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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:34 pm 
This is a picture I took yesterday. What do you think, I know the background wasn't the best but otherwise?


Focal Length: 75 mm
Shutter: 1/100
ISO: 160
Aperture: F5.6

Comments: Edited to black/white

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:06 am 
Thanks for sharing. It looks like it was cold yesterday!

Good control over the depth of field, but for me, this shot lacks contrast and impact. You can easily up the contrast a bit more in post-processing and give a stronger look to the image.

I'll move onto the subject's position in the frame. The central position doesn't quite work here for me; I would have prefered her to be on the edge of the frame with the building completely to one side of her, rather than overlapping the two as you've done. A remedy, seeing as you can't now fully recompose is to go square. The backdrop to the lower part of the frame is grass and ground, and isn't interesting - how about cropping it out and creating a head and shoulders with the building in the background?

If you would allow me to adjust your image, I can illustrate what I mean if the above doesn't make sense.

Overall, several elements are there, but need a little tweaking and unlocking.

Keep on snapping. Best wishes.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:20 am 
Feel free to edit the image, as long as it doesn't end up on a porn site LOL, thanks for the criticism this is why I'm posting my pictures. I'm very young at this and appreciate everyones words.

The picture was taken very quicky. I just looked up at her and she just looked beautiful to me. So I through it up and snapped it. After looking at the picture I wish I would of taken more time with a few more. On a different note, I have been having a little difficult time composing my pictures with the "3rds" rule. Mainly on living things it seems. Dogs, birds, but mostly people. I need to work on using less zoom and setting up the picture I think. I didn't do any editing other than a quick touch of the "greyscale" button. I'd like to see if you interested in what changes could make improvements.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:24 am 
oh and you can find a larger image on my flickr site.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:26 am 
Thanks, csmonte.

I don't know if you'd like this, but this, to me, is as strong an image I can create from your photo.


Let me talk you through what I did in CS3:

Square cropped
Duplicated layer and adjusted brightness to -17 and contrast +14
Duplicated layer and ran high pass filter, then overlay
Duplicated layer and inverted it, then diffuse glow, then reinverted
Finally added a border and flattened the image.

Last edited by Photoj on Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:51 am 
thanks for the edit. I like the darkening and the I guess its a glow that sort of flairs out from some dark areas. Its neat seeing such a change. I can see how the cropping for you was kind of limited with the direction she is facing and the house where it is.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:57 am 
A pleasure. I await others to make their comments as well. For me, the cropping to a square was the only option I could see, and on doing so, I offset your lady to one side to make the composition a little more interesting. The darkening and glow added mood for me, in what was a pale greyscale conversion. Instead of hitting the greyscale button, do explore adjustments of contrast to boost monochrome images.

Looking at my post-processing, I ought to have straightened the image a little as well...

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:02 am 
Hi csmonte,

I took a slightly different approach. While undoubtedly "your lady" is indeed beautiful, I felt that the picture didn't do her full justice, so to speak.

First my "reasoning" (such as it

1) Because her body is straight up&and down and in no real "position" and because her clothes are not designed to draw attention or otherwise remarkable (typical winter-wear that we all shuffle around in), the body is - photographically speaking - immaterial. This, I think, is also what photoj picks up on when cropping the way he did.

2) She blends in too much with the background and doesn't stand out as much as she deserves. She is the focus of our attention - or should be.
By that token, her face - what little we see - is really what makes this picture of her. On the other hand, there is not enough picture to simply focus on her face alone and you did not pretend to make a portrait either.

Here's my interpretation:
1) Bring her forward in the image by making the tonal range a little more dramatic
2) Get her closer to the viewer - in this case by cropping
3) Realize that this will never be a portrait, so include enough of her torso to show her somewhat "whole"
4) Sharpen her - especially the facial region - to appreciate that direct stare she directs at you
5) Shove her to the side - thus making it more "deliberate" compositionally.
6) Apply a frame to guide the eye a little more and to combat some of the distracting elements in the bacground - there's a bit too much going on and it at the same time, not blur the heck out of it.

So this is my version of how to implement these elements, to offer an alternative to photoj's excellent perspective.

Cheers :-)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:16 am 
Woo... its fantastic how much postprocessing can "umpf" a picture.

Even tho the first picture is a pretty nice picture, the edits from you guys just add a few dimensions to it.

This is my experience of the pictures in this thread:
The first one: My is eyes is sort of searching for a main target. What am i looking for in this picture?
The edits: BANG.... im instantly caught by her eyes.... Fantastic !

Good work and it really helps alot for others aswell who wants that little extra in portrait photo.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:45 pm 
I've edited my edit...I couldn't resist using the larger version this time, took the time to straighten the image before cropping, and re-did the framing to balance it better. Everything else is the same with the post-processing in the previous version. You can compare the new one and the old. Using the higher res image to begin with has made a difference.

Straightened, cropped from large:
Unstraightened, cropped from small:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:04 pm 
Wow, after looking at them again, both a really neat. I do like the slightly longer crop. And the higher res. picture made a huge difference. Seemed to still maintain smoothness and sharpness expecially on her face. I also like that frame better than the second, seems less distracting to me. (photoJ)

This tells me I have much to learn, which I knew anyway. I haven't gotten into any photoshop work yet. I know it is in my future, I am just learning shooting first.

thanks again, the photo's look excellent. I might have to keep them if you'll let me.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:16 pm 
Of course post-processing's a handy tool to have, but if you learn to compose your shots well at the time, you won't find you need to use it much at all.

I agree with the frame - one was done in haste, and the other was more thought through after seeing the result of the earlier one.

You're free to take the edited images back. You'll find the link to the large versions here:

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