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Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-09-2006, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Here's a sample of my recent attempts. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? What would help make them better? What should I do differently next time?

#1


#2


#3


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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-09-2006, 11:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They're not bad, but they could be better. The first two seem a tad overexposed, lack contrast, and seem to have a bit too much magenta. All are easily enough corrected in post.

The other thing I'd say is to have her turn her head to camera left. Point her nose more to the side with the main light. You've got broad lighting here, and short lighting would probably be more flattering to her. You've managed to magnify some of her facial features that might have been better if reduced.

The third is the best, not because of the tone, but because the slight change in position makes the light more favorable to her. The expression is also much more natural and inviting.

Here's one of my attempts. Not a model, just a young woman that benefitted from short lighting:

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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-09-2006, 11:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Over all not bad but I have to agree with almost everything Larry said and if I was to repeat what he said in different words, then it would look like I am just following suit but I did want to comment on one thing. I believe a higher camera angle would have helped here as well. You have the middle axis mid-nose and I think it could have at least been eye level or higher and it would have complemented your subject better. One other thing would be to get your light source as flat as possible. This subject deserves a flat lighting scenerio for beauty. Not so much for a character portrait that defines her character but for a beauty portrait you need as straight on and diffused light as possible.

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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-10-2006, 12:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Larry,

Thank you for the comments. I'll recalibrate my monitor and then reprocess the images. That should get rid of the magenta cast. I'll also drop the exposure a bit and see if I can boost contrast a bit more. I tried a few with shorter lighting, but had too much reflected fill.

I prefer the third myself. It's the first I processed. I prefer the expression but she hates images that show her teeth.

Now, if I can get her to sit again, life will be good and I can try changing things up a bit. Unfortunately, I'll have to get some constant lighting as the strobes gave her a migraine.

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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-10-2006, 12:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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JT,

Thanks. I appreciate any comments I can get from you.

On the third images I was shooting under the edge of the softbox as it needed to be a good deal closer to her than I did. It seems I should have raised it a bit which would have allowed me to raise the camera position, if I understand what you're saying right.

What did you think of the cropping? Anything I can improve there?

Thanks for the input. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-10-2006, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For this subject I would have allowed more head space and done a traditional style portrait crop instead of what I call my tight beauty crop.

Image 2 is left heavy and it doesn't balance right. The other two crops are fine other then I would have backed up a bit and not been so in your face. Certain features just automatically put you in making sure you give a comfortable room to the subject. Since your subject doesn't seem to have a foundation of make up, it's even more important to back off.

If I may add....Your model has great character. I would like to see a portrait session done with her talents or career theme in mind and see you do a lifestyle portrait with her. Get creative with her and enjoy that.

If I may add.....Just keep in mind what is good for one may not be good for another and so on. Many photographers lose site of that and think because John Doe told them or they seen John Doe shoot this way that 'ALL' subjects can be photographed this way and it is so not the case. Even one 18 year old compared to another 18 years old does not necessarily mean I can do my traditional beauty black and white straight forward head shot routine on and be complimentary.

So your technique here is good for the technical side of just shooting so don't knock that.

J T



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Re: Good, bad, so-so?
Old 01-11-2006, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks JT. You're suggestions are great. If I can get her to sit again sometime soon, I'll see what else I can try. Unfortunately, the strobes gave her a migraine, so I'll need to find a different light source.

This is the third image, as it came from the camera. Shot RAW and converted as shot. Resized, converted to sRGB and slightly sharpened.

Thank you for the comments. Lots to think about and try.

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