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| p.1 #4 · Stumped on how to improve!!! |
Welcome to FM and the PC Forum.
Here's a link that you might find interesting. I'm sure there are a zillion others if you just Google "headshot".
The thing that strikes me is the landscape orientation. I don't recall many headshots in landscape ... more vertical or square ... but I haven't been around the modeling industry since the 1980's, so maybe they are asking for the shoulders/collar bone now.
In the link above, they make reference to the different types/needs of headshots. Given the bare model, I'm assuming this is for models to show their facial/bone structure to agency personnel.
I understand the minimalist perspective that it is not meant to be a "pretty pic" all dolled up with PP & Makeup ... but the flat lighting that Karen mentions makes it difficult to see any facial modeling in her bone structure, size/shape of nose, etc.. If I'm understanding your purpose correctly ... this is all about showing a "non-artistic" technical representation of the bare form a model has to offer a potential agency or potential client.
That being said, your lighting needs to make it easier (albeit not dramatic) for them to detect the models structure and seems to need different lighting setup. Also, the shallow DOF is useful for portraiture when you are trying to draw attention away from flaws, but again for presenting technical information @ subject, the additional DOF could make it easier to see the quality of her skin, etc.
IIUC, this is a technical headshot, rather than an artistic, commercial, business or portrait one.
Here's a B&W of it for consideration. In the B&W, it is easier to see the areas of focus that reveal her skin quality vs. those that are OOF and hide it. If I'm reviewing her comp card with this shot ... I'm kinda ticked that I can't see the rest of her skin, but only this very small central area. Again, I haven't work around models for many years and things may be very different now. To that point, who is it that you are producing these for, i.e. end use @ agency, etc.. I would be asking them what their needs and preferences are regarding your work. We are a very helpful group in spirit ... but this type of shot is VERY SPECIFIC to its industry usage.
Having, eye, nose & lips in focus is important, but with the shallow DOF, they seem to be "sticking out" a bit as the oof areas recede & hide some of the very detail that is the purpose of such a headshot. Her hairline and her jawline are both oof ... to me, this is NOT want an agency wants to see in a model's headshot. Again, I could be way off base here if you have a specific basis for the shallow DOF ... but I'd suggest you double check to make sure that you aren't trying to apply portrait techniques to technical headshots.
You also seem to have issues with your color. It is easy to see the color cast falloff @ magenta on your background. But, it is also showing up in her sclera. If you compare the color on each side of her pupil, you'll notice that the outside vs. inside has different color cast as well (compare 2 vs. 4 in particular). I'm not sure where/why that cast is occurring (ambient contamination maybe), but it is there nonetheless. You may be able to "split the difference" @ color balance, but better to resolve it in your lighting ... it shows up readily in your background edges as well, so you can use that as somewhat of an indicator as well.
I noticed that you shot @ f3.5 and your histo looks pretty good. My question would be is your light output maxed out that you needed to shoot 3.5, or did you reduce your light power to allow 3.5? Lighting can have color shift @ reduced power. Also, as your light "falls off" in intensity ... it will also reduce it's particular color influence relative to other lighting. I'd look at raising my lighting power and stopping down if you have that option (or reducing ambient lighting influence). Without being there it's kinda tough to diagnose the color cast and approach for eliminating, so I'm guessing here ... but, for professional head shots, you'll want to get that issue figured out.
I don't mean to be a "buzzkill" to your growth and improvement. Rather, I applaud your growth in such a short time ... just want to offer up something for consideration, lest you head down a path that goes against what you are trying to achieve. Again ... if I've missed the mark at your purpose, apologies for that ... but do verify with your intended purpose that which is important / required.
My .02 ... which may or may not be worth .02.
GL & HTH