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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 01 Aug 2013 (Thursday) 13:45
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rivas8409
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Aug 01, 2013 13:45 |  #1

I'm just looking to see what everyone's opinions are on this portrait. I like it a lot, but obviously I'm a bit bias. :-) The girl's parents loved it too, so that's really what matters. I do however like to hear other photogs opinions. Always looking for ways to improve.

Shot with my 85 1.8 @ f/10, 1/200, ISO 100 with flash camera right with a shoot-thru umbrella set at 1/2 or 1/1 power, can't remember. :-)

Thanks! You can see more from her set here (external link).

IMAGE: http://www.arivasphotos.com/img/s8/v78/p1634621788-4.jpg

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geparry
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Aug 01, 2013 15:37 |  #2

I agree it is an overall nice looking photo and the expression is beautifully captured which is the key to a successful portrait. Nevertheless, I will throw out some ideas for your consideration. These ideas won't make or break a photo but they would likely enhance it even more than what you have.

The white blouse attracts the eye more than her face because it is the brightest image. Portraits like this are usually improved by turning the body 45 degrees to the camera (away from the main light) and turning the face back toward the light. This will darken the blouse and chest, create a more interesting composition, and add some more modeling to the face. She might be better off with dark clothing with her complexion. I would brighten the eyes so they stand out more.

The rope behind her and to the right is a distracting element that you might try cloning out. Watch the straps on the left shoulder, would be better if they were together. The hair on the left shoulder could be draped better to avoid the skin gap and the loose hair that is floating above the shoulder.


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JM ­ Photos
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Aug 01, 2013 15:38 |  #3

I don't like that her head is chopped off at the top. This is a very bad mistake, but easily fixable for next time.
Did you crop this, or is that how it was composed?


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tmoore323
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Aug 01, 2013 15:54 |  #4

I agree that I would also like to see more of her head, but I'd also clean it up (especially smoothing some of the wrinkles in her shirt which drew my attention the most)

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rivas8409
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Aug 01, 2013 16:28 |  #5

I framed it so her head was was "cut off" that way...it was intentional. I have to disagree that it's a "very bad mistake", but thanks for the critique none-the-less I do appreciate it. I did crop a little bit more off the top as I straighten the image slightly and cropped to 4x5 ratio but not much. My thought process is that you know the top of her head is there. There wasn't much going on in the sky other than the marine layer hanging out off shore that you can see in the background. I felt that having more empty space above her head would take away from the portrait and would bring her eyes down in the frame and that's one thing that I'm starting to try to avoid; having eyes at or near centerline of the frame.

I completely agree about smoothing out the dress. I'll definately take a look at doing that. And that gap in the hair off her shoulder- didn't even notice it until you brought it up, thanks! That chain behind her proved to be a challenge to clone out and make look seamless, especially when it meets her shoulder. It's definately something I keep going back to to clean up but never really comes out looking right. I would have preferred to keep it out of the frame but it was there keeping people from the edge of the cliff that leads straight down into the pacific.

Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em ccoming!


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flashpoint99
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Aug 01, 2013 16:31 |  #6

Very bad? thats very subjective...Peter Hurley charges $1200 dollar and up for a headshot and his style is to chop off the top of heads...Go figure!




  
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JM ­ Photos
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Aug 01, 2013 16:46 |  #7

flashpoint99 wrote in post #16173491 (external link)
Very bad? thats very subjective...Peter Hurley charges $1200 dollar and up for a headshot and his style is to chop off the top of heads...Go figure!

He can charge however much he wants for a photo. It was just my opinion that the full head should be placed in the frame. Even if the sky isn't interesting, I feel like a crop just above the top of the head would feel more like a portrait picture.


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rivas8409
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Aug 01, 2013 16:52 |  #8

Dirty Murd wrote in post #16173544 (external link)
He can charge however much he wants for a photo. It was just my opinion that the full head should be placed in the frame. Even if the sky isn't interesting, I feel like a crop just above the top of the head would feel more like a portrait picture.

And I appreciate your opinion. I do have to ask though, you say that having her entire head in the frame would feel more like a portrait picture. Since I intentiaonlly chopped the top of her head, what does this portrait feel like to you? I'm asking in all honesty and with true intention. I really want to know.


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rivas8409
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Aug 01, 2013 16:55 |  #9

flashpoint99 wrote in post #16173491 (external link)
Very bad? thats very subjective...Peter Hurley charges $1200 dollar and up for a headshot and his style is to chop off the top of heads...Go figure!

His headshots are pretty bada$$ in my opinion.


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rivas8409
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Aug 01, 2013 19:08 |  #10

Dirty Murd wrote in post #16173544 (external link)
He can charge however much he wants for a photo. It was just my opinion that the full head should be placed in the frame. Even if the sky isn't interesting, I feel like a crop just above the top of the head would feel more like a portrait picture.

I actually found a shot from this session that I didn't show her becausee I didn't like the way it felt. It's almost an identical shot but I framed it to not cut off the top of her head. I personally don't like it, compared to the original photo I posted. I feel like her eyes are too low in the frame.

Like I said, I didn't show her this photo because I didn't feel it was strong enough compared to the other but I'm still putting it up here for comparison.

#2:

IMAGE: http://www.arivasphotos.com/img/s10/v100/p1677969522-4.jpg

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tmoore323
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Aug 01, 2013 19:38 |  #11

I like #2 better, but IMO you still have a lot of stray hairs and she doesn't really "pop" out. The eyes need some work as well.....

A slightly different crop will frame this nicely...




  
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HiepBuiPhotography
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Aug 02, 2013 09:15 |  #12

I agree with mostly what geparry had already mentioned. About the composition, she's too high in the frame in shot #1 and too low in shot #2. What are those red dots on her nose/face? Are they natural freckles?

The lighting is well done. I might brighten the highlights in her eyes to give it some more life.


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rivas8409
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Aug 02, 2013 10:23 |  #13

Yes, they're freckles. I do need to go back and work on her eyes a bit. Thanks!


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flashpoint99
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Aug 02, 2013 14:00 |  #14

Dirty Murd wrote in post #16173544 (external link)
He can charge however much he wants for a photo. It was just my opinion that the full head should be placed in the frame. Even if the sky isn't interesting, I feel like a crop just above the top of the head would feel more like a portrait picture.


You stated that the chopping off of her head was "a very bad mistake" It was stated as if this was a rule of photography that the OP was breaking by composing that way..I was simply pointing out that one of the most famous, successful headshot photographers in the Country shoots exactly that way. Wish I could charge $1200 a piece for my mistakenly composed headshots!...;)




  
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JM ­ Photos
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Aug 02, 2013 14:52 |  #15

rivas8409 wrote in post #16173562 (external link)
And I appreciate your opinion. I do have to ask though, you say that having her entire head in the frame would feel more like a portrait picture. Since I intentiaonlly chopped the top of her head, what does this portrait feel like to you? I'm asking in all honesty and with true intention. I really want to know.

I have no explanation to why it feels more like a portrait with the whole head. It's just a personal opinion and I feel like shot #2 is better composed. When I look at portraits, I like to see the whole head in the frame. Like I said its just a preference.

flashpoint99 wrote in post #16175871 (external link)
You stated that the chopping off of her head was "a very bad mistake" It was stated as if this was a rule of photography that the OP was breaking by composing that way..I was simply pointing out that one of the most famous, successful headshot photographers in the Country shoots exactly that way. Wish I could charge $1200 a piece for my mistakenly composed headshots!...;)

I'd rather buy a very nice new piece of Canon glass before paying 1200 for one headshot. What a joke.


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