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 Post subject: New portrait session
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:01 am 
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So what's new ? Well the location is the same (and the last time used for photo sessions) but the model is someone else &...I've learned quality editing from a photographer friend of mine. (also I've learned from her the importance of proper editing,especially in portrait photography)
Here's 4 of my photos,any critics or comments are more than welcome.
Image
Image
Image
Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:11 am 
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To be honest. All 4 of the shots are overexposed and I don't really see "quality editing". You mentioned twice in your post that you have learned all this "quality and proper editing" but I just cant see it. Sorry that I am the first negative comment. I don't think the photos themselves are bad or anything, they just need some work. Seems like you have a tendency to overexpose your shots, so watch that. Adjust the levels/curves and they will look much better.

Ekkk...Hope I didnt sound TOO harsh. lol
Just my opinion :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:43 am 
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I always adjust the curves. None of them was overwexpose,just the sun was a bit harsh. Here's the "before" shots,unedited:
Image
Image
Image
Image

See what I mean? A made good improvements over the original photos.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:16 am 
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mstone wrote:
To be honest. All 4 of the shots are overexposed and I don't really see "quality editing". You mentioned twice in your post that you have learned all this "quality and proper editing" but I just cant see it. Sorry that I am the first negative comment. I don't think the photos themselves are bad or anything, they just need some work. Seems like you have a tendency to overexpose your shots, so watch that. Adjust the levels/curves and they will look much better.

Ekkk...Hope I didnt sound TOO harsh. lol
Just my opinion :)


I actually agree with mstone on her post.

In order, here is my opinion on your newest shots:

#1, Not overexposed or underexposed, and the composition is fine. I just think that the colors are a bit dull, and that there is a lack of "blue" to add to the green. This makes no sense in text, but here is a link to a very quick edit I just did so you can see what I'm trying to say: Number 1 Edit

#2, the left arm and chest area is a bit overexposed. That's due to the sun light coming in from the left. I suggest getting a black cloth to eliminate light that you don't need next time... Her face also has absorbed some of that green tint... The crop is nice, but perhaps a little bit less of the top.

#3, Too much light hit your subjects body. Her left arm, chest, and head is a bit overexposed. Again, you got more light than you needed.

#4, This one is good. I think a bit more emphasis on your subject would be better, by cropping a bit tighter. There is a bit too much space around your subject. Too much on top, and too much towards the right hand side of the image.

If I may ask, what was the editing that you learned from your photographer friend?

#

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Last edited by Sdrummer on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:04 am 
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Well....adjusting selective colors,curves,blur & dodge tools,liquify to adjust certain imperfections. The differences can be seen a mile away but....again,it's my fault for playing with harsh lighting conditions.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:17 pm 
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I... think the originals are better.
Anyway you need to do something about making your model the object in your photo, there are a lot of things which take away the focus of the vieuwer. Maybe there is a lack of contrast... but then again, she has red hair.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:13 pm 
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Razvan,

They all look overexposed on my monitor. (maybe with the exception of the first one, but the grasses behind look overexposed.)

I would like to give you one advice: to check with your monitor.

Once I posted a pic on DPR forum and all viewers told me it's overexposed but I didn't think so at all. Finally I found the problem was due to the fact that my monitor was way too dark. I always decrease its brightness to minimum or else it would hurt my eyes. Since I don't have another monitor, now I adjust the brightness for photo editing.

Last thing, I find the skin color is wrong on the 3rd and 4th shots.

Hope it helps a little..

Cheers,
Tony

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:05 pm 
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Hi!

Razvan, next time when you shoot I strongly recommend viewing each shot's histogram. It really helps and it's a feature present in every camera nowadays if I'm correct!

Cheers,
HNV

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:40 pm 
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1.In all the photos,minus the 4th one,there's an overexposed area,I know that.
2.The original photos are far away from "better" : hard shadows & light,little details,high contrast,subject "imperfections".
3. About the skin tones in the 3rd & 4th photo...well,I think I did good. No more shadows,more details,a nice clean tone of the skin. The thing is..they had a lot of green,so it had to go...green goes,yellow stays,therefor eliminate yellow. This isn't the model's true color,but she looks way better with this white-ish skin.
4. I...never thought about using the histogram,it seems a bit pointless to me in practice. Despite being "inspired" to take photos in mid day sunlight I did another mistake of shooting "corectly" exposed. A bit underexposed would have saved more details & that means less work in PS.
This was caused by lack of practice. I also used a Nikon D70 that day,this was my first outdoor session with 2 cameras. (2 cameras=less attention to the settings...)
Nevertheless,the nikonian pictures were all but 2,failures. The lack of VR of the 18-70 lens was crucial...I'm really not friendly with no VR cameras. Every atempt of mine to stay perfectly still was pointless...even on a tripod the photos were shaky. (with increased ISO,of course)

Thank you for your comments,I will take notes of this.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:50 am 
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I dont know if I can tell you that you made good improvements from the originals. Honestly, I think that the originals looks better. Yes, there is a very noticeable green hue (which you are going to get under the circumstances) but you can take out that green without affecting the overall photo. Try "Selective level/curves" adjustments. If you are working in Photoshop, use layer masks and layers in general. I see the touchup work that you did on her face and you did a good job.
But overall, you made all the photos to look overexposed. The background was already overexposed, which you said you knew that. You could have used layers and tweaked the background and the foreground for different tweaking. Histograms are a valuable tool.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:16 am 
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I don't think you really need VR in such powerfull lighting conditions. I shot at sunset at ISO 100 and almost at all times I had shutter times of 1/200s, wide open or stopped down, depending of the light angle. Also I used the fill-flash do softer the shadows so I exposed corectly the highlights. Fill-flash was set to -2 or -3 EV (Flash Exposure Compensation). For your portraits you should have metered the background to -1EV (slighlty underexposed) and use the flash to fill the underexposed areas of the subject. It's hard to shot in such harsh light and next time I recommend choosing the sunset when shooting portraits. The light is warmer and the shadows ar ... uhhm ... longer!

Cheers,
HNV

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:56 am 
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No more "radioactive" sunlight,for sure!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:46 pm 
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It looks like you shot in mid day sun, not the most forging. I do like the originals better if feel that they are still a little bit over exposed but say 0.5ev to 1. As far as composition is concerned well done just one thing to remember in photos one and two your subject should be looking the other way, it is more pleasing to the eye and tells more of the story. Photo four the subject is looking into the frame not out of it, there is more emotion in the picture and lends credit to the open space. You might want to try and re shoot photos 1,2 and 3 with say f4 to f6 so you lose some of the detail in the back ground.
Over all good job and I would love to see more posts, Sorry if I came off over critical just trying to help. Just remember go out and have fun.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Thank you for the tips!
Of course,that's the 1st "rule",to enjoy what I'm doing....& to make things perfect,I must make the model feel alright too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Mstone - your comments are definitely not "harsh" and have a little CC. I won't reiterate all that's been said, suffice that a calibrated monitor is unjustly a factor that the majority of digital photographers neglect.

What hasn't been said may be worth mentioning briefly, and I'll complete the remainder on an entry in my blog (see below). Lighting outdoors, especially in the midday sun can be difficult to manage but experienced photographers can find ways to deal with it, such as direction of subject and lens in relation to the light, use of reflectors, strobes and cover.

Finally, Razvan - I disagree with the what your friend mentioned regarding portrait photography. The importance of editing is the last thing on the agenda in portraiture. The most important aspects are the interaction between you, the subject AND the camera, and the control of lighting at the time of taking the photo. Editing is the final stage where you can correct small things that you missed at the time of shooting; such errors as your exposure and use of lighting cannot be salvaged even with heavy processing.

EDIT: I didn't include a reply to two other points.The fact that you used 2 cameras ought to have meant that you should have been more attentive to settings. And the green cast is because you weren't controlling the direction of light, but using pure shade. Now your surroundings have turned into a cove of green reflectors leaving you with the nasty green skin tones...

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