2nd portrait attempt. Comments please!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Daremo, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Daremo macrumors 68000

    Daremo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I had posted my first attempt of my daughter a couple weeks back, and I got great comments, and advice to help me improve. This is attempt number two, only a different guinea pig this time. The lighting is the same, silver can work lights, using a daylight bulb, and diffused with white material. I used two of them on 45 degree angles in front, and this time I added a remote flash behind her to separate her from the background. I like that look, but it may be too harsh. You tell me! I did a bit of retouching (blemishes and such). She's not a smiler at all, she hates her smile, so I didn't want to force the issue, and went for a more dramatic look.

    Here's the shot details...

    NIKON D60
    Shutter Speed: 1/4 sec
    Exposure Program: Aperture Priority
    F-Stop: f/5.6
    ISO: 200
    Focal Length: 55mm
    Lens: 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6

    Let me know what my next adjust needs to be. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    I know what its like, so let me give you a lil tip. I make people make funny faces before I make them give a dramatic look. It helps loosen them up. In the picture your daughter looks angry/mean. Getting her to try the above may be a good way to soften that up. As for lighting, I would tone that hairlight down a tad, it draws the eye away from her face.
     
  3. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #3
    Kudos for getting her to participate, smile aversion notwithstanding. :)
    The front flash looks to be bounced from above: I would try to diffuse it as well to avoid the shadow lines from her hair.
     
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #4
    to me, she doesn't look "dramatic", just unhappy

    the shadows from her hair that are on the hair are a real negative
     
  5. Daremo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Daremo

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    #5
    There isn't a front flash used actually, just the two can lights that are diffused. Perhaps I have them too close? I had a difficult time working with those shadows from the hair. Pretty frustrating to say the least.
     
  6. Daremo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Daremo

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    #6
    I made the adjustment to the lighting to make it more dramatic. I didn't mean her expression. She usually looks angry. haha I had a light on the background, to brighten up the whole photo, and when I couldn't get her to look any other way but angry, I decided to darken up the back, and back flash her.

    And yes, I agree, the hair shadows are no good. How do I get rid of those? Use a front flash as well as the angle lights?
     
  7. synagence macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #7
    The colour balance of the image is also making her skin look very cool (as in blue/cold)
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #8
    1. Go into a book store or photography store
    2. Get book(s) on portrait photography
     
  9. michael.lauden macrumors 68020

    michael.lauden

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    #9
    it's good i guess. but way too much backlighting. most of the time it isn't hard to set up a 3pt system.

    it just takes practice and the right equipment. she looks like she wants to beat you up
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    The first thing that kills this for me is the pose/angle- after that, there's nothing lighting can do to help IMO. Looking down you lose the neck, adding 30lbs to her look. Moving lights back makes the light even harsher. I'd suggest some Googling on portrait posing, as well as getting a copy of Light, Science and Magic.
     
  11. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #11
    For portrait photography, it's handy to front light the subject via a diffuse ground source a few feet in front of the subject (pot light), and use a catchlight flash either on board or just a bit above the lens to add sparkle to the eyes.

    I try to use natural lighting as much as possible for general ilumination, and artificial sources to control shadows.
     
  12. apearlman macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Red Hook, NY
    #12
    I agree that the main light is too cold (blue), and the hairlight is too strong.

    What if you switch them? Use the flash behind a BIG diffuser close to her face, and use a hot light to separate her from the background?
     
  13. Daremo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Daremo

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    Chicago
    #13
    Thanks for more great suggestions! I have much more to try next time for sure!

    And, she's my wife, so she probably DOES want to beat me up. :D
     
  14. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    Location:
    Area 51
    #14
    @ Daremo

    I just got the April issue of popular photography in the mail today.
    There is a an article on page 38 about shooting better portraits and it immediately made me think of you/this thread.. (since you were looking for tips)
    Do you get that magazine?? If not I can try to scan the page or you might be able to find it on there web site.

    "Your path to better portraits" by Peter Kolonia
     
  15. Daremo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Daremo

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    Chicago
    #15
    No, I do not get that magazine! If you could scan the article, that would be great, and it sounds like something I will be checking my news stands for in the coming week as well.
     
  16. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #16
    It's seriously an awesome magazine. At the beginning of the year I actually found a killer deal, 3 years for $14!!! You cant beat that!!

    Later today I'll try to get it scanned up for you..
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17

    *cough* *copyright* *cough*
     
  18. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #18
    Yea I thought that might be a copyright issue.. ;)
    I was only trying to help.
     
  19. apearlman macrumors regular

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    #19
  20. shady825 macrumors 68000

    shady825

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    #20

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