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Discussion in 'People' started by Seth, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Well I've finally found a little bit of time to run upstairs and fiddle with the AB400 I have. Hannah, always being the most willing of subjects (hah) so graciously posed for a few shots. Here's one that I really liked, I've processed it but wanted to post it here to get any critique, comments, suggestions, etc.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This was shot w/ the 50mm @ f/16 against a black canvas backdrop hanging from some clamps and a shelf on the wall. Fancy, I know. Hopefully I can get the hang of this stuff by the time our little boy arrives (early October).

    Let me have it..
  2. Samer


    Sep 19, 2006
    Jupiter, FL
    Very interesting Seth. The eyes look gorgeous, and I like her expression. The lighting looks good to me.

    I actually don't mind the framing of this shot. I kind of like it. However, I sense a little bit of distortion. Is this uncropped?

    My feeling is that 50 mm is to short for a tight frame such as this.

  3. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the comment.

    It is uncropped. I would agree that 50mm is too short for this framing. Unfortunately I don't have much else that I think I could use in the small space I have to shoot. The 80-200 seems like it may be a bit much, but I could give it a try.

    However, it looks absolutely fantastic as my wallpaper on my 21" widescreen lcd monitor. =]
  4. hangman


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lone Star State
    The only thing I don't like is the crop on the botto is too close to her lips. Other than that, beautiful..
  5. Seth, beautiful...very well executed! I'll agree that the crop is a little high for my tastes...I would have preferred to see less of her head and more of her chin, but that's just a personal preference. It also looks crooked, but that might be because she tilted her head slightly...

    Wonderful shot regardless...you'll really like those 'bees...
  6. Scotty_R


    Jan 1, 2006
    Seth, I agree with Hangman on this one...the crop is too tight. After the eyes, the mouth is the second most important part of a portrait and there's just not enough of it here.

    I also think your light is a too hot--the right side of Hannah's face is washed to the point that the skin texture is pretty much gone. If you're going to shoot this tight, the subject can't have texture on one side of the face and not the other. Try cutting the power of the light down a bit and using a reflector to bring out the details on the shadow side of her face, or open up your your lens and let a little more light in--f/16 is pretty deep for a 50mm lens--f/5.6 to f/8 would be plenty to keep everything in focus. Light and shadow is what gives depth to an image and I don't think you have enough contrast between the two here, thus the lighting looks flat to me.

    Adjust your lighting a little and back up so the framing isn't so tight and I think you'll see a difference in the portrait.
  7. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for all the comments and tips guys, I appreciate it.
  8. Lovely young lady. Cropping into the lips would be considered severe and is beyond what most would do. She has very pretty eyes and if the image were just shifted up so that the eyes hit the 1/3 line it would be a stellar image IMO.
  9. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks again for the comments. I just wanted to share this one that I processed a bit differently to see what you guys think of the processing. I prefer this one over the one above, myself.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  10. I quite like this one in B&W but my comments about cropping into the lips still nags at me. Her eyes look great.
  11. I respectfully disagree. IMHO, with the kind of light you gave to Hannah's face, this is exactly what will happen. Your attempt at "Rembrandt lighting" was very good. Light was approximately 45 degrees from the plane of the nose to camera left, with a small triangle of light on her camera right cheek (see it?). You had the soft box pretty close, because the light is very soft. Catchlights in her eyes are perfect (should be at 10 o'clock for this shot, no less than 9 o'clock).

    As far as the loss of texture on camera left vs. camera right. It's supposed to happen that way. There's more direct light on camera left and more glancing light on camera right. There will be more texture on camera right side of face. Ever look at the moon when it is full? Not near as much texture to the surface when full moon as there will be at half moon. Why? Because the half moon has more of a glancing light occuring vs. the full moon is straight on (less to no texture). Same thing here.

    Yes, f/16 is overkill. Try 1/125, f8, iso 100 to start with and work from there. If you're camera won't go iso 100 (I see your exif data says iso 200), then I'd go with one more full stop on the aperture (f11?) to counter the stop you give it with the iso 200. The extreme DOF doesn't matter in this image (because of the black BG). The exposure is a little over, but not much. Yes, I would use a reflector, but only to soften the transition of light from the light side of the face to the shadow side (nose shadow is a little strong), not as a fill light. Doesn't have to be much at this distance. A 20" x 30" piece of foamboard with a "crumpled up" piece of aluminum foil (shiny side out) taped to it will do the trick. Hold it with one hand and the camera in the other. Figure the distance out for speculars and position it directly in line with her nose, no farther camera right than that.

    I think your dimension in light is very good. Light to shadow is very good and certainly not my definition of flat (same intensity of light all over the face). You'll get flat with the light straight at her (on camera flash). That's not what we have here. I like it.

    Portraits have different things going on. The basics - light, color management, composition - are a few. Your light was good, keep at it. I think you're doing great. The color was a little magenta to me. And of course, as others have noted the composition was a little off (include the lips).

    Here's my quick attempt at fixing the color a little, and a few more "tweaks". Please accept my apologies if you didn't want me to do this. I'll delete it.



    My quick fix:


    I'm by no means an expert and don't mean to come across that way. I'm also trying to learn portraiture and lighting. These are just some of my observations. YMMV (as Woody says).

    Best Wishes,
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2007
  12. Seth


    Jun 6, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Jim, thank you so much for the comments and all of that information. That's great to hear. I'll take those things into consideration next time I shoot!

    Also, I really do like your revision. You did some additional softening on the face, right? Also what method did you in adjusting the color?

    Thanks again, I really appreciate your explanations and will use that info to get better.
  13. Seth,
    I use CS3 for my edits. Yes, I did soften a little. With color, primarily using the Color Selection tool in the Red & White colors. Also, a rough cut using the Variations tool. I'm still learning these, but there is a way with those and the color data that's provided in the Information box using the numbers for CMYK (not RGB believe it or not).
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