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Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 07:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Prefix, I'm an image post virgin, please be gentle [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

I shot these last weekend in North Georgia in-between the rain clouds. I was trying to create a soft fuzzy water effect to contrast the sharper focus on my model, which of course put the burden on my model to hold very still in fast moving water... The model is my lovely wife Deneen, who is obviously a pretty good sport.

I shot these with an Olympus C-8080 and I believe the overcast day was helpful to my cause since the fixed lens on this camera has a max aperture of only f8. I stacked an ND2 and a polarizing filter, which allowed me to get in the 1/2 second exposure range. Along those lines, ISO was set at 50 and WB set to 5500, and I tried to use zoom (anything I could think of to get slightly longer exposures).

I shot in RAW format but tried very hard to get the exposures that way I wanted them in the camera (for example, saturation tweaks). In the end, I PS'ed the hell out of these and also had to compensate for the lack of makeup.

My request? Please give me your top 3 suggestions for improvement. I'm not all that bright, so please keep it simple and use small words [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img].

Thanks,

David (a.k.a. Stupid)














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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 08:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I like number three the best...

-Craig
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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 08:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The first one is very cool. It doesn't have a glamour feel to me, but instead an editorial portrait feel. That's fine and you've got a fantastic photo for it, but I'm guessing you were wanting more of the glamour side to this.

I like the light that was created by the cloudy sky. The water acted as a natural reflector and softened harsh shadows and flattered her features. The water trick was a great idea, and your wife holding still for several seconds is impressive. She looks pretty sharp, so she couldn't have moved much.

Again, not exactly the glamour feel that you were going for, but I think that this could be a great advertising shot for an outdoor watersports company.
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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 08:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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David,

nice stuff, man. your wife is a trooper and the idea is very cool.

You asked for suggestions, I would only offer the idea that with all the movement in the shots from the water, I wouldn't have been afraid to have her move, too. Not action stuff, but maybe some stuff that would have combined the energy in all that water with her eneregy.

Cool stuff, though. Oh, and a little dark on my monitor, I'd pop the curves a little harder but that's just me.

Shannon
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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 08:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes! This is what I was totally expecting after our conversations. Glad they turned out the way you wanted.

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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 09:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is my take on the photos.

In photos 1, 3, & 4Looks like the sunlight is coming from slightly behind her that lights up the top of her head (which is a good thing) it has a nice highlight on her hair. That highlight helps to separate her from the background. Use fill flash or a reflector to get more light on the front of model.

Make sure the “model� wants to be there. In photos 2 and 4 her facial expression is telling me she does not like what she is doing.

Watch the cropping; #3 is just about to cut off her leg (just a little too close for me).

I like the look of the water though it makes it look unsafe to be in there like the water is a raging torrent. Especially in photo #1.

Hope this is a good start in helping you.

Ron


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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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David,

I don't know what yor level of photography is but these are very interesting.
I wouldn't worry too much about expressions or the like since you said this is your wife and not a pro model, so I'm assuming you want advice on photo isssues. I thing you got something good going on #2. Since the color of the water is not that visually attractive (more like muddy water) I'd keep the B&W look. Maybe a little more scene shot rather than shooting so close. I would add some diffused overall look to this image since the soft movement of the water would suggest a more difussed look to the image.
Keep at it, I think you're on to something positive here.
One thing to remember when you're shooting in a place like this...take the shot you want, how you see it in your mind. then "take a step back"and take it again )covering more space) and then "take a step forward" (getting closer). You'll be surprised what you come up with when you get home and start editing.

Nice going...keep at it.

I hope this helps.

Howard

 
 
Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-22-2005, 04:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't believe your wife remained that still in a 1/2 second exposure. That is wonderful.

These are interesting.

1. If it could be done in a double exposure I would say to keep the water effect in a long exposure, then place the model and pop with portable flash in your second exposure.

2. I think overall composition can improve. In the second image you have flowing water moving in one direction and the model in the first 1/3 of the frame. You just want to keep right on moving with the water and the model then becomes an abstraction and nothing keeps you in tune. Notice how your last image holds you better.

3. More expression from your wife. It would be hard to hold but I think we just need to see something like the first shot expression. The others, she looks bored to me.

Hope this helps and I was gentle.

J T

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Re: Up the Creek...
Old 07-23-2005, 05:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My thanks to you all for such constructive and positive feedback. It's amazing how many variables must come together and being kinda 'stupid', I find it difficult to remember everything when I've got a camera in my hand. It's more of a "I see something cool and want to capture what I see" excitement and I have to really focus, no pun intended. Your suggestions will somehow get committed to memory and employed in future projects.

To address some of the feedback, I am very much an amateur who simply wants to shoot better photos in a lot of different situations, and my wife has no desires to model (but probably puts up with me so I have no reason to work with other pretty women [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]). Seriously, she is wonderful and endures allot of crazy things I ask her to do, and I think this image proves it...




Thanks for the support for the idea but to give credit were due, the idea was inspired (ummm borrowed even [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]) from another GG member, Mr. Ed Selby. I read allot of posts and profiles, I follow links, I try to take it all in... in this case Mr. Selby's website announced a water project and provided sample images, and I immediately wanted to learn how to shoot something similar. I anxiously await the completion of his project.

Cropping; I suspected I'd get a comment on a cropped out foot or two, so I want to present this question... Is it better to loose the foot if the foot didn't fit? In this case, she wore old sneakers and they didn't work for me in the image. I cropped were I did because I had a really hard time in PS trying to do something about the sneakers and make it look good. However, the crop I was forced to do also reduced my overall satisfaction with the image compared to my original composition.

I guess that gets back to composition, JT, wow... you are very right about how the water takes my eye downstream from the model. I never in a million years would have thought of that. While I'm at it, the idea on the double exposure is very interesting and should allow me to better light and sharpen my model, I'll have to try it (although I think this is going to turn into a PS project since my camera won't do it). Your #3 suggestion might mean I need to bring more tequila next time [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img].

She doesn't look very happy and I discussed it as I was showing her the photos, I think she really didn't want to be there. Slippery rocks, muddy water, strong current, public park with onlookers.... All things considered, things came out pretty good huh?

Adding a little action sounds interesting too, but from a technical stand point long exposures and action don't mix, but now I'm thinking JT's double exposure trick might be how to get it done... Damn, you all play well off each other.

Again, my thanks. Y'all are keeping my enthusiasm alive!

David (a.k.a. Stupid)
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