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Photos: professional vs non-professional look

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Thread started 04 Apr 2004 (Sunday) 21:27   
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pn.md
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From Joseph Cartwright, professional fashion photographer. He's in the top magazines. I heard about him on MSNBC's Tech Summit. They interviewed him as a top New York fashion photographer whose on the leading edge of digital photography. He uses a Contax 645 with Phase One digital back. Very expensive. ;)

www.josephcartwright.c​omexternal link :

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From photographer Jeff Black, non-professional, ie- not published in the magazines like Cartwright:

www.pictures4fun.comexternal link :

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I'm not criticizing either photographer. I'm just trying to figure out how Cartwright got a more professional, polished magazine look vs Black whose pictures look more amateur.

I think both photographers are great. But is it just me are the quality of the pictures different? Is Cartwright using more expensive pro lighting? Backdrop? Or is it Cartwright's $30,000 plus setup with the Contax and $15,000 Phase One Digital back?

And how do I get Cartwright's look? Will the Alien Bees' Digibees I plan on getting give me this more pro look? I know it's all about your technique! But expensive pro equipment has to play a role.

I want this look with my Digital Rebel and Alien Bees (I haven't purchased the Aliens yet. So I'm open to suggestions.) ;):D

Post #1, Apr 04, 2004 21:27:05




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Vegas ­ Poboy
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Lighting & know how is always a major plus when landing those big accounts. I've also heard that when you have a big name in the business you get donations or major discounts on top line gear. So don't think these guys pull out the credit card and pays full price. Sometimes there stuff is on lease.

I went to a seminar givin by Mr. Crockett and he did a demo on lighting & posing it was great. Later all of us students found out he had $50,000.00 in lighting setup. So that took the wind out of our sales to try repoducing what he did. Good luck but don't get to crazy with the credit card. :)

Post #2, Apr 04, 2004 23:47:57


$$$ in Canon Gear & Lighting Equipment

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ron ­ chappel
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I can't get the 2nd set to show.
Pitty because it looks like an interesting comparison

Post #3, Apr 05, 2004 07:03:15




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evilenglishman
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personally i think the second two photos look bad because the poses aren't good.
The first one shows a very unflattering line around the models stomach and the second one is a really arkward pose - it looks uncomfortable

Post #4, Apr 05, 2004 08:22:56


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PhotosGuy
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Keep in mind that a "Pro" also has a makeup person, hair person, etc, and NEVER shows you the pics that aren't perfect!!!

Post #5, Apr 05, 2004 08:40:21


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ron ­ chappel
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Tried the link and coppying the shortcut but still can't see the 2nd set.
I have win XP pro and ie6 .am i lacking something to see them properly?

Post #6, Apr 05, 2004 08:45:11




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G3
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The posing is the main difference here. In Mr. Black's photos, the posing looks stiff, especially in the second photo. In both photos, the model's right arm is locked out straight. This contributes to a stiff, "posed" look. "If it can bend, bend it." In that second photo, the model looks stiff as a board and leaning back in a rather unnatural position. Both photos are using the right arm for support. I don't like this type of pose. Women are better photographed in a relaxed "S-curve" type of pose, IMHO. The first one almost works..if he did something different with the right arm and covered the midriff, it would be OK. The lighting is good.

I don't particularly like the composition of the second photo (Mr. Black's) either. There's just too much extraneous "stuff" in that photo that doesn't work as an effective background.

Post #7, Apr 05, 2004 09:13:11




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evilenglishman
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I agree 100% with what G3 wrote. Also I think the last photo would have looked more "fashion" if she wasn't looking at the camera.

is this the guy who has a book out about posing models???

Post #8, Apr 05, 2004 09:41:03


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John_T
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I think the first thing that makes a top photographer is his ability to see, feel, sense and understand light and know how to work with it. Any kind of light, natural or artificial. Throwing money at lighting will not make better images.

The rest is a intuitive ability to work with people and situations, imagination, creativity and experience.

The gear is souless, heartless and brainless. It's dead asleep until somebody pushes a button. It doesn't give a eff about you or what you want to do. You've gotta do it all.

Post #9, Apr 05, 2004 10:45:03


Canon : 5DIII : 7DII : 40 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 35L : 85L : 100L IS Macro : 135L : 16-35L II : 24-105L IS : 70-200L II : 100-400L IS II : 1.4x & 2x TC III : 580EX : 430EX : G1XII : Markins Q10 & Q3T : Jobu Gimbal : Manfrotto Underware : etc...

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pn.md
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evilenglishman wrote:
is this the guy who has a book out about posing models???

Yes, it is the same guy who sells the posing techniques on Ebay.

Thanks all for the replies. Alot of the differences are obvious ie- poses, lighting. However, I wonder if Jeff Black could achieve the more professional look (IMO) if he had the same studio and lighting as Cartwright. Or if he would've shot it his way and still got his same look.

I never thought about if the model NOT looked in the camera for a more pro look. :)

Post #10, Apr 05, 2004 10:58:15




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G3
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pn.md wrote:
evilenglishman wrote:
is this the guy who has a book out about posing models???

Yes, it is the same guy who sells the posing techniques on Ebay.

Thanks all for the replies. Alot of the differences are obvious ie- poses, lighting. However, I wonder if Jeff Black could achieve the more professional look (IMO) if he had the same studio and lighting as Cartwright. Or if he would've shot it his way and still got his same look.

I never thought about if the model NOT looked in the camera for a more pro look. :)

It's all in the way you use the lighting you have. I don't think you can necessarily do any better with $50,000.00 worth of lighting than you can with $500.00 worth. If you don't know how to use it, then the only difference will be that it cost you $50,000.00 to make a poorly lit photograph. Properly controlled, just about ANY lighting can produce a "professional quality" photograph. But you have to understand light and how to control it.

As far as posing, there are certain "classic" poses that will look good with nearly any subject, and there are certain "classic posing rules" that will give you "classic poses". What defines the top model photographers is their ability to use, bend or break those rules and acheive the desired look. Just because you use time-homored and proven "classic pose" does NOT mean that you photo is going to have the look you were after. Face, arm, hand, leg, foot and body positioning can be replicated to the nth degree and if the model isn't relaxed and comfortable, it will show in the picture. The idea is to give the model a starting point and let him or her work with that until they hit a pose they are confortable with. It may vary only slightly from the "classic" pose, but it will work for that subject. If you try to pose them the way you want them and make them hold that pose exactly, they are not going to be relaxed.

As far as eyes looking at the camera, away from the camera, just to the side of the camera, etc., there are many different techniques that work. What you have to keep in mind is things like the difference between a male's eyes and a female's eyes, how much "eyeball" should be showing, etc. Traditional wisdom has always been that the eyes should be looking where the nose is pointing, but people are breaking away from that now, too...and with good results. The more you break away from the traditional poses, however, the more involved lighting can become because of facial shadows, etc. One rule that seems to stick is that the face should not be turned to the side to the point that the nose breaks the line of the face.

Also important is camera angle. Moving the camera up or down a little can make a huge difference in perspective.

Post #11, Apr 05, 2004 11:47:57




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John_T
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In this candid shot, one is a top model and one is a top art director. Which is which and how can you tell?

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Post #12, Apr 05, 2004 12:26:04


Canon : 5DIII : 7DII : 40 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 35L : 85L : 100L IS Macro : 135L : 16-35L II : 24-105L IS : 70-200L II : 100-400L IS II : 1.4x & 2x TC III : 580EX : 430EX : G1XII : Markins Q10 & Q3T : Jobu Gimbal : Manfrotto Underware : etc...

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evilenglishman
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i would say the girl facing the camera is the model for 2 reasons.

1. she has a body that looks like a mans. :x
2. the other is a bit too "womanly" around the hips.

:wink:

of course you didn't say what type of model - which makes a very big difference! My answer is based on the thought that you are referring to fashion.

Post #13, Apr 05, 2004 12:53:18


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Johnnynf
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evilenglishman wrote:
The first one shows a very unflattering line around the models stomach

I wish my stomach were as "unflattering". I fear that if I were to enter into a similar pose, you would see more than just one line. :lol:

In that last picture, the one of the art director and the model, could that lady's pants be any lower? I mean seriously. Not that I mind any, but that gives a whole new meaning to the term "low rise underwear"...if she is wearing any at all. :lol: The sad thing is that I see 14 year olds wearing stuff like that around my school all the time. What will young ladies be wearing (or not be wearing) 10 or 20 years from now?

Post #14, Apr 05, 2004 12:54:27




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John_T
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Nope Nope. Which is which and why?

Hint: What makes a top model. What makes it worth flying her in from 11,000 km away, put her up in the best hotel, pay her expenses and her fees, not minor, on top of all that?

The answer is in three words.

Post #15, Apr 05, 2004 13:11:29


Canon : 5DIII : 7DII : 40 2.8 : 50 1.4 : 35L : 85L : 100L IS Macro : 135L : 16-35L II : 24-105L IS : 70-200L II : 100-400L IS II : 1.4x & 2x TC III : 580EX : 430EX : G1XII : Markins Q10 & Q3T : Jobu Gimbal : Manfrotto Underware : etc...

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