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Comments to improve these shots

Discussion in 'People' started by BostonRott, May 9, 2007.

  1. I'm really trying to improve my "grab portrait" shots. Not looking to get into formal portraiture with lighting, but rather to improve technique and composition for work just "during life" and around the house.

    1. 50mm, f/2.8 at 1/80sec ISO 200 Taken late yesterday afternoon
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I think my focus is more on her distant eye (her left) than her closer one. Something is bothering me about this photo, and I'm guessing this is part of it? Thoughts?

    I also think it's a bit dark (shot RAW), but as I tried to increase the exposure, she started getting hot skin areas.

    Other thoughts/suggestions?

    2. 85mm, f/1.8 at 1/40sec ISO400 (Poor Em, taken right after she woke up this a.m. ..... over-excited Mommy with new lens :tongue:) 
    View attachment 94481

    I know the rules about not cutting off heads/parts in things like group shots, "we were here" type photos, etc. I only cropped off some dead space on the sides. The "top to bottom" aspects of this photo are "as shot" with the 85/1.8. Is her missing head disturbing in this photo?

    I was at this lens's minimum distance (33") and in order to get a focus spot on her eyes, this is the crop (of head) that I ended up with. Should I work from further back?

    3. 85mm f/2.8 at 1/25sec ISO400
    View attachment 94482

    How do you correctly expose for this? I used matrix, and that blown side of Emilie's face is just horrid. The rest I think is not so bad.

    Also, does the cut off hand completely ruin it? The more I look at it, the more it bothers me.

    I appreciate all comments and suggestions!! :smile:
  2. Yikes,

    I'm downstairs viewing these on my laptop and they all look VERY over-exposed. I worked with them upstairs on my calibrated (Spyder2) monitor. Do they look too light? Or is this monitor that "out" ??
  3. Look good on my screen, my comment is that the backgrounds are a bit distracting in all of them.
  4. Love the first and second. For the third, spot meter the brightest spot (camera in something other than P) and then open up your lens (or increase your speed) by 1 to 1/12 stops and take the shot. If the rest of the image is underexposed a little pick that up in post processing. Shadow/Highlight works well for that.
  5. Bunic


    Jun 27, 2006
    South Central PA

    I love these - particularly 1 & 3 (I think #2 would be better with more DOF). In #1, I really like the soft blue light behind her and the really nice contrast on the silhouette of her face with the blue.

    #3 - I think you should horizontally crop out the girl on the left and just keep the cutie on the right in a portrait crop, blow outs and all.

  6. Thank you, I'm glad they're not looking this garish to everyone else. Just did a bit of poking around, found some advanced settings, and I think I'll try to calibrate this monitor tonight. :smile:

    Thank you for the comment on the backgrounds. That is something I'm trying to work on, in part by using larger aperatures. Still need to work on "seeing" what is in the background before pushing the button. :smile:

    Thank you! I've been working on shooting in Aperature mode. If I've got the lens stopped down a touch for sharpness reasons (f/2.8 assuming an f/1.8 lens, or f/4 for my f/2.8's), should I then "open up" via the EV adjustment? I.e. +1 EV? I don't like pushing the ISO up past 400 indoors, starting getting too much grain for my taste (at least for this type of shot).


    Thank you!! :smile: That blue is my front door, it's about 10ft from the chair she was standing upon.

    I think when I shot #2 this a.m. I did not realize I was down at f/1.8. I didn't purposely aim for a razor thin DOF and will definitely pay more close attention to that in the future. :smile:

    I very much appreciate the suggestions gentlemen, thank you!
  7. I personally like to shoot in manual so that I can control either aperature, shutter speed or both. When you spot meter the bright spot the meter is making that spot a medium grey when the meter is zeroed out. You should adjust the lens opening or shutter speed to move that point up towards white. Of course another way to do that would be to adjust the EV to +1.
  8. Duh!! UGH!!! :redface: Yes, switch from A to M and adjust the shutter speed. Got it, thank you for the info, and your patience!!!! :smile:
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