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Thread: Newbie Potrait Shot

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie Potrait Shot

    Hi All experienced one,

    Pls comment,

    1.


    2.


    3.


    4.


    5.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    3,4 ok. 1 got potential - the tilt and not best use of bkgd and dont find armpit contribute anything to pic, but DOF is good. 2 n 5 are awful - like some random snapshot, poor composition and arrangement of elements, subj and bkgd.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Yep... espion has already highlighted one major flaw - the background.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Try borrowing some books on portraits from the library. Read abt composition, posing, etc etc etc... before posting again, hehe...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Try shooting on a better day. Light is very bad.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by waileong
    Try shooting on a better day. Light is very bad.
    Yup, the weather really bad that day. will try to learn.. not good in controling background..

    paying too much attention on the character's expression.. these is the best that day I can perform.. the rest are even worst.. hope will improve..

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Yup I agree with the rest. Challenging part of outdoor portraiture is controlling lighting and background. Here are some tips:

    1) When possible, shoot under some shade to get more diffused lighting. Even if the sky is overcast, the light is still harsh, and will cast strong shadows, especially on the face, giving you subject very "dark" facial features. If you must, use a reflector, or even fill flash if you're desperate.

    2) Your background must not be more prominent that your subject. Try simpler compositions first, before moving on to more complex arrangements. Your background must also complement/emphasis your subject. In your shots my eyes are wandering all over the place...not good for portraits.

    3) Posing is very important. Read up on it.

    4) On a higher level, your portraits should tell us something about the person, their personality etc. It's hard to explain how, but it comes with experience. In your shots you reveal little about your model's personality. In fact she looks like a reluctant soul dragged out so that you can get some practice...her expressions are very unnatural.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by erizai
    Yup, the weather really bad that day. will try to learn.. not good in controling background..

    paying too much attention on the character's expression.. these is the best that day I can perform.. the rest are even worst.. hope will improve..
    Overcast days are actually best for portraits, the lighting is even, no shadows, no eyebags, etc... Instead of telling the model to pose & pose & pose, talk to her, let her feel at ease. Try shooting something more natural then just pose shots.

    Sometimes one pose can be captured from many angles and the feel is totally different, try moving around the model rather than directing what to do. Let her or them be herself or themselves.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    If these are newbies shots, you have done quite well.

    There are of course no perfect images, only images that "work".

    My specific comments, some contrary to the other comments expressed, are

    1 These are "environmental portraits". And as environmental portraits, "backgrounds" are inherent. These images showed this lovely young lady in various locations in Singapore. I have no problem with the choice of backgrounds. There is nothing inherently wrong with them. Only a matter of prefrence.

    2 This kind of weather (cloudy, overcast) is actually best for flattering portraits. The light is soft and moulds facial features well.

    3 You do not "control" light and background in environmental portraits. You accept what is available and use them to the best advantage.

    4 Background CAN be more prominent than the person. It depends on what you are trying to portray. Do not be trapped into a cliche mentality.

    5 I have never been interested in "Posing". I clicked when I like what I saw. Read what Xing said.

    6 Contrary to what was mentioned, these images showed something about this young lady. Pleasant, sweet. Refreshingly "innocent". A lot have been mentioned about capturing the "personality" of the model. This is a notion that have been repeated ad nauseum. Fact is, how much do you really know yourself? Most of us have multifaceted personality. Which "personality" are you trying to "capture"? Photography is telling a story about the person (here in portraiture) as YOU see it. Not the "personality" of the person. It is about telling a story of the person.

    On the negative side, I will mention what I feel to be the main problem.

    The problem is underexposure. It is not the weather. It is inadequate exposure. Of course, "posing", "framing" etc etc can always be improved. But first get the exposure right.

    If you do not mind, I will take your images and tweak them a little.
    Last edited by student; 14th December 2005 at 11:46 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    What I did to the images are to give "more light" and slight color adjustment.

    1.





    3.




  11. #11

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Another one





  12. #12
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    If these are newbies shots, you have done quite well.

    There are of course no perfect images, only images that "work".

    My specific comments, some contrary to the other comments expressed, are

    1 These are "environmental portraits". And as environmental portraits, "backgrounds" are inherent. These images showed this lovely young lady in various locations in Singapore. I have no problem with the choice of backgrounds. There is nothing inherently wrong with them. Only a matter of prefrence.

    2 This kind of weather (cloudy, overcast) is actually best for flattering portraits. The light is soft and moulds facial features well.

    3 You do not "control" light and background in environmental portraits. You accept what is available and use them to the best advantage.

    4 Background CAN be more prominent than the person. It depends on what you are trying to portray. Do not be trapped into a cliche mentality.

    5 I have never been interested in "Posing". I clicked when I like what I saw. Read what Xing said.

    6 Contrary to what was mentioned, these images showed something about this young lady. Pleasant, sweet. Refreshingly "innocent". A lot have been mentioned about capturing the "personality" of the model. This is a notion that have been repeated ad nauseum. Fact is, how much do you really know yourself? Most of us have multifaceted personality. Which "personality" are you trying to "capture"? Photography is telling a story about the person (here in portraiture) as YOU see it. Not the "personality" of the person. It is about telling a story of the person.

    On the negative side, I will mention what I feel to be the main problem.

    The problem is underexposure. It is not the weather. It is inadequate exposure. Of course, "posing", "framing" etc etc can always be improved. But first get the exposure right.

    If you do not mind, I will take your images and tweak them a little.
    Thank you. I'm touched

    I really want to show her personality -- young and with dreams..

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Haha lots of mixed opinions.

    For me I realised that 90% of people have no idea how to pose, and tend to get "lost" when you tell them "its ok, be yourself. Adopt any natural stance". Further more, everyone is flawed. Some have big noses, double chins, long necks, short necks, unequal sized eyes etc.

    During portraiture, people want to look their BEST. Showing them a picture where one eye is bigger then the other and telling them "thats you -accept it" isn't very professional. Thats where we come in. Most people are unaware of how they can de-emphasize their flaws. With a little direction, we can help them make their flaws less prominent. In other words, we have to show them poses which flatter them rather than exaggerate their flaws. People I've worked with are generally aware of their short comings and do NOT want it to be reflected in their photos. Some have gone as far as asking me to photoshop the images to make them look slimmer. Bottom line, people want to look good, though not to the point of being artificial. They don't really care how you do it.

    If you work with professional models, then by all means tell them to strut their stuff. They've probably done it so many times that they don't need much direction from you. Heck even an idiot with a point and shoot can get good results if the model's a pro. But the man in the street needs input, sometimes a lot of it from the photographer.

    And lighting for subject and background are two seperate issues. Lighting for subject can be "controlled" in the sense that you can work around what nature provides by adding your own reflectors, flashes etc. Depends on how involved you want to get. You don't have to accept the lighting as it is (I'm talking about lighting for the subject) . Its true that you can't change the background much, but why would you want to? Its chosen for a specific reason.
    Last edited by solarii; 15th December 2005 at 11:02 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by solarii
    Haha lots of mixed opinions.

    For me I realised that 90% of people have no idea how to pose, and tend to get "lost" when you tell them "its ok, be yourself. Adopt any natural stance". Further more, everyone is flawed. Some have big noses, double chins, long necks, short necks, unequal sized eyes etc.

    During portraiture, people want to look their BEST. Showing them a picture where one eye is bigger then the other and telling them "thats you -accept it" isn't very professional. Thats where we come in. Most people are unaware of how they can de-emphasize their flaws. With a little direction, we can help them make their flaws less prominent. In other words, we have to show them poses which flatter them rather than exaggerate their flaws. People I've worked with are generally aware of their short comings and do NOT want it to be reflected in their photos. Some have gone as far as asking me to photoshop the images to make them look slimmer. Bottom line, people want to look good, though not to the point of being artificial. They don't really care how you do it.

    And lighting for subject and background are two seperate issues. Lighting for subject can be "controlled" in the sense that you can work around what nature provides by adding your own reflectors, flashes etc. Depends on how involved you want to get. You don't have to accept the lighting as it is (I'm talking about lighting for the subject) . Its true that you can't change the background much, but why would you want to? Its chosen for a specific reason.
    I understand what you are saying.

    Many had mentioned that the objective of a portraiture is to make the person look good - whether taken with natural light or artificial light.

    In fact Deadpoet once mentioned that a portraiture has to have the approval of the model.

    What you and Deadpoet and everybody else are doing is towards a single objective - Make the person/model look good. Which is fine if that is what you want. As you said " People want to look their Best"

    My way of seeing and making portraitures is quite different from the conventional wisdom and objective. It is very different from yours. I am of course not talking about the kind of portraiture you see in the glossies, or 90% of those you see in CS. 90% of "portraitures" in portrait subforum are directed to the same objective, ie to make the models look good. And they look good. Especially those from professionals and semi-professionals. And they all look similar.

    I try to tell a biography about the person. Biographies, as you know, are written by authors with their own perspective. And may not represent the truth. Biographies are the authors' own perception of the subject they are writing.

    So my portraiture do not aim to make the subject look good. Thankfully, most of the time, they do look reasonably good enough. My portraitures may not even look like the person!

    In making portraitures, I tell my subjects NOT to pose. This is damn difficulty especially with professional models who tune into "posing modes" when they are in front of the camera.

    Again, using reflectors. These are again the usual teachings. I will show a couple of images when I make images with very harsh lightings. No reflectors at all. None of my images are made with the assistance of reflectors.

    Keep an eye on the portraits subforum.

    I wish someone had explained this to me when I first started.
    Last edited by student; 15th December 2005 at 04:18 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    A very enlightening post... I see what you're getting at, and I commend your efforts to be creative and not be restricted by the cliched view of portraits. Its true that after a while portraits, especially those glossies in fashion mags tend to get repetitive and stale. Haha sadly most people don't see it your way. They usually want to "look like that model in the picture".

    Ultimately I guess its up to erizai to decide what kind of portraits he/his subjects want. Does he want to create his own style, or emulate the universally accepted standards for portraiture.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by solarii
    A very enlightening post... I see what you're getting at, and I commend your efforts to be creative and not be restricted by the cliched view of portraits. Its true that after a while portraits, especially those glossies in fashion mags tend to get repetitive and stale. Haha sadly most people don't see it your way. They usually want to "look like that model in the picture".

    Ultimately I guess its up to erizai to decide what kind of portraits he/his subjects want. Does he want to create his own style, or emulate the universally accepted standards for portraiture.

    You are absolutely right that it is up to erizai to decide on the direction he wants.

    We can only point out differences in approach for him to consider and to apply.

    Giving critiques and advise is not about scoring points, but giving opinions and options for others to consider.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by student
    I understand what you are saying.

    .... In fact Deadpoet once mentioned that a portraiture has to have the approval of the model.

    What you and Deadpoet and everybody else are doing is towards a single objective - Make the person/model look good. Which is fine if that is what you want. As you said " People want to look their Best" ...
    Ha! Student, you stole my thunder, but that's ok. I am one of those who devote a lot of the effort to make the subject look good. I am not defining what "look goods" means, but one of the essential thing is to flatter the subject.

    One thing though, you had misquoted me slightly, is seeking the approval of the model. I said it time and time again, here in the forum and other places, the model is always the most critical about the picture. If I am looking to make the model "look good", the model is therefore often the best critic.

    To the OP, there are many ways to make the model look good. It can be controlled studio shoot, where the model direct to pose, or allowed to express freely, it can be natural light, outsoor with multiple strobes, the combination goes on and on. But at the end of the day, what do you want to do?

    If you are starting out, my advise is not just shoot and shoot, find what you like, and then concentrate on shooting what you like ... after a while, repeat the process again. I often find myself burnt out and bored with what I am shooting, I will go and shoot something new, but somewhat related, it serves 2 purposes. One to shoot new things, see if I like it, and maybe explore this new genre more, or gives me a new perspective to what I am shooting now. So far, I have been going back to what I was shooting, but with new found energy and enthusiaism. Student may disagree, and that's ok too.

    Go shoot alot.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    I'm using jpeg fine to shoot.

    If I use raw, do you guys think that that can salvage my image or by somehow a level that can further improve my image?

    I don't have Nikon Capture, that is why i use jpeg fine. I had seen a new software that come out from apple -- aperture, that also serve as a raw file editor which has very good features. (but require very high system requiremnt-- at least a Mac of single G51.8/1gbam/10.4.3/Ati9600 pro or equal..)

    May be I should explore more on the post-processing side...
    Last edited by erizai; 17th December 2005 at 03:46 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by erizai
    I'm using jpeg fine to shoot.

    If I use raw, do you guys think that that can salvage my image or by somehow a level that can further improve my image?

    I don't have Nikon Capture, that is why i use jpeg fine. I had seen a new software that come out from apple -- aperture, that also serve as a raw file editor which has very good features. (but require very high system requiremnt-- at least a Mac of single G51.8/1gbam/10.4.3/Ati9600 pro or equal..)

    May be I should explore more on the post-processing side...
    Haha I wouldn't rely too much on post-processing to salvage images. Its time consuming, and you should try to get better shots straight out of the camera. Most newbies make the mistake of thinking that they can correct mistakes later, and hence tend to be more slack in the actual shoot. There's a limit to how much post-processing can help.

    Train yourself to be more critical at the shoot. Look out for distracting elements, think about the lighting, composition. Stop for a moment to consider if there's anything that can be done better. To improve your photography, spend more time behind the camera than behind the keyboard.

    To share some personal experience, when I was using a p&s camera I wasn't satisfied with the results and spent hours touching up with PS till I got pretty good at it. Results were as good as any dSLR provided you don't magnify the images. But I got sick and tired of PS after a while, so I splurged on an SLR to get better results straight out. Haven't regretted the decision and I spend more time shooting and much less time on PS.
    Last edited by solarii; 18th December 2005 at 12:10 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Newbie Potrait Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by solarii
    Haha I wouldn't rely too much on post-processing to salvage images. Its time consuming, and you should try to get better shots straight out of the camera. Most newbies make the mistake of thinking that they can correct mistakes later, and hence tend to be more slack in the actual shoot. There's a limit to how much post-processing can help.

    Train yourself to be more critical at the shoot. Look out for distracting elements, think about the lighting, composition. Stop for a moment to consider if there's anything that can be done better. To improve your photography, spend more time behind the camera than behind the keyboard.

    To share some personal experience, when I was using a p&s camera I wasn't satisfied with the results and spent hours touching up with PS till I got pretty good at it. Results were as good as any dSLR provided you don't magnify the images. But I got sick and tired of PS after a while, so I splurged on an SLR to get better results straight out. Haven't regretted the decision and I spend more time shooting and much less time on PS.
    Indeed. I agreed

    Post processing may enhance my work.. but rely too much on it will eventually poison myself from improving.

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