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Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 12:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Okay, I finally have new photos to post! With an actual PERSON no less! And quite the lovely person, I might add. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I had an awesome shoot with the lovely Maty, who is also a GGer, username "Maty". She was totally fun to work with, her easy-going nature made me feel very comfortable (I know, usually it's the photographer's job to make the model feel comfortable, but hey, us shy people are strange like that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]), and she was very patient with me as I fumbled through things. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] You were great Maty -- I hope I get to work with you again soon!

Also, while I'm in the thanking business, I want to thank my friend Deborah Dunn for helping with hair and makeup, as I would have no clue how to do any of that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img], Tomas (Maty's friend and escort for the day) for being so helpful throughout the day, and last but not least, Larry Dehring for helping set up the shoot in the first place. Thanks guys, couldn't have done it without you!

Okay, now on to the photos. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] As I'm a fan of posting lots of stats with photos, that's what I'm gonna do...

#1 Stats (LOTS of stats): Contax 645, 80mm (standard) lens, f5.6 @ 1/8s., Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (E.I. 40) in Rodinal (1:50) for N development, one strobe was bounced off the back wall (behind me) to help contract the contrast range some


#2 Stats: Contax 645, 80mm (standard) lens, f2.8 @ 1/8s., Kodak Tri-X 320 (E.I. 160) in Rodinal (1:50) for N development, available light


#3 Stats: Nikon N75, 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens (I have no idea what the actual settings were, as the N75 doesn't imprint data onto the film like the Contax, and I didn't write it down [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]), Ilford HP5+ in WD2D+ pyro developer for N development, one medium softbox high from the left, feathered away from the background


All metering was done with a Gossen UltraSpot 2.

One note about the last one -- I'm not too pleased with how my scanner is handling the job of scanning a pyro-stained negative. I haven't tried printing these on silver yet, but I'm hoping the gritty grain the pyro dye-mask is supposed to hide will minimize the grain if I print traditionally.

We did two basic styles of shots -- a glamour/lingerie style, and a fashionish (flamour maybe? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]) style. I don't really know what else to say about them, other than please critique them. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I will say that her skin tone in the fashion one does look a little darker than it did before I saved for web. But anyways, is there anything I could've/should've done differently? No need to critique Maty, as she was perfect the whole day, but if there's anything I could've done as far as helping to direct a model, please tell me, as I seriously had no idea what I was doing. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Okay y'all, have fun critiquing. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Sam

Oops, almost forgot to mention -- I've still got 11 rolls still to develop, so you'll be seeing more over the next few weeks!
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 10:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You have an attractive model and she photographs well. But there are small details that can make the photos less than they should be. Here are a few brief notes:

Photo #1 breaks the normal rule of cropping. You usually don't want to crop below the joint as you have on her legs. But note to that the posing of the leg on the left illustrates why seated poses like this are challenging because it makes the leg flatten out and look much heavier than it should. If you have the subject push up with the toes a bit to raise the legs slighting, then they won't flatten out and will look much better. Consider getting rid of the distracting bit of black that shows in the lower right corner. You also have an unflattering shadow or pattern on the left side of the nose. The black thing she is sitting on tends to blend into the garment and doesn't give good seperation. The background is washed out rather than just blurred from DOF and doesn't work well with the overall photo.

Photo #2 is the best of the three, but has lots of distracting details like the lamp back in the right corner, the bedsteads and because you shot with the model stretched out away from the camera you ended up with too much blurring of the legs. Also the frame above the head is distracting. Details. Details.

Photo #3's lighting ratio is too harsh. Positioning of the hands is not the best, you usually don't want the full back of the hands showing. Right side of face blends totally into hair (part of lighting ratio problem).

Hope some of these remarks can help you in the future.



Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is exactly what I wanted to hear. I know it's the details that can make or break a photo, but learning what those details are before I can look out for them is what I needed.

I think the only thing I noticed that you did too was the painting (frame) above her head in the second one. We did eventually take the painting off the wall during the shoot.

I do have one quick question, though -- you said you shouldn't show the backs of the hands, but I saw somewhere on here that you shouldn't show the inside of the hands either. Does that mean showing the side of the hand only?

Oh, and fortunately the actual contrast ratio on the negative of the last one is tighter than what you see here, but the reason I bumped up the contrast is because I was trying to emulate some looks I've seen in some fashion magazines. Guess I wasn't quite as successful as they were. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] That's cool, though, there's always next time. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks very much for your comments!

Sam
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I do have one quick question, though -- you said you shouldn't show the backs of the hands, but I saw somewhere on here that you shouldn't show the inside of the hands either. Does that mean showing the side of the hand only?


[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, that's generally part of the advice that you get from people who pose lots of models. Rolando also imparts that advice in his workshops. He suggests the "karate chop" approach, bascially showing the side of the hands, or to hide the palms or backs with shadows, clothing, etc. There are many ways to do it, you just need to be aware that it is a subtle thing that may detract from a photo but people won't know quite what it is that disturbs them.

I do believe you can break the rule if there is some reason for the hand being shown flat on, such as this example:



Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 01:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool Fredrick, I was wondering about that. Man all the details -- I sometimes wonder if I'll ever be able to get them all down. I guess it's just practice, practice, practice. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Thanks again!

Sam
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 04:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

Photo #2 is the best of the three, but has lots of distracting details like the lamp back in the right corner, the bedsteads and because you shot with the model stretched out away from the camera you ended up with too much blurring of the legs. Also the frame above the head is distracting. Details. Details.


[/ QUOTE ]

I gotta say, I like the fact that her legs are that blurred out. Her face and her legs are near center asking for attention, my eye is initially drawn to her face, then her legs. The fact that they're blurred makes them secondary in focus relative to her face. I'm partial to shallow focus or thrown focus in images anyways.

That's also why I don't mind the lamp and the picture frame. And I like the fact that the edge of the frame is clear on the left, where the key is coming from. It gives the image an open feeling. Maybe if it was framed slightly wider on that side.

I really like it and I think she has the best expression here compared to the others. Please don't hate me mr. smith, flame me not sir.
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 05:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Check your email.

Mike
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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 05:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I gotta say, I like the fact that her legs are that blurred out. Her face and her legs are near center asking for attention, my eye is initially drawn to her face, then her legs. The fact that they're blurred makes them secondary in focus relative to her face. I'm partial to shallow focus or thrown focus in images anyways.

That's also why I don't mind the lamp and the picture frame. And I like the fact that the edge of the frame is clear on the left, where the key is coming from. It gives the image an open feeling. Maybe if it was framed slightly wider on that side.

I really like it and I think she has the best expression here compared to the others. Please don't hate me mr. smith, flame me not sir.

[/ QUOTE ]

There's nothing wrong with blurred areas in a photo due to DOF for direction of attention. I use it often. Its just that it needs to be done with deliberate intent and with the pose supporting it. Because there is so much blurred material in the shot it becomes distracting and this would probably be the reaction of any editor. In glamour, everything in the shot should contribute to the overall effect of glamour. Glamour is not about a partially blurred picture frame or partially blurred part of a lamp in the background, its about the subject. In fact it would have been ultra easy to just crop the lamp out which would have improved the composition.

Of course all of this is quite subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinion. But ultimately we also must consider that if we are shooting glamour we may be shooting for a possible publisher. In that case we don't want things in our photo that will make the editor toss them aside as soon as he/she sees them. Always go for the best image possible!

Here is an example shot using dof and blurring to emphasize the subject:



The blurring draws the eyes to the face of the model. The use of muted background tones further pulls one to the brigher model facial area. The original scene where this was shot was filled with background clutter, etc. I framed to avoid that and cropped to further augment the idea.

As to hating you or flaming you, why would I want to do that? Why even suggest that? You are stating your opinion, I am stating my opinion. That is what critiues are all about. But you did forget to post a photo of your own which you are usually supposed to do when offering a critique.

Cheers,
rfs


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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Sam,

I am really liking the third image. I don't critique much because I feel I am still in an early learning stage myself. However, I have come back to this image several times today. I would have like to see the model more to the left of the frame instead of center. And the body shadow from the feet eventually turn vertical and run up the backdrop to the right of the frame. Hope that makes sense. Still a very cool image IMO. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Thanks
Rick


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Re: Okay guys, my first shoot with a pro model -- please critique!
Old 07-05-2005, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Got it and replied. Thank you sir!

Sam
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