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Archive 2013 · Some B&W staged portraits
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Some B&W staged portraits

Hello all,

New to the forum and this is my first posting. This is a series of staged photos I took of my daughter and a friend last weekend. The first theme was an ethnic one and the second more of a "fashion" styled theme. I am an absolute fan of monochrome, so that is why I chose to edit these in B&W. I am new to using studio lights and in these I used a single Einstein monolight with an umbrella and diffuser, placed Left of camera at around 7 feet high, and about 1/2 power if I recall correctly. The camera is a Canon T3i (crop sensor) with the stock 55 -250 zoom.

I was very impressed by the quality of the photographers I saw on this forum and would love to hear constructive criticism to help me improve my photos. I am very anxious to get better at this.

Thank you and hope you enjoy,


Feb 07, 2013 at 01:20 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Some B&W staged portraits

My favorite is #1. Very nice portrait. Nice catchlights. Nice tones. Simple, classic.

#2 - Scarf and unruly hair dominate the image. Seems to be trying to focus on the object in her hand but I can't tell what that object is due to her hand and the crop. Darkening everything but her face a little bit (kind of a specialized vignette) would help I think.

#3 - Would like to see her body turned a little more towards the camera. Lighting appears to be causing significant bags under the eyes unless that is some kind of special make-up. She seems a little squinty-eyed/not relaxed.

#4 - Make-up seems a little over-done for a girl this age. That, combined with the brighter lighting of the face almost give me an impression that the face has been copy/pasted onto the body. This young lady will probably be thrilled, though.

I like what you did and tried with these. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

Feb 07, 2013 at 01:39 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Some B&W staged portraits

I like the set - #2 would be my favorite with exception of the "whirley"hair in the front. It's maybe a little too distracting - but the pose, crop and scarf layout is very good.
The background in #3 and #4 looks very interesting - which background did you use for that ?

Feb 07, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Steady Hand
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Some B&W staged portraits

Howdy Fred.

Welcome to posting in this forum. Always nice to see photos from a different photographer and place.

Good intro too, as I think it is helpful if posts include some background on the image making or subject (like a caption).


In general I enjoyed seeing these photos and in general like what you are doing.

My impression is that this was probably a fun time for your model and for you too.

I like the use of BW too.

Of this set I think image 2 is the weakest (messy hair etc.) and image 3 the strongest.

I hope these comments help you.

Feb 07, 2013 at 02:55 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Some B&W staged portraits

The first is captivating for me.

Feb 07, 2013 at 04:15 PM

Search in Used Dept. 


Steve Wylie
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Some B&W staged portraits

These have a very interesting and very old feel to them, both in terms of final output and posing (with the exception of the last). So it's a good first effort with lights. I'll echo some of the comments already made, and offer a few more. First off, all of the images, with the exception of the last one, look a bit soft. That contributes to the very old feeling I get from them. Was that intentional? On the second image, I agree that the frontal hair looks messy. But I could overlook that if this foreground hair were sharp. Her gaze is downward toward what she's holding (whatever that is), and thus the foreground hair becomes more of a focal point than it otherwise would have been. So that needs to be sharp, too. The third and fourth images show what appears to be noticeable noise or grain in the background. Or is it texture? I can't really tell. If it's noise, then I'd want to know what ISO you were shooting at, and would ask if you need to shoot that high, or was that intentional? It contributes to the old feel of these shots as much as the poses.

So, overall, an interesting set.

Feb 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Some B&W staged portraits


Number one and three are my favorites. I particularly like the scarf leading inform the lower left corner to the subject. I like the use of B&W, but could also see a bvery conservitive use of color.

Thanks for posting

Feb 07, 2013 at 05:36 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Some B&W staged portraits

First of all thank you all for your input, it is extremely helpful to me and very appreciated.

Eyeball - you were spot-on with your comments and hit almost every doubt I had about these. with regards to the messy hair in image 2 for some reason I liked the texture along with the pattern of the scarf, but it is hard for me to get an objective glance of it since I was staring at it for so long. With all the other comments I feel you were exactly right.
They did love the whole make-up thing but I was not sure how it was going to translate into the image. I agree it is too grown up looking for her age.

Fgrasee, the background is a roll of a thick red upholstery fabric I have. It has a really great texture.

Steady Hand, this WAS a fiun time for all and a first try for me at setting something like this up on my own and based on my own vision. These comments have been very helpful, just from this thread alone. Thank you!

Steve, I am not sure of the cause of the softness. It could be the stock lens (I'd prefer to think it was) or my focusing. I suspect the latter, with just a hint of the former. I find focusing to be one of the most challenging parts of getting a shot. Especially when hand-holding, which is how I shot these. The ISO was 100, shutter speed 250, and with a monolight. The background texture is the thick upholstery fabric I mentioned above, not noise, although the fact that it confused you a little means it should have either been illuminated a little more, or a little less so that it disappeared completely.

Many, many thanks to all.



Feb 07, 2013 at 06:04 PM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Some B&W staged portraits

Nice set, love the last one, cute kid.

Feb 07, 2013 at 06:36 PM

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