Critique My Image

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  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    @donaldejose, I think you'd likely have to have your subject look directly toward the light source to get even lighting behind a mask like that. Then you'd position yourself along a parallel plane to that light to shoot. From the looks of that image, looks like the light source was coming from camera right (her left side) so turning her in that direction migh have rendered a better result.
    If you have the raw files you could probably bring up those shadows in both images with some careful dodging.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,594Member
    edited August 2015
    Sure but you would have have a totally different flow of light and shadow across the face if you turned her face into the light on camera right. How about placing something like this on the camera hot shoe? Maybe it would allow you just enough light to brighten up the eyes in the mask.

    https://colorright.us/index.php/led-lighting/lumenator-ultra.html
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    Maybe try a snoot pointed at her right eye (left looking at the photo) and adjust the power to your liking. A small reflector would probably do and help soften the shadows above and below the lips left side. I still like it as it is. Looks good.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,594Member
    Snoot is a good idea to get small areas of light into specific places. Using constant lighting would allow me to see the effect and adjust the power accordingly.
  • HockeyManHockeyMan Posts: 68Member
    Hi, everyone. Kids birthday parties are very hectic to say the least, I find it's difficult to capture anything really significant in a wide open park. Here is one shot I took of the birthday boy, my own thoughts: Should not have cut off peoples heads in the background and get more of the "pinata" in the frame. Nikon D800, 85mm f/1.4 shot at 1.4, shutter speed 1/4000s, ISO 500. What else could I have done better?

    Sarafin-21
    D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, TC17E II, D300, DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G. Coolpix E5400, some AI lenses from my father.
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited September 2015
    You said it all @HockeyMan. The complete piñata, all heads, and the rest of the stick.
    On a totally experimental and creative note: drag the shutter, rear curtain flash, aperture would have to be smallish to compensate for extra light from the flash - the hopefully resulting image is a little motion in the swing then the rear curtain flash freezes it mid swing.
    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • HockeyManHockeyMan Posts: 68Member
    Thanks, @Rx. Getting the flash right would have been hard to set up real quick since I'm no pro, but I will try that out next time.
    D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, TC17E II, D300, DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G. Coolpix E5400, some AI lenses from my father.
  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 204Member
    On camera flash would probably be fine in this case. However the stopping down of the aperture would affect the final image by reducing subject isolation, which might be desirable, considering its an outdoor event with several people.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,594Member
    Subject is in the shade and thus has a bluish cast to skin tones. I would warm it up. This image is also a good example of the cropping room offered by a 36mp sensor. Better to shoot wide and then crop down during post processing. At the time of the photo you don't know where all the important elements will be, such as the end of the stick or a moving child. Thus, shoot with extra room around the subject so you can crop later. When you have stationary subjects you can crop in camera.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    @HockeyMan

    I might have shot from behind the piñata so as to catch the face of the child, which I see as the important part of the photo. The piñata would be more in the foreground, out of focus somewhat. I might have also picked a shutter speed of about 1/250th, at 10 FPS, focusing on the eyes of the child, hoping to get one sharp of the face with some motion in the stick....
    Msmoto, mod
  • HockeyManHockeyMan Posts: 68Member
    @donald, I kept the bluish cast just because it's what seemed to be what I "saw" with my own eyes that day. But now that you mention it, it bothers me!

    I think I will be shooting much wider when at events like birthday parties. People do move to quickly to sit and ponder about framing.

    @Msmoto, I did try capturing just what you said, but it didn't quite turn out so well because I was at more of an odd angle.

    Thanks everyone, All great thoughts for me to chew on!
    D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4G, 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, TC17E II, D300, DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G. Coolpix E5400, some AI lenses from my father.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    @D300n00b posted elsewhere:

    Backlit a bit too much. Please provide suggestions if you like:

    Ornament1-640
    Always learning.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    This was shot with available light. I am thinking I should have gotten more light past the mask into the eyes. Perhaps using a reflector? I don't have an assistant to hold the reflector. Perhaps pop-up fill flash? Any ideas how to illuminate eyes behind a mask when shooting in available light?

    DSC_6370c_pp
    Two more options to consider: shoot at two different exposures given that the subject is still. You can prevent the highlight blowout on the sequins on the mask using a faster exposure and then use a longer exposure for the shadows to be able to see the eyes. The other option is that you may be able to do this with one shot but you will have the bring the ISO down as dynamic range is lost at your current ISO of >1000 (e.g. use a tripod and lower the shutter speed down until you get an ISO of 100; then you can use some fancy CPU work to selectively increase exposure for the eyes or shadows if needed while preventing highlight blowout given that you have great DR for the shot).
  • D300n00bD300n00b Posts: 1Member
    edited December 2015
    I was shooting my Christmas Lights in the fog last night for my daily photo for today, and I heard a van coming up the road. I heard it long before I could see it. It gave me time to point my camera toward it and capture this.
    GhostVan2
    Post edited by D300n00b on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited December 2015
    Re Lady in a mask...
    1) Good ol photoshop. dodge and burn. You are using a Nikon! use the DR! :-)
    2) Ring flash fill flash so the light gets in.
    3) Get a Dark colour mask so the light doesn't blow-out the mask even if its slightly overexposed.
    4) Light Makeup..To brighten the face..

    Probably a combination of all of the above...

    That's all I can think of for now :-) GL
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    @WestEndFoto said:

    vtc2002, I am curious what you think of the following image. Do you find it better with the colour not distracting from the subject or are the lights an issue - or both?

    Marie in the Night, Vancouver, 2016

    Always learning.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited April 2016
    I find portraits in general very very hard... not because its hard to take a portrait. But hard because there are so many very very very good images presented on the web. Its similar to watching x factor where you get these great amateurs performing .. some amazing performance that gets a standing ovation but if you are really really objective they are no comparison to 99% of the great artists that are still struggling to make a living. So do we give up ? not me I am doing it for my own enjoyment.

    Having said that we can all improve :-) in my younger days I used to be a swimmer. One of the main consideration is always the PB (personal best) and that is all I strive for in swimming (and photography). I am always happy to listen to my coaches to tweak my technique to improve my PB by 0.1 sec.

    So I sometimes spend 2-12 hours looking at and tweaking the portraits that I find promising. They may still end up "average" but I may still get a standing ovation in the audition room. is that pointless ? no its my PB.

    I am still wondering where to get a "Model Director" .. :-) (mentioned by @Msmoto )
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    heartyfisher google it there are lots of them.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 364Member
    @WestEndFoto I really think it depends on what your purpose was for the photo. If you were being creative with your portrait of Marie, I would have position her so that the bokeh images were not so close to her head. It is almost like the dreaded telephone of tree coming out of the person head. You may want to try to move them to the right and/or left of her head to provide some balance to the photo. If you were going for a straight up portrait I would probably remove them or move them as suggested below. The bokeh images make the image very linear and seem like an extension of Marie, where as if they were to the side it might add fullness to the image. I do then to like the black and white image a little more than the original image. That is just my opinion and as we have discussed it is just that. If you like the photo, I really would not worry about what anyone thinks.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Well, as to where one finds a model director....if you have a budget of about $5000.00 in 1969, this is equivalent to about $32,000 in today's economy. And, this was what I was given in those days. Unfortunately, my position as the chief photographer did not give me all the money, in fact very little, but we could organize a huge effort for producing the final image for clients who were nation wide or in some cases international.

    One venue was in the foothills of the mountains in North Carolina where the bootleggers moonshine stills were located and our guide told us just how far off the dirt road we could go. But, the production crew for a single shot might include a model director, my grip, sales rep, art director and others including the models.

    These were shoots which often took more than one day, and for some reason, I was the one who directed setting up the lighting, directed the models, pushed the shutter, and prayed it all worked out.

    When one does this stuff for folks who have the resources, it is amazing how quickly money can be spent. We once took a live goat to the coast of North Carolina to shoot a scene for this same client and this can be logistically very interesting, requiring handlers, and a heck of a lot of luck...goats do not respond to my commands, surprisingly enough....LOL

    Enough of my rambling..... but model directors were nearly essential if one was doing film as the retouching on dye transfer prints was not often liked by clients, they wanted the transparency to look perfect. The model director did the make up and hair, arranged the clothing with clothes pins in the back, moved props, lots of things that were helpful to obtaining a good result.
    Msmoto, mod
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,724Member
    vtc2002 said:

    @WestEndFoto I really think it depends on what your purpose was for the photo. If you were being creative with your portrait of Marie, I would have position her so that the bokeh images were not so close to her head. It is almost like the dreaded telephone of tree coming out of the person head. You may want to try to move them to the right and/or left of her head to provide some balance to the photo. If you were going for a straight up portrait I would probably remove them or move them as suggested below. The bokeh images make the image very linear and seem like an extension of Marie, where as if they were to the side it might add fullness to the image. I do then to like the black and white image a little more than the original image. That is just my opinion and as we have discussed it is just that. If you like the photo, I really would not worry about what anyone thinks.

    I think that your comments are very fair. I find my composition falls apart when executing an assignment as I focus on the narrow technical details of the assignment. Something I need to work on.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 364Member
    @WestEndFoto I think we have all been in your shoes, I know I have been.

    I am curious about your workflow when you are shooting a portrait like the one of Marie. If I am working for a client, many times they will specify a certain layout or look that they want. Such as if the image is going to be used fro advertisement they will want some space on the left or right of the image to add wording so I am somewhat limited in what I can provide or how creative I can be. Clients that are looking for a portrait and have a general idea of what they want I will take a number of shots from different perspectives. I may do some tight shots (more of a head and shoulder shot), some from the their right, some from the left, etc.. On many occasions the client will pick one of the different perspectives as they may not have visualized the other perspectives.

    Here is one where the client wanted open space in the upper right corner of the image to place some wording. They wanted a simple background with no distractions.

    Promo 1
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,594Member
    My first response to pleasing clients is that clients can kill the creative process. "True artists work only for themselves." Really? Consider the great Dutch masters of portrait painting. They often had patrons who commissioned them to do a certain painting so they must have had a client to please and that client must have seen the work as it progressed and made suggestions or demands as to what the artist should change.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 364Member
    @donaldejose I am in agreement with your comment. There are some situations where the client has strict requirements and fortunately they are the exception and not the rule. Even the ones with strict requirements when they see the image on my LCD or on my computer and make a suggestion that we may want to try a different angle of pose and they often will agree and we may get a better image. Some will say let's go with want you got and that's fine. I enjoy doing both.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,594Member
    edited April 2016
    You are used to a collaborative creative process, which is good and indicates that you will take criticism or suggestion well. Some other people are not used to a collaborative creative process and prickle at any criticism or suggestion. I think the Dutch Masters were collaborative painters but Vincent Van Gogh was not. Apparently, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin tried to paint together for a while but argued so much they had to part company.

    "The official version about van Gogh's legendary act of self-harm usually goes that the disturbed Dutch painter severed his left ear lobe with a razor blade in a fit of lunacy after he had a row with Gauguin one evening shortly before Christmas 1888.

    Bleeding heavily, van Gogh then wrapped it in cloth, walked to a nearby bordello and presented the severed ear to a prostitute, who fainted when he handed it to her.

    He then went home to sleep in a blood-drenched bed, where he almost bled to death, before police, alerted by the prostitute, found him the next morning.

    He was unconscious and immediately taken to the local hospital, where he asked to see his friend Gauguin when he woke up, but Gauguin refused to see him.

    A new book, published in Germany by Hamburg-based historians Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans, argues that Vincent van Gogh may have made up the whole story to protect his friend Gauguin, a keen fencer, who actually lopped it off with a sword during a heated argument.

    The historians say that the real version of events has never surfaced because the two men both kept a "pact of silence" - Gauguin to avoid prosecution and van Gogh in an effort trying to keep his friend with whom he was hopelessly infatuated."

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7506786&page=1

    Crazy, right?
    Post edited by donaldejose on
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