Please rip me apart

Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
94
Location
Puyallup, WA
Hi, I'd appreciate it if you'd have a look at the photos of my daughter in these photos and give me an honest critique of the photos. Nice comments are welcome, but what do I need to work on? Technique after photos.


Link to the gallery if you want to see larger versions.


1: Arms folded
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2: Hand on hip
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3: Hand on hip Glamour Glow (Nik Software) added
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4: Glass flower
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5: Red Candle
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6: Red Candle Glamour Glow (Nik Software) added
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  • These were taken with two 800-watt strobes with baffled octaboxes set off to the right and left. Since I took these I’ve bought a 320-watt strobe to use for backlighting, and a green screen.
  • Nikon D-300 with the 24-70 f/2.8.
  • Color balance in Lightroom 3 using a color checker from X-rite and Color Checker plugin.
  • Lens correction in Lightroom 3
In CS5 my typical workflow was:
  1. Adjust Exposure.
  2. Hue/Saturation layer if I had to adjust skin tone for red or yellow splotches.
  3. Remove blemishes with spot healing brush.
  4. I had to screen her hair because I didn’t have a hair light on her and it was blending into the background.
  5. Eyes - Whites. Screen eyes (add a screen layer, mask it over, remove over whites of her eyes and reduce opacity until it looks normal).
  6. Eyes - Iris. Add Curves layer and play with it to increase contrast of her eyes. Mask it over, remove mask over eyes, and adjust opacity.
  7. Teeth - Add Hue/Saturation layer and reduce yellow saturation to zero, mask over, remove mask over teeth, adjust opacity.
  8. Blend skin by sampling nearby skin and brush over areas with a 10% opacity brush. Merge the layer back in usually using color mode, sometimes soft light mode.
  9. Nik Software Dynamic Skin filter. Depending on the image I either brush it on, or apply globally and then mask and remove.
  10. Nik Software Tonal Contrast filter. I slide the three main sliders down to about -40, the saturation down to about +2 to +5, then play with the highlight and shadows sliders. I find that this is extra step helps to make skin a little softer. And if you’re in a hurry it’s a great blemish remover, as long as you don’t have too many.
  11. Add Nik Software Glamour Glow on some just to see how it looks.

Thanks,

Ed Beck
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
640
Location
SoCal
My first impression is that the filters/skin treatment was overdone. Skin tone doesn't look natural, but it doesn't look "wrong" enough to look intentional either. Lastly, the light(s) need to be elevated more so that the shadows on her face aren't so harsh.

I like poses 2, 4 & 5. Overall, I would've liked to see some more eye contact with the camera. She's a pretty girl and she's got great eyes. You need to capture that more.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
94
Location
Puyallup, WA
Thank you, as a quick fix I've globally reduced the saturation and uploaded them to back to the gallery.

I've immediately seen the difference and think that they look better with the reduced saturation.

I really like this one, it reminds me of an advertisement I saw somewhere, now all I have to do is convince people I meant it to look like this.

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Joined
Feb 24, 2006
Messages
10,854
Location
Gulu, Uganda
Still too pink on my screen. Is your screen calibrated? Also what colour space did you convert to for web posting?

p.s. use the Critique icon for the thread to gain comments - the yellow one with the red cross and black tick. You can add it by using Edit>Advanced.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2010
Messages
94
Location
Puyallup, WA
1. Yes my monitors are calibrated with a Spyder 3.
2. I didn't convert for web posting, I saved as a JPG. What do you recommend?

p.s. Thanks!
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
527
Location
Jupiter, FL
Just some general comments. Dark hair with a dark background is often not the best combination because the hair gets lost in the darkness. Secondly, I agree about too much skin softening in the second shot along with the colors looking somewhat 'off'.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
2,434
Location
Bournemouth, UK
the thing I notice is the camera position, it looks like you are sat down / looking up,. perhaps it's just me but I am used to seeing from a higher angle
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
46
Location
Jakarta
I like #2 & #5 best - the pose suits her best.
Just a thought, from a beginner who has never photographed any studio portraits....

1.me thinks a different color top would be better -it's just too similar with skin tone, kinda just blends in.
2.Also maybe if she wore something that covered her shoulders (shawl? a diff design?) , it would work better for pose #1 & 4. I think the bare arms, detract from her very lovely face.
3.Agree with the above, skin tone seems a little too touched up.

my 2 cents.
 
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
46
Location
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Several issues I see:

1. Don't photograph the backs of hands.
2. Don't square the shoulders to the lens.
3. The subject should be shot from higher.
4. Bare shoulders are competing with her face.
5. You need a hair light to bring her out of the dark background.
6. You shots are mostly 1-2-2. This is for men. You should change to a 1-2-3 style.

-joedy
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
4,804
Location
San Francisco bay area
Hi Ed
I like the photo's, the posing and the model. I do agree with others that there is to much of a reddish/pink tint to the photo's. I hope you don't mind but I tried to tone down one of your photo's.

i-zxg734j-m%20aa-L.jpg
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Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
882
Location
Little Rock, Arkansas
Real Name
Mark
"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

(French Soldier in Monty Python's Search For the Holy Grail):biggrin:

Sorry - I couldn't resist especially based upon the title of the thread
Mark
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,747
Location
San Diego
Nice set, I think dark gray or New Youk look background would have worked better in few of the images. LOL!!!

Great job.
 
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
46
Location
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

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