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Thread started 12 Feb 2013 (Tuesday) 18:20
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Studio Portrait Session Critique

 
mestes
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Feb 12, 2013 18:20 |  #1

I am starting to teach me self studio and portrait stuff and so did a fun shoot with a friend this past weekend and am wanting some honest feedback so I can learn and apply some things for next time.

What I have for gear is a black cloth backdrop only two alienbee 800's with umbrella softboxes. Nothing else for lighting besides my speedlite which i didn’t use.

No meter or nothing just shoot and adjust settings on lights or camera.

I really just experiments with one light being the key light and the other fill light and then moving them or subject around.

I also know very little about good posing of people so that was also an experiment.

These are all straight out of the camera except cropping and minor white balance and sharpening done in Lightroom.

Please if you post give me honest feedback I do not need a bunch of they look good comments I can have people who dont know about photography tell me that i want to learn and critiques help me learn.

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jsvphoto
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Feb 12, 2013 20:50 |  #2

Lighting in #2 is the best for me, while #3 is the worst; don't like the harshness of the shadows on the left side of her face; I think your key light was too high for this shot... Generally speaking, it's all about the eyes, so try to get as much light in them as you can. Harder for dark brown eyes, but the images are usually more compelling if the eyes "light up" in the image. #1, #6, and #7 are generally too dark for my taste. With the exception of #4, I like your posing. If you have a flash controller for it, you should incorporate your speedlight as a hair light (pointing it down at the model, from the back). Getting light on the back of the hair to separate it from the background can make the image stronger as well. If you have limited flash controllers, remember that the ABs will fire when they "see" another flash...


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samsen
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Feb 12, 2013 21:10 |  #3

Also you either over treat the skin in pp or not dealing with it at all. Go moderate.


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Samsen
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cleyvosier
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Feb 13, 2013 06:29 |  #4

#3 is a little bit off to me


Gear- Canon 50d, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L USM,Alien Bee 1600 & csr+ reciever, Sekonik L-358
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cleyvosier
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Feb 13, 2013 06:29 |  #5

the shadow on the left of face


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mestes
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Feb 13, 2013 10:05 |  #6

jvsphoto yea I have two cybersync triggers so im limited also only have two light stands so did think about triggering one bee and the speedlite and the other bee would trigger by seeing the other two just not sure where to put the speedlite without a stand to hold it behind the subject.

I know i just need to shoot and experiment but i see now that getting as much light on the eyes and both sides of the face are important without blowing out the highlights i will work on it thanks for the honest critiques.


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charro ­ callado
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Feb 13, 2013 10:09 |  #7

Critiques for a set like this are difficult without knowing more about what kind of look you are trying to achieve.

Experimentation is critical, so my advice would be to just keep at it. Once you figure out what style you're after, your path forward will be much more apparent.

joe




  
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mestes
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Feb 13, 2013 10:13 |  #8

Was not really trying for any style yet figure i will develop my own once I experiment some. Luckily this subject is family and loves her picture taken so i have a constant subject to experiment with just need ideas and to play around with what gear i have.

My main goal with this set was to get a good understanding of what good lighting should be and teach myself some posing starting simple i guess until I'm more comfortable.


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charro ­ callado
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Feb 13, 2013 10:20 |  #9

mestes wrote in post #15605554 (external link)
Was not really trying for any style yet figure i will develop my own once I experiment some. Luckily this subject is family and loves her picture taken so i have a constant subject to experiment with just need ideas and to play around with what gear i have.

My main goal with this set was to get a good understanding of what good lighting should be and teach myself some posing starting simple i guess until I'm more comfortable.

Fair enough. "Good lighting" is of course incredibly subjective. With women it is particularly troublesome because while contrast is visually interesting, it exacerbates blemishes and imperfections. This is apparent in almost all of your shots. The trick is to create interesting light while minimizing the appearance of zits, scars, bags under eyes, and general skin lumpiness. It's not easy. The quality of your light source has a lot to do with that, but for me it also involves a commitment to a certain level of retouching.




  
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mestes
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Feb 13, 2013 10:36 |  #10

yea I didnt retouch these only because i wanted feedback on the lighting and stuff with out any of that added in.

Thanks for the insight and tips i will take all of this into consideration next time.


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medicdude
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Feb 13, 2013 11:20 |  #11

All IMO
2, 5, are great.
3 way too dark. Obviously this is because more light would brighten your black backdrop. Maybe some PP would help here.
4 a little on the cool side.
1, 6 could use more exposure.
7, 8 kinda loses her hair in the dark background. Maybe a hair light or raise your fill?


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HiepBuiPhotography
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Feb 13, 2013 12:06 |  #12

Most, if not all, of my comments have been stated already, but I'll just mention them as I see them.

Most of your shots are underexposed. #2 has the best exposure. Also, since you're using a black background, you're starting to lose her hair/head in most of the shots. A back light would help tremendously or positioning your light a little better (like in #5). The WB on #4 is not consistent with the others (cooler). Other than that, they look OK to me. :D


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Damian75
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Feb 13, 2013 17:39 |  #13

I agree with the comment above all of these are in need of a rim light or if you only have the one light perhaps a silver reflector or something to bounce some light back in and give you some separation between your subject and the background. As for the post-processing I'm certainly for no processing over bad processing. You should check out Tony Corbells videos on YouTube about one light and two light portraiture while they're basically a promotion for pro photo there's some pretty good information in there to get you going. http://www.youtube.com …?nomobile=1&v=C​DbRaBXsXco (external link)


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jsvphoto
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Feb 13, 2013 21:58 |  #14

I think you're on the right track. It's hard starting out with limited equipment. I know someone will say something about it being about skill, not equipment, but... It's just more fun when you start getting more gear. As you noted, you'll figure out what style you like as you shoot. You'll probably get frustrated, though, as your skill starts to bump up against the limits of your gear. It's still fun, though, to envision a look and then try to make it happen. :) Not that I have it all figured out, but I really started to grow once I got some modifiers with grids. Being able to control light is huge, obviously.


Canon 7D Gripped; Canon 7D ii Gripped; Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM; Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L; Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5 L; Sigma 85 f/1.4; Rokinon 8mm f/3.5; various lights & gizmos
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mestes
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Feb 13, 2013 22:41 |  #15

Only limitation is lack of more lights and modifiers camera and lens are not an issue have tons to play with my main goals here are to teach myself lighting and posing just as i did when i first learned photography used to shoot sports so still objects are a whole new ball game lol thanks for all the tips everyone


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