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Old 11-17-2006, 08:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'll try this again. For some reason my last thread was closed for feedback. A couple for C+C.
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Re: New to forum!
Old 11-17-2006, 11:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the asylum.

From a technique standpoint, the biggest thing I can recommend on these is to get your lights off of the lens axis. It looks like these were shot with direct, on-camera flash. The light is a bit harsh, there's no dimension to the images (they appear two-dimensional) or separation of your model from the background.

Lighting is about highlights and shadows, and it is the interplay between highlight and shadow that gives dimension to an image. In order to create shadows, you need to move your light off of the axis of the lens. A good starting point is 30-45 degrees off axis. That is, position your light such that a piece of string stretched from the light to the model and then to your camera would form an angle of 30-45 degrees.

To reduce the harshness of the light you need to create a bigger light source. You can create a bigger light source with something as simple as a wall, piece of foamcore, or the reflector you have. (Foamcore also makes a great reflector and it's inexpensive.) Point the light at any of the above so that the light bounces off of them before illuminating your model. Softer, off-axial light would also help bring out the texture in your model's clothing in your first image.

From a composition standpoint, it is generally a bad idea to crop the shot at a joint, as you did with your model's elbow in the first shot, or to crop the tips of fingers and/or toes as you did in the second. The first shot is otherwise not too bad for a first attempt. The pose in the second image isn't particularly flattering. It makes her legs and trunk look disproportionately large. Personally, I'd like to see more of her face. Get her hair out of the way so that we can see her features.

Lastly, these look a little soft/blurry. We are naturally drawn to a person's eyes, so it's almost always important that they're sharp. These images just seem soft all over. Make sure you're using adequate depth of field and pay attention to what the camera is focused on.

I strongly encourage you to keep practicing, and encourage your wife to keep modelling for you (lose the leopard print though). The best way to learn is to shoot, ask for feedback, learn what you can from that feedback, and shoot some more. The more you shoot (and pay attention) the faster you'll learn and the better you'll get.

-Chip
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Last edited by ChipBulgin; 11-18-2006 at 12:42 AM..
 
Re: New to forum!
Old 11-18-2006, 12:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefwannabe View Post
I'll try this again. For some reason my last thread was closed for feedback. A couple for C+C
By the way, the reason that your thread probably got closed is that you may have inadvertently put a check box in the option shown in this screen shot:



If you put a check box where I'm pointing the red arrow, then after your post is submitted it would be immediately closed. This option shows up only when creating a new thread and it is down toward the bottom of the page you make your post on.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: New to forum!
Old 11-18-2006, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipBulgin View Post
Welcome to the asylum.

From a technique standpoint, the biggest thing I can recommend on these is to get your lights off of the lens axis. It looks like these were shot with direct, on-camera flash. The light is a bit harsh, there's no dimension to the images (they appear two-dimensional) or separation of your model from the background.

Lighting is about highlights and shadows, and it is the interplay between highlight and shadow that gives dimension to an image. In order to create shadows, you need to move your light off of the axis of the lens. A good starting point is 30-45 degrees off axis. That is, position your light such that a piece of string stretched from the light to the model and then to your camera would form an angle of 30-45 degrees.

To reduce the harshness of the light you need to create a bigger light source. You can create a bigger light source with something as simple as a wall, piece of foamcore, or the reflector you have. (Foamcore also makes a great reflector and it's inexpensive.) Point the light at any of the above so that the light bounces off of them before illuminating your model. Softer, off-axial light would also help bring out the texture in your model's clothing in your first image.

From a composition standpoint, it is generally a bad idea to crop the shot at a joint, as you did with your model's elbow in the first shot, or to crop the tips of fingers and/or toes as you did in the second. The first shot is otherwise not too bad for a first attempt. The pose in the second image isn't particularly flattering. It makes her legs and trunk look disproportionately large. Personally, I'd like to see more of her face. Get her hair out of the way so that we can see her features.

Lastly, these look a little soft/blurry. We are naturally drawn to a person's eyes, so it's almost always important that they're sharp. These images just seem soft all over. Make sure you're using adequate depth of field and pay attention to what the camera is focused on.

I strongly encourage you to keep practicing, and encourage your wife to keep modelling for you (lose the leopard print though). The best way to learn is to shoot, ask for feedback, learn what you can from that feedback, and shoot some more. The more you shoot (and pay attention) the faster you'll learn and the better you'll get.

-Chip
Really appreciate the indepth critque. Absolutely helps my cause.

As far as the soft focus, I was told that sometimes it is good to add this to your photo to help correct blemishes and give the model and softer look. Sort of what you would find in a Playboy imagine. I guess I might have over did it. The head shot was taken with the D50 and the full body(minus toes) was taken with a cybershot(which I have giving to my 5 year old son) I have lots to learn and it's people like you who will most certainly guide me in the right direction. Thanks again Chip!
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Re: New to forum!
Old 11-18-2006, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefwannabe View Post
Really appreciate the indepth critque. Absolutely helps my cause.

As far as the soft focus, I was told that sometimes it is good to add this to your photo to help correct blemishes and give the model and softer look. Sort of what you would find in a Playboy imagine. I guess I might have over did it. The head shot was taken with the D50 and the full body(minus toes) was taken with a cybershot(which I have giving to my 5 year old son) I have lots to learn and it's people like you who will most certainly guide me in the right direction. Thanks again Chip!
I'd concentrate on getting your lighting under control and then worry about post-production techniques separately. One of the issues you're going to have is seeing how your light is falling on your subject. If you intend to get more serious about studio lighting you will find it far less frustrating to purchase a set of studio strobes that have modelling lights. The modelling lights show you how your image will look when the strobes actually fire. They're also much more flexible in terms of using umbrellas, softboxes, and other lighting modifiers. than on-camera flashes are. When you're ready to take that step, ask for recommendations, or do a search. The question has been asked and answered ad-nauseum here.

-Chip
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