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 Post subject: My First Portrait
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 12:10 pm 
Hi everyone,

I'm extremely new to photography. I've been mainly practising taking photos of my fiance but he's getting a bit fed up with being my guinea pig. So earlier this week I took some photos of my little brother as my first "serious" attempt at portraits.

This was my favourite one and I'd like some feedback if possible.

My input is this:
The little shadow behind his right shoulder is bothering me but I'm not sure what to do about it
His top is overexposed
These are both because the lighting was really harsh but I've done the best I can with it (this was taken at about 4:30pm)
I've just noticed his right ear is out of focus too

Overall I'm quite happy with it but I would really love some suggestions to help me improve.

Thank you!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
You've already spotted areas of improvement.

You need more distance between your subject and the background - hence the shadow. Also you should wait for better lighting.

The focus looks pretty soft too, so it might help if you posted some EXIF data.


Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 10:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:47 pm
Posts: 202
Location: Osijek
in set ups like this one i would make the boy step few steps away from the wall, close the aperture to f8 or 9 (since you don't need blur in background to isolate subject), step away few steps from the boy and zoom a bit in.. also you could set the flash to manual low power just to decrease the shadows on his face a bit..

nikon d90 --->af-s dx 18-105mm; tamron 90mm macro

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 Post subject: !
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 3:46 am 
I would shoot as wide open as your lens will allow... a 50mm 1.8 would be perfect for this. All that needs to be in focus is the closest eye. As others have said keep some distance between the subject and the background. This will make the wall out of focus and thus less distracting... also it will fix the shadow on the wall problem you described though I don't feel the shadow necessarily hurts this image much but it doesn't help it either.

On camera flash is a big no-no—unless its just a quick shot while on vacation—If I see anyone using an on camera flash for serious portraits I will slap them on the wrist!

But you have yourself a lovely first photo here. Keep shooting and keep posting!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 6:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 716
Location: Taiwan / Sweden / Scotland
I would say the best portrait lens would be using anything above 70mm. An 85mm or 135mm is great for portraits!

anyway nice first portrait photo.

well flash does work for serious portraits, (not popup ones). I mean 2 wireless flashguns attached to softboxes or brollies.

Equipment: A blend of Canon, Nikon, Yashica, Leica, Voigtlander, Samyang and Sigma. All of which you can see on my website!
Wishlist: Leica M 240, Summilux 50 ASPH, Summilux 24 ASPH

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:39 am 
Thank you so much everyone!

You've all given me some great advice. Now I just need to get him to hold still for a couple more minutes so I can try some more!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:40 am 
Keep in mind that on a crop body (1.5x or 1.6x) a 50 mm is actually giving you the 35mm equivalent of a 75mm or 80mm lens.

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