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 Post subject: Please Critique
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:33 am 
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this is my first serious attempt at portrait photography... i have a D80, 35mm f/2.0 lens and no flashes...

please give me some feed back on where and how i can improve... thanks for taking the time.


1. 1/100 sec @ f/2.0 -- ISO 100 -- Exp Comp -0.7
Image

2. 1/200 sec @ f/2.0 -- ISO 100 -- Exp Comp -0.7
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:29 pm 
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TR...the first one I think, to my eye looks really "pretty"...and that is subjective, I know, but, the composition pleases me, the subject with her RED hair, shot a little off kilter, with that gorgeous green framing her...and the lines letting your eye wander to her face is a portrait I would be proud of. The second one, I like the compostion, but she looks a little less "warm"...she has a slight green tint to her...can you warm this one up a bit, I think that would go a long way in helping this one out.

good goood work, nice and sharp enough light in her eyes in the first one, to make her look great...love it.


patti

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:20 pm 
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thanks patti... i re-processed the second photo, does it still have the green tint? ... could be something wrong with my screen or my eyes :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:22 pm 
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nope, she is gorgeous....whatever you did, you nailed it...looks beautiful...I love the look...she looks wonderful. Great job.


patti

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Hi Thomas,

Firstly very nice location and model and I just love the angle of the first shot!

Personally in the first picture I would like to see the models head framed a little higher, also it would benefit from a few minor colour / contrast tweaks (I hope you do not mind but I have put my take on it below - added a cooling filter and a curves adjustment - nothing major and there are a few more things I would do and obviously this is just my opinion), if you would ike me to take the image down that is not a problem just let me know and I will edit the post for you.

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:26 pm 
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thanks patti and mark... nah, i dont mind you editing my photo for this purpose, so don't take it down... it is more in line with the second photo now, thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:01 pm 
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EDIT: I note a plethora of subsequent attempts at post-processing that follows this. Sdrummer, can you be helpful and add a little about what you've done to the image? Secondly, I'm going to make some cheeky comments. Sdrummer's version has stronger reds and a cooler temperature, whilst there's a more restrained edit by Cam-I-Am. Both have their merits, but do look decidedly familiar to what I posted in this much earlier...

Photoj wrote:
Hi Thomasrichards,

I'm PMing you over your portraiture thread: "Please critique".

The green tint is caused by your surroundings (and not your monitor). The trees act as giant green reflectors. Take a look at the outdoor portraiture lighting post I have on my blog made during August.

I'll give you my honest feedback and unlike comments made, I don't like the first image. This is because your model has been unflatteringly framed. Your composition is good, but her posture is wrong. Her facial expression is alright, but her shoulders and neck aren't. You give the impression that she is hunched with a short neck. (EDIT: The posture has since grown on me a little, but I can't still help but wonder if her right shoulder could be repositioned differently; Mark-A was right to make clear up what I glossed over in the PM which was leaving too much space above the model's head in the frame).

The second image is much better in everything except that you messed up the lighting. You'll find tips on my blog that might help you here.

I hope this gives you a few pointers...

Best wishes,

Ed


patti wrote:
ok. take a vacation. one week. that is ALL...and get back in here


I'm back, but not to stay for a while. I just couldn't leave this one unfinished.

thomasrichards wrote:
Thanks for the critique Ed... I was hopnig you would comment on it.

Could you tell me if I have managed to get rid of the green tint in the re-processed edition of the second photo?


I'll continue here rather than PM you again. The tint hadn't disappeared in your second edit. It's a hard thing to remove green tints without altering the appearance of the rest of the frame.

thomasrichards wrote:
i dont mind you editing my photo for this purpose


In that case, below you'll find my interpretations of your images with a brief description of what's been done. The aims were to get more distinction between the model and the environment. One takes a sun-kissed approach, the other is more grunge.

Image Image

Original on the right. Edited version included cropping to a 4:3 ratio to get more width and reduce the height - unlike Mark-A this is wider to get the most out of the background with the converging lines (and it's an outdoor portrait, so we can't crop out all the background). There is also increased contrast by using several techinques that included the use of layer masks with brightness increase, contrast decreases and increases, levels adjustment, altered channels, high pass filters, warming filter, and diffuse glow.

Image Image

Your re-processed photo is the one below. PP was considerably simpler than what I did with image #1 with brightness, hue/saturation adjustment, crop, clone stamp and levels adjustment. Contrast not altered despite appearance.

Despite what I said about the lighting being messed up in my PM to you, with the right editing, that can be corrected. The original lighting was a little flat, but what you did right was expose the face. That makes the PP work to get a more dynamic image much less stressful.

Hopefully this might be useful. I'll keep an eye on this thread for another day or two before disappearing.

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Last edited by Photoj on Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Good shot. The angle works well I think. The first is definitely the best of the two.

So I gave it a whirl too if you don't mind. Done in Paint Shop Pro. Brightened up a bit with slight extra highlight lifting and a bit of extra contrast plus some white balance and hue tweaking followed by a light high pass sharpening.

Here the also cropped original with the processed one side by side at half size.

Image

I hope you'll find it of use.

Ben
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:05 pm 
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Well, I figured I'd give one of your shots a quick little edit, if that's alright Thomas.


Here's your original,

Image



and here's my quick little edit...

Image


Best wishes,
-Sean.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:51 pm 
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Hi Thomas,

Good job!

I like the first shot the way it is. I also think there's a little problem with WB in the second one as it's too cold to my taste. So I changed the WB to Auto in LR and here it is:

Image

I hope you don't mind that we edited your images.

Cheers,
Tony

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:09 pm 
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Okay...I've already made 2 edits above in my original post regarding the post-processed images.

I'm going to bring up to attention that this isn't solely a post-processing thread. Thomas asked for critique. I've seen a lack of that with the last few posts. "Good job!", although a niceity, isn't terribly helpful. How about expanding upon what was good about the image? Likewise with "The first is definitely the best of the two" - you can only have better out of two, but grammar aside, why is #1 the better? I guess good critiquing is an art form as well - just from my perspective it's good to say what you like, what you think needs improving on, and then offering advice on how to get that improvement. There's no point picking on a fault that can't be remedied.

Regarding the last 2 edited images on the thread, Sdrummer as I said above is cooler in temperature, and perhaps too much so, but then chickenflavoredchips has made a version too warm. WB isn't always easy to get right unless you meter for it at the time of taking the image, or have a calibrated monitor that will give you an accurate result...etc

So summarising my previous post and fulfilling the brief given:

thomasrichards wrote:
please give me some feed back on where and how i can improve


- Knowing how to manipulate outdoor lighting
- Filling the frame more effectively
- Controlling the model's posture
- Getting more drama out of your images

This will probably be the last CC I do on CL for a long while.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:31 am 
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like I always say. You can frame it anyway you want. It is hard to make a redhead look bad...

I rest my case. Have enjoyed this series on tints, textures, light and shadow...
If I were an expert, I would critique it. I am not. I just know what I like, and that is a start.

whooohoooo.


patti

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Hi to all,

Thanks for all the responses and your takes on edits, it's pretty interesting to see the different tastes in styles.

I have just bought a new computer which boasts a pretty impressive screen... in quality that is... and I have now seen that most, if not all, my photos need re-editing. My previous screen was terrible... I would have changed it, but it was a laptop.

I can now see the green tint clearly... as well as other details which remained hidden on the retired laptop's screen.

As for the tips in your last post Ed, the last three points were not on my mind of at the time, and thanks for drawing my attention to them... having concentrated only on landscape photography from the day I got my camera, these points had never crossed my mind, except for adding drama in some shots.

Thomas.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:45 pm 
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thomasrichards wrote:
Thanks for all the responses and your takes on edits, it's pretty interesting to see the different tastes in styles.

I have just bought a new computer which boasts a pretty impressive screen... in quality that is... and I have now seen that most, if not all, my photos need re-editing. My previous screen was terrible... I would have changed it, but it was a laptop.

I can now see the green tint clearly... as well as other details which remained hidden on the retired laptop's screen.

As for the tips in your last post Ed, the last three points were not on my mind of at the time, and thanks for drawing my attention to them... having concentrated only on landscape photography from the day I got my camera, these points had never crossed my mind, except for adding drama in some shots.

Thomas.


Thomas, it's good to hear that your new monitor opens up a different visual perspective on your photos that your previous one couldn't show. However even with the new screen, it's not a certainty that it's showing accurate colours and levels, or it might change over time. Colour calibration is oft neglected. It isn't terribly expensive to purchase a low-end consumer tool that boosts results many fold. The standard Huey and Spyder2Express are the ones that may be worth looking into as a starting point for calibration.

Regarding the tips I added, they're common things that the majority of casual photographers I see miss or neglect regardless of it being landscape, portrait, close-up or other. The points picked up can be applied to most disciplines within photography - even regarding the direction of inanimate models/subjects.

Have the numerous edits given you ideas on how else to explore your images? Let us know whether you wish for the edits to be removed at a later date.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:52 am 
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Thanks Ed, I'll have a further look into monitor calibrators... for now I'll just have to trust my eyes, even if they're a bit off... I'm colour blind.

And yes, the different edits have shown me the different possibilities available. I would not mind keeping the edits for this thread, as it just goes to show the different tastes in styles for each photographer while using the exact same photo.

Thanks for the help Ed... and don't be a complete stranger to the forums.

Thomas.


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