By the pond


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Jul 19, 2009
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i am a westerner
#1
1.In what area is critique to be sought?
Would like to get some comments on colour and composition. I set the camera to Tv mode and use 1/125. Picture style: portrait.

2.What one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
Serenity of the model and the pond

3.Under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
I felt that putting the model on the lower half of the frame will show the stillness of the trees behind. The tree on the right was included intentionally to give a visual effect of a backrest for the model.

4. What the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
There are no difference between the two pictures in terms of ISO, shutter speed and aperture, however, the colour of the second picture seems warmer (skin is more red and sky is more blue).
Also, the colour of the picture looks pale and give a moody feeling instead of serenity which I want to portray. How can i correct this? Would be grateful if anyone could enlighten me. Thanks!

 

Nov 9, 2009
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#2
The difference may be caused by clouds... Composition-wise, I am not sure why you cut off the feet and hands of the model? And the trunk of the tree is really distracting. Also, maybe you can blur your background a little? By the way, why did you using Tv mode? The girl seems to be pretty "still" to me, try using P or M instead?
 

nysheng

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Sep 11, 2006
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#3
composition needs work.

first off...cutting off the model's leg(or any part of the body) is usually a nono. in this case..both the hands and the legs are cut off.

secondly..in portraiture, the model is always the center of attention. i.e. the bg is there as a supporting cast. here i feel the bg is fighting for attention..maybe u should have filled up the screen with more of the model. and the tree on the right is not working...doesn't help i feel.
u should try decreasing the f number.. this is probably around a 7 or 8? 2 or 3 is usually more than enough for portraiture.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#5
you have chopped all her limbs off very unkindly.

even if we ignore that, the blown highlights in the sky, the lack of isolation from the background, that ugly tree in the top right..

i'm not sure what you are trying to shoot here. i am thinking the model, but it doesn't seem that way.
 

#6
One thing that I think this makes it a unsightly is by chopping of the hands of the lady. Another thing to note is whether you want to show a half-body of full body shot.
Do take note of these points. ;)

Furthermore, I would prefer such shots to be in landscape orientation (don't know about the others).
 

soons

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Mar 22, 2007
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#7
One thing that I think this makes it a unsightly is by chopping of the hands of the lady. Another thing to note is whether you want to show a half-body of full body shot.
Do take note of these points. ;)

Furthermore, I would prefer such shots to be in landscape orientation (don't know about the others).
Will prefer if you remove the tree trunk behind and make backgound OOF to gain better emphasis on the model.
 

Jul 19, 2009
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i am a westerner
#8
thank you for all your suggestions. Now that all of you have pointed out, the chopping of hands and legs does look bad. Is prime lens a must for shooting people?
 

Nov 23, 2007
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#9
Maybe laying down to get less sky may help?
 

nysheng

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#10
thank you for all your suggestions. Now that all of you have pointed out, the chopping of hands and legs does look bad. Is prime lens a must for shooting people?
of course not.

but it's preferred for it's quality over zoom lens(generally speaking). that doesn't mean u can't take good pictures with zoom lens
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#11
thank you for all your suggestions. Now that all of you have pointed out, the chopping of hands and legs does look bad. Is prime lens a must for shooting people?
of course not. but 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 is the cheapest way of easier isolation.

understanding how to maximise your lens is one way to make the most out of it. paying of great attention to detail, the background, positioning of limbs, pose.. all these can contribute to a great portrait.

portraits have nothing to do with just having the person against a pretty background. you could have that, it doesn't mean it's a good portrait. at the same time, having the person against a not-so-pretty background can work too. it's just what your aim is. :) when you are clear on that, you will make better pictures.
 

Jul 14, 2007
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#12
Could've been taken in landscape mode, to show full body plus the lake. Is the sky necessary?
 

VyzeL

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Oct 30, 2009
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Indonesia - Singapore - Van
#13
So you want the lady? or the pond? or both? if u want to focus on the lady try not to get the background too distracting (Blurring is always effective, but u can be creative!)
i dont think u want the pond only, ya?
taking both is more challenging since its harder to position urself where to shoot ( unless go jump into the water and start shooting frm there =P) u can always just to take a small portion of the pond to emphasize the whole story behind. (again be creative, don't be scared to snap away~)

lighting wise, perhaps u shoot in the middle of the day? thats the time u might want to avoid if u're equipped without any flash to aid. Try around 5-6 pm when the sun is lower :) it will create better shadow, provided it's not raining or cloudy untill the sun's blocked -> X
 

Nov 30, 2009
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#14
Agree with everything mentioned about the composition above. I also have to add that the color is very blah. The whole thing looks muted - probably due to 2 factors: 1) your weather that day 2) your saturation settings.

I am strongly in favor of re-composing this on a better day with slightly higher saturation settings.
 

ohsobaka

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Apr 6, 2008
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#15
i suppose a little photoshop never hurts. imho, it looks better after photoshop.
 

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