BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
 

Need opinion for contest


 
 
Hey guys could I get your opinion on this photo before I enter into contest. Which do ya'll like better the cropped or uncropped. I'm kinda in a dilema. THanks for the help.


To love this question, log in above
3/13/2006 10:26:18 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Justin,
Without seeing the two side by side, I doubt if it would make any difference at all as to which one you submit. However, seeing the two together, I kinda lean towards the cropped version. It seems to be a little more personal - in your face so to speak.
And...even though you didn't ask, if it were my picture, I'd burn in the corners, especially the bottom two.
Good luck.
Michael H. Cothran


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 10:40:46 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
Contact Carolyn
Carolyn 's Gallery
PickYourShots.com
  Both are really nice. Either one would be fine in the contest.


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 11:10:29 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Thanks you guys. Michael what do you mean burn in the corners. I mean I know what burning in means but I don't see why. Could you down the source and show me what you mean? Thanks. I just don't see what you mean, that's all. Thanks again.

Justin


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 12:14:30 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   I'll try when I get home to my own computer with PS. In the meantime -
Burning in simply emphasizes the center area, or the face, in your image. By darkening the edges, your eyes are automatically pulled into the lighter part of the image. This is especially crucial in portraits where the subject has bare shoulders, arms, and/or hands showing in addition to the face. These body areas always seem to be brighter than the face, and thus, vie for too much attention. Many greats, like Monte Zucker (portraiture) and Ansel Adams (landscapes) believe that a print is not 'fully dressed' until the corners are burnt in (or darkened, per say). Read up on Monte Zucker. He's still alive and as productive in his 'golden years' as he was back a few decades. You'll notice the corner-burning on many of his outstanding portraits.
Oftentimes, the effect is hardly noticeable, and other times quite dramatic.
How much you burn in is truly subjective. I have a technique in PS where I make a duplicate image layer, darken the dupe layer, and then erase so that the darkened area shows through. There is no right or wrong amount - I just keep playing with it until it looks good. With the RB, you can even buy 'vignetters' to fit the front of your lenses, which is what most studio photographers used before the advent of PS. Lee is a good manufacturer of such vignetters.
Check out my two images - 'Pickin' and The Cellist. Both are burnt, darkened, vignetted, whatever you want to call it.
Michael H. Cothran


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 12:44:49 PM

 
Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  I like the cropped one!


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 1:12:29 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  Justin I like the cropped version better. It shows her up close and personal and has more impact to the image.

Just my opinion. Kerby


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 1:24:09 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  They both have their charms; the cropped one is marginally better, Justin. If it were mine though, I'd darken the highlight on her shoulder a bit because it's competing with her face.


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 2:33:13 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Michael thanks for the explanation. I see what you mean now. Kay also mentioned that her shoulder is stealing attention and I agree so I'm going to burn in a little. Michael, could you write up your technique vagely or email me, I have a general idea of how I"m going to do it but it's probably a horrible way of doing it. My wife just finished an art class and desribed it as chiaroscuro. ehh oh well. thanks guys i'm probably going with the cropped. i'll burn tonight. thanks michael.


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 3:22:23 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran  
 
 
Justin,
Here's a sample of your image with corners burnt, plus a little enhancing - smoothing out her shoulder strap and forehead a little, and giving her a little glow with a small amount of
Gaussian blur.
You may or may not like the final results, but it just shows you what sort of post enhancing you can do to any degree you choose.
Michael H. Cothran


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 3:43:45 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran  
 
 
Justin,
Here's a sample of your image with corners burnt, plus a little enhancing - smoothing out her shoulder strap and forehead a little, and giving her a little glow with a small amount of
Gaussian blur.
You may or may not like the final results, but it just shows you what sort of post enhancing you can do to any degree you choose.
Michael H. Cothran


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 3:45:21 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Justin,
I'm not sure I sent these examples correctly, but it was the only way BP led me to include them. I did not mean for my name to be listed under the images, nor did I want to list a camera. THE SYSTEM MADE ME DO IT!!
Please forgive me here. I'm in no way trying to take credit for your picture - just meaning, at your request, to show some burning/enhancing thingies you could do.
Michael


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 3:58:14 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Michael thanks so much for your help. I now agree on the burning, looks a lot better. Don't worry about the name, I ain't worried about it, lol. Thanks for your help so much, I really do like it. I'm going to burn it later tonight and then throw it in the contest. Thanks again!


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 4:02:50 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   Justin,
There are some different ways of achieving the same results. I would NOT recommend using the burn tool. It doesn't really do as good a job, in my humble opinion, and it permanently alters your pixels. I learned a good technique from Monte Zucker, which I use quite a lot now, and did so on your image.
Make a duplicate image layer. Then add a Levels layer to that, and darken the layer as much as you want - you will need it pretty dark. Merge the Levels with its appropriate image layer. Then using a large brush with "0" hardness added, and a small opacity level, you can effectively 'erase' the lighter image, keeping the darker image around the corners intact. Make a couple of extra dupe layers, so if you don't like the results, you can trash that layer, and begin on a new layer.
Michael


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 5:14:15 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  I was thinking pretty much the same thing. I was gonna try using the gradient tool on a layer mask. I'm gonna try both. thanks again.


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 5:19:13 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
 
 
BetterPhoto.com Photo Contest Finalist
 
Ashley~1
Ashley~1
© Justin G.
Miscellaneous Does...
 
 
Thanks everybody for the input. I decided on cropped w/ burnt in edges. I appreciate the help very much.

Justin


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 8:26:54 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  Looks very nice Justin. I think you did a good job and good luck in the contest.

Kerby


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 8:31:52 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Thank you Kerby!


To love this comment, log in above
3/13/2006 8:34:35 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.