mm/1.4, but in this case I should have chosen a smaller aperture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    #5: I think you overdid the oval vignette effect on this, the dog's legs look too dark for me. A little cloning out of background distractions wouldn't hurt either; the red white between dogs and the amber light and reflection.
    I shall follow your advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    (On the story): If I am honest, not on their own, but that might be more to do with you presenting them for critique and not as a finished set with a question like "What do these tell you (the viewer) about this woman?"
    I see what you mean.

    Thanks again. It was a great help!

    Regards, Henrik
    Last edited by Henrik; 17th January 2011 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Correcting quatation marks

  7. #7
    Henrik's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait of a judicial spokesman

    Hi Neil,
    Thanks for your deepest thoughts. I think you hit many of my own thoughts on working with this politician, who also brought her rather disturbing husband for the pictures #2-5

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    I think she needs to think about modelling if she wants you to get some really good shots. Otherwise you have a pretty tough task. Generally she does not seem 100% engaged? Politicians play to the camera... look at all the posturing Obama does. (not that we want her to be like him )
    I passed this remark on to her, as she might become minister.

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    1 is a very nice concept but as mentioned before she needs to get the clothes right.. then you have a good shot...
    As I replied Dave: Could this clothes business be a matter of different cultures?

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    In 2 I think the dog is thinking stop pulling my ear... Also her interaction with the dog in 4 is ok'ish but also somewhat detached. She needs to take some lessons from Gordon Brown - he hates old people and babies but he still gave them a smile and a cuddle (through gritted teeth )
    I quite agree! Very fine observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    I don't like her posture in 3 but maybe cropping can solve that. That can be a decent formal shot and you can get the police badge in nicely.
    Well, both you and Dave dislike this posture. But I am not fond of your cropping which changes the balance of the picture. So I guess, she'll have to live with her posture.

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    In 5 this looks good but don't labs have big tongues
    Sure they do

    Quote Originally Posted by tihsgod View Post
    What with politicians and dogs it is certainly a difficult assignment!
    You are SO right!

    Regards, Henrik

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