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Blue guy

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  #1  
Old 12-29-2009, 12:04 PM
SchlinkyMalinky SchlinkyMalinky is offline
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Blue guy

Man, guys are trickier than girls! Tried a different approach with this one....

Small version to fit on your screen....

http://i45.tinypic.com/jshkeo.jpg

I'm looking for comments about everything, lighting, composition, colour, retouching, so help a brother out

Thanks

S

Last edited by SchlinkyMalinky; 12-29-2009 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:59 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Blue guy

Dear SchlinkyMalinky...

I like the image overall, dramatic and compelling. But I think he's looking a little too clean and smooth. He's looking a little too perfectly groomed.

Men aren't that much trickier than women to retouch, but they are different. Men should retain more texture/character/roughness. A lot of the same approaches are used as with women. They're just used with more restraint and subtlety.

With women, you're often going for a smooth and soft look (while maintaining realistic skin texture). With men, you're usually looking to retain and emphasize character (you need to fix problems, but you don't want to eliminate all the landmarks of interest, so you need to use more judgement and restraint).

The moody and dramatic blue lighting, the grunge wall, and the textured leather jacket all help establish a kind of rough look which is really interesting, but then it just further emphasizes just how overly smooth his skin is (which makes him look out of place in the image, like a junior high school student dressing up to look tough but who doesn't have the rough character to pull it off).

He needs some of those little lines and surface bumps to pull off the look. Otherwise he looks to pretty to be taken seriously. I imagine there is a lot of surface texture, little shadows and line detail in the original that has been taken out in retouching the image. See how much of that original detail you can put back in. You may find that men are a whole lot easier than you thought. Good luck.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:55 PM
SchlinkyMalinky SchlinkyMalinky is offline
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Re: Blue guy

Great post Alan.

Thanks for the input, all good points. I was thinking about over sharpening to bring out a little grunge, there's not too much there to begin with, here's the unretouched version with all the same tonal processing....

http://i50.tinypic.com/29lxo1w.jpg

Glad you like the overall vibe though, I'm quite happy with the depth and contrast, might have to shoot again to get a bit more attitude

(Here's an 'oversharpened' version..... http://i50.tinypic.com/8wm54k.jpg )
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:14 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Blue guy

Dear SchlinkyMalinky...

I think it would be interesting to see the original image on this one. Better yet to see the RAW file.

You might want to try a second conversion from RAW with lowered exposure to bring out the detail in the overexposed area and/or diminish the contrast when converting the image so that you can work with it more selectively. As you can tell, it's hard to sharpen detail that's not there to work with. And it's easier to add contrast in the end than to fix an overly contrasty image.

If you're shooting again try to tone down the light a bit so it's not blowing out all the detail (easier to amplify contrast in post than to create missing information). And maybe use a little bit of fill light from the other side so it's not completely lost in shadow. But then also keeping all the drama.

How's that for mixed messages?

Hope you are doing well. Take care Alan.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:45 PM
daitri daitri is offline
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Re: Blue guy

SchlinkyMalinky
like the compostion and lighting of the picture.
I had bit of play with your image,don't know if it will be of help.
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File Type: jpg jshkeo_2.jpg (191.1 KB, 48 views)
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:25 AM
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AFrazier AFrazier is offline
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Re: Blue guy

I have a few things for you.

The off-center placement of the subject is good, but the dead space should have been on the other side, or he should have been tilting his head the other way. The head, in essence, becomes a psuedo "leading line" and creates a flow to the image when pointing into the dead space, much like putting the dead space in front of the running child so he/she has "someplace to go." With his head leaning away from the dead space, the dead space just makes him look off center. The rule of thirds only works if the image has a sense of overall continuity.

I think your light source was too low. The 90º lighting was wise with a male subject sporting a 5 o'clock shadow. That brings out the texture. But if you raised the light source a few feet, you could have gotten the triangle of light on the subject's right cheek; typical Rembrandt lighting. The problem here is that the right eye is visible. Either douse it in shadows or give it some light. The in between look just looks like bad light placement. So if you are going for that high contrast look, flag the subject's right side to kill any spill. Alternately, use a bounce reflector to open those shadows up. OR, move your light source up a few feet.

I also have to agree that the skin is too soft. Women's skin is softened to bring out the feminine character more than it is to make them perfect. In the mind's eye of society, women are soft and delicate, and giving them that perfect doll look just accentuates that perspective.
Men, on the other hand, are considered attractive when they are rugged and manly. As opposed to softening the skin, I often see sharpening applied to bring the texture of their features out even more than normal.

Overall it's a nice image. I like it. It could just stand to have a few things fixed, or reshot if possible.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:33 AM
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aartist aartist is offline
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Re: Blue guy

Agree about the skin compared to women, but that nose tip dent draws my eye too much. Nice overall.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:54 AM
SchlinkyMalinky SchlinkyMalinky is offline
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Re: Blue guy

Thanks for all the indepth advice, it's all noted for the next time.

The lighting setup is completely inflexible and was a compromise at best, one halogen worklamp placed ontop of a book shelf and the other hanging off a multigym. I'm looking forward to getting some proper flashes later this year.

But really valuable advice, so thanks again Alex and Alan for helping me understand overall composition and what's required of a male portrait and I agree about that chicken pox scar aartist
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