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My photos look so dull

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sandymandy:
Hi,

well im regularly browsing around several websites checking out portraits cuz thats what i like to shoot too. Usually i come across pictures where i just think they look so good because the photo just looks so "fully lighted".
Feeling a bit retarded at the moment but i will still try to explain what i mean.

For example this photo

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8600629@N06/4448073209#

Its not about the composition or anything but the lighting in this just looks so good to me. It looks so bright and the shadows are so soft. Like so awesome contrast and colors.

Other examples (randomly picked from pixe-peeper.com with 50mm 1.4 and 1.2):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24285656@N07/7224316282#

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41174696@N00/3606301684#

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97349383@N00/4021765535#

And in contrast when i take a portrait it just looks so...boring and dull and not brilliant.

Some of MY samples (SORRY FOR ADS ON THAT SITE :( ):

http://s7.directupload.net/file/d/2932/v8c7htox_jpg.htm

http://s14.directupload.net/file/d/2932/e6d27om2_jpg.htm

and last one where i overexposured a little trying to get "that look" from the samples at the beginning.

http://s14.directupload.net/file/d/2932/kbxf5b2c_jpg.htm

Is it just my lens thats so crappy? 50mm 1.8II L(ens hood attached)? OR my 1100D camera? It just doesnt look so shiny awesome like i want. Like so "mellow" contrast only. Or is it just the post processing? Feel free to give my photos a try.

Thanks already


lopicma:
Have you tried using the different camera STYLES?  Those might be an on camera option if you can't afford a software solution.  You can also change the STYLE settings to get even more.  Be aware they are only good for JPEG files and you won't see much [any] change in RAW files.

RLPhoto:
Processing your RAW will get the best results. Nail you exposure for the skin tones of the subject.

5Dc - 24mm 1.4L @ F/2 - ISO 800 - 1/100th

5Dc - 24mm 1.4L @ F/2 - ISO 400 - 1/200th

Kernuak:
I did a very quick edit (about 30 secs) of your first image. I started off by increasing the exposure by around 2/3 stop (I could probably have gone a bit further), then I did a curves adjustment, followed by a levels adjustment to fix the shadows I created from the previous step. With a bit more care, I could probably have achieved the same in less steps. As was mentioned, it's all about nailing the exposure and in some cases, getting the lighting right. The in common with all photos, it will need some processing to get the best out of it, particularly when shooting RAW, as they usually need a contrast boost (except in hasrh lighting). It could probably do with a slight hue adjustment too.
I just made some adjsutments to colour balance and dodged some of the shadows.

Mt Spokane Photography:
You will benefit by using post processing.
I imported your image into lightroom and just hit the auto tone button.  Then I backed off the exposure slightly, and added to the saturation slightly.  You can make a image look any way you like it, I preferred to lift the shadows so you can see the eyes. A little work with a raw image, and the eyes would brighten up even more.
 

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