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Old 25th of January 2006 (Wed)   #1
daBOODA
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Default Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Comments and Critisims are more than welcome!

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Old 25th of January 2006 (Wed)   #2
goatee
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Sorry if I sound a little harsh, but. . .

The white balance is off, so the skin that hasn't got burnt out highlights has got a rather strange tinge to it. Also, it looks as thoughthe focus is on the collar of his t-shirt, so his face is out of focus.

I think that fill flash would have worked wonders here - although there may still have been a bit too much green in the shot for my liking.

Having said all that, I like the composition, and with a different colour t-shirt, some fill flash, correct focus, and correct white balance, this could be a really nice shot .

Welcome to the boards! Please don't be discouraged - I've seen much worse here, and people who regularly contribute improve dramatically.
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Old 25th of January 2006 (Wed)   #3
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Still, it's kinda cool!
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Old 25th of January 2006 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Like goatee said the light isn`t working right .
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #5
daBOODA
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Whoops I thought this thread disappeared! Hehe

Thanks for the suggestions Goatee!

* T-Shirt colour: Not much I could have done about it as it was an hour's bush walk to get to that spot but I will keep it in mind for future portaits in parks or areas with lots of trees .. no green!

* White Balance: I'm just hitting "Auto" in ZoomBrowser EX. I still find it hard to pick the right colour balance. Maybe I should go back to shooting a white piece of paper and selecting the custom colour balance in the camera.

* Focus: Again, I find it hard to pick out of focus the way I've seen some people here pick it! If you show me two images where one if out of focus, I'll be able to tell, but I still struggle to spot it. I'll keep a closer eye on my photos for focus and WB though.

* Fill Flash: Is this just a case of turning the flash on after getting the aperture and shutter speed that I want? Should I use a diffuser for the on-camera flash or should I just wait until I get an external flash?

Thanks again for the critisims. Don't worry, I won't be offended. I wouldn't post photos here unless I wanted advice on improving
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #6
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

the main thing for me is the focus, it seems slightly out around the face, get that right & a couple of other things may well click into place as well.

Now I wonder if you can actually get a lamington at this park??
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Maybe a faster shutter speed would help.
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #8
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Haha nah I was explicitly told before I went that there will NOT be any lamingtons!
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #9
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

It looks very green and lush there. I like the composition withe the subject off to one side but there should be something more interesting on the right to really carry that off. Focus is not on the eyes. I'm not sure where it is, but it should be on the eyes. Color looks like reflected green from the foliage impacted the facial color. Not to mention possible reflection from the green t-shirt. Dark eye sockets indicate the need for a bit of fill flash. All my opinion which is free. Which is probably worth what you were charged.

I'm sure I'll regret asking, but what exactly is a lamington?
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #10
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Lamingtons are small sponge cakes that are covered in coconut and chocolate.

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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #11
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Hi there,
Everybody has covered the color, clothing, focus etc. So the only things I will discuss here is the lighting and background with a comment on composition. You used the word portrait so I will go from the perspective of a portrait photographer. Your background is both good and bad. The colors are excellent, the fact that you threw it out of focus gives it a far more professional look than if it were tack sharp. Portrait photographers bring the suject forward by making the background soft. The negative thing about the background is the twiggy areas over his shoulder and the gaping black hole. There was probably a more suitable background in the region. You just have to look for something without the distracting elements.

Your compostion is excellent. Far too frequently, beginers will bullseye anything with a face. Your aspect ratio is 1.5 to 1. More panarama that an 8 X 10 would be which gives it a very spacious quality. His head is located very near one of the 4 golden triangle intersections giving your subject very pleasing placement. He is looking slightly to our right which is always preferable to looking out of the frame.

Your lighting is a weak part of the image. Virtually all of your light is coming from directly overhead. This makes the eye sockets go very dark as well as under the nose and chin. You must look at your subject before you make your exposure and evaluate the lighting on the face. Even it portait lighting is not your goal, you should be able to see that the eyes are nearly black as compared to the well lit areas around them. I am not one who endorses flash fill unless it's for vacation snapshots. Flash fill always looks like flash fill and in my opinion has no place in professional portraiture. A well lit portrait has directional light just as it would in the studio. The photographers must learn first where the light goes on the face for a portrait lighting pattern and then recognize when it's there and when it's not when on location. Even reflectors in this case would not make it into portrait lighting. You could reflect the overhead light up into the eye sockets. It would be better but it would not be any closer to portrait lighting.

Your image still shows great potential so study it and learn from it both the good and the not so good. One last thing, the head tilt is excellent. It would be far less interesting if the eyes were on a horizontal line without any diagonal to them at all.
Best wishes,
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Old 26th of January 2006 (Thu)   #12
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

I think everything has been covered. I still find it incredible that you can get such detailed and helpful advice here... Much better than any book. For my opinion i'll leave the colors and lighting to the real pros. but he does have one of those faces that makes you want to pick up the camera,and I would definately shoot him again if I were you. Under different circumstances i'm sure you can get some incredible shots..... Sari.
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Old 27th of January 2006 (Fri)   #13
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

Thank you so much for your advice there, Lightingman! I didn't even think about the detail of the background but I will from now on.

I think my biggest challenge is getting lighting right. I can forsee that most of my 'portrait' (for lack of a better description) shots will be on location so studio level lighting is not a viable option. Would using a torch or some sort of battery powered light be an option instead of using fill flash?
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Old 27th of January 2006 (Fri)   #14
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Default Re: Portrait at Lamington National Park (Queensland, Australia)

daBOODA - if you're shooting something, and think the WB will be thrown off, or you think the exposure could be off (or you just always want the best quality possible), can I suggest you shoot RAW? That way you set the White Balance yourself, and can experiment after the shot is taken.

With regards to fill flash, if all you have is the built in flash, then yeah, just pop it up, and let the camera do the rest . To soften hard highlights / shadows from it, Lumiquest do a diffuser for built in flashes (the soft screen) - it's only 9.99, but haven't used it, so can't comment on its effectiveness - though it's not expensive, so is probably worth a shot

I still have loads to learn, but for most people, composition is the hardest - the rest is a matter of practice, (and remembering what things to be paying attention to).

Looking forward to seeing some more of your shots .
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