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Author Topic: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing  (Read 2619 times)

christianronnel

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Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« on: December 02, 2012, 03:32:40 AM »
Hi all,

I'm a beginner to photography and pretty much self-taught.  I'm just starting to get into portraiture and I find it very difficult to just learn it on my own.  Unlike landscape photography which I think is very subjective, I find portraiture to have more objective fundamentals that I can't learn from looking at the photos unless a trained eye points it out to me.  So, I need your opinion on which post processing do you prefer and why?  Any other pointers is greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

post processing 1

Lin_20121124_0004.jpg by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr

post processing 2

Lin_20121124_0005.jpg by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr

post processing 3

Lin_20121124_0006.jpg by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr
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Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« on: December 02, 2012, 03:32:40 AM »

sandymandy

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 06:03:28 AM »
Only the first looks good to me. The colors in the other ones (especially the hair) dont look nice for me.
But i wanna ask you...dont u think that photo is totally blown out in a lot of areas?

PeterJ

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 07:05:42 AM »
I probably prefer #2 by a small margin, but that area in the lower left corner is blown out and very distracting. It's really where my eyes went first despite the very attractive model. I'm far from a trained eye only an amateur myself but probably your composition / light control needs more practice than the processing, which really looks reasonable across all 3 shots.

EchoLocation

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 08:26:09 AM »
I'm not sure what happened with my previous post, sometimes the links from the homepage to the forum sometimes get me a little confused or misdirected.

Regarding the post processing. i guess I like the warmer tones of the second and third images more than the first. Her skin looks really blotchy to me, although this blotchiness is pretty regular with 5DIII images. The pictures look overexposed to my eye and this is distracting. I might have cropped it a little more too as the bridge takes up quite a bit of the foreground and it isn't that interesting. I'm no pro, but I thought I would give my opinion since you asked.
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pdirestajr

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 08:53:07 AM »
I agree with what someone else said earlier- focus on composition first. You have the the horizon in the middle, the model in the middle, a bush to the right an equal distance from the model as the tree on the left... Blown out highlights on front of the model, a blown out background, and the model is wearing white.

My eye doesn't know where to go. Only because I know that a human in a photo is supposed to be more important than the bush do I look at her. She is also more attractive that the bush. BUT, she has no more importance in the composition then the bush!

I would work on photographing the model filling more of the frame first. Environmental portraits are much harder as you have to take into account an entire scene as part of the composition.

Nothing wrong with your post processing that I can see. That is where things are more subjective. I actually like the high-key look if the shot. Just not the composition.

Just my .02
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Kernuak

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 09:41:36 AM »
In terms of composition, try cropping the bottom around the area where the handrail meets the wall and on the right on the edge of the bush, perhaps leaving two leaves, so that the image is still in a 3x2 format and see if you think it looks better. The combination of the overexposure and processing have left a dark line surrounding her right arm in particular, so be careful of artefacts. However, you do need to learn about composition before worrying about processing and other factors that help to improve images.
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christianronnel

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 01:25:11 PM »
Thanks all!  Most of you picked #2 which I also prefer.  I know I need to work on composition but the model wants the processed image so post processing is part of my learning curve.  Yes I'm still working on my compositions... ALWAYS!  And that includes lighting, DoF, balance....



I probably prefer #2 by a small margin, but that area in the lower left corner is blown out and very distracting. It's really where my eyes went first despite the very attractive model. I'm far from a trained eye only an amateur myself but probably your composition / light control needs more practice than the processing, which really looks reasonable across all 3 shots.
Thanks PeterJ.  Composition and light control is exactly what I'm working on with this set.  I limited myself to one lens and natural light only.  This was taken during sunset.  I know a fill flash would have worked but I've seen prophotogs do these shots without it.  I wanted to learn to use natural light before adding more complexity of controlling artificial lights.

In terms of composition, try cropping the bottom around the area where the handrail meets the wall and on the right on the edge of the bush, perhaps leaving two leaves, so that the image is still in a 3x2 format and see if you think it looks better. The combination of the overexposure and processing have left a dark line surrounding her right arm in particular, so be careful of artefacts. However, you do need to learn about composition before worrying about processing and other factors that help to improve images.
Thanks Kernuak!  Very very helpful.  The dark lines are caused by uncorrected purple fringing.  I tried correcting it more  in Lightroom but it's still there.  This taught me one more thing about the lens,  the other was... I can't see anything shooting into the sun!
As for the composition, I thought the bush balances her but now that you guys pointed it out, she's actually in the center of the frame.

As you suggested, here is the edited one.  And you're correct, it made it better and the horizon line is on the third.  Thanks again!

Lin_20121124_0001.jpg by Christian Ronnel, on Flickr
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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 01:25:11 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 02:39:06 PM »
I pick #4.   ;)
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Kernuak

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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 03:12:04 PM »
I went marginally tighter, so that the handrail/wall junction was closer to the bottom of the frame, although it makes little difference. LR usually does a pretty good job of removing fringing and chromatic aberration, but I have seen a problem before on LR 3, I overcame it by choosing the option to remove fringing from the highlights only and also pull back on the recovery slider to below 70-75, as that can start to cause strange effects in LR 3 when you have a lot of blown highlights. LR 4 does a better job of recovering the highlights, so it depends on which version you're using.
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Re: Opinion needed - Portrait post processing
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 03:12:04 PM »