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Professional and Advanced Portraiture
Christina
May 28, 2021 10:05:34   #
A10 Loc: Southern Indiana
 
Christina and I decided at the last moment to do a shoot on the top floor of the parking garage. We had scheduled to shoot in the cemetery but my other photographer couldn't make it and I needed her for the cemetery shoot. Christina is a young lady I met at a local coffee house and agreed to model.

I welcome all comments.


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May 28, 2021 11:39:21   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
You worked with a very attractive and personable model and captured great expressions. There are some technical and aesthetic issues that I would like to bring to your attention.

Focal length and distance- In your first image there is quite a bit of distortion in the subject's arm- its size is exaggerated. Especially when placing the arms or hands in the composition it is important to avoid distortion. Perspective is governed by DISTANCE so a lens of a longer focal length or zoom setting will allow you to work a further distance will render a more proportional view of the arms or anythg else in the foreground. The exaggerated perspective and the stark white-glove become a distraction from the subject's face.

With a crop sens a good focal length for a portrait is between 50 and 75mm and with a full-frame body, about 150mm is great.


In the second image- You shot into her arm- the body relationship in came in the third image is better because it gives more support and base to the head in the composition.

In the third image, the skin tone is rather yellow- this can be easily corrected in post-processing.

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May 28, 2021 19:15:42   #
A10 Loc: Southern Indiana
 
Thanks Ed, I hoped you would help me out. The third photo was taken about 8p with direct sun which was very "warm". I color corrected using the gloves as a start point. Should I have turned down the kelvin even more?

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May 28, 2021 20:25:39   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
A10 wrote:
Thanks Ed, I hoped you would help me out. The third photo was taken about 8p with direct sun which was very "warm". I color corrected using the gloves as a start point. Should I have turned down the kelvin even more?


Here are a few quick corrections. Go my the most pleasant skin tones and let the whites go where they may. This was a -Y colour balance on the sunlit shot.

These are just a few rough/fast edits to give you some suggestions.

All of this technical stuff is important but you are gettg great expressions and relaxed poses- that's what folks wanna see in their portraits. Keep up the hard work and stay out of that cemetary ! Why would a lovely model like this wanna hang out in a graveyard anyway? You did well in the parking area!

Seriously- any time you want to get into some portraiture, get some tips or whatever- just post here and I'll get back at you!





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May 29, 2021 07:31:17   #
camerapapi Loc: Miami, Fl.
 
Mr, Shapiro, a an experienced photographer that he is has given you excellent tips to improve on your portraits. I bet I am not better than him when it comes to portraits but I will offer my suggestions for improvements. What I have to say is exactly what I would do with my portraits.

That first image, besides what has already been discussed needs some light. The way I do it is duplicating the layer and in the layers blending modes I select SCREEN. I then play with opacity to taste. The second image is a great posing. I would clone that yellow band that seems to be growing from her head. The last one has in my humble opinion a couple of issues. One is the harsh light producing hot spots over face and upper chest and the other is the yellowish skin. Obviously, this is easily avoided shooting in the shade and using fill-in flash if necessary. To correct that yellow and bring the color of her skin back is not going to be an easy job. You will have to play with Color Adjustment in Photoshop or any other editor moving the sliders toward blue and cyan. I use the brush tool and take a sample from nearby skin and paint over the hot spot at low intensity. As I said, avoiding strong, direct sunshine is the best way to avoid this problem.

I am not an expert in portraits but perhaps these tips, along with those offered by Mr. Shapiro will help you to improve on your photography.

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May 29, 2021 19:55:32   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
camerapapi wrote:
Mr, Shapiro, an experienced photographer that he is has given you excellent tips to improve on your portraits. I bet I am not better than him when it comes to portraits but I will offer my suggestions for improvements. What I have to say is exactly what I would do with my portraits.

That first image, besides what has already been discussed needs some light. The way I do it is by duplicating the layer and in the layers blending modes I select SCREEN. I then play with opacity to taste. The second image is a great posing. I would clone that yellow band that seems to be growing from her head. The last one has in my humble opinion a couple of issues. One is the harsh light-producing hot spots over the face and upper chest and the other is the yellowish skin. Obviously, this is easily avoided by shooting in the shade and using fill-in flash if necessary. To correct that yellow and bring the colour of her skin back is not going to be an easy job. You will have to play with Color Adjustment in Photoshop or any other editor moving the sliders toward blue and cyan. I use the brush tool and take a sample from nearby skin and paint over the hot spot at low intensity. As I said, avoiding strong, direct sunshine is the best way to avoid this problem.

I am not an expert in portraits but perhaps these tips, along with those offered by Mr. Shapiro will help you to improve on your photography.
Mr, Shapiro, an experienced photographer that he i... (show quote)


Of course, tradition has it that out-of-doors natural light portraiture is done in softer ligh- open shade, etc., however, I would not entirely negate the use of direct sunlight, especially early or late in the day when it is more directional and can create the effects of a spotlight, however, exposure accuracy and avoiding overexposure is important as well and a good flash or reflector fill.

Sometimes, if an image is overexposed and contrasty, it is difficult to correct colour balance in that a crossover takes place where opposing colours show up in the highlight and shadows. If exposure and light ratio is well controlled, usually a simple global colour correction is all that is required.

In terms of hot spots- it's important to differentiate between unwanted glare and specular highlights. If somehow, all the specular highlights are cloned out, others otherwise removed via frequency separation or other electronic/digital methods the resulting image have a wax-like appearance or lack modelling and " sparkle". The trick is to know where the speculate highlights shod appear on various planes of the face and attempting to control this in lighting and exposure. The best retouchers know where NOT to retouch and when to stop retouching.

In fine printmaking, a good specular highlight is brighter and more intense than a diffused highlight but still retains some detail. A blown-out highlight shows the paper-based as if it were not exposed and is completely void of detail. This can be difficult to assess on a monitor screen but it is possible to do so and calibrate accordingly so that results prints will be as envisioned on the screen.

Yet another challenge in outdoor casual portraits is differentials in skin tone where bathing attire or undergarments have left plane lines or indentations on suntanned skin. This is not an issue of lighting errors and has to be addressed in retouching.

Whatever can be accomplished in shooting is better than having to "re-shoot" the entire image in the darkroom, in the computer, or in retouching. Well-carfted file like well-crafted negatives will only require minor tweaking in the post-process rather than multi-layered complex procedures.

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