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Hey man. Fellow UK'er here.
I couldn't work out if your comment about 'utter excitement' was meant sarcastically, I believe it was, and I would say this does show through in the photo. Whilst her facial expression is quite interesting as its not the usual smile for the camera type pose, it does have the feeling about it that she's not overly into the shoot, and that for me detracts from the shot.
Lighting on her face is decent, and the blanket of grey clouds over the uk at the mo has helped to give you a soft relatively easy light to work with, but you've manage to catch some pretty nice graduations in her face to add definition and avoid the flat lighting trap.
Pose wise it seems like her hand is just plonked against the tree without much consideration as to how or why this adds to the shot. It's certainly better than if she had been standing there with her hand down by her side, but I question the choice of positioning and pose in relation to this large tree trunk. As a result I find the composition slightly unappealing as this huge tree trunk is occupying most of the frame so I would have been inclined to move the trunk so its half in and half out of the shot and then had your gf posing accordingly to make her the main feature of the picture. After all, she's your subject so make her more prominent. Thankfully the dusting of snow on the other side of the trunk helps slightly by breaking up the huge tree trunk but for me its not working as an overall composition.
I want to be constantly drawn to the main subject of a portrait but the tree is competing for air time.
Not a bad portrait and there's a few good things in this shot, but also a few things which need work.
I hope my views help. They are of course purely based on my personal opinion so take them as you will.
Edited on Jan 18, 2013 at 09:47 PM · View previous versions