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Author Topic: Portrait Feedback Please!  (Read 8948 times)

ThatOneGuy

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Portrait Feedback Please!
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:53:42 AM »
Hey guys,

I have been following this forum for quite some time and I trust your opinion and advice. I'm new to photography in general and I recently purchased a T4i with the 18-55mm lens. I did some editing in Lightroom 4 and I'd like your feedback on some recent portraits I took.

Thanks in advance!

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Portrait Feedback Please!
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:53:42 AM »

akiskev

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 04:20:48 AM »
Hello there! Colors, contrast, sharpness, I find them great.
Now for the actual images:
I really liked the first one!
The girl is too centered at the second shot  (for my taste)..
The 3rd one is not flattering because  it was taken from a higher point(I think) and makes the model look like a dwarf!
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Menace

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 06:33:21 AM »
Like the first one most. Agree with akiskev re the third image - makes her look a bit short.

Carry on shooting and have fun  :)
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Kernuak

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 03:51:34 PM »
I like the framing of the building, but for me, the model is too centered on all of the images. For the first one, the tallest part of the building is on the right, so I think having the model more to the left would help to balance it better. I think having her in front of the the middle window of the three would work best, as it would set her against a plainer background and the dark space would accentuate her blond hair. That said, it is the one that works best for me too and the last one definitely gives the appearance of being a snapshot (even if it was intentional), due to looking down on her, instead of being at her level. That isn't to say that it can't work, I remember seeing an image recently where pretty much all the rules were broken. The model was photographed with a wideangle lens, which is usually not recommended and the camera was a long way above her. Despite that, it worked, even if it wasn't to everyone's taste. The key to breaking rules is making it look like it was deliberate, if you don't achieve that, then everyone will assume it is a mistake. Even when you do successfully break the rules though, it will polarise opinions, some will like it, others will hate it. It is important to learn compositional (and other) rules, but also don't be afraid to break them to give your images a sense of individuality.
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Kernuak

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 03:52:57 PM »
I think the white balance might be a little off on the third one too, so it's worth checking that.
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ThatOneGuy

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 11:42:42 PM »
Thank you guys for the pointers and your opinion! Kernuak- I can see what you mean about changing the position of the model compared to the tallest part of the building and we are going back tomorrow to try out the new positioning as well as making sure the model is not in the center of the picture as much.

Thank you all again and I look forward to my future in photography and to see what else I can learn from you guys!

Drizzt321

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 01:16:54 AM »
The other issue I have with the 3rd one is you're at a pretty wide of a focal length, all the way wide at 18mm. Generally for portraits it's better to go a bit longer if you have the room to back up and get the framing you want. If you look, you can see the perspective distortion a bit between her feet and her body and her head. Also the truck body seems a bit of a distortion if you look. Some of that may be the lens, which Lightroom 4 can generally correct, but some of it is just what a wider focal length does to the perspectives.

Also, what the others said. Watch out for having the back of the camera tilted at a significant angle off of perpendicular to the ground (meaning pointing the lens up/down in relation to the ground). You should also often put your subject towards one side of the frame or the other.

Some general guidelines (rules are made to be broken, right? But you gotta know them first) for composition can be found at http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules/ and http://www.ephotozine.com/article/12-top-photography-composition-rules-17158. These are by no means comprehensive, but bring up topics/ideas that you can easily do more research on. Do you have a nearby community college or camera shop? Check with them about intro to photography workshops.

Don't let all of the above discourage you, you have a great start and obviously a willing model. As long as she can be patient with you, you'll get better and better! Really, only way you get better is shooting, looking at your photos, and getting feedback like from us. I look forward to seeing more!
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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2012, 01:16:54 AM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 06:34:54 AM »
Looks good.  What's going on with that house?  I reckon you could probably take a few cool photos of it on its own.

I'm getting a vibe that your model is only partially enthusiastic?  Perhaps get her to smile a bit more?  Maybe tell some jokes?  Maybe convince her there's no spiders or snakes living in there?  She does have a nice facial expression in the third photo - hopefully its not because you've said its the last photo and its time to go home!  Also, I'd consider removing the palm tree antenna from the car in the third photo.  Personally, I like the second photo as your model plays more of a prominent role.

You've chosen an interesting location for a photo shoot.  That's always a good start.
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verysimplejason

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 04:43:26 AM »
Nice colors on all pictures.  They're just a little bit boring for my taste.  It's just my opinion but you could have played a little bit more with the placing of the model.  You can also play with camera angles.  Try to excite the eyes a little bit more.  You can also let your model be creative with her emotions and poses.  Just remember that there are rules in photography and those rules are also meant to be broken.

RLPhoto

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 02:45:25 PM »
All these are technically fine.

The problem is the poses are un-flattering and lacks a final vision.

Just my 2 cents.

michi

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 07:17:34 PM »
Being new to photography, you're doing very well, you have a good eye. I'm not a fan of the poses with the hand in her hair, kind of unnatural.  But all in all great pictures.  Keep it up!

marekjoz

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 08:10:11 PM »
If you are a beginner, you're doing a great job.
Many aspects are quite subjective matter of a personal taste, like saturation. There are people, who prefer more saturated colors, and you can find known people publishing their blogs who start making photos with saturation slided +3 in their cameras. I prefer rather less saturated images like in your picture, which I tried to edit and shown beneath. There are some general advises regarding the framing, according to the rule of third, where it's usually better to put the main subject not in the center but rather somewhere in 1/3 of the hight/width of the frame. It's good, when while watching the photo, your eye can slide through it catching main subject, it's surroundings and finally the background. If you manage to catch some blurred foreground in edges or sides of the frame as well as background behind and even can make that subjects on the photo are sharp but become more and more blurred in some areas, it can make the photo "pop" showing truely 3-dimensional scene. As composition is the most difficult part of the photographer's job, I don't feel myself confident enough in this area to discuss it any longer :)
From technical point of view, to make subjects blurred, you simply set the number of the lenses' aperture as low as you can. If you move your focused subject more away from the background in the camera's direction, it will also lead to more blurred background. It helps to focus the viewer's eye according to your intention with the camera's AF focused area. It's also very often good to catch the sky not quite white but blue and the most dark areas not black but dark grey (if they are not really black of course). As it's in most cases the limitation of camera's sensor, you can fight aginst this shooting in RAW mode rather than JPEG mode and fix it later in postprocessing by increasing the shadows lumination and decreasing the highlight lumination and playing with tonal curve.
As all have mentioned before discussing the third photo, there was some problem with the setting  focal length on your lens. You can read this article to see how the focal of your camera affects the image captured by the camera:  http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/photography-fundamentals/exploring-how-focal-length-affects-images/ and see this wonderful visual explanation: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3hp9gKTiO1qjltcyo1_500.gif
At last but not least, always observe your model's surrounding, like stones or branches to avoid situation "when you see it..." - 2nd photo :)
Anyway personally I think you deal great with your camera and only more shooting, reading, discussing and learning on your own errors will lead you to better work. And don't blame yourself, that your photos are not briliant (like other you see in Internet) just after downloading them from the camera - it's very rare not to enhance something or crop even a litlle in postprocessiing!. Ah, it's always easy to discuss someone's other work :)
Keep on shooting and make your model more smile :)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 08:24:15 PM by marekjoz »
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kurnitb

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 08:35:48 PM »
Hi there ThatOneGuy,
The photos are good for a beginner. Here are some feedback from me :
General Comments :
When taking portraits - try to see when the light sources are coming from, then try to pose your subject because usually common people does not know what looks best in front of the camera. Rule of thirds might be good here as well for your images. I have written a few photo tips on my blog, please do feel free to check them out (www.lightingjourney.blogspot.com).

Photo1 :
I am assuming you are shooting an environmental portrait type of look, which is pretty cool. My suggestion is that you might want to get the subject to have her right arm to be angled away (not aligned to her body) such that you could see a separation between her body and the arm (creates depth and more pleasing look). Rule of third might be a good idea as well (placing the subject a little bit to the left or framing it more to the right).

Photo3 :
For this the car behind her is somewhat huge and it gives the weight to the car rather than the portrait so what you can do is to bring her closer to the camera which will give the focus and attention more to the subject instead of the car. When you are shooting cars, maybe it is advisable that you should not cover the front of the car so maybe place your subject to the right of camera.

Hope my feedback helps. Keep on shooting.



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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 08:35:48 PM »

canon816

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 09:34:01 PM »
Also on # 3 you could shoot with a longer focal length and larger aperture.  This would isolate your subjects more from the background... which is currently in focus and does not add anything to the image.  You can move your model closer to the camera to make her look larger in the frame and take the focus (sorry for the pun) off the truck. 

If you have a few lenses with you and a willing model you should try a few different shots.  Try different apertures, focal lengths and poses so when you get home you can see which setups support the what you were envisioning.

Keep having fun!

marekjoz

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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 09:39:46 PM »
(..)
If you have a few lenses with you and a willing model you should try a few different shots.  Try different apertures, focal lengths and poses so when you get home you can see which setups support the what you were envisioning.

Keep having fun!

lenses; apertures, focal

Oh man, this is so true.. :)
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Re: Portrait Feedback Please!
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 09:39:46 PM »