Outdoor Portraits, please comment & critique

Discussion in 'People' started by Steve S, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Love to hear any and all of your thoughts on these shots, and please don't pull any punches on my account! :wink:
    Think I need to rework and better color & contrast tone match the shot with the mother in it.
  2. Of the three posted, the last is my favorite. The chopped off head in the 1st two is bothersome. I like the pose in the first--very natural looking. And the pose in the last is very touching. Maybe a little contrast boost will spark them up a bit.
  3. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Steve :

    You seem to have nailed the exposure (although no. 3 is a bit "hot") and the skin tones look reasonable, but the cropping/composition bothers me on all three.

    IMO, you didn't quite hit the right "topping" of the little girl's head in the first two shots. Both either need to be clearer head shots, or cropped more tightly around the upper torso and head. The first shot, which captures a precious moment, is complicated by the chair, the fence, the background flowers. I'd probably go further back and up with that one, as the body seen through the chair slats doesn't add to the composition.

    The last photo also doesn't hit for me. While you did get all of the mother's head in this shot, the top of her head has no "breathing room" to the photo upper edge. As well, whatever that is on the grass in background right detracts from the subjects. I'd consider (if the initial shot has sufficient room) going to portrait mode on that one.

    I hope this is constructive comment for you. I don't dislike the photos, I just don't find the composition compelling.

    John P.
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Thanks, Kevin & John,

    These are exactly the kind of critical comments I'm looking for. Don't know why I struggle so much with people crops, as I seem to do fine with other compositions. I see heads being cropped all the time, but I can never seem to get them quite right. Will incorporate all suggestions in my reworking of them. Thanks!
  5. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005

    The issue of cropping heads is a funny one. I generally prefer "uncropped heads" but I do know that it's a common practice in portrait shooting. I've never seen a "rule" for this, but, in my limited observation, it seems to involve cropping just above or below the inflection point on the curve from the side of the head to the crown. That said, I never seem to pick just the right point/line for my crops.

    If you find out any good approach for this, I'd be delighted to learn it.

    John P.
  6. Angelo


    Sep 19, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Steve - lovely shots but since you asked for critiques...

    #3 is my favorite. I might not have cropped it quite so tight, but still a winner shot.

    #1 is adorable but it and #2 suffer from having her head chopped off.

    May I suggest a step-ladder... :tongue: (just kidding)

    Nice work!!!
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