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Photography Question 
Pat Harry
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member since: 11/26/2006
 

Critique, please


 
  A Friendly Face
A Friendly Face
© Pat Harry
Nikon D80 Digital ...
 
 
For those of you who shoot people, would you mind giving me some critique on this image. I'm not looking for "oh, it's good", or "oh, it's just not that good". :) I'd really like some suggestions on what to do to improve.

10/25/2011 4:31:17 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
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member since: 5/31/2004
  Pat, I'm not a people shooter, but can give critiquing your image a try as a generic shot.

Overall, you have a pleasing pose, and the face is well framed by the hair. And yes, oh, it's good ;-)

However if this were mine, I'd do something about the black vertical line in the background because if you enlarge the thumbnail, it becomes quite dominant.

I'd also darken the shoulder where it hits the bottom of the frame because it's quite bright, and my eye keeps dropping down out of the picture. I'd give the earring a bit of a sharpen since it's so shiny. Finally I'd do some levels/curves work on the whole as I find it a bit muddy.

I hope that's what you were looking for. If not, you can take aim at anything in my gallery ...

10/26/2011 6:11:33 AM

 
Sandy Hawkins
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member since: 9/17/2007
  Pat....it's a lovely image, but needs some brightening and overall editing. It can go from decent to really good I think! Let me know if you want more information and take a look at the people images in my gallery. Oh, if you send me your e-mail address I will send you an image I just edited for someone...I didn't takt it but it's such a great example of going from nice to WOW.

Sandy :-)

10/26/2011 7:45:18 AM

 
Pat Harry
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© Pat Harry
Nikon D80 Digital ...
 
 
Kay, Sandy - thank you very much! You both have gorgeous galleries. Here's another pass at editing. I cropped it a bit more to eliminate some of the bright chest and shoulder - although I think I should have cropped from the camera right, rather than camera left.

Sandy, I'll send send you my email address. I would love to see the image you mentioned. Thank you!

10/26/2011 6:08:45 PM

 
Pat Harry
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  ooh - the colors look much better in Photoshop than they do in this uploaded version.

10/26/2011 6:10:01 PM

 
Sandy Hawkins
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  Thank you, Pat...oh my e-mail address is HisSparow@aol.com...make sure you only put one R in sparow...AOL would only let me have one R. I would also love to see the original unedited version of your image. It could really be great I think.... :-)

10/26/2011 6:12:24 PM

 
Pat Harry
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© Pat Harry
Nikon D80 Digital ...
 
 
Here is the original unedited version.

10/26/2011 6:26:30 PM

 
Carlton Ward
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  Hi Pat,
I have learned from Jim Zuckerman and my own experience with shooting portraits is that "Background can make or break an image". A beautiful background - uncluttered / flattering color / no roads.hulu-hoopers or port-a-johns behind a nicely lit person will make your subject look all the more beautiful.
When I set up to shoot, I look for the direction of the light, then the best background area to place them in front of and then select my DOF, distance & framing - in that order. Sometimes I move a couple of steps to one side and have the person turn to me and in just a couple of seconds I have created a better background or more flattering lighting for the subject.
I like your portrait and even prefer the darker exposure you used.
I had a beautiful senior girl that could not relax her face (she would smile but her forehead would scrunch up) but when I became pre-occupied about the background and lighting, it kind of loosened her up & drew her attention away from her camera shyness and I was able to get the shots with a relaxed expression.
220 / 221 whatever it takes... (Mr. Mom)
Carlton

10/26/2011 8:46:20 PM

 
Pat Harry
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  Thanks, Carlton! Excellent advice.

This was an unplanned shot, un-staged shot. She walked out as I was setting up, I asked if I could take a test shot for lighting, she tilted her head and smiled. I didn't not expect to keep the shot.

I know I really do need to work more on analyzing the background in all my shots. It's something I tend to forget when I'm rushed or nervous. Thanks for the reminder!

10/27/2011 5:49:14 AM

 
John H. Siskin
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John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Pat,
This is a very effective shot. I like the changes you made to the background, especially in the last version. The catch lights in the eyes work very well, bringing the eye to the eye, if you will. I like the pose, particularly the way you can see the subjects left eye brow. The eye make-up is a little harsh. Make-up for still photography needs to be subtle, and make-up for the street is often too harsh. Since this was a sort of grab shot this is expected. The light does a good job of defining the face, particularly the cheeks. You might want to use the shadow tool to define the chin a little more, it might help. Good work on the image. Thanks, John Siskin

11/2/2011 8:43:01 AM

 
Pat Harry
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  John, thank you very much for your comments. I'll work on the shadow under the chin. I have to agree with you about the makeup. :)

11/7/2011 7:16:25 PM

 

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