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Archive 2012 · Eh - take a gander?

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Eh - take a gander?

I've always been my own worst critic - and think it has probably hindered my progression a bit. Feel it is time to start reaching out for other viewpoints and ideas.

anyways - take a look and throw some c&c this way please




Edited on Feb 16, 2012 at 07:29 PM · View previous versions

Feb 16, 2012 at 05:34 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Eh - take a gander?

I think you'll have more response if you imbed the image instead of providing a link.

Feb 16, 2012 at 07:01 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Eh - take a gander?

The first does not appear sharp enough and the DOF is too shallow. A male subject such as this fellow normally justifies a full face inclusion in the DOF to allow sharpness to put an emphasis on his masculinity. In this case, the leading edge of his hat brim seems the point of sharpest focus. It ought to be the eye best illuminated.

For the second, the pose with the subject's front roughly parallel to the camera is a bit static. Placing her arms against her body displaces the tissues, adding the visual equivalent of significantly more weight. (With a very thin model, the same technique can help the subject appear better fleshed.) Placing her hand flat and parallel to the camera plane ought generally be avoided. Without knowing the models and without the camera/lens info but judging by the the apparent proportions of her face, I suspect the model was photographed from too close. Using a longer lens allows greater camera/subject distance. Being too close can make the nose and, depending upon the angle, chin, appear larger than the ideal. I'd also suggest bumping the hue slightly (in PS, +1 to +3) to improve her skin color. (Very minor adjustments of the hue can often improve skin tone.)

It would also be wise to include the color profile info in images for the web, especially for critique. Otherwise, the color rendered on a browser may not be the one you intend. For example, the skin color in this image renders differently when displayed on Safari and displayed on Firefox when color management is enabled because in the absence of color space info in the EXIF data, Firefox assumes sRGB and Safari does not.

Feb 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Eh - take a gander?

AuntiPode is the resident portrait expert and offers excellent advice.

Not being anywhere nearly as qualified, I cannot shake the impression of a head pasted onto a torso for the second image. I know this is not the case but that is the sense the line of her chin, against the neck, gives me - visually something is amiss, perhaps a shadow or change in lighting? Weird. Perhaps the head appears too large for the torso? Maybe this is a result of camera position as suggested above?

Also, I find my eye drawn to the texture of the backdrop, to the right of the model, in image #2. Maybe she is too close to the background?

Just some thoughts,


Feb 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Eh - take a gander?

To me the choice of split lighting with half a face hidden in shadow is a metaphor for hidden aspect of the subject's personality. The hand, which would be a distraction in a more conventional portrait, adds an element of visual balance to the split lighting on the face and creates a leading line connecting to the highlighted side if the face that I find interesting. Can't recall every seeing anything similar. That and the narrow DOF and and focus on the cocked eye, combined with the hat and clothing make for an interesting off-beat portrait. Not perhaps one his mother or stranger would love, but one his friends would probably relate to.

In the second shot the pose and expression are flattering, with the exception of the hands which could have been posed more gracefully. But I don't find the broad lighting strategy used very flattering due to the way broad lighting casts the nose shadow. A better way to deal with a prominent proboscis is a full face pose with a centered butterfly lighting pattern by virtue of being centered on the nose the key light creates no sideways shadow on the nose so there is no clue to it's shape or size. It blends into the similarly lit cheeks on either side and is "hidden in plain sight" . With the nose "disappeared", the eyes and mouth contrast and hold attention more.

Fill position is also a factor in making noses less distracting. Again the clues about shape of the nose come from the shadows it cast. When fill is centered just below the lens about chin level what is physically closest to the fill light? The nose. So which shadow on the face will be lightest and least distracting? The nose shadow. The shadows on the face will be progressively darker from tip of nose and tops of cheeks > base of nose and edges of cheeks > side of face > ears. You can control the gradient via fill distance. Used close the front > back fill gradient will be rapid. From further away the front>back fill gradient will be more gradual.

The horizontal crop works OK for the first, but not for the second which would look more balanced in portrait mode.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

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