Headshot critique

Joined
Dec 9, 2008
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Location
Belgium
Hello all,

I've taken this headshot of a friend of mine recently for her CV. What do you think of the lighting on this, and the colours? I've used one single light in a go-through umbrella. I think I'd like to purchase a reflective umbrella in the future, or perhaps another method, as I think, the light isn't that well diffused with the umbrella I'm using right now.

I'd appreciate all feedback, as always, critique/suggestions and more! About this picture and another way of lighting that you like to use.

Thanks!

All the best,
Gabriel

CV-1.jpg
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Joined
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Definitely fantastic work on the lack of reflection in the glasses.

The light does, although, seem a little flat to me. But otherwise really, really nice.
 
Joined
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atlanta
it looks like you were in a room with low ceilings and just not a lot of area to work with so your light was bouncing everywhere and just blanketing your subject with nice soft flat light.

you did awesome on the reflection in the glasses part!
 
Joined
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Northern California
Definitely fantastic work on the lack of reflection in the glasses.

The light does, although, seem a little flat to me. But otherwise really, really nice.

+1 on the lack of reflection!
...and it does seem a bit flat to me as well.

Very good starting point though. Her top doesn't look black and the whites look dull.
I would probably add some contrast and maybe a bit of saturation to start, then go from there...
 
Joined
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+1 on all the other comments. She has a very sweet and intelligent appearance, depending on her career objective, the blouse may be too casual.
 
Joined
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Thanks all for the helpful comments! Here is a version with more contrast and more colours. What do you think of this?

All the best,
Gabriel

CV2-1.jpg
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I haven't worked a small JPG in a while, but 10 minutes with PS CS5 & Nik plugins gave me this - it would have been 5 minutes but I forgot something and had to reload it!

p1708090573-5.jpg
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Great processing Thom, I appreciate your time making this.

Can you please share how you did that in Nik? Did you also used some PS techniques before and after that?

Thanks for sharing!
 
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Thank you Gabriel,

I am still amazed at the lack of reflections in the glasses!

I thought the problem was the lack of contrast between the subject's skin, hair, and the background. It needed to pop a little, but, as it is for a CV, not be over processed.

Using Viveza 2, I globally increased contrast and saturation and slightly reduced red. Then using U Point, I lightened the background, slightly whitened the eyes & teeth, increased color & structure of the eyes a little, and increased the red of the lips.
Finished with Color Efex Pro 4 - Dynamic Skin Softener at a fairly light setting.

I didn't spend any time with PS as either you had already done that or the subject has great skin.

So glad you liked it....
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
12,790
Location
Ashburton , New Zealand
Hello all,

I've taken this headshot of a friend of mine recently for her CV. What do you think of the lighting on this, and the colours? I've used one single light in a go-through umbrella. I think I'd like to purchase a reflective umbrella in the future, or perhaps another method, as I think, the light isn't that well diffused with the umbrella I'm using right now.

I'd appreciate all feedback, as always, critique/suggestions and more! About this picture and another way of lighting that you like to use.

Thanks!

All the best,
Gabriel

Quick and nasty darkening of the background, please excuse the rushed edit. I think if you had her further from the background you could create more separation and contrast before even editing.
CV2-1_zps608a1569.jpg
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[/URL]
 
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Desmond is absolutely right. If you had the space, moving her away from the wall could have created more separation.

EXIF shows you were using a 50mm - for me, not the best portrait lens on an FX body. I would have thought your 105mm or even 180mm would have been a better choice.

Were you shooting in a small area and couldn't get far enough away? I have had that issue far too often.......
 
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Ireland
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(Mike) Michael Skerritt.
Hi Gabriel. I hope that you don't mind but I tuck the liberty of making a few changer to your photo. I hope that you like the changes that I made.
Kindest regards.
Mike.

9316735748_14df1c3399_o.png
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NJ
Hi Gabriel,

If you intend to do a lot with (studio) lights, get "Light, Science and Magic". The book clears up a lot about using external lighting and is well worth the money.

Regarding glasses #1: well done on not getting the reflections. But... it's not as hard as it seems. The trick is (as Gabriel figured out) to set your camera on a different angle (axis) than the light is. If the flash is set on, say, a 30° angle from the subject (glasses) than the light will bounce off on that 30° angle. With curved glasses maybe a bit more, but it does give you an idea where not to put the camera to prevent glare on the glasses.

Regarding glasses #2: It seems to me they're not entirely straight on the lady's head. It seems that her right glass (for the viewers left) is a bit higher than her left one (for the viewers right). It may not seem like a big deal but for a CV one never knows.

Finally, there's the photo (and lighting) itself. Gentle, safe, conservative, soft light... Well executed, no surprises.

Those are the words that come to my mind when I look at the image. These are not necessarily bad things but it really, really depends on the kind of job she's after. We don't need to know the job (that's between your friend and you) but it's something you want to take into consideration. If she wants a job in marketing I wouldn't use this picture as you want something edgier. If she wants a job in corporate finance then, as Tri stated, I'd dress a bit more conservative. For most jobs this would be fine, but you might want to consider something that really gets attention. Maybe a full length shot in front of a brick wall, holding certain props, etc. Part of the picture might be to introduce yourself, part of the CV is also to make sure you stand out (in a positive way) from all the other applicants.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
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Quick and nasty darkening of the background, please excuse the rushed edit. I think if you had her further from the background you could create more separation and contrast before even editing.
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m300/dvdowns/CV2-1_zps608a1569.jpg[/URL]

Thanks Desmond for the good suggestion. I indeed took the picture in a small room and I didn't have much space to move the subject further from the background. Next time, I'll search for something bigger!
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
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Location
Belgium
Desmond is absolutely right. If you had the space, moving her away from the wall could have created more separation.

EXIF shows you were using a 50mm - for me, not the best portrait lens on an FX body. I would have thought your 105mm or even 180mm would have been a better choice.

Were you shooting in a small area and couldn't get far enough away? I have had that issue far too often.......

Indeed, I thought about using the 105 or 180, but the room in which we were was rather small, and I didn't have much space to move around. I reset the distortion in LR, thought, which made her face somewhat thinner and closer to reality. I'll have to search for a bigger studio soon :cool:...
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
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1,261
Location
Belgium
Joined
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Messages
1,261
Location
Belgium
Hi Gabriel,

If you intend to do a lot with (studio) lights, get "Light, Science and Magic". The book clears up a lot about using external lighting and is well worth the money.

Regarding glasses #1: well done on not getting the reflections. But... it's not as hard as it seems. The trick is (as Gabriel figured out) to set your camera on a different angle (axis) than the light is. If the flash is set on, say, a 30° angle from the subject (glasses) than the light will bounce off on that 30° angle. With curved glasses maybe a bit more, but it does give you an idea where not to put the camera to prevent glare on the glasses.

Regarding glasses #2: It seems to me they're not entirely straight on the lady's head. It seems that her right glass (for the viewers left) is a bit higher than her left one (for the viewers right). It may not seem like a big deal but for a CV one never knows.

Finally, there's the photo (and lighting) itself. Gentle, safe, conservative, soft light... Well executed, no surprises.

Those are the words that come to my mind when I look at the image. These are not necessarily bad things but it really, really depends on the kind of job she's after. We don't need to know the job (that's between your friend and you) but it's something you want to take into consideration. If she wants a job in marketing I wouldn't use this picture as you want something edgier. If she wants a job in corporate finance then, as Tri stated, I'd dress a bit more conservative. For most jobs this would be fine, but you might want to consider something that really gets attention. Maybe a full length shot in front of a brick wall, holding certain props, etc. Part of the picture might be to introduce yourself, part of the CV is also to make sure you stand out (in a positive way) from all the other applicants.


Thank you for your good comment. I indeed know the book you're referring to, and have read it in the past. Excellent book, very good stuff in there. I think I'll have to reread it soon again...

Very well noticed about the glasses not being straight on her head—something she knows and wants to be changed soon.

I liked your thoughts about the kind of job and having that in consideration when making the picture. I hope I'll have more possibilities soon for other pictures, and I'll certainly take that into account.

Thanks for the interesting thread, everybody!
 
Joined
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Messages
12,790
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Ashburton , New Zealand
Thanks Desmond for the good suggestion. I indeed took the picture in a small room and I didn't have much space to move the subject further from the background. Next time, I'll search for something bigger!

Plan-B then is to use 'flash falloff'. Get the lighting closer to her and the background will be darker. If the background is twice as far from the light as she is it will be 4X darker.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
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Location
Belgium
Plan-B then is to use 'flash falloff'. Get the lighting closer to her and the background will be darker. If the background is twice as far from the light as she is it will be 4X darker.

Thank you for this suggestion. Indeed, I know this flash falloff, and will try it more for the next shoot. Would a second rim light be useful for separating the subject from the background even more?
 

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