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Portait Critiques

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2006, 11:00 AM
Airdale Airdale is offline
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Portait Critiques

Hi

I wanted to run a couple of pictures by you guys and see what you think and what suggestions you have for both my photography and my photoshop skills. I'm attaching two pictures that I took and then retouched. The goal of this shoot was to have some good pics of a two year old. Anything you can tell me for both shooting and retouching would be great. Here is what I have to work with though:

Equipment: I've got a digital rebel xt with the pop-up flash (I can already hear the pros moaning at this but I am not sure I am ready to invest in an additional flash...)

A light thing with a 250 bulb and a plastic thingie that goes over it to defuse. It was positioned to the right (45 degrees) of the subject

The sheet that is hanging on the wall and pretending to be a background:-)

Photoshop Skills: I guess I'm an intermediate. I'm friendly with blending modes and extractions and the such, but the pen tool and curves confuse me.

So what do you guys think?
Thanks!
Airdale
Attached Images
File Type: jpg M+D - orig.jpg (97.2 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg M+D - final.jpg (88.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Monya - original.jpg (83.7 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Monya - final.jpg (90.2 KB, 36 views)
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2006, 12:59 PM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 393
Re: Portait Critiques

The originals are to bright and suffer badly from the harsh shadows coming from the camera flash. There is no sharpness to the images. They are very flat.

Camera Flash shadows are usually more apparent when shooting in portrait vs landscape. You can try that. Also move the subject from the background to make the shadows, at least a little lighter. Then you can also use more shallow DOF to blur the background and have the subject stand out more.

You can also try and make portraits in natural light, from a window or so. That can be very nice.
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:35 PM
Airdale Airdale is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: Portait Critiques

I totaly agree about the flatness in the originals. I did not realize that they were too bright tough. You think they are over exposed? Do the final versions still seem that way to you?

I can try switching the mode to landscape (I usually shoot in Program) to see if that helps. You also suggested moving the subject away fromthe background. How far would you recomend?

Thank you much for your help!
-Airdale
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2006, 02:50 PM
pellepiano pellepiano is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 393
Re: Portait Critiques

I meant how you hold the camera. When having it in portrait position the Flash will leave shadows to the right of the subject. When holding the camera in landscape position ( horisontally if you will ) the Flash will leave no shadow of the head exept slightly below the neck.

You have to take some test images to see at waht distance the subject vs the background looks best. Using a shallow depth of field is going to focus on the subject more too.

The images are not overexposed, but the light is so even that you dont get any charecteristics in the faces. Shadows ( even slight ones ) are your best friend in bringing out the character of a face.

I would recommend not using any Program Modes on your camera but to shoot manually, to have better control of both exposure, shuttertime and the Flash.
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