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Thread: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

  1. #1
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    Default 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    This is my 1st attempt trying out portrait studio.
    2-light setup was used.
    1st strobe - camera left , 45 degree
    2nd strobe - behind model, 45 degree, camera right
    Any room for improvement? Full set is here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/triogra...7627564873535/



    1. in what area is critique to be sought?
    Composition, exposure, lighting setup...

    2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
    Emotion of the model

    3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
    Studio environment

    4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
    -please advise-

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    I'm not expert when it comes to studio shoots but i just feel something amiss when I look at the pic. I feel the backlight that falls on the hair is in the wrong direction, should it be on the right of the model hair towards the front ? When you are doing studio shoot, you have time to ensure things are correct. Look at the dress near the legs. You are not stringent in your quality of works, have to work harder. From my own pion in art, I say the model can do better with a better dress. The lighting is underexposed ? The posture of the model is not doing justice to the model. You can have a better angle towards the right of the model to make her legs not so fat looking. Please ask her to take off her pendant unless it's a diamond one. I think this is a mid-shoot. A high key will make her skin fair and nicer looking I suppose. Please spend some effort to do post processing. You can shoot RAW, but the model doesn't have to look RAW. Reminder: This is a photo shoot, everyone wants to look nice. Optional, ask the model to take off her glasses too, I have a feeling she will look nicer and have a refreshing look without her glasses. The backdrop is not straight. Bottom line, if you have the money and time, redo it.
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
    www.flickr.com/photos/davidktw

  3. #3
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Hi,

    Welcome to world of portraitures! To understand portrait lightings you gonna spend time researching on the classical lightings, high key & low key lighting and positioning of main light & fill-in lights!

    http://www.thedphoto.com/photography...ghting-styles/

    http://www.portraitlighting.net/patternsb.htm

    While I think you have some basic knowledge, you lack practices - but fear not! I got not enough widthband to look at your other link, so I will comment my 2 cents over here! When shooting a human subject, be sure what mood are you trying to create and style of lighting. Without these 2 criteria, it is just using lights to fill in the portrait! Here is what you can improve:

    - A successful portrait is determined by lights (distances - far or close), subject (posture & positioning) and camera (viewpoint - high, levelled or low) to create different ambience.

    - Your model's specs are like cutting across her eyes, it's no no. You should shoot your model at her level and not on top of her as perspective causes her specs to cut her eyes. Shoot at model's eye level, unless she is not wearing any specs or you trying to shoot from different view point.

    - Agreed on DK's comments, you might wanna ask your model to take off specs - reflections might cause white glare on subject's specs. If she doesn't want take off, place your main light opposite of your fill-in light or reflector panel. But your model's specs no reflective glare so you safe on that.

    - Like I said earlier, positioning of your main light and fill-in lights. While main light successfully light up model but her arms are not. You need a second light or reflector to fill-in those dark areas or lighten then up. With at least 2 to 3 reflector panels or huge polyform board, you are able to fill-in enough dark areas. Best is using panel mirrors, very good reflectors! Your model's hair is too dark, fill-in more reflectors. Like lighting setup, reflectors can also be moved to create different degrees of lightening dark areas.

    - Beware of hot spots! Which are concentrated light spots on forehead, cheeks, chin and nose when face are oily. Try to ask model wipe clean or make up. You might also wanna place your lights further away to solve this issue.

    - Your model is like siting uncomfortable and hands posture as well as sitting posture, are wrong. Can read on postures of models or read on 'S' posturing of models. Also can air some smoothening music to relax the ambience.

    - Hair lights aka 'Kicker lights' some ppl called it, is to separate background from subject's hair. In your case, the head light is over shot. There is no wrong with filling in from behind, but your head light is like casting glares on your picture too awkwardly! Unless you using a background light to light up background, else try not to cast this kind of reflections anymore.

    - 'Catch light', not our mod 'catchlights' (haha), is present which is good, creates lively subjects.

    I hope I not sound too harsh. I hope you could learn maybe not all since first try but something new which would enrich you and your subject Lastly before I end my 2 cents, I believe with enough reading (still got more terms and tricks) & practices, you progresses Don't know anything, just sound out.

    Cheers
    Last edited by hanqiang1011; 21st September 2011 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Good advices, follow this gentleman's advice. They are good and professional. He knows what he is talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    Hi,

    Welcome to world of portraitures! To understand portrait lightings you gonna spend time researching on the classical lightings, high key & low key lighting and positioning of main light & fill-in lights!

    http://www.thedphoto.com/photography...ghting-styles/

    http://www.portraitlighting.net/patternsb.htm

    While I think you have some basic knowledge, you lack practices - but fear not! I got not enough widthband to look at your other link, so I will comment my 2 cents over here! When shooting a human subject, be sure what mood are you trying to create and style of lighting. Without these 2 criteria, it is just using lights to fill in the portrait! Here is what you can improve:

    - A successful portrait is determined by lights (distances - far or close), subject (posture & positioning) and camera (viewpoint - high, levelled or low) to create different ambience.

    - Your model's specs are like cutting across her eyes, it's no no. You should shoot your model at her level and not on top of her as perspective causes her specs to cut her eyes. Shoot at model's eye level, unless she is not wearing any specs or you trying to shoot from different view point.

    - Agreed on DK's comments, you might wanna ask your model to take off specs - reflections might cause white glare on subject's specs. If she doesn't want take off, place your main light opposite of your fill-in light or reflector panel. But your model's specs no reflective glare so you safe on that.

    - Like I said earlier, positioning of your main light and fill-in lights. While main light successfully light up model but her arms are not. You need a second light or reflector to fill-in those dark areas or lighten then up. With at least 2 to 3 reflector panels or huge polyform board, you are able to fill-in enough dark areas. Best is using panel mirrors, very good reflectors! Your model's hair is too dark, fill-in more reflectors. Like lighting setup, reflectors can also be moved to create different degrees of lightening dark areas.

    - Beware of hot spots! Which are concentrated light spots on forehead, cheeks, chin and nose when face are oily. Try to ask model wipe clean or make up. You might also wanna place your lights further away to solve this issue.

    - Your model is like siting uncomfortable and hands posture as well as sitting posture, are wrong. Can read on postures of models or read on 'S' posturing of models. Also can air some smoothening music to relax the ambience.

    - Hair lights aka 'Kicker lights' some ppl called it, is to separate background from subject's hair. In your case, the head light is over shot. There is no wrong with filling in from behind, but your head light is like casting glares on your picture too awkwardly! Unless you using a background light to light up background, else try not to cast this kind of reflections anymore.

    - 'Catch light', not our mod 'catchlights' (haha), is present which is good, creates lively subjects.

    I hope I not sound too harsh. I hope you could learn maybe not all since first try but something new which would enrich you and your subject Lastly before I end my 2 cents, I believe with enough reading (still got more terms and tricks) & practices, you progresses Don't know anything, just sound out.

    Cheers
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
    www.flickr.com/photos/davidktw

  5. #5
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    Good advices, follow this gentleman's advice. They are good and professional. He knows what he is talking about
    Hi DK,

    Thanks for the compliments. I have have the chance to practice studio photography for many years in my workplace (although I am mainly an event photographer) so I won't say I am professional, but still able to help anyone who wants to know basic studio photography It would be good to know after a few tries, ppl would gain valuable knowledge after they try it.

    Have a nice day

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Hi Davidhuy,

    I have looked through your studio attempts. Most have the type of mistakes same as the one you posted. But dont give up, you will progress further. I got to admit, I suck at stobist setup also as I find that it is much more harder to control than studio lighting. Cos studio lighting mostly have modeling light, which are light bulbs to shine on your subject to have a pre-shoot look at shadow areas and catch lights in eyes. Strobist setup is a bit different, external flash units dont have modeling light thus it is more difficult to pre-determine your subject's final shot.

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

    Take a look at the tutorial or go YouTube, you will learn new stuffs quickly and put on into practice fast. But take note, most of the pointers as discussed by DK and me earlier are still valid, must take note.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    One more thing TS,

    Look at the calves of your model. They look very big and unflattering. You need to understand the use of focal length and how it affects perspective and how to get what you need. Are you using quite a wide angle and shooting quite close? In studio, it is advisable to use around 85mm - 135mm on FF if your studio can afford the space.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123
    One more thing TS,

    Look at the calves of your model. They look very big and unflattering. You need to understand the use of focal length and how it affects perspective and how to get what you need. Are you using quite a wide angle and shooting quite close? In studio, it is advisable to use around 85mm - 135mm on FF if your studio can afford the space.
    Actually my room is not that big so I can't use my 70-200, sadly I don't have 85 or 135 prime lens. so that shot I think I use 18-200 at about 50mif I'm not wrong. If I use 18-200, can I use focal length at 85 or 135 instead using prime lens 85 or 135, is the perspective the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok
    I'm not expert when it comes to studio shoots but i just feel something amiss when I look at the pic. I feel the backlight that falls on the hair is in the wrong direction, should it be on the right of the model hair towards the front ? When you are doing studio shoot, you have time to ensure things are correct. Look at the dress near the legs. You are not stringent in your quality of works, have to work harder. From my own pion in art, I say the model can do better with a better dress. The lighting is underexposed ? The posture of the model is not doing justice to the model. You can have a better angle towards the right of the model to make her legs not so fat looking. Please ask her to take off her pendant unless it's a diamond one. I think this is a mid-shoot. A high key will make her skin fair and nicer looking I suppose. Please spend some effort to do post processing. You can shoot RAW, but the model doesn't have to look RAW. Reminder: This is a photo shoot, everyone wants to look nice. Optional, ask the model to take off her glasses too, I have a feeling she will look nicer and have a refreshing look without her glasses. The backdrop is not straight. Bottom line, if you have the money and time, redo it.
    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011
    Welcome to world of portraitures! To understand portrait lightings you gonna spend time researching on the classical lightings, high key & low key lighting and positioning of main light & fill-in lights!

    http://www.thedphoto.com/photography...ghting-styles/

    http://www.portraitlighting.net/patternsb.htm

    While I think you have some basic knowledge, you lack practices - but fear not! I got not enough widthband to look at your other link, so I will comment my 2 cents over here! When shooting a human subject, be sure what mood are you trying to create and style of lighting. Without these 2 criteria, it is just using lights to fill in the portrait! Here is what you can improve:

    - A successful portrait is determined by lights (distances - far or close), subject (posture & positioning) and camera (viewpoint - high, levelled or low) to create different ambience.

    - Your model's specs are like cutting across her eyes, it's no no. You should shoot your model at her level and not on top of her as perspective causes her specs to cut her eyes. Shoot at model's eye level, unless she is not wearing any specs or you trying to shoot from different view point.

    - Agreed on DK's comments, you might wanna ask your model to take off specs - reflections might cause white glare on subject's specs. If she doesn't want take off, place your main light opposite of your fill-in light or reflector panel. But your model's specs no reflective glare so you safe on that.

    - Like I said earlier, positioning of your main light and fill-in lights. While main light successfully light up model but her arms are not. You need a second light or reflector to fill-in those dark areas or lighten then up. With at least 2 to 3 reflector panels or huge polyform board, you are able to fill-in enough dark areas. Best is using panel mirrors, very good reflectors! Your model's hair is too dark, fill-in more reflectors. Like lighting setup, reflectors can also be moved to create different degrees of lightening dark areas.

    - Beware of hot spots! Which are concentrated light spots on forehead, cheeks, chin and nose when face are oily. Try to ask model wipe clean or make up. You might also wanna place your lights further away to solve this issue.

    - Your model is like siting uncomfortable and hands posture as well as sitting posture, are wrong. Can read on postures of models or read on 'S' posturing of models. Also can air some smoothening music to relax the ambience.

    - Hair lights aka 'Kicker lights' some ppl called it, is to separate background from subject's hair. In your case, the head light is over shot. There is no wrong with filling in from behind, but your head light is like casting glares on your picture too awkwardly! Unless you using a background light to light up background, else try not to cast this kind of reflections anymore.

    - 'Catch light', not our mod 'catchlights' (haha), is present which is good, creates lively subjects.

    I hope I not sound too harsh. I hope you could learn maybe not all since first try but something new which would enrich you and your subject Lastly before I end my 2 cents, I believe with enough reading (still got more terms and tricks) & practices, you progresses Don't know anything, just sound out.
    Thank you so much David Kwok, hanqiang1011!
    Actually I did not feel demoralized due to your critique. I did found it extremely useful and they really inspire me to work harder and produce more quality work.
    Yesterday, after reading David Kwok comment, not yet read hanqiang1011's as not posted yet, I tried once again with a different lighting setup to get the model successfully lit up for haf-body/ head shot + black background . 2 lights at 45 degree camera left and right but not cast light on the background as I'm using grey background, quite near to the model. One light directly behind works as separating light (Kicker light as you mentioned previously) and some light to light up background and create spot effect, sadly again I don't have a snoot which will do a better job.

    I did not really notice about the problem with model's specs but seems like her nose is quite flat and low so specs keep falling under her eye level. Btw, I also tried taking some photos of her without specs but I did not feel right! She is more suitable with the specs which make her more comfortable I guess. Even though the specs are still cutting through her eyes, but in my opinion, it did not that bad in the photos I took. She was wearing make up not much.

    Here is one of them. due to space constraints, I'm using 18-200mm to do the work. You may look at the exif data in the flickr page!


    If your time permits, please comment on my latest work, I really appreciate your feedback.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/triogra...57627564873535
    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by davidhuy; 22nd September 2011 at 02:05 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Here's my first STUDIO shoot sample shot...



    I like shooting HI-KEY

  10. #10
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by DM101 View Post
    Here's my first STUDIO shoot sample shot...



    I like shooting HI-KEY
    Hello friend,

    This is Davidhuy's thread. Please keep it to discussing Davidhuy's attempt only. If you wanna critic on your attempt, start your own thread.

    Cheers

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Okay, this time round, you nail the exposure and the contrast is good. Since this is a different posture and perspective, I can't say u improved. It's okay, you will know when the time comes after a few months or years when you look back at your old works and see that u improved or not. The model is demure, so the feeling and mood is good. Perform some PP on the stray hair, they can be improved further. I personally still don't like the pendant line at the neck. The makeup is pleasant, so you can carry on the same makeup artist(or herself) with it.

    If I may say so, you gotta give this model more experience in further improve herself. I believe she can be more wild in her composure and expression. If she is willing to do more of course. Don't constraint her to just such demure shoot, I personally feel she be placed in a more exciting situation that brings out another side of her.

    As a compliment, she looks like one of our Channel 8 actress in this perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidhuy View Post
    Actually my room is not that big so I can't use my 70-200, sadly I don't have 85 or 135 prime lens. so that shot I think I use 18-200 at about 50mif I'm not wrong. If I use 18-200, can I use focal length at 85 or 135 instead using prime lens 85 or 135, is the perspective the same?





    Thank you so much David Kwok, hanqiang1011!
    Actually I did not feel demoralized due to your critique. I did found it extremely useful and they really inspire me to work harder and produce more quality work.
    Yesterday, after reading David Kwok comment, not yet read hanqiang1011's as not posted yet, I tried once again with a different lighting setup to get the model successfully lit up for haf-body/ head shot + black background . 2 lights at 45 degree camera left and right but not cast light on the background as I'm using grey background, quite near to the model. One light directly behind works as separating light (Kicker light as you mentioned previously) and some light to light up background and create spot effect, sadly again I don't have a snoot which will do a better job.

    I did not really notice about the problem with model's specs but seems like her nose is quite flat and low so specs keep falling under her eye level. Btw, I also tried taking some photos of her without specs but I did not feel right! She is more suitable with the specs which make her more comfortable I guess. Even though the specs are still cutting through her eyes, but in my opinion, it did not that bad in the photos I took. She was wearing make up not much.

    Here is one of them. due to space constraints, I'm using 18-200mm to do the work. You may look at the exif data in the flickr page!


    If your time permits, please comment on my latest work, I really appreciate your feedback.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/triogra...57627564873535
    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!
    D3S|N70-200|N24-70|N24-85|N50f1.4|N35f2|SB800|SB900|Yashica GS|S95
    www.flickr.com/photos/davidktw

  12. #12
    Senior Member hanqiang1011's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by davidhuy View Post

    If your time permits, please comment on my latest work, I really appreciate your feedback.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/triogra...57627564873535
    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

    Hi Davidhuy,

    This time round the main light and fill-in light improved, only some part of hair have black areas but however there are 3 points you need to note.

    Firstly, the specs again. If you wanna take from a higher viewpoint, try to ask her to push the specs inwards or better still, remove them. Specs cutting thru the eyes are like having 4 eyes across the face anyway, she look quite attractive without glasses too.

    Secondly, the cropping is a bit uncomfortable for the viewers. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't crop away people's joints or across the joint. You should 'feel' for the model in cropping. Either a full body, half body shot or close up shot should be taken and after taking, cropping done in PS. In this case, her arms are unnaturally being 'cut off but reappear all of a sudden'! While there is no restriction to this, for starter, try to stick to basics first. Once mastering it, break the rule

    Lastly, you should take note of accessories like the red string your model is wearing, either show the whole necklace or take it off. During shoot, observe whether subjects are wearing reflective accessories like watches, pendants...etc. Also not always the case accessories are not allowed, in fact sometimes an accessory brings out the character of a subject's personality. Like point two, stick to the basic first, then try something new later stage.

    The good point is now, the back light is well defined and highlight her outline nicely. Her expressions says it all that she enjoys this session of shoot! After shooting a shot, preview (if time permits) and ask yourself what areas could be improved in the next shot. During PS, ask yourself whether does this photo work for you and got improve over last sessions?

    Keep it up
    Last edited by hanqiang1011; 23rd September 2011 at 01:15 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by David Kwok View Post
    I'm not expert when it comes to studio shoots but i just feel something amiss when I look at the pic. I feel the backlight that falls on the hair is in the wrong direction, should it be on the right of the model hair towards the front ? When you are doing studio shoot, you have time to ensure things are correct. Look at the dress near the legs. You are not stringent in your quality of works, have to work harder. From my own pion in art, I say the model can do better with a better dress. The lighting is underexposed ? The posture of the model is not doing justice to the model. You can have a better angle towards the right of the model to make her legs not so fat looking. Please ask her to take off her pendant unless it's a diamond one. I think this is a mid-shoot. A high key will make her skin fair and nicer looking I suppose. Please spend some effort to do post processing. You can shoot RAW, but the model doesn't have to look RAW. Reminder: This is a photo shoot, everyone wants to look nice. Optional, ask the model to take off her glasses too, I have a feeling she will look nicer and have a refreshing look without her glasses. The backdrop is not straight. Bottom line, if you have the money and time, redo it.
    I like your style.... you are very observant... nice job...!

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1st attempt - Portrait Studio

    Quote Originally Posted by hanqiang1011 View Post
    hi,

    welcome to world of portraitures! To understand portrait lightings you gonna spend time researching on the classical lightings, high key & low key lighting and positioning of main light & fill-in lights!

    http://www.thedphoto.com/photography...ghting-styles/

    http://www.portraitlighting.net/patternsb.htm

    while i think you have some basic knowledge, you lack practices - but fear not! I got not enough widthband to look at your other link, so i will comment my 2 cents over here! When shooting a human subject, be sure what mood are you trying to create and style of lighting. Without these 2 criteria, it is just using lights to fill in the portrait! Here is what you can improve:

    - a successful portrait is determined by lights (distances - far or close), subject (posture & positioning) and camera (viewpoint - high, levelled or low) to create different ambience.

    - your model's specs are like cutting across her eyes, it's no no. You should shoot your model at her level and not on top of her as perspective causes her specs to cut her eyes. Shoot at model's eye level, unless she is not wearing any specs or you trying to shoot from different view point.

    - agreed on dk's comments, you might wanna ask your model to take off specs - reflections might cause white glare on subject's specs. If she doesn't want take off, place your main light opposite of your fill-in light or reflector panel. But your model's specs no reflective glare so you safe on that.

    - like i said earlier, positioning of your main light and fill-in lights. While main light successfully light up model but her arms are not. You need a second light or reflector to fill-in those dark areas or lighten then up. With at least 2 to 3 reflector panels or huge polyform board, you are able to fill-in enough dark areas. Best is using panel mirrors, very good reflectors! Your model's hair is too dark, fill-in more reflectors. Like lighting setup, reflectors can also be moved to create different degrees of lightening dark areas.

    - beware of hot spots! Which are concentrated light spots on forehead, cheeks, chin and nose when face are oily. Try to ask model wipe clean or make up. You might also wanna place your lights further away to solve this issue.

    - your model is like siting uncomfortable and hands posture as well as sitting posture, are wrong. Can read on postures of models or read on 's' posturing of models. Also can air some smoothening music to relax the ambience.

    - hair lights aka 'kicker lights' some ppl called it, is to separate background from subject's hair. In your case, the head light is over shot. There is no wrong with filling in from behind, but your head light is like casting glares on your picture too awkwardly! Unless you using a background light to light up background, else try not to cast this kind of reflections anymore.

    - 'catch light', not our mod 'catchlights' (haha), is present which is good, creates lively subjects.

    I hope i not sound too harsh. I hope you could learn maybe not all since first try but something new which would enrich you and your subject lastly before i end my 2 cents, i believe with enough reading (still got more terms and tricks) & practices, you progresses don't know anything, just sound out.

    Cheers
    thumbs up !! :d

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