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Seeking comments on natural light portrait

Discussion in 'People' started by Kevin Scott, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. I'd like to hear comments, good or bad, about the attached portrait. It was taken on a boardwalk over a large pond in the middle of a swamp. The sky was overcast and no fill or reflector was used. Please feel free to comment on pose, lighting, pp, etc.

    Shot taken with the 105/f2.5 AIS @ f2.5 1/400 ISO200 using the D2X. Post processing includes my standard skin retouching for blemishes, minor levels adjustment and a slight vignette. Cropped a bit off the top and bottom.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. With no fill flash and no reflector, this is about as good as it gets! Skin tones are good, you didn't edit the blemishes to the point of looking plastic. His face looks a bit more yellow/orange than the rest of his skin tones (neck, shoulders) but then again that cd be due to lighting? All in all, great portrait!
  3. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    Nice shot Kevin...
  4. Very nice shot. Natural light is my favourite anytime and this one is very well done.
  5. Hi kevin.

    I love the ambient light. great DOF.
    But just one remark. For me it looks a bit to soft for a man's portrait.

    No critic, just my opinion.
  6. Hi Kevin, let me start by saying that I love the background. Just the right amount blur to retain interest but not compete with the subject. I feel fairly confident in saying that you burned that in a little, which I would have done also; however, you left a little halo around part of the head. If I am going to burn in the background I usually finish by using a smaller brush near the head of the subject.

    This is a nice looking young man and you have caught him in all of his moodiness. The pose is very nice and the crop excellent. I would guess that he is thrilled with the image and you should be too. I may have just relieved a tiny bit of the darkness under the brow with a dodge tool and then spot sharpened the eyes just a bit as well. This is just a personal preference and others may view this differently.

    A very nice portrait Kevin and you should be justly proud to have been the photographer. Way to go.
  7. Overcast, world's best flash system provided by nature!

    Excellent photo, I too love the bg as weel as the posture!
  8. Thanks everyone for your comments so far! A few comments to make....

    Sandi-I've spent a lot of time practising various retouching techniques and am pretty pleased with my current workflow. It eliminates major blemishes yet leaves the skin with pores and slight imperfections. As for the color cast, I noticed the green from the swamp water is reflecting under his face. I wonder if that's causing what you see?

    Alex-The facial retouching technique that I use is great for women for the softening it does. On men, I always fade the effect. I may not have faded sufficiently in this case. I just went back in and dropped it down a bit more and you're right, I may have been a bit heavy-handed with it.

    Gordon-Junior hasn't seen this one yet but I'm anxious to show it to him. We took about 100 different shots with different poses in this pavilion that day. There are many good ones to choose from to work! :)  As for the burning of the background, technically I didn't but I found a new vignetting (sp?) technique that I tried out. I loosely lassoed around his face/body which is what's causing the halo. I may scrap that layer and make another attempt. I'm also not very good with dodging the eyes as I never seem to get it quite right. I just tried another time and it seemed to work well. I'll go back and revisit that. I agree about the spot sharpening of the eyes, which I also went back and did.

    Thanks again, everyone, for the kind words. It helps to build my confidence and know I'm on the right track.
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    My Comments: Awesome shot, and interesting how it's actually got what seems a light source from both front & back. It's softly rendered, but not too much so.
    My Critique: None, it's perfect! Killer shot Kevin!
  10. Kevin,

    This is a very fine portrait and your model will be delighted, I am sure. I have to give Gordon kudos for spotting all these (very minor) nits: he definitely has the eye for this stuff. I missed all of it, and just thought it was a very good picture on its own. Would you post the before/after?
  11. Thanks Steve and Philippe for your comments! I thought it was kind of interesting too how Mother Nature provided front and back lighting on this one. I didn't notice it at first but did once I started examining the shots. Cool!

    Philippe, I'll be happy to post before/after a little bit later today. I've got some others as well that I need to process from that day. Always seems like there's so little time. :) 

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
  12. Hi Philippe,
    Sorry for the delay...been too busy this past week. Here's the original shot straight from the camera, only "Saved For Web".

  13. Kevin,

    Thanks for posting the before shot. Your finished image is quite an improvement, indeed! The crop is much better, you filled in the big highlight left of the head and all the other things you already mentioned...

    I am quite impressed with the result, actually. So did the model like this fine portrait? I bet he did! :smile:
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