Author Topic: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
tsingtao2 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
So please tell me what you think. It was kind of spur of the moment. I looked out around 6:30pm and told her to get dressed, were going out to take some photos. She has NO makeup on, and she was very reluctant of going. After a few mins of taking some shots, she started enjoying herself. We all really had fun before the sun went down.

btw, I take constructive critisism very well, so please be honest.

Taylor

 

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-Foxy- 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
im not a photographer, but i knwo things that i like

i like those pictures.

you have a really beautiful subject, in really nice and casual poses. (not formal like).

there are some i like more than others. the sitting on the wall, the sitting up against the building. and a close one of her face.

but they all have something to focus on, something interesting to see.


you and she did good happy

 

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Ah-Schoo 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats

I think no makeup was the right choice anyway for the settings you had. If she had been done up it wouldn't have gone so well with the natural setting.

I'd have some criticism but I hardly ever take pictures of people.

 

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-Dirtbrother- 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Nice work. I like them but the lighting is a little underwhelming. Not knowing the surroundings it's hard to tell where the sun is in a lot of them or if it's obstructed, but i would try to make a point of going out of your way to take advantage of whatever natural light you can, especially late in the day there is really nice soft light that isn't being taken advantage of in a lot of the pictures. I really like the back lighting in #43, the back part of the brick wall and especially her hair are really gorgeous, i don't have a lot of experience with reflectors but i would think a gold one would light up her face really nicely if you can't use a flash.

I think you have potential for sure. Keep shooting, keep trying new things, but definitely make lighting your subject a priority.

edit- If you could combine the back lighting of 43 with say, the face lighting from 39 it would definitely be a fantastic shot. A reflector or a flash with an orange gel on it would probably work really nicely.

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Lots of really nice photos! I especially like number 39 and 43. Wonderful warm light, and good poses. happy

There are a few where the technical part is a bit off. For instance if you look at number 40 and 42, the focus is wrong on both of them. (#40 the focus is on her glasses, a common problem with people wearing them.. like me grin , and #42 looks like the focus is infront of her, or it might just be some slight movement.) There are others with the same, but those two were the ones I really noticed it on right away.

About the composition. Sure there are many takes on what makes a good composition, and rules are meant to be broken. But you should be aware of what rules you break, and why :]
Lets take a quick example:


I've cropped this picture slightly different from what you did (if you did crop it at all)
I've used the rule of thirds to put her eyes two thirds from the bottom. I've also straightened it slightly, as the brick wall was a bit crooked. It's very important when you work with strong lines like that, that you keep them in mind in your post-production. A crooked line can throw off a photo very quickly. (most commonly a horizon, or the edge of a bed of water.)
I might have cropped it a bit tighter at her back as well..

There are other small details I find annoying as well :P
#44 could have been really really good. but the hand in the bottom is a bit distracting, crop it out. The composition could have been better, don't put her eyes in the middle of the photo. And finally, tell her to put her glasses on properly before shooting grin Mine always slip down on the nose a bit, so that I've become used to wearing them like that, and by the looks of it, so has she.

Other then that, you have a few really good poses, and some .. not so good. The ones where she pushes her whole body into the wall, looking at you (like #24) look a bit stiff and unnatural. No one would lean on a wall like that. (or so I imagine when I see the pics :P) Then again, it works in the close shot ones. (Like #26 which is really good!)

Hope I didn't sound overly critical, I really like quite a few of them. But you should be a bit more critical when it comes to the details. And missed focus is a no-no! grin

 

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tsingtao2 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
I guess I should have also said in the OP that there was no flash used, nor any reflectors. The sun was heading down fast. And this was my very first attempt ever to try to take any people pics...

While shooting, I tried to remind myslef about the 1/3 rule, which I knew, but kept forgetting. There is so much to remember. I know that with practice, it will start coming more natural.

btw, all pics are as they were taken off the camera. No post production.

Not that I am making any excuses, I just know that I have a LOT of practice ahead of me.

And Dirtbrother and Raiztlin, thanks for the constructive critisism, this is exactly what I was asking for. I will keep all that in mind the next time we go out, along with all the other stuff I have to remember...lol!!!

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Post the original file of number 43 and let me play with it. I'll post it how I would have worked with it along with comments as to what I did happy

 

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tsingtao2 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Raiztlin posted:
Post the original file of number 43 and let me play with it. I'll post it how I would have worked with it along with comments as to what I did happy




then save the .psd so I can see!

thats something else I am studying, photoshop and lightroom. I have the lynda.com videos that I have been watching.

 

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Raiztlin 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Original, sized down:


My edit w/o adjusting white-balance;


I'd probably end up with something like that. Didn't do very much really.

Cranked up the recovery slider to get rid of some of the burnt out areas
Added some clarity (about 30)
Added some blacks and fill light, to increase contrast.
Adjusted the tone curve for even more contrast.
Lightened the irises a bit
Softened her skin some.
Added a bit of colour to her lips

also did one where I adjusted the white-balance a bit:


 

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tsingtao2 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
it looks so much better!

I have muuuuch to learn...

thanks!

 

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Nakal 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
The fun is in the Learning though. Dont ever stop learning happy

 

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-Dirtbrother- 
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Subject: I took my youngest daughter out today to actually try to take some portriats
Yeah you can definitely get by without a flash or a reflector but you generally want to have the sun at your back when it's later in the day otherwise their faces are going to be underexposed in most cases. However by having the sun at your back you would lose that awesome rim lighting in the hair. So it's a bit of a tossup, you can easily add fill light in lightroom afterwards but you can't really add rim lighting like that. It's kind of a lame trade off, and the easiest work around is to just get a reflector or flash for the versatility.

One of my favorite photographers is the late Galen Rowell, if you haven't seen his stuff before it's definitely worth checking out. This quote of his changed the way i shoot forever. "I almost never set out to photograph a landscape, nor do I think of my camera as a means of recording a mountain or an animal unless I absolutely need a 'record shot'. My first thought is always of light." Think about that next time you shoot, you more or less shot your pictures in the magic hour which is some of the best lighting of the day, just think about taking advantage of the available ambient light and compose your shot after that. I would wager that a shot with a boring composition with exceptional lighting will turn more heads than a poorly lit shot with awesome composition. A nice setting is great but nice lighting is key.

Now once you delve into multiple flashes and reflectors you can more or less create and replicate any lighting setup you want wherever you want, but this is an art in itself. Once you train yourself to notice light sources and shadows and compose your shot from there you will see your work improve greatly. One thing i find myself doing a lot is looking at the strobist group on flickr and taking note of the pictures i find pleasing. Most of the people will post their lighting setups and you can make a mental note of what looks good and what doesn't, and if there is no lighting setup data i try to figure it out on my own. You can pretty much deconstruct any picture, i know quite a few of the strobist guys have gotten yelled at for cutting out pictures from their wives magazines and putting them into "inspiration" folders but i think it's a great idea.

 

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