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eeneryma
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Cat


Cat, a wonderful lady to work with. Showing another facet of my love of photography.
Your comments and critiques appreciated.

Steve



Steve Schulman Photography

Cat




Oct 29, 2016 at 01:37 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Cat


Just great, and a lovely lady.


Oct 29, 2016 at 02:55 AM
sbeme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Cat


Very nice (and different for you) Steve.
I am no portrait photographer and seem to make the same errors repeatedly.
But I do think I see an area for improvement.
The only thing I don't like here is the size of the hand. And perhaps it's relative brightness.
What about experimenting with different crops? While I would put the eyes dead center, this is a centered/symmetry image. See what you (and others) think about cropping below the hand to the arch made by the first knuckles. Any maybe reduce the brightness there. Was there hand movement?

Scott



Oct 30, 2016 at 01:02 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Cat


+1 @ Scott regarding brightness. Looks overexposed to me ... well, sorta. It looks like the specular highlights (hotspots) in various areas of the face/hand (AI=AR & forward plane) are washed out. Note the color of the accent eye makeup @ not uniform.

Noting the lighting setup you are using (revealed in catchlights), the angles / distances involved don't seem to be contending well with the angles / distances associated to the various planes of the face. Fashion lighting is not for the timid, for it is wrought with issues (hence the design of the beauty dish to control such issues, etc.).







Oct 30, 2016 at 01:43 AM
eeneryma
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Cat


RustyBug wrote:
+1 @ Scott regarding brightness. Looks overexposed to me ... well, sorta. It looks like the specular highlights (hotspots) in various areas of the face/hand (AI=AR & forward plane) are washed out. Note the color of the accent eye makeup @ not uniform.

Noting the lighting setup you are using (revealed in catchlights), the angles / distances involved don't seem to be contending well with the angles / distances associated to the various planes of the face. Fashion lighting is not for the timid, for it is wrought with issues (hence the design of the beauty dish to control such issues,
...Show more

This was my first experience using Kinoflo lighting. Martin Schoeler is known for using this method of lighting. Re: Scott and Kent, always value your sage advice. Since the lighting and camera are so close to the face, perhaps using the hand to prop the face is problematic and exaggerates the size of the fingers. On the other hand, this lighting is very stylized and may by nature be somewhat imperfect. Agree that there are problems with the application of makeup. I"ll post some other examples tomorrow.

Steve



Oct 30, 2016 at 04:02 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Cat


1st try @ Kinoflo ... hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

Yes, I'm familiar with the Kinoflo lighting, and I recognized its utilization here. Personally, I'm not a fan for the caveats it presents (color falloff is another issue), but there are those who rave about it because it represents something "stylized".

There will always be the debate between style and technical ... which is why I so strongly lean on message. If the style is helping you deliver your message (which imo is too often times is look at me, I'm different), then it's a good thing. Same thing with technical issues @ directing / detracting from the message = good / not so good.

As to the foreshortening effect, well, here again it comes down to message. If you were shooting a shot for hand cream or nail polish, then the foreshortening effect, coupled with focus on the hand would then provide both increased mass and focus to command our attention to the hand area, as the message would warrant.

However, where our chosen focus point is the eyes, then we are aspiring to direct the viewer there, and now the increased mass of the foreshortening effect with the hand in the forward plane competes with the direction of the focal point @ the face.



The face has a depth to it @ different planes eyes (recessed), nose & lips (forward), chin, forehead (middle), ears (back). When viewed in person at normal viewing distances, those differences are seemingly benign. However, when we come in much closer, those differences reveal themselves in the foreshortening effect, and if our glass has field curvature considerations, that's just another wrinkle to puzzle.

Those same distance relationships that create foreshortening effects with regard to image magnification variance ... they are also responsible for having impact on some lighting issues as well. Part of the design influence behind a beauty dish is to help "equalize" those distances relationships relative to the various portions of the facial terrain. In that regard, the lighting falloff (luminance & color) remains much closer.

The use of Kinoflo style lighting, while popular in certain circles and "stylized" can have drawbacks in this regard. That's not to say that you can't use it well. Rather, to say that you'll need to learn its caveats (which btw, a BD also has its own set of caveats). It's been quite a while since we saw some Kinoflo work come through in years past, but the physics of light, lens, distance hasn't changed.

I don't mean to sound like I'm raining down too hard here, but I'm a Steve fan ... so you get my "nip it in the bud" response to Kinoflo lighting caveats. Personally, I think it teaches bad habits and a poor understanding of lighting and facial portraiture ... in the name of style. That said, as long as you understand what your command & control is achieving ... it's your pic, your call. Personally, I think Steve has his own style that will come through in the form of message delivery, moreover than copying a "stylized" lighting. But, as is so often the case: First we learn to emulate, then we learn to create.

BTW ... transitioning from existing ambient lighting to studio. That's a whole diff matter on learning the nature and caveats of light. I highly recommend getting the book "Light Science and Magic" by Fil Hunter, et al. There is a great section there about "family of angles" that I think will be integral to helping you understand how to achieve more controlled results (even with Kinoflo).



I'd suggest that after you read, Light Science and Magic ... you go back and study the work of Martin and see if you can see the nuance of how he is handling certain aspects, where he is using it for style, how he is avoiding certain issues, and how he is harnessing them. The name of the game will be in your command & control, but I have every confidence you'll raise the bar here just fine.



Imo, it comes down to message as always @ where you want your viewer to look. I mean, we go to great lengths to meticulously do the eyes, makeup, lipstick, nails, etc. ... then we plaster "hot spots" on the forehead, chin, nose, cheekbones. Just seems a bit contradictory to me @ where we are trying to direct the viewer.



Style has its place to be sure, but imo the name of style for namesake, can be a mask for detractions that are not helpful to the viewer, nor the message. Just gotta know if your real message is "look here" vs. "look at what I did different". Just be careful here is all I'm trying to say. Getting caught up in someone else's "look at me, I'm different" isn't always the same as I'm in control and am delivering your intended message.

We've gone through this drill before with regard to message vs. processing decisions vs. style vs. technical, etc. Lighting decisions are but another piece of puzzle that, IMO, also starts with understanding your desired message to be conveyed. From Rembrandt to butterfly to Kinoflo to ring flash ... well, there is no single "perfect" lighting setup for everything. But, it still requires an understanding of those caveats and how their strengths and weaknesses relate to helping your message vs. detracting from your message.


As always, a Steve fan here ... so a BIG +1 @ stepping into the diff genre. It's gonna be fun to watch you grow in this one too.

HTH ... bring on the pics.




Oct 30, 2016 at 12:58 PM
 

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eeneryma
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Cat


RustyBug wrote:
1st try @ Kinoflo ... hey, ya gotta start somewhere.

Yes, I'm familiar with the Kinoflo lighting, and I recognized its utilization here. Personally, I'm not a fan for the caveats it presents (color falloff is another issue), but there are those who rave about it because it represents something "stylized".

There will always be the debate between style and technical ... which is why I so strongly lean on message. If the style is helping you deliver your message (which imo is too often times is look at me, I'm different), then it's a good thing. Same thing with technical
...Show more

+1 for your thought provoking advice and commentary as well as adjustments improving my portrait. Busy day for me, but will be posting additional photos as I can.
Steve



Oct 30, 2016 at 04:44 PM
eeneryma
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Cat


A kinoflo portrait as example by Martin Schoeler, another portrait of Cat by Steve.

Steve



Martin Schoeler

Martin Schoeler portrait





Steve Schulman Photography

Cat 2




Oct 31, 2016 at 03:09 AM
eeneryma
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Cat


Leopard Lady from
Steve



Steve Schulman Photography

Leopard Lady




Oct 31, 2016 at 03:24 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Cat


TBH ... the Martin pic looks more like a cartoon caricature with bowling pins for catchlights using the bank of Kino's, as well as rally stripes on the end of Obama's nose and lips. TBH, (imo) your leopard lady looks better executed than Martin's on certain aspects, but she still has the chicken pocks of hot spots.

Again, I think that the approach is more about trying to garner attention to the photographer doing something different rather than the photographer trying to do something good. I realize that it is easy to be enamored by someone who has popularity and "stylized", but let's be honest here ... if someone we didn't know presented a picture of someone we didn't know here in this forum ... and it looked like Martin's pic of Obama, what would we have to say about it?

1. The color balance is off (see the cyanic shirt and eyes)
2. The color falls off / shifts in strange ways (due to spectrum variance, and underpowered to mix with ambient influence), note the BG shift
3. The CA is a detractor
4. The eyebrows a a fuzzfest mess, while the pores are sharp.
5. The upper lip and lower lip are in different levels of focus (presumably lens curvature)
6. The nose is very oof.
7. Skin tone seems off.

I get that we can do whatever we want in the name of art or style, etc. But, I sure do think that it's a very, very slippery slope to follow that as a model of what is good portraiture. Sure, it's easy to be impressed by his access to photograph the President or his "signature style" is different ... but, no way would I ever call that "good" moreover than "different" for the sake of different. I mean, what's the point of presenting it that way other than a different artistic rendering.

I get the feeling we're going to be at great odds in opinion regarding the Kinoflo approach ... and that many folks will remain silent on the matter, but in the end, it is (and always will be), your pic, your call. Just be careful with it, because imo, it is ripe for problems along the way that don't hold up well to honest scrutiny.

Here's a supersat that helps reveal some of the color issues mentioned above.

Again, I'm a fan of Steve, so my input is intended for your benefit @ just be aware of the issues you are introducing into your work, and the things you might need to consider to offset them as you proceed down that path.


















Oct 31, 2016 at 05:00 AM
eeneryma
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Cat


RustyBug wrote:
TBH ... the Martin pic looks more like a cartoon caricature with bowling pins for catchlights using the bank of Kino's, as well as rally stripes on the end of Obama's nose and lips. TBH, (imo) your leopard lady looks better executed than Martin's on certain aspects, but she still has the chicken pocks of hot spots.

Again, I think that the approach is more about trying to garner attention to the photographer doing something different rather than the photographer trying to do something good. I realize that it is easy to be enamored by someone who has popularity and "stylized",
...Show more

Thank you Kent for this lengthy, detailed and insightful analysis. As you mentioned, emulating the masters is a great learning tool, evaluting the strengths and weaknesses of certain styles, and for me deciding what works and doesn't work, eventually being able to formulate my own methods and styles. Good to have a lot of tools in one's bag, and as you've stated many times, then learning "command and control." Again, thanks so much for generously devoting the time to explain your take.
Steve



Oct 31, 2016 at 12:54 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Cat


Thank you for understanding the spirit in which it is offered.


Oct 31, 2016 at 06:02 PM







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