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Photography Question 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
 

Is this picture any good??


 
 
My first attempt at a portrait, Taken at my brother's Wedding party. The subjects are my cousin Angela and her husband Ryan.

I noticed a light pole in the background that distracts from the picture, any other suggestions or critiques??


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5/31/2005 6:41:36 PM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
 
 
 
Here's the picture.


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5/31/2005 6:43:33 PM

 
Rick Richardson    Daniel, Take this from an amateur like yourself OK? But I'm still going to be brutally honest as I would want you to be of my photos. Here it goes:
1) soft image overall
2) unattractive background
3) uneven lighting- Ryan overexposed - Angela spot on. (yes-he is lighter-PS time)
4) Are you sure they were in the mood for a portrait? or was this a snapshot?
Because:
4a) Her hands are not relaxed.
4b) He is thinking of you, the photographer and staring into your lens -not focused on her. For example he might be tilting his head in her direction.
4c) They seem a bit fatigued or uncomfortable. Was this at the END of the wedding party?
5) too much space above the heads
6) Could you have done a closer crop due to busy background- perhaps head shots only?
7)Middle of the day, right? (the light -so flat-wheres the pop?) Could deal with this by converting to BW.
8) above all, this is what stands out to me the most. Angela is sitting SO much lower than Ryan and he is slouching. Her eyes should be at about at his nose.
Would this couple be open to spending an hour or so 'modeling'for you? Have them dress up and practice some creative shots. One way to deal with their height difference is to have him carry her in both arms.

Keep Learning! Rick.


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5/31/2005 8:37:56 PM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  In addition to cloning out the pole I would select all the background and blur it somewhat so that your subjects stand out a bit more from the background (although with your nice tight framing it's not bad the way it is). Especially if you leave the tree in the background you need to rotate the photo slightly so that it is vertical (actually, I'd rotate so that the lightpole is vertical and then clone it out---that way you know your photo is straight!). For me there is a little too much contrast or maybe just brightness----some body parts almost look shiny, pretty easy to change if you so choose. The colors are great and your sharpness and focus are super. And I like the pose and the feeling one gets from the couple---and that is probably the most important thing.


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5/31/2005 8:40:49 PM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  WEll, Rick posted his response while I was typing mine----lol, sounds like he knows a great deal more about it than I do.


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5/31/2005 8:44:15 PM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
  Thanks Rick and Connie, I appreciate you taking the time to help me learn how to improve my photo skills. I am going to take your suggestions and work on this and see what kind of result I can get.
Thank-you!


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6/1/2005 3:13:17 AM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
 
 
 
Something like this??


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6/1/2005 4:53:28 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Composition is much better. All it needed was a little cropping.


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6/1/2005 6:44:39 AM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
  Thank-you Kerry, I also tweaked the lighting on their faces, It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.


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6/1/2005 6:49:35 AM

 
Connie J. Bagot
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  I like the background and the crop better. But I think to change the lighting properly on their faces you have to go back to the original photo (my apologies if you did that).


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6/1/2005 8:03:52 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I would like to give a few more suggestions if you don't mind. Use a tripod. This will allow you to set up your camera and move as you see fit in order to pose them. Have them sit together and relax while you are doing this. Onece you are ready, you will get them into much less comfortable position. Have them both sit up straight. They won't be comfortable but it will make a good picture. Don't let him slouch. While I agree they should be closer to eye level on a head and shoulders shot, this is not feasible with a 3/4 view. Try a few different poses. Have them both look at the camera. Have her look at the camera and him look at her. Have them look at each other. It is OK for him to lean in toward her but have him lean from the waist - no slouching. Shoot at the largest aperature available so as to get the background out of focus. Try different things and see which you like best.


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6/1/2005 9:19:08 AM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
  Thanks Kerry, I actually did use a tripod but I was just moving around the place taking pictures of different people there. I never really asked anyone for specific poses as I did not want to bother anyone, however next time I'll definatly heed your advice and take several types of poses.

Thankyou for your advice.


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6/1/2005 9:25:59 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Believe me, they will be happy to pose for you, especially if you give them copies of the photos. Most people love to have their pictures taken. Keep shooting. You are doing well.


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6/1/2005 9:32:27 AM

 
  stick to flowers and take a course


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6/3/2005 7:54:31 AM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
  Thanks No Name, maybe you could give me some lessons...oh yeah I forgot you're not a real person, in fact I don't even think you know WHO you are!!!


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6/3/2005 8:00:33 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Daniel, a course might be a good idea. We could all take a course in stress management to learn how to deal with hemorrhoids.


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6/3/2005 8:46:15 AM

 
  actually hemorrhoid cream works well for bags under the eye. NYIP, Brooks Institute, Hallmark in Boston. Real teacher, with real names - isn't that nice


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6/3/2005 11:00:29 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Hi Daniel,

Forget what people who only want to provoke say and listen to those who really want to be helpful. Kerry, Connie and Rick have all made good suggestions about this photo and I have nothing to add that they have not already covered. However, as someone who is fairly new to serious photography and who is still trying to master some of the same things you seem to be trying to master, let me suggest that, if you have the time and money, you consider taking a course here. From viewing your gallery I can see that you have a good eye. That is at least half the battle. I am amazed at how much my photography improves as I take courses here at BP. Brian Peterson’s course on exposure was excellent and truly helped me to understand why many of my shots simply were not what I wanted. I am finishing up Kerry Drager’s class on composition and I have learned a great deal while also having a wonderful time! The classes here are designed with a great deal of flexibility in mind, which helps when you work a “real” job. Viewing your fellow students work and seeing the critiques that the instructor makes helps just as much as having critiques made of your own work. The instructors at BP are “real people” who, when they are not working here, work as professional photographers whose work appears in some fairly impressive places. Sure it would be wonderful to go back in time and major in photography at someplace like RIT, but, that is simply not in the cards for me, at least. Taking courses here is workable for my life, at least right now. Just a thought.


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6/3/2005 12:43:05 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
Daniel,
THE FACT THAT YOU WANT THIS IS VERY GOOD-NOW I HAVE TAUGHT POSING FOR YEARS AND HAVE WRITTEN 4 BOOKS ON POSING.
MAY I HELP YOU TO IMPROVE THE POSE?
*FIRST OFF ASK YOUR SUBJUCT TO SIT UP STRAIGHT, SHE WILL LEAN TOWARDS HIM BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY.
*HIS LEFT HAND NEEDS TO SLIP DOWN ,JUST A LITTLE OUT OF VIEW(SIMPLE RULE OF POSING :NO MORE HANDS THEN THERE ARE SUBJECTS)
*HIS OTHER(RIGHT) HAND, AROUND HER WAIST.
* HER RIGHT HAND BEHIND HIM,AND HER LEFT COMES ACCROSS HIS AND HER HAND RESTS ON HIS ARM OR ELBOW.( I WILL ENCLUDE A COUPLE OF PORTRAITS TO SHOW HOW ARM POSING TIES THE POSE TOGETHER)
* HIS HEAD SHOULD TILT TOWARDS HER ,BUT HIS NOSE SHOULD BE TOWARD YOU THIS GIVES YOU FULL EYES.
*HER HEad should tilt sightly towards HIM AND HER NOSE TOWARD YOU- AGAIN GIVING YOU FULL EYES
**THE BACKROUND IS GREAT NOW.
I DO HOPE THIS HELPS, WISHING YOU A LIFETIME OF SMILES,
DEBBY TABB


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6/3/2005 1:32:50 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
  FAMILY GROUP OF FOUR
FAMILY GROUP OF FOUR

THIS GROUP WAS A LITTLE STIFF.
TRY TO KEEP FINGERS TOGETHER, AND FEMININ HANDS LOOKING SOFT AS THEY LAY-NOT STIFF

© Debby A. Tabb
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
 
Daniel,
THE FACT THAT YOU WANT THIS IS VERY GOOD-NOW I HAVE TAUGHT POSING FOR YEARS AND HAVE WRITTEN 4 BOOKS ON POSING.
MAY I HELP YOU TO IMPROVE THE POSE?
*FIRST OFF ASK YOUR SUBJUCT TO SIT UP STRAIGHT, SHE WILL LEAN TOWARDS HIM BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY.
*HIS LEFT HAND NEEDS TO SLIP DOWN ,JUST A LITTLE OUT OF VIEW(SIMPLE RULE OF POSING :NO MORE HANDS THEN THERE ARE SUBJECTS)
*HIS OTHER(RIGHT) HAND, AROUND HER WAIST.
* HER RIGHT HAND BEHIND HIM,AND HER LEFT COMES ACCROSS HIS AND HER HAND RESTS ON HIS ARM OR ELBOW.( I WILL ENCLUDE A COUPLE OF PORTRAITS TO SHOW HOW ARM POSING TIES THE POSE TOGETHER)
* HIS HEAD SHOULD TILT TOWARDS HER ,BUT HIS NOSE SHOULD BE TOWARD YOU THIS GIVES YOU FULL EYES.
*HER HEad should tilt sightly towards HIM AND HER NOSE TOWARD YOU- AGAIN GIVING YOU FULL EYES
**THE BACKROUND IS GREAT NOW.
I DO HOPE THIS HELPS, WISHING YOU A LIFETIME OF SMILES,
DEBBY TABB


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6/3/2005 1:33:06 PM

 
Daniel Diaz
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2005
  Thank you so much Irene and Debby, I truly appreciate both your inputs and suggestions. As of right now taking a course is not quite possible as I an a young father of three wonderful boys and work full time, my wife has no income as she is at home with our 2 and 8 month old boys(bless her soul). Taking a course in the future when our finacial situation improves is a definate must. For now I will try to learn as much as possible from the excellent people here at BP such as you two wonderful ladies. I think I can afford one or two of your books for now Debby. I will try to purchase them soon.
Thankyou so much ladies and don't think I forgot about you either Kerry,,,,Thanks


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6/3/2005 3:04:47 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  No name, ain't my name no more.

If you are serious and have to work all day, have your wife read and highlight important things. It could be a fun hobby for you both, but you'll spend twice as much money - Addicting


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6/3/2005 3:34:04 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  DANIEL,
IF YOU ARE ITRESTED IN THE BOOKS(THEY ARE ON CD WITH MANY PORTRAITS AND GRAPHS) PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT ON EBAY-THE LINK IS ON MY GALLERY PAGE- BUT DON'T BUY THEM THERE- I GIVE YOU GUYS FROM BP A DISCOUNT.
SO, JUST EMAIL ME FOR PRICES.
UNTIL THEN I'LL HELP IN THE THREADS,
DEBBY TABB


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6/3/2005 3:57:26 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  I certainly appreciate the challenges of trying to work full-time, raise a young family and also pursue a hobby such as photography. I give you great credit for even trying! If you cannot afford to take a course at this time you might want to consider reading some of these books – all written by BP teachers. The books should be available in your local library. Brian Peterson’s newly updated Understanding Exposure is great as is his other book Learning to See Creatively; Kerry Dragor’s book Scenic Photography 101 is fantastic and again, much of what is in his online class is also in this book. At least this way you will be able to study at your own pace – perhaps after the kids are finally in bed at night, provided that you are not completely beat. Good luck and keep shooting.


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6/4/2005 5:34:56 AM

 
Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  all of the suggestions given are great... I too am learning all I can. I read everything I can get my hands on. Remember practice makes perfect!


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6/6/2005 2:25:14 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Daniel

I think it is a wonderful first portrait, it is very natural and not stiff.

Oh, and they guy's a hotty too!!!!

Debby, not sure whether I agree on your possing, it seems a little to contrived. Some of your examples look too "posed".

*FIRST OFF ASK YOUR SUBJUCT TO SIT UP STRAIGHT, SHE WILL LEAN TOWARDS HIM BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY.
*HIS LEFT HAND NEEDS TO SLIP DOWN ,JUST A LITTLE OUT OF VIEW(SIMPLE RULE OF POSING :NO MORE HANDS THEN THERE ARE SUBJECTS)
*HIS OTHER(RIGHT) HAND, AROUND HER WAIST.
* HER RIGHT HAND BEHIND HIM,AND HER LEFT COMES ACCROSS HIS AND HER HAND RESTS ON HIS ARM OR ELBOW.( I WILL ENCLUDE A COUPLE OF PORTRAITS TO SHOW HOW ARM POSING TIES THE POSE TOGETHER)
* HIS HEAD SHOULD TILT TOWARDS HER ,BUT HIS NOSE SHOULD BE TOWARD YOU THIS GIVES YOU FULL EYES.
*HER HEad should tilt sightly towards HIM AND HER NOSE TOWARD YOU- AGAIN GIVING YOU FULL EYES

Don't you think the above is all a little too much! Photography is suppose to be fun and if you are going to worry about all those little things, then people aren't going to enjoy being photographed.


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6/6/2005 6:11:11 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Hey Natalie,
I do understand where your coming from,but when you are out to take a nice portrait it is done quite different then just a picture.The pose will surely work just as discribed and if done correctly will and can look quite comfortable.most of us take pictures and portraits- the differance here is that David said that it was his "first attempt at a portrait" and was asking for help with that - as a teacher and author- I just gave him the instruction for the type of portrait pose he was looking to do.Your gallery is very ,very good -it's a great display of fun candid type poses, but in this instance the question was how to make it a "portrait". I do understand that some of my portraits may look "posed "to you- but that is just the difference between our prefered shoots,and the clients who visit us.
I see many of your shots to envie, as I have heard others say to me.So,It's no big deal-just a prefered prefrance as I said.
It's fun to play with both.
Wishing you a life time of smiles,
debby tabb


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6/6/2005 7:14:32 PM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Natalie - I had to jump in regarding your comment that “photography is supposed to be fun.” I have seen this and similar comments on many different threads here and I just had to add my 2 cents worth. I have been taking pictures for many years, but until fairly recently everything was simply a snapshot that could have been done with any cheap point and shoot camera without much thought. Yes, in some regard it was fun to snap shots of friends and events and even to take pictures of places I visited. But, these shots were just like the shots everyone made – nothing really special or creative. Of-course they documented a point in time, every picture does this, but I never really felt that I captured what I wanted.

Then I became serious about photography and purchased a good SLR. For the first year or so my pictures still looked like snapshots – no real art, no real creativity. I started reading everything I could find on the art of photography. I took a couple of classes online and in person and finally I found this site. I just finished my 2nd BP class and I have to say that I am having more fun with my photography then I ever have. But, I work hard to make my shots now. I make no claim to being a great photographer or even a middling one. However, I do see improvement and I do see where I still have to develop skills. I am also very serious about creating decent work and yes, there are times when I feel really frustrated. I don’t always follow the rules as set forth by anyone, but I do believe that you have to at least learn what these rules are and practice them before you throw them out completely. Trying to make the very best photo possible is challenging, but it is also fun! In fact, IMHO, learning the best techniques, trying out new things, learning from others and challenging myself is a really big part of enjoying photography. If we take advice from someone with more experience/talent and after a fair trial decide that their advice does not work for us, well that is okay. But, first I think we owe it to ourselves to at least learn the rules and try them out before we throw them out because they don’t work for us. And, oh yeah...I am having a great time!


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6/7/2005 5:03:21 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Irene,
Spoken Like a true artist!!
know how to get a shot then push the evelope to make it better or what you want.
What a stunning Gallery you have-and in the place I treasure the most in this world:Glacier National Park.
Don't you know that Heaven itself must be alot like Glacier.
Beautiful work.
you should be more then proud.
Debby Tabb


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6/7/2005 5:16:55 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Wow, Debby! You made my day! Thus far the day has really been bad - computer problems and trying to work at the same time *&^$#@! Anyway, I appreciate your comments very much. Yes, I certainly agree that Glacier is probably alot like heaven. I am a often times homesick transplanted Montana woman. I desperatly miss the mountains and incredible open space, not to mention the warm friendly people. Someday soon I will go back for good, but for now I try to get out there at least once a year for several weeks. Thanks again for your compliments.
Irene


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6/7/2005 7:27:28 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Hey Irene,
ARE YOU IN CALIFORNIA?
NEVER CAN HAVE ENOUGH PHOTO BUDDIES!
I TRYED TO MOVE UP THERE ONE YEAR,QUITE A WHILE BACK.KALISPELL TO BE EXACT. BUT EVERY ONE WAS TO NICE-LOL. THE HOUSE I FOUND AND HAD MY HEART SET ON WAS $500.00 A MONTH AND ON FLATHEAD LAKE 3 STORY,2 BOAT DOCKS(TELL YA HOW MANY YEARS AGO?LOL-ABOUT 13)ANYWAY I HAD THE MONEY,BUT 2 KIDS AND THE REALTOR THOUGHT, AND THOUGHT-2 WEEKS OF THINKING! AND SAID HONEY, YOU'VE NEVER BEEN HERE FOR A WINTER BEFORE-IF ANYTHING HAPPENED TO YOU OR THOSE KIDS ON THAT HILL,IN THE DEAD OF WINTER I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'D DO WITH MYSELF.(YOU KNOW ANY CALIFORNIA REALTOR, WOULD HAVE TAKEN MY MONEY AND JET, FIGURING IF I DIED OUT THERE HE'D JUST RE-RENT THE HOUSE.LOL)
BUT I DO SAY,IF THE WIND EVER BLOWS ME ANY WHERE NEAR MT. THEN I'M GOIN' WITH IT.
HAVE A GREAT DAY, AND THATKS AGAIN FOR THE BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS.


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6/7/2005 7:48:48 AM

 
Irene Troy
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/27/2004
  Debby,
I am on the entirely different end of the country! Northeast Massachusetts. Very far from the mountains that I love. Of-course, this area has its own beauty, just not mountains. BTW: Kalispell's winters are really not that bad. I don't know where you live, but even very northern Montana doesn't suffer endless winter - not like Minnesota for example. Happy shooting!


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6/7/2005 9:38:32 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  OH , I AM SURE OF THAT!!!
I AM IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA , SAN DIEGO AREA . YEAH, THAT WEATHER MUST BE A SHOCKER FOR ANYONE WHO WASN'T BORN THERE.
I DON'T KNOW WHY IT HAPPENED THAT WAY, IT JUST DID.
BUT, THE NIGHT BEFORE I LEFT THERE-I KID YOU NOT-I WOKE UP 3 TIMES FROM A SOUND SLEEP , CRYING. I KNEW I WOULD ALWAYS MISS THE BEAUTY OF THAT PLACE.
IRENE,THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I SAW A "REAL"FOREST.
I WAS 33 AND COMING FROM 15 YEARS IN PALM SPRINGS- THE MOST FOREST I EVER SAW WAS BIG BEAR.LOL
BEST TO YOU- AND BTW, WHEN EVER YOU GO BACK-I'LL BE NEEDING NEW POSTS OK.


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6/7/2005 9:47:47 AM

 
Nicholas I. Hull
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2005
  Irene - one thing that really stands out to me in you gallery is your sense of color. Your photos just pop with bright and radiant contrasting colors. Technically they are spot on, but there is a true beauty in them. Thanks for sharing.

Have these photos been re-processed or are they as they were taken?


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6/7/2005 9:48:18 AM

 
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