Sinister Glance


Jan 28, 2010
646
0
0
Ha Noi, Vietnam, Vietnam
#1


I did this one night just to test my DIY milk jug diffuser. This figurine is also my favourite but I was able to get a shot i quite like previously. I just wanted to test the light but after I got the mood I wanted from the lighting I played around with the angle and finally got this shot


1. in what area is critique to be sought?
Lighting and composition, and how to further bring out the evil feel

2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
I'm trying to make the figurine feel "alive" by giving her that scheming and evil look

3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
I was kind of happy because what I made out of a milk jug, gift wrap and tape could work so well :D

4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
I do think this is one of my better shots of the figurine that is able to portray her as a person rather than a piece of PVC. I like the dynamic lighting. I also intentionally removed the reflector I had on the left and changed the angle so that her hair covers one of her eyes, to further bring out that antagonistic look.

note: I can upload the shots prior to this (the ones with the reflector and right eye uncovered) if you guys need something compare against
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
2,310
1
0
#2
imho... to get a sinister glance feel, either the figure is somehow looking into the camera or the photo can show what it is looking at....

I like the lighting and shadows... but one thing I can't stand is the iq of the photo... it is just not quite there yet.
 

Ouranos

New Member
Oct 3, 2010
43
0
0
28
#3
Well.. its nicely takened but it doesnt give the 'oooomphh' sinister feeling. Im not a master with still life so someone more experienced could give you some valuable suggestions.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,667
71
48
lil red dot
#4
I think one of the omphf missing is that you did not give good separation between the figurine and the dark background. Using another light source to light up the background might be a nice idea. Or a nice rim light coming from the left side behind the figurine will be nice.
 

Jan 28, 2010
646
0
0
Ha Noi, Vietnam, Vietnam
#5
Not quite sure what you mean by IQ because I stopped down a fair bit and the 100% crop I'm looking at right now is reasonably sharp...Maybe the host resized my photo or something, I can provide the link for the original photo if needed

Yes I do agree this photo lacks ooomph, it doesn't quite scream in-your-face evil

I just got another desk lamp today so I'll experiment with the rim light thing :)
I think both the figurine and the background should be kept dark for the evil feel, so I can't quite light up the background or use a white background, so I'll try out the rim light thing, got another lamp today so I'll test it out
 

Jan 28, 2010
646
0
0
Ha Noi, Vietnam, Vietnam
#6
Ok here is a shot I got after half an hour of messing around with the lightings and angles. Added a hair light to the left as suggested, but I'm not sure if it's properly done, so comments on this needed. I do think there's more subject-background separation though. Used a black A2 sheet as background this time instead of, well, my bed xD. Other changes include a more frontal angle, horizontal orientation to show more of the "glance to the side", plus I didn't like how the right arm was cut off the previous version. I could create darker shadows this time because it's 2am so there's virtually no ambiance light

Some of the key elements I tried to keep from the previous version were the shadow on the face i.e only half her face was lit, her right eye covered by her hair, and the glance-to-the-side look.

'nuff said, here's the photo, please let me know what you guys think of the attempted improvements


A possible pp option I thought of was to further darken the unlit side of her face to provide more emphasis for the other half, not too sure about it so I'm posting the original, off the cam photo
 

Jan 28, 2010
646
0
0
Ha Noi, Vietnam, Vietnam
#8
Thanks :), I used my desk lamps without diffusers or reflectors. I used a "semi" macro lens (magnification ratio about 1:2.3) which is adequate for this type of photography because figurines are a lot bigger than insects and flowers, but a true macro lens would still be more preferable
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
2,310
1
0
#9
iq is certainly better... but the sinister glance... don't really see it...
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,667
71
48
lil red dot
#10
I thought the hair light is some weird warm color, too orangy. Total clash with the natural key light.
 

night86mare

Deregistered
Aug 25, 2006
25,541
0
0
www.pbase.com
#11
the second picture is better, though there needs to be more headspace.

lighting aside, to be honest, i cannot see the link between the mood you are intending to convey, and the figurine. certainly the mood might fall into the "sinister" category, but a girl in a french maid? costume holding a bucket doesn't strike me as being particularly sinister.

you can also imagine how a man surrounded by dead bodies with the lighting being very dreamy would not gel together.. certainly?
 

Jan 28, 2010
646
0
0
Ha Noi, Vietnam, Vietnam
#12
Thanks for the feedback :). Yes I'm pretty annoyed by the bucket thing as well, I guess it's harder to convey the mood to people who don't know the series the figurine is from; this particular character is a cold and heartless one in the series, so I think people who know it will pick up the feel more easily.

I did learn a thing a two from this, especially about lighting angles and stuff, won't try to squeeze anymore evil from this figurine haha xD
 

tooppy

New Member
Oct 18, 2010
8
0
0
France
#13
Either picture is pleasant.
The first one has a disturbing background on the right side of the head, easy to erase.
But "evil" ? Not so !
This little girl seems more sad and thoughtful than anything else.
To respect this mood the first picture in its grey tonal range and its framing, is much more appropriate, and black and white would have been too much.

Michel
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,667
71
48
lil red dot
#14
Thanks for the feedback :). Yes I'm pretty annoyed by the bucket thing as well, I guess it's harder to convey the mood to people who don't know the series the figurine is from; this particular character is a cold and heartless one in the series, so I think people who know it will pick up the feel more easily.

I did learn a thing a two from this, especially about lighting angles and stuff, won't try to squeeze anymore evil from this figurine haha xD
That is the thing about photography... You cannot assume your viewer will know anything about your subject. You have tacit knowledge of the subject matter, as well as personal emotions tied to it. As a photographer, you have to stand in the shoes of a total stranger audience, and think what this photo tells them. You cannot assume people will know about your subject, will know about the background, or can read your mind about what emotions are tied to this subject.
 

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