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Archive 2012 · Senior Portraits
  
 
evillemperor
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Senior Portraits


Hello! This is my first post! A couple of months ago, a girl in my class asked me to take her pictures for her senior portraits. I have never taken someone's portrait before, but I went ahead and said yes anyway. Literally, an hour before the shoot, I purchased a light reflector. While I am satisfied with the shots for my first time, I feel like they are missing something. Since I'm new, I don't have an Upload and sell membership yet, so here is the link to my Flickr of them: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopher_ayers/sets/72157630290165354/
Please only critique the pictures of the girls. Some of the ones that I wouldn't of uploaded where uploaded upon their request (such as them hugging). My favorite one was number 7 but I feel like its missing something. That may be because it wasn't supposed to be serious (it was sort of behind the scenes, he sister was to the left of her, and she asked me to crop her out). I feel like its the lighting in these pictures that doesn't make it. I used the 50 1.4 the most, then the 100 macro, and only used the 70-200 a little. Any thoughts?
As mentioned it was my first photoshoot ever, but firm,constructive criticism is appreciated.



Aug 08, 2012 at 06:58 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Senior Portraits


Welcome to FM! I don't have time for a long critique, but here's a couple of thoughts. I'll add more later.

These are a good first effort. You connect well with your subjects, which I think is the most important thing. We can iron out the technical stuff later.

It would be better if you could post photos in your thread. You'll get more response that way. You don't have to have an account on FM to do it, you can just reference photos from another site. I use Picassa, which is free.

I like the fact that you shot with a large aperture to blur the background. Even at that, you have to be aware of it and plan for it. Shooting with your subject in shade towards a sunlit background also helps isolate your subject if you expose properly and let the background go light. The trick is to understand what's happening and to choose to do it instead of it just happening.

I think 50mm is OK for waist up, but tighter needs to be with your 100mm and 70-200. Glad you used them. Watch for sunlight falling on the face. Here they make unattractive patterns. Also, your white balance is off. They look yellow/orange. I suggest you buy a WhiBal target (Google it) and always take a reference frame under each lighting condition. Shoot raw, then adjust with the eyedropper in post. It may be a little neutral, but you can warm.

Others will chime in and I'll be back for more suggestions.



Aug 08, 2012 at 11:59 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Senior Portraits


Welcome to to the forum, and great first try at this demanding type of photography. dmacmillan gave you good advice.


Aug 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Senior Portraits


I am one that seldom go off site to review images... Just wanted to welcome you an give you a link to the lighting & studio guys... They will be very helpful with this type question... http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/44


Aug 08, 2012 at 08:55 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Senior Portraits


Welcome. Because its' difficult to critique more than two or three images, I'd suggest either post a link to a specific flickr image or make a flickr "selection" to make a subgroup of two or three and post the link to the flickr selection.

Picking the seventh, to start, I like the pose, sharpness, background selection, choice of distance, and use of DOF. However, I'd suggest adjusting the color temp to something less orange:







Aug 08, 2012 at 09:00 PM
evillemperor
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Senior Portraits


Hello everyone and thank you for responding and taking the time to go to my page (won't happen again). Regarding white balance, I tried to manually set when I was editing the raw images. No matter which one I chose, it always seemed to be a bit too cool. That is probably because I spent so much time editing them my eyes were deceiving me. I feel like I probably achieved proper white balance in this one:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopher_ayers/7444320142/in/photostream/

On this one, my assistant was not holding the reflector properly, which is why the light didn't fill is as well. I would've done a re-take, but my card ran out of memory and she wanted to go somewhere in the shade because of the heat.
I also redid the picture's WB: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopher_ayers/7641426038/in/photostream/



Aug 09, 2012 at 12:13 AM
 

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AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Senior Portraits


Try photographing something gray. Then adjust color balance until it's gray to match on your display.


Aug 09, 2012 at 04:24 AM
evillemperor
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Senior Portraits


Ok, I will try that. Would you recommend picking up a Spyder if you have experience with them? I've read great things about them, and I am considering it. Would you say (for #7) that I achieved proper WB now? I am supposed to order a print for her, but I am holding off until I think it looks perfect (she is asking for a 11x14)


Aug 10, 2012 at 09:23 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Senior Portraits


I have an old x-rite device for color management and don't know much about the Spyder. However, somethings, likely better than nothing.


Aug 10, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Senior Portraits


I try to avoid any comments about portraits because my skills are so poor. So I will add only one very simple comment and use the image that AuntiPode uploaded as an example. The lighting was pretty flat and uninteresting. It would seem too late to fix that except one of the most important elements are the catch lights in the eyes. It would be easy to zoom in and add a little sparkle with catch lights that are enhanced with the dodge tool. I would suggest doing that on the original rather than downsized image. Try adding different amounts of dodge and save several versions. Look at them again later to decide which you prefer.


Aug 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
evillemperor
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Senior Portraits


Thank you for the suggestion, I did that, and I am not sure how I feel about it. What do you think? This was the best one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopher_ayers/7641426038/?reuploaded=1
I also would like some opinions on this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopher_ayers/7641424810/in/set-72157630290165354
I feel the lighting is pretty good with the exception of a little fall of on her cheek.



Aug 13, 2012 at 01:44 AM
josemiller3000
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Senior Portraits


Yes I agree with you that lighting is insufficient in some of the snaps. So the subject looks bored or uninterested. I liked snap No.2 because of the clarity and expression of the girl. The sunglasses worn by Brian do not create a flattering image, so I think he would have looked good without them.


Mar 25, 2013 at 09:05 AM





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