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Photo Analysis
Not enough shadow and hightlights
(?)
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Dec 28, 2016 03:28:12   #
MaggieMay1978
 
I shot this with my 70-200 F2.8 lens on my 5DMark 3 I used 2 strobes at either side of the model - I like the image but don't love it, I think it lacks strong contrast with the highlights and shadows, how could I have improved?


(Download)
 
Dec 28, 2016 04:24:02   #
Manglesphoto (a regular here)
 
MaggieMay1978 wrote:
I shot this with my 70-200 F2.8 lens on my 5DMark 3 I used 2 strobes at either side of the model - I like the image but don't love it, I think it lacks strong contrast with the highlights and shadows, how could I have improved?


Can you post a diagram showing the placement of and the power setting the lights in relation to the model? did you use any light modifiers?

Aside from the lighting the models white bra and black panties are a slight problem, also the crop don't work ( portrait format would be better).
Dec 28, 2016 06:26:31   #
BJW
 
Too much negatve space-- which diminishes the beauty of her musculature.
Dec 28, 2016 07:58:44   #
Rongnongno (a regular here)
 
BJW wrote:
Too much negatve space-- which diminishes the beauty of her musculature.

You might want to explain 'negative space' as this is often misunderstood.
Dec 28, 2016 08:02:03   #
Rongnongno (a regular here)
 
Actually a simple crop can make this much better, keeping the negative mentioned.

Crop so that your model is more to the left edge and the top is lower toward her hair.

On small thing you might want to improve. This woman suffered an catastrophic injury (scar on her right arm). You should try to attenuate the scaring (not eliminate it, it is part of her).

One more comment (for the next time)... Your model is too close to the background (projected shadow).

Red rectangle:
- Possible crop
Red circles areas to revisit:
- scaring (attenuate)
- Panties line, adjust to cover the flesh

Blue arrows = noticeable problems:
- Hot spot on the left that is not consistent with the whole image
- Poor edit...

.


(Download)
Showing edit....
Showing edit.......
(Download)
Dec 28, 2016 08:18:36   #
BJW
 
My understanding of negative space is this. If we were to consider the subject as a plus and the background (or area in the frame not occupied by the subject) to be a minus, the minus in this photo outweighs the plus. Negative space can surely enhance the subject but here the ratio seems too heavily weighted in favor of the minus such that it minimizes the impact of an attractive positive subject. I view negative space as a guide to help in composition when framing the subject
I would suggest 2 steps:
1) appropriate cropping and/or
2) shooting closer to the subject.

Best,
BJ
 
Dec 28, 2016 08:23:12   #
rdfarr (a regular here)
 
Use the "levels adjustment" in PS, and pull in the right and left indicators to suit the look you're looking for.
If it results in the model herself being too dark, do the above adjustment on a duplicate layer, and use a mask to change the model's lightness/darkness.
Dec 28, 2016 08:28:37   #
BJW
 
To Rong...
A really valuable critique, both substantively and graphically.

Thanks
BJ
Dec 28, 2016 14:47:52   #
R.G. (a regular here)
 
I've no doubt you've already tried using PP to get the look you're after. To do it in real life you'd probably have to do it in a room with very little ambient or reflected light.

I get the impression from the original that you're quite happy to go with the mostly anonymous look.

(PS - the download won't be quite so dark).

-


(Download)
Dec 29, 2016 06:12:31   #
fuminous
 
Exposure wise- as several have already demonstrated- you've potential for multiple variations - same goes for cropping... BUT, what did you have in mind when you made the set-up? Was there a 'pre-visualization" of a final image? I seldom have such a thing myself but, instead, often have an idea of what I want- sometimes it happens- the idea I mean- sometimes it doesn't but results in a complete surprise that's just as satisfying. Either way, simply having a starting point to move from works for me. So, in response to, "...how could I have improved?" There are two questions: "improved technique" or "improved result"? And you answer both...
Dec 29, 2016 10:18:43   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
From my point of view a better cropping and more light on the face were needed.
Maybe a couple of stops less light than the main light would have been enough to bring some light to the face if you really wanted to keep the dark appearance of the subject.
 
Dec 29, 2016 14:42:36   #
G_Manos
 
MaggieMay1978 wrote:
I shot this with my 70-200 F2.8 lens on my 5DMark 3 I used 2 strobes at either side of the model - I like the image but don't love it, I think it lacks strong contrast with the highlights and shadows, how could I have improved?
Maggie - I don't understand the picture - that is, what the picture is intended to show. It is a great shot in many ways. Adequate contrast and play of light and shadow are really not a problem in the image - there are plenty of both.

You've received good suggestions as to cropping and post-processing. My reaction comes not from exposure but from message. To me, there needs to be less ambiguity as to what the idea is behind the shot. Finding and expressing this might make it easier to enhance contrast and address your concern about it in a way that at the same time accentuates the idea behind the picture. Here is a person with a knockout body whose pose suggests she is ashamed of it - or abashed about something, neither of which is revealed in the picture. The shot is head-on, the pose static, and thus it is conceptually flat. So we're left to just gawk at the body (thanks entirely to the way you have lit it). Close-up, she has a beautiful face as well, yet it is hidden in shadow. Did something happen to her to induce this other than the injury to her arm? If that (the injury) is not an intended focus, it might have been better to angle her body a bit so that her left shoulder was closer to the camera than her right shoulder.

Finally, her right side is lit beautifully . . . next time you might want to try some hair light to separate her left side from he background a bit, which may also address your concern about contrast an shadow.

FWIW.

-George-
Dec 29, 2016 15:59:25   #
phkowalchuk
 
I agree, good advice. The only difference for me is that I'd not crop so tight to her head.

Rongnongno wrote:
Actually a simple crop can make this much better, keeping the negative mentioned.

Crop so that your model is more to the left edge and the top is lower toward her hair.

On small thing you might want to improve. This woman suffered an catastrophic injury (scar on her right arm). You should try to attenuate the scaring (not eliminate it, it is part of her).

One more comment (for the next time)... Your model is too close to the background (projected shadow).

Red rectangle:
- Possible crop
Red circles areas to revisit:
- scaring (attenuate)
- Panties line, adjust to cover the flesh

Blue arrows = noticeable problems:
- Hot spot on the left that is not consistent with the whole image
- Poor edit...

.
Actually a simple crop can make this much better, ... (show quote)
Dec 30, 2016 17:24:15   #
bdk (a regular here)
 
I changed the crop a bit and added more negative space, some people dont like the crop near the head, but I do. Its just a matter of what YOU like. then I darkened her arm a bit....now that I look at it on line, I may have wanted to lighten her face a bit . its just my version. Great shot....


(Download)
Dec 30, 2016 18:26:18   #
bdk (a regular here)
 
or lots of negative space


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