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Archive 2012 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever
  
 
Jewced
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


I was asked to shoot some portraits. I've never done anything like this and figured I should practice. She didn't plan on using my shots originally, but she liked how they turned out and wants more. Thanks for looking!


Any pointers that I should keep in mind would be awesome!




















Aug 08, 2012 at 05:47 AM
jfinite
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


1 - Great moody portrait.
2 - Try to avoid the hard shadows (particularly around her eye).
3 - Lovely light on her and a pleasing bkg.
Well done.



Aug 08, 2012 at 03:21 PM
ScooberJake
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Yep, #3 is the best for me. #1 is also good, but it would be better if we could see more of her eyes (even though she isn't looking at the camera). You could have done this by either lowering the camera position or having the subject raise her chin.

The lighting in #2 doesn't work for me, as jfinite said. Judging by the shadows, it looks like the sun is roughly overhead? Best advice I can give you is to shoot later (or earlier) in the day. Then shoot your subject either in shade or backlit by the sun.



Aug 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Jewced
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Thanks for the advice guys. The sun was pretty much over-head for #2. Wasn't a problem for most of the shoot because it was pretty cloudy but every so often it would peak out.


Aug 08, 2012 at 04:13 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


I've never done a senior session, and I'd have no clue what to do if I did, so take anything I say with a huge grain of salt.

1. I like this one the best, looks real, as if she's taking the upcoming changes in her life seriously. Lighting is good, focus is good.

2. Cute, but wonky colors. Was this negative or slide? If negative, then there should be a lot more detail in those highlights... Did you scan it yourself?

3. Nice, but the feeling I get is a pensive/cold feeling, as if there's something in the future she's quite apprehensive about...




Aug 08, 2012 at 05:01 PM
jerbear00
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Nice work. A reflector/diffuser would help on 2. As others said just try to avoid harsh sun. Otherwise you look like you know what your doing!


Aug 08, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Jewced
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Zalmyb, it's a negative that I scanned myself. You're right about the detail, especially taking into account my past experiences with Ektar. I'm not sure what happened, but in PS more detail is there and there isn't any sort of color banding. I should go back and fix it.

Thanks everyone!



Aug 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Jewced wrote:
Any pointers that I should keep in mind would be awesome!


I like the pensive mood in #1. This is probably beyond your control, but you might want to be aware. Because of your angle and its color, the bra strap on her shoulder gets a lot of attention. That may or may not be important to the subject.

On #3, the combination of angle and focal length tends to make her legs look disproportionate to the rest of her body. What focal length lens did you use? Was it your intent to emphasize her legs? If you consciously chose the angle and focal length to emphasize her legs, then that's a decision you made as a photographer. However, if it was unintended, you need to understand how these things interact to produce the outcome.

As a learning experiment, I suggest you go back and reshoot #3 using her posed just like that and from the same angle. Keep her the same size in the frame as you have now, but take a succession of images from the most wide angle lens you own to the most telephoto lens you own, with some intermediate focal lengths between. Ideally make 8x10 prints, but at least compare on a fairly big monitor. Notice the difference focal length makes.



Aug 08, 2012 at 07:53 PM
 



Jewced
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


What difference does the focal length make? I wanted a little emphasis on the legs but I think it might be too strong. The only lens I have for this camera (Mamiya RZ67) is the 110mm 2.8, which is equivalent to ~70mm on a FF.

I'd guess that a longer focal length would de-emphasize the legs whereas a shorter one would make them more pronounced.



Aug 08, 2012 at 08:25 PM
ScooberJake
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


You got it on the focal length.

Technically, this doesn't depend on focal length but on how close you are to her. If you are very close, then her head may be twice as far from the camera as her calves (say, 6 ft vs. 3 ft). Since our eyes see close things as bigger, this will make her legs look bigger. If you stand farther away to take the image, then her head and calves may be pretty close to the same distance away (23 ft vs 20 ft). In both of those cases the actual difference is the same (3 ft) but the ratio is much different (6/3 = 2 but 23/20 = 1.15).

But dmac is right in his suggested experiment because if we assume that you frame the subject the same no matter which focal length you use (like filling the frame each time) then the focal length will determine your distance and thus cause the same effect as you change focal lengths. If on the other hand you stood in the same place regardless of the focal length, then the framing would be different (less of her would fit in the frame with a longer focal length) but the perspective and relative size of objects would not change.

Notice that this same effect shows up in your first image. Her hands look tiny compared to her shoulder, even though I'm sure she could cover her shoulder with one hand. Since the hands are so much farther away they look smaller. In that image this perspective distortion is less noticeable since the hands are blurred and not really recognized by the viewer.



Aug 08, 2012 at 09:06 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


Jewced wrote:
The only lens I have for this camera (Mamiya RZ67) is the 110mm 2.8.

I bet you listen to records ("vinyls") instead of CD's, right?

I spent many years making my living with an RB67. What a workhorse! I used to shoot Seniors with it because a used off camera flash (OCF) with a softbox as my key light. Being able to synch up to 1/500 made shooting with a wide aperture easy.

Your 110mm is a nice general purpose lens. The classic portrait lens for the RB/RZ is the 180mm, but my favorite portrait lens was the 150mm soft focus. You unscrewed the lens and mounted discs on the back element to control the softness. It placed a soft image over a sharp image for the soft focus effect. Either can be had for bargain prices, you might want to look out for them.



Aug 08, 2012 at 10:29 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


I spent way too much time reading up on which lens to use for which purpose (after which I bought all those lenses...).

Longer lenses were generally preferred for portraits, but I think that shorter focal lengths are becoming quite popular. My on-the-spot hypothesis is that in general we are seeing things becoming less formal and more personal. Even the huge companies want to seem small, friendly, and real (google, and apple are two that pop out). CEO's have blogs with friendly banter etc.

And people seem to want reality over beauty. Shorter lenses sometimes give more of a feeling that you're there, that the subject is accessible...

Not sure what my point is or why I'm posting it here

But as of now I have (at last count) 10 "normal" lenses. I love them. For portraits. Even with a little distortion. The 110 2.8 for the RZ is one of my favorites.

So figure out what works for you and ignore the official names, "portrait" "normal" "landscape"...



Aug 08, 2012 at 10:48 PM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


zalmyb wrote:
And people seem to want reality over beauty. Shorter lenses sometimes give more of a feeling that you're there, that the subject is accessible...

Not sure what my point is or why I'm posting it here

But as of now I have (at last count) 10 "normal" lenses. I love them. For portraits. Even with a little distortion. The 110 2.8 for the RZ is one of my favorites.

So figure out what works for you and ignore the official names, "portrait" "normal" "landscape"...

You made some excellent points.

I've done portraits with everything from a 24mm to a 400mm, so I understand your aversion to labels.

I guess what I wanted to point out to the OP is that the choices you make, from shooting angle to the choice of lens to aperture should be a conscious decision. Part of that is learning what you gain or lose with each choice. I generally prefer prime lenses because I'm more likely to make a conscious decision on focal length by using them. I got my first camera back in 1955 when I was a wee lad and didn't buy a zoom lens until 2008. Even now, when shooting portraits, I try to look down and set the focal length on my 70-200 instead of just "zooming to fit".

There's no question I'm more traditional with my portrait choices. Back when I was doing corporate portraits, Senior portraits and wedding portraits, my goal was to photograph the subject in the most flattering way. A good portion of my motivation was mercenary; I found that folks prefer, and therefore spend more on photos that flatter them.



Aug 09, 2012 at 01:55 PM
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


#3 is very good.


Aug 09, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Jewced
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · First Senior Portraits.....Ever


dmacmillan wrote:
I generally prefer prime lenses because I'm more likely to make a conscious decision on focal length by using them.

That's the whole reason why I started shooting film. Every time I try a new type of photography there are new things that I have to become conscious of. I really want to "master" portraiture because I think people are interesting to shoot.



Aug 09, 2012 at 05:43 PM





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