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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 12 Feb 2015 (Thursday) 22:35
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i hate portraits

 
Varneeezy
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Feb 12, 2015 22:35 |  #1

so I attempted to do a portrait session for a friend and his best friend. I took about 60 shots and like a couple lol I bought a flash for my hot shoe as I thought the flash on my 70d wouldn't be strong enough. shot all of them in first curtain in av mode. I hate shooting people and this is my second attempt, for a reason lol. any advice on post processing them, if they are worth it at all.


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Varneeezy
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Feb 12, 2015 22:36 |  #2


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Varneeezy
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Feb 12, 2015 22:37 |  #3


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Micro5797
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Feb 12, 2015 23:54 |  #4

About all that you can do via PP is to reduce highlights. Most people use Lightroom for this.

#2,3 and 5 are the best of the set.

A few tips for shooting would be.
As in picture #1. Stop and stand still when shooting.
Also as im sure you found out when using a flash as a fill light, use first curtain and when freezing motion, use 2nd or rear curtain sync.

A flash sync hot shoe cable ($20) can get your flash off camera and make more flattering light.
A Stofen added to the flash head can help soften and spread the light out making it more flattering in most situations.

Keep studying flash, posing etc and photographing people will become less and less scary.


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Varneeezy
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Feb 13, 2015 00:06 |  #5

Thanks. I'll come down in the highlights. This was my first time actually using a flash. I'm used to using long exposure for nature and cityscape shots when it's dark out. So using a flash was another world for me lol. I "rented" a cheap sunpak flash from best buy meaning I'm returning it tomorrow haha.




  
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saea501
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Feb 13, 2015 07:12 |  #6

Maybe the reason you hate shooting portraits is that the results, if these are typical, are not all that great. And the reason the results aren't very good is because it appears that not much effort was put in to achieving a good result. A cheap on camera flash is not going to provide a flattering light. It looks like you and your subjects were moving around while the shutter was open. Under these conditions of course you're going to return less than stellar pictures. Add to this the fact that your subjects look like they'd rather be just about anywhere else....especially the guy in the white shirt.

This was simply a recipe for disaster.

And please understand I'm not trying to insult or belittle you. You just simply made a few mistakes in your approach to this type of photography. Shooting a good portrait is not what I would call easy.

I'd first suggest study some of the tremendous portrait shooters on this forum. Read about how to light people in a flattering way. Then get an inexpensive off camera flash kit and start practicing. Find a friend that is willing to sit for you and experiment. You'll be surprised how quickly you start getting some keepers.


Remember what the DorMouse said.....feed your head.
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freestylee30
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Feb 13, 2015 10:01 |  #7

Sorry, I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said except that when I first started using flash, it was a 430EX on camera and it was tough for me to get the hang of, but I can think of three things to share that helped me:

1 - (already mentioned) get a flash diffuser (something like this (external link))

2- If you are going to keep the flash on the camera, practice bouncing it off the wall and ceiling. Helped me quite a bit.

3 - Get some tools to take the flash off camera. I recommend Yongnuo stuff (external link). I'll probably be picking up another flash to pair with my 430EX and it will be Yongnuo. I am currently using their RF-603 flash trigger/shutter release. It's cheap and easy to use so you have no excuses to not get one and practice :)

Good luck!


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sirquack
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Feb 13, 2015 15:11 |  #8

Another thing, outside of what has already been said, your lens appears to be a short focal length lens as well. Most of the shots show some very strong distortion and because of it are not conducive to portrait work.
And I am not going to "judge" you on the "rental" thing, but it is pretty petty to use something and then plan to return it after use.
The concept of flash photography is a whole different world. You really need something you can play with and learn with. The sunpak's are pretty cheap and would be a good way to get your feet wet in flash. As others have mentioned, find something that you can afford that will let you get your flash out of the hotshoe. Until you can do that, your not really going to like what you can produce. It is passable, but not something you will be happy with once you get the hang of using off camera flash.


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Varneeezy
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Feb 13, 2015 16:18 |  #9

Oh no sirquack there was a misunderstanding. Maybe the way I said it. I meant I'm returning it because it feels and works so cheap. Lol




  
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Davevw3
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Feb 15, 2015 21:10 |  #10

If you're friends are nice enough to come out and take pictures with them, give them some guidance, (i.e. Oh, do that again, or stand nice and still or can you just fix your tie). It will go along way to help your photos as well. The last one is decent.

Dave


"Smile, nod, and back away."

  
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i hate portraits
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