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Nuteshack help! - 28-70/2.8 portrait

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by pforsell, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    I've been enchanted by Nuteshack's magical portraits. I am more like abstract/detail shooter myself and don't often shoot portraits, but I'd like to learn.

    All critique welcome: composition, lighting, posing, focal length, camera angle, perspective, processing, white balance, saturation, sharpness and whatnot. The model is my wife so we have to be shush about this or I'll find myself sleeping in the doghouse.

    Se everybody, rip the image apart, teach me a lesson. Please.

    Be honest, I have a thick skin. This is the first try. I shot about 30 frames and this was the only semi-decent. :redface:

    Nikon D200
    AFS 28-70/2.8
    SB 800 on camera -1.3EV
    ISO 100 | f/2.8 | 1/200 | 70mm

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


    Aug 16, 2007
    I like the sharpness and the bokeh - shooting NEF I like to experiment with different WB - have you tryed that ?
  3. one thing i'd suggest
    forget the flash and use natural light only
    when you mix natural and flashed light... there will always be a WB problem, especially with the D200

    also, natural light will give you a much more 3-D appearance to your image with natural shadows and nuances to the light and capture
  4. also...
    i don't know if i'd shoot at f/2.8 right away
    get a bit more DOF while you are trying to learn the portraiture aspect of the D200/28-70 combination

    just a thought
  5. itsmike


    Mar 2, 2008
    Greenlawn NY
    I would not agree with this too much though, I use a flash 97% of the time to fill in shadows.. If shooting NEF, you can always PP the WB later..

    As for the Portrait.. I think that there is much more color and "POP" that you can get out of it. Post a non edited version, Maybe someone can run their process on it..
  6. i appreciate your point
    nute (mark) rarely uses flash with the kind of f/1.4 images he shows here
    and... since the title of the thread was addressed to nute's kind of images.... i thought i would point that out to him

    no offense intended
  7. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    The forehead and the top of the hair are bluish, I can see that now. The sky above had higher color temp that the flash. Good point thanks.

    Yes, the face is rather 2-dimensional with frontal flashing. Thanks again.
  8. FotoPhocus


    Jun 15, 2008
    Just my observation, but I would like to see some more PP done to make her eyes pop a little more color-wise. That is where my eyes are drawn first (I guess because of the sharp lines of the glasses), and the eyes came out nice and sharp, so a little more color might be cool.
  9. zigzag


    Oct 16, 2005
    You noticed the blue then - it was the first thing I noticed. Shooting in raw may help you adjust this after the shot. If you do use a flash, I find taking it off camera is a help for portraits - see strobist.com for more info than you need on that subject.

    Also, if you're going for small DOF, maybe try one of your primes? You have many to choose from.

  10. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    Perhaps flash off the camera, even lower (-1.7 ... -2 EV) power, a Lumisoft reflector. I will have to try some options. This time I didn't quite make it.

    Thanks for comments.
  11. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    Thanks for comments. Will go into strobist. I actually shot about 10 frames with the 85/1.8 at f/2 to f/4. Nothing to write home about. :tongue:
  12. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    lovely photo, Peter ....if u can send me a jpeg of the original i'll give it a go and deliver u the blow by blow (all the editing details)....;-)))

  13. Nute's signature portraits are brutally sharp, high contrast, in-yo-face headshots. The 28-70 is a little "dreamy" at f/2.8, so if you're looking to emulate Nute's style, you'll need to stop it down a bit , and then pump up the sharpness and contrast in post processing.

    Flash can help you get sharp/contrasty pictures, but not if you use the popup or put your external flash in the camera's hotshoe. As you've already noted, that just "flattens" a portrait. Whether you use sunlight or flash for the key light, it should be quartering the subject, not head on.

    This d200 shot was taken with the Beast at 1/160s f/3.2 at 62.0mm iso100, using off camera flash as the main, and the ambient light for fill.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  14. Hi Peter,

    Very nice first effort. I think most of the comments given so far are helpful. Two things that I notice in addition are that (1) the focus is a bit forward for my taste and the DOF is a touch too small and (2) the wrinkles in the forehead should be fixed. The lighting is partly the cause of this I think. If I recall correctly, you had the flash on the camera. Perhaps having the flash raised up a bit above the camera would be helpful (RRS wedding bracket works nicely). You can fix this in PP okay, but I rather do it as well as possible in the raw image.

    Hope Nute gets his PP version up soon.

    Please share more photos as you continue working in this area.

  15. HI Peter,

    I also have the "BEAST" and I am also still learning all about it.

    I say go ahead and use the Flash, but crank it way down.

    Just a small kiss is all ya need.

    And, I would try to adjust "Levels" in PS for a richer, more saturated look,
    and a little less ghostly...

    Keep shooting, You are doing fine!!! If I did not have to be at my "DAY JOB",
    I would be out shooting too!!!

    Good Luck, Keep posting!!!!!
  16. Hey Peter,
    I think it's quite a good start.
    Everyone does things differently, that's why we are all unique and their is room for us all :) 

    As an 85 f/1.4 user and a "Beast" user who (now through work) almost all the time shoot models, here's my advice.

    Learn natural light before going too crazy with flash. Light is what photography is all about and "running before one can walk" can be confusing in this area.

    I personally don't like the DOF in this due to the ladies very "wispy" hair. To me it does her few favors as the texture of the hair is so fine.

    The face angle and direction are great!

    I would maybe work on a few "tweaks" in Photoshop (or whichever software you have). I personally HATE overprocessing an image but do try and tweak/enhance it some to make the subject in best light (not all would agree but as said everyones different). I would personally soften the eye sockets some as they are quite dark and smooth the brow wrinkles. IMO this is NOT obliterating the beauty of the lady but actually "helping" with the image and light used. If we ALL were ready to capture that special moment with a model then it would all be great, but when posing often facial attributes come out that are not necessarily the best light for the person or their actual natural look.

    Anyway, apart from what all others have said I think thats about it.

    it's a GREAT effort and shows great promise for you. ALL lenses take some getting used to and you are WELL on the way here :) 
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