September 01, 2014, 08:48:58 PM

Author Topic: Portrait - Trying something new  (Read 6393 times)

roadrunner

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Portrait - Trying something new
« on: December 08, 2012, 01:02:12 AM »
Hello all, my wife and I primarily specialize in weddings and couple portraits. I tend to favor the only slightly edited, color corrected, photo journalistic approach, doing my best to capture the day as it really looked. I tend not to like the extremely post processed photos.

The downside to this, is that sometimes work calls for us to work outside of our comfort zone. When this couple told me they were into skeletons/halloween stuff, and they wanted to have their wedding portraits done at a cemetery, I grabbed the butcher knife (They had the masks) for the photo shoot and couldn't resist trying something new. We stumbled upon an old, beat-up outhouse, and everything was perfect in my mind's eye.

The problem is, this is way out of my comfort zone. How did I do in creating a horror-esque themed photo? Slightly desaturated, extreme clarity adustments... What should I look to change? Keep it as is? Thank you for any feedback!

canon rumors FORUM

Portrait - Trying something new
« on: December 08, 2012, 01:02:12 AM »

Kernuak

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1108
    • View Profile
    • Avalon Light Photoart
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 06:17:48 AM »
It's even more outside my comfort zone, but two things that come to mind, the image is leaning slightly to the right, so I would straighten it as much as you can without cropping her train. Also, as you've clipped the apex of the roof, I would be tempted to crop in closer to add emphasis and perhaps take the groom off centre.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

roadrunner

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2012, 07:09:27 AM »
Thanks for the tips. I may have to post a few more pictures of this same building, the building itself is very crooked. This made it extremely hard for me to get the picture "straight". This may sound stupid, but I think the leaning to the right is an illusion created by the building. The building itself leans, and the board on the right side is broken off, which makes it look even worse. Looking at the base of the building, and the right side (Not the broken board hanging away from the building)

As for cropping the top off the building... yeah, sucks I did that, but nothing I can do about it now. I will play around with some tighter crops and see how I feel about it. Thanks again.

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2012, 09:19:59 AM »

.
Three things I would try:

1. First, make his red tie or whatever that is more prominent. Bump up saturation, luminosity, etc.

2. Most of the roof is dead space. I'd pull the crop down to just above the second horizontal line above the window. That leaves the defining eaves yet makes the subjects more prominent.

3. Try cropping the bottom so the train slightly bleeds out the bottom -- as blood would do, so to speak. She may be in love with the train and want every square inch in the frame, but I think bleeding it off makes a more compelling shot given the whole point of the picture.

Thanks!
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

soydelafrontera

  • Guest
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2012, 09:59:35 AM »
I like your idea.
Here are some of my ideas or suggestions:
For a horror / Halloween theme I would make the image abit darker and use cold color tones. I would use more blueish color in the shadows to emulate how things look at night / dusk.
I took the liberty of doing a 5min edit in PS, I hope you don't mind. It is not the final product, I just wanted to show the concept and my idea.

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 10:07:01 AM »
OK, so my 2c are:

  • Your picture is focused on the bride but she is not on the one third line anywhere. Not the head, nor the figure...
  • What is on the one third is the groom's mask and the bouquet...
  • I think the crooked outhouse adds to scene...
  • I don't think the cropped roof matters. You want the subjects to attract the viewer's attention (my opinion)
  • Sorry, but I think that the knife looks a bit small. The mask looks more imposing to me...

So (hindsight being 20/20) you could have had her step a bit to the right (your right) to get her to the one third vertical. Then frame the picture with the groom's mask (I keep saying mask as I have no clue if that is the groom ;) - whatever... Ignore this side chatter) on the vertical center as you have it now. And may be try and get the bouquet on the lower one third or close to that without cutting off the trail. Also leave enough grass visible in front of the gown.

Sorry, I am too lazy to edit the picture. As for the colors (or colours...) I think they look great. A more prominent tie would get the groom to be more prominent. You need to be subtle and not have too many attractive "things" that would confuse a viewer. The first should lead to next and so on...

infared

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 865
  • Kodak Brownie!
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 10:38:04 AM »
So...if this is a shot illustrates the beginning of their marriage...can you now show me a shot that illustrates the ten-year point?  :-)
(somebody HAD to ask).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 10:39:36 AM by infared »
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff.....

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2012, 10:38:04 AM »

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 10:58:05 AM »

.
Thanks, Bob. You read my mind!
Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

Kernuak

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1108
    • View Profile
    • Avalon Light Photoart
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 04:56:45 PM »
I added a little extra to the knife (not done perfectly) and lightened the mask, knife and tie, as well as a crop on the top and left.
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

distant.star

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
    • Tracy's Shooting Gallery
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 05:45:29 PM »

.
Personally, I like this better:

Walter: Were you listening to The Dude's story? Donny: I was bowling. Walter: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

roadrunner

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 07:47:03 PM »
First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your input. I will definitely be incorporating several of the ideas into the final photo.

I like your idea.
Here are some of my ideas or suggestions:
For a horror / Halloween theme I would make the image abit darker and use cold color tones. I would use more blueish color in the shadows to emulate how things look at night / dusk.
I took the liberty of doing a 5min edit in PS, I hope you don't mind. It is not the final product, I just wanted to show the concept and my idea.

I'm at work right now. Mind if I ask for a brief rundown what you did for the smoke/haze/cloudy portions? Clouds filter? Either way, I'll give it another shot when I get home.

Distant.star: Thanks for your input. I can agree with your cropping suggestions somewhat... but for whatever reason, your crop just doesn't work for me. I just feel like too much of the picture is missing. I don't mind what Kernuak's done with the picture though, slightly cropping the top, so maybe I will try something in between your photo and my current photo as far as crop goes.

RPT: Thank you, you are correct that the photo is slightly off compositionally. I'll see if it can possibly be fixed with cropping, it's just one of those things... I still think the photo has promise, but it certainly could have been better if I took a little more time with it. You know how weddings go, quite a hectic day. I'm not sure about lengthening the knife, but it is something I will certainly try out to see how I feel about it.

Thanks again everyone!

SteenerMe

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2012, 08:04:16 PM »
Looks like its time for some off camera flash...the lighting needs some contrast to give it some real mood.
5DIII, 7D, 8-15L, 16-35L II, 24-70L II, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 50L, 100L

AprilForever

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 721
    • View Profile
    • AprilForever.com
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 08:25:34 PM »
Great picture! One thing I would do: position the model slightly to the right, so her head is not intersecting the window sill...
What is truth?

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2012, 08:25:34 PM »

roadrunner

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2012, 08:30:38 PM »
Looks like its time for some off camera flash...the lighting needs some contrast to give it some real mood.

The groom is actually lit by a 430exII/PW Flex TT5 in the outhouse, albeit, very dimly. I didn't want him to be brighter than the bride, for obvious reasons. It may also ruin the creepy feel in my opinion. I agree with lighting the bride with some OCF, but time was short, and I didn't have a softbox handy, and I don't feel my shoot through umbrellas would have been the best choice for this type of shot, so I opted for natural light. Next time I'll try to be a little more prepared.

Great picture! One thing I would do: position the model slightly to the right, so her head is not intersecting the window sill...

I agree completely, but it's too late to reposition her now =) Just something I'll have to pay better attention to next time.

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2142
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2012, 10:16:40 PM »
RPT: Thank you, you are correct that the photo is slightly off compositionally. I'll see if it can possibly be fixed with cropping, it's just one of those things... I still think the photo has promise, but it certainly could have been better if I took a little more time with it. You know how weddings go, quite a hectic day. I'm not sure about lengthening the knife, but it is something I will certainly try out to see how I feel about it.
You are very welcome. Don't get me wrong, the picture has promise. A few tweaks and I am sure you will be happy with the outcome. About the knife, that comment was for any such opportunity in the future. I did not mean for you to edit the knife...

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Portrait - Trying something new
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2012, 10:16:40 PM »