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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 23 May 2014 (Friday) 05:58
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Need input

 
HLK
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May 23, 2014 05:58 |  #1

Some senior pictures I did for a friend to practice. Need constructive criticism. This is my first attempt with someone other than my son. I have done some portraits with two other girls since this that I will post later.

IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2940/14244348601_aef6d1422f_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​244348601/  (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2916/14247670875_bbe58ecc70_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​247670875/  (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5581/14061101317_a3502af0be_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​061101317/  (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5485/14247393884_fe909b26fb_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​247393884/  (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2923/14061083589_83cc11103a_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​061083589/  (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr[IMG]ht[IMG]https://farm3.staticfl​ickr.com …61082798_741634​672a_b.jpg (external link) (external link)
Alex 1st session (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr



  
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nittaya
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May 23, 2014 07:28 |  #2

i like the 3rd one. But in all of them except the 3rd one, highlights are overblown. In digital safe policy is not to let highlights over blow. Here is an edit of 3rd one.


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jetcode
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May 23, 2014 14:35 |  #3

Clearly you have a subject giving you what you want and you captured it. The rest is really a matter of educating your sense of tonality and finesse in creating an image. Take a look at the images in this link.

http://www.boredpanda.​com …tography-elena-shumilova/ (external link)

Notice how they transcend the ordinary? That's the secret and it's a secret for a reason. It takes time to understand how to visualize and create this level of imagery. What you have created so far is a documentary perspective which has value but it may not have the kind of artistic edge you desire.

Photography is based in art and some folks spend an entire lifetime in art. I say this so that you don't feel inadequate in measure. We all start with simple documentary style. But then the bug sets in, we start to itch to make the masterpiece. In general the masterpiece is captured by the camera but is not made by the camera. It is made by the artist.

My recommendation is to study the craft visually. Spend at least 1 hour a week viewing images that move you. Try to recreate them. You will learn more in this exercise than you will simply shooting whatever comes up in your schedule.




  
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Ethosb
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May 23, 2014 15:06 |  #4

jetcode wrote in post #16925147 (external link)
Clearly you have a subject giving you what you want and you captured it. The rest is really a matter of educating your sense of tonality and finesse in creating an image. Take a look at the images in this link.

http://www.boredpanda.​com …tography-elena-shumilova/ (external link)

Notice how they transcend the ordinary? That's the secret and it's a secret for a reason. It takes time to understand how to visualize and create this level of imagery. What you have created so far is a documentary perspective which has value but it may not have the kind of artistic edge you desire.

Photography is based in art and some folks spend an entire lifetime in art. I say this so that you don't feel inadequate in measure. We all start with simple documentary style. But then the bug sets in, we start to itch to make the masterpiece. In general the masterpiece is captured by the camera but is not made by the camera. It is made by the artist.

My recommendation is to study the craft visually. Spend at least 1 hour a week viewing images that move you. Try to recreate them. You will learn more in this exercise than you will simply shooting whatever comes up in your schedule.

Well said jetcode. Finding ones artistry and passion that moves them develops over time. I have done photography for 25 years, but only became what I would call a photographer a few years ago. Fuel the passion and always try to learn something new.


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Titus213
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May 24, 2014 01:18 |  #5

Some technical suggestions - include the exif on your images, especially here in the critique section as it helps make suggestions for improvement.

- these look like they were shot mid day. Try the golden hour (external link), the light will be better.

- it looks like you might have some focus issues too. Use a single AF point the you select, don't let the camera select it. Focus on the eyes. I use back button focus on the * button and find it helps considerably.

- post processing should result in colors that are consistent. Your model has several differing skin tones in these. Try to keep that consistent.

- jetcode has a great suggestion on looking at other's images that you really like and trying to figure out the how. And shoot a lot of pictures.


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HLK
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May 24, 2014 09:53 |  #6

Thank you for some of the constructive input. I should have mentioned that I have no lightng or off camera flash. So when I need fill its my popup. I'm afraid to post any from my other girls pictures.


Nittaya- that is probably my favorite as well. I see 2 where the highlights are overblown in certain areas. But she actually wanted all of them to have an overexposed look. So I did a +1 bracket. These are the normal exposure.

Jetcode- I was really looking for input on the photos I have posted. Yes I get that some bored lady in russia with a beautiful farm cute animals and cooperative kids can take amazing photos. And obviously she is very skilled in photoshop. With a full frame camera. Some of the lighting is gorgeous and some doesn't make sense. Plus about half of the photographs do not even show her subjects face. Alex probably would have been slightly upset if her graduation photos didn't include her face!


Titus 213- how do I include the exif when linking to flickr? Or do I have to type it all out?
I usually use the center point, focus and recompose. I always shoot for the inside corner of the eye and use the back button focus.
It actually was between 830 and 11 am. Doesn't the color of the light affect skintone color at different times? Plus some of them included fill flash with my pop up flash. I don't know. I'm discouraged and there are people who loved these and actually want to pay me to do theirs. But I lack confidence.




  
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CameraMan
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May 24, 2014 10:08 |  #7

Popup flashes are terrible. I would suggest looking at speedlites. You can start out with something cheap like a Yongnuo or an older Canon model speedlite like a 430EX. I have a Yonguno for the Nikon and it's similar to the Canon 580EX II's. I also have 2 580 EX II's. Another thing you can try is reflectors and/or maybe a sunlight diffuser. But you definitely need some off camera lighting.

That being said, what Dave said about shooting in the Golden Hour (external link) of the day would help these photos a lot.


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Titus213
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May 24, 2014 10:36 |  #8

Including the exif should be as easy as not removing it...;-)a I believe when you Save for the web the exif is removed. If you do a normal Save as out of Photoshop it should remain on the images. I'm a bit rusty on this since Lightroom is my normal software. And I'm not a flickr user but I've seen the exif on other flickr posts and it's readily available. I just wasn't able to bring it up on your images. It may be my lack of knowledge about flickr.

All that being said, what camera/lens are you using for a start. And what processing software do you have available?

Using only the center AF will work in most cases. Moving the AF point to allow the least movement in recomposing is a better idea, especially with narrow DOF.

Don't get discouraged, this isn't quite rocket science. Equipment today is generally top notch even at an entry level and capable of excellent images. And the folks here on the forum are more than willing to help a newbie. Some might be a bit more intense about it....;-)a


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HLK
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May 25, 2014 22:11 |  #9

Cameraman- I see a lot of bad things being said about those flashes. Do you have experience with them. And golden hour usually means the sun behind the trees here in Pennsylvania. So I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding the golden hour timeframe?

Titus 213- when I go to flickr it shows me the exif. So I'm not sure what's going on.
I'm shooting with a 7d and a 100mm f2.8 macro also a 50mm 1.8.. think 100mm mostly for this shoot. Also I'm using photoshop 7 yes very very old but I'm teaching myself as I go along.
I'm just a little discouraged by the commercial comments etc. I'm trying and the people I'm working with aren't about the creative aspect of things. Example.. the prom pictures I took that I thought looked ok, three people said "is the background supposed to be out of focus?"

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5313/14244709911_efc10b24e3_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://www.flickr.com …heatherkerns/14​244709911/  (external link)
IMG_5671 DONE (external link) by Heather Kerns (external link), on Flickr



  
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CameraMan
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May 25, 2014 23:00 |  #10

I have the YN560II and it worked fine. It was a little bit blue but WB corrections in either Lightroom or Photoshop fixed it quite easily. Also, I put an orange gel filter on it and that seemed to even out the color a bit. Not perfect with a little bit of tweeking it worked fine.

Now that I've sold the Nikon I'll be using the light for color painting at night. Something I tried a few years ago but didn't want to do with the more expensive Canon flashes. Now I have a flash I can do that with and not worry too much about. :)


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Titus213
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May 26, 2014 01:26 |  #11

Still can't see exif on flickr - perhaps you need to sign in to see it.

The image you just posted is quite bright Exposure should be for her in this case. I would use spot metering on her face. A couple simple tweaks in Lightroom - lowered whites and highlights, warmed it up a bit.


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Dave
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Titus213
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May 26, 2014 20:06 |  #12

OK, I have to be signed in to flickr to see the exif I guess. Dug up my old account and I see it now.

The shot doesn't look like it needs flash but exif said it fired. And f2.8 is a bit extreme for the situation. Check out this DOF calculator. With the distance to the trees in the BG you could have gone higher on the f-stop.


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HLK
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May 27, 2014 19:35 |  #13

Cameraman- thanks. Maybe ill give the flash a try. I just ha ve a hard enough time with color correction that I'm not sure now if it would be more of a hassle. Painting at night seems like a cool idea. I've wanted to try it but I'm struggling with day to day stuff. =) hope it works for you

Titus213.. I do like your edit but I'm unsure of how to do what you said in photoshop (add warmth) lower the whites.. etc. The flash was decreased to use as a fill. Her face had dark shadows without it. Also I opened all of the other girls pics in DPP and very little showed up on the highlight alert?




  
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Titus213
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May 27, 2014 23:22 |  #14

Shoot in raw, edit raw in DPP. That will allow you to increase the white balance temp - there should be a slider.

In camera you set the white balance to at least daylight. Don't use auto white balance.


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jetcode
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Jun 04, 2014 16:59 |  #15

HLK wrote in post #16926853 (external link)
Jetcode- I was really looking for input on the photos I have posted. Yes I get that some bored lady in russia with a beautiful farm cute animals and cooperative kids can take amazing photos. And obviously she is very skilled in photoshop. With a full frame camera. Some of the lighting is gorgeous and some doesn't make sense. Plus about half of the photographs do not even show her subjects face. Alex probably would have been slightly upset if her graduation photos didn't include her face!

Dismissing this woman's work is interesting. She's out in front of the pack and you are dissing her? That's fancy. I have no idea why people come here and expect to get 2-4 years of education in photography in a single critique. That's why I gave you the critique I did. You have to learn how to see. I can't take you there. No one can.

Quality of light is everything in a photograph. A great subject in bad light makes a bad photograph.




  
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