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Head Shots
Old 10-18-2008, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I wanted to practice my lighting and head shot technique. How'd I do?





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Re: Head Shots
Old 10-18-2008, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bill, you asked for input and I will give you my thoughts on your images so please do not be offended by what I write. I am trying to help you learn and improve.

Number one is my favorite but the models head looks unnatural. Also, you could have cropped tighter. I am seeing two sets of catch lights in her eyes and there should only be one set. What was your lighting setup?

Number two looks underexposed plus the model appears to have a lip piercing and for me that is a huge no-no. I would have asked her to remove it.

Number three looks over exposed and the models face is shining. For studio work it is a good idea to have tissues or handi-wipes handy for occassional de-shining.

Are you using a light meter for your setup? If you are not I suggest you invest in one or better still get the Photo Vision Target. If you are shooting digital the Photo Vision Target is in my opinion the best way to go to nail your exposures.

If you would post your camera and lens information and also your lighting setup that will help. Thanks.
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Re: Head Shots
Old 10-18-2008, 11:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I did use a light meter for this photo shoot. Also I used a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens. I've heard differing views on having two vs one catch light. The lighting setup was, a main light, hair light and a reflector. As far as piercings go, I shot the subjects as they are. I won't PS out tattoos and I don't ask the subjects to remove any piercings.
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Re: Head Shots
Old 10-19-2008, 07:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the first one best, I often have two catchlights, or ring ligth catchlights, that's just perspnal preference on what you like.

I think you did a good job on lighting the second and using the open space on the left. I too , shoot them as they come through the door, metal or tattoos don't bother me. It isn't really their portrait if you change them.

Main light on the third does look a little bright to me, and watching the skin for shine is something many of us have to work on.

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Re: Head Shots
Old 10-19-2008, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments. I like the image you posted.

When I choose a subject for a project I'm working on, they need to fit the project. If I don't want the final image to have tattoos or piercings, then I choose subjects that don't have them. I won't tailor the subject for the shoot I tailor the shoot for the subject.
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Re: Head Shots
Old 11-12-2008, 05:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Photographically speaking, they look on to me. Exposure is good for the different subjects; sure, #2 could be brought up a little bit, but that wouldn't lend itself to the mood that it conveys with the model. I never heard any "rules" that a headshot should have a certain number of catchlights.

They all, however, look a touch on the green side on my monitor, and #3's skin looks a little blotchy. Might revisit that one and do a little bit of smoothing/blending.

My fave is #2, but then, I'm a fan of using negative space.


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Re: Head Shots
Old 11-12-2008, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In addition to some of the other comments, I believe you are using too short of a focal length for head shots. You stated the lens was 28-70, however the exif date indicates #1 was 85mm

#2 was 66mm, and #3 was 56mm . A longer lens would be preferable for headshots .

I am not even comfortable with my 105 for tight headshots and use a 200mm, when possible.

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Re: Head Shots
Old 11-16-2008, 08:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenE View Post
In addition to some of the other comments, I believe you are using too short of a focal length for head shots. You stated the lens was 28-70, however the exif date indicates #1 was 85mm

#2 was 66mm, and #3 was 56mm . A longer lens would be preferable for headshots .

I am not even comfortable with my 105 for tight headshots and use a 200mm, when possible.

IMO, 135mm is the perfect focal length for headshots. And if I owned one of those Canon 135 f/2 "L" primes I so covet, I'd show ya what I mean.
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Re: Head Shots
Old 11-16-2008, 09:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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mmmmm I usually shoot studio headshots with my 28-105mm
damn guess I learnt sumpin already today!!!

see Bill, that kind of makes you sacrificial sheep for the some of us to learn by!!
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Re: Head Shots
Old 11-16-2008, 10:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillD View Post
I've heard differing views on having two vs one catch light. The lighting setup was, a main light, hair light and a reflector
The one catchlight "rule" is something that has been around for years, and I grew up hearing that rule.

However, in my opinion, it was mostly for the old master's style portraiture. Everything has changed so drastically, that I am not too concerned with one or two, and when I use a reflector under the chin, I get another highlight (might be considered a catch light), which is on the bottom portion of the eye.

Personally I do not like the results with a ring light, and I have heard that called "alien eyes". On close shots it is more noticeable.

I do like round catch lights if they are in the "old style" 2 or 10 o'clock, or was it 1 and 11 .. position, and for that reason made a round insert for my square softbox.
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