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Out of my comfort zone. Trying to find my own style in portraiture. Don't know where I'm going or what I actually want. I know I don't want cute, or passport accuracy.
Please don't hold back on your opinions. I value every point of view. Not looking for votes, looking for opinions if you could indulge me?
Thanks for reading this farSmile

Camera:canon EOS-1D mk11
Title:- Comfort Zone 1
Username:Patricia Fenn Patricia Fenn
Uploaded:28 Jan 2010 - 3:14 PM
Tags:Digitally manipulated, General, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 98 (0% won)
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Votes:19
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)

Comments

Philnikon
Philnikon  4 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2010 - 3:18 PM

It looks a little sinister. It certainly is a different approach and could work well with older subjects.

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ITPSnapper
28 Jan 2010 - 3:19 PM

Gave it a vote.. but not sure why. I want to hate it, but can't if that makes any sense. It certainly has a quality that makes you want to have a closer look. Not the greatest feed back you'll get I am sure. Great experimentation though ;0)

Neal

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 3:24 PM

OK, I know it's slightly off focus (hand held poor light) but the overall effect... any comment at all...
Please...

Oh great! thanksSmile

Last Modified By Patricia Fenn at 28 Jan 2010 - 3:25 PM

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7125 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece16 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2010 - 4:01 PM

To me, it's almost unreal, Patricia, rather like the paintings that you see in the tourist streets during the summer months. Carol

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picturistic
28 Jan 2010 - 4:08 PM

agree with above Patricia, its a little children of the corn but you gotta keep looking at it, which in turn makes me like it I guess, love to know what you did too process this way and what you used. the eyes are mesmerising.

gets my vote

Adrian

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 4:11 PM

Thanks Carol. Apreciate that.

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jowilde
jowilde  9 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2010 - 4:13 PM

the effect looks a bit harsh on the skin, i would soften it all and maybe do a blur round the edges

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VICTORHABBICK
28 Jan 2010 - 4:17 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

When it come to portraiture its a hard find your own style as its one of these areas that is open to so much personal input and stylistically wide open to interpretation.

Then you have child portraits notoriously one of the hardest areas. I am going to be a little blunt here but I am just going to say what comes into my mind on a first viewing. It looks harrowing and I could easily see this photo as a poster for child abuse. As it happens I will be uploading an image on this very subject next week but I did not have the honesty or courage to use a life child shot. Now I know that this was not your likely intention and minutes after I'm sure you got a big happy smile but photography is all about that moment and how the viewer perceives it.
The eyes have such an intensity it haunts you and the brows been down just adds to the overall effect of anguish... a child longing for love, or help.

The child in the bath is one one of these classic shots we have all taken at one time, but the fun and lightheartedness is missing altogether, the slight green cast and mottled flesh tones just add to the overall effect of gloom and despair.

Now Patricia I know this is not the effect you were after while in search of a style or a personal touch effect on portraiture. Children are such an emotive subject today and people do tend to read so much into photos of them that its unfortunate that in doing so a lot of the innocence is now gone and like you say we do not always want to fall back on the "cute tag". If I may add have a look at Annalises gallery of her kid, she has been photographed happy, grumpy, serious, sad but never cute. This to me is the best in child photography you can aim for.

Your portraiture should be an extension of you and your likes, don't go looking for a style as in due course the style will find you as it has done with so many of your other photographic wonders were your own stamp is seen all over them. Focus wise is another debatable side, many fashion and portrait photographers have lost the art of focusing in light of the Arty excuse, which may work sometimes but something not to make a career out off. So in my own opinion if its not in focus don't use it. This particular shot is borderline and due to the intensity of the eyes I would have plaid to its strength and knocked everything else out of focus even more except the eyes.

You really have jumped right in at the deep end Pat so do not take this to heart you are a true pro and capable of developing into any area you should choose to go to its just such an emotive take on a child and perhaps its this slight shock value that makes it stand out for better or worse, the viewer will have their own opinion but ultimately its you that you have to please first.
luv Victor x

Last Modified By VICTORHABBICK at 28 Jan 2010 - 4:17 PM

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 4:18 PM

Thanks.
Was trying to bring out his personality. Like most kids he's slightly unsure/apprehensive about anything unusual (like a ruddy big camera at bath time).
I desaturated, used contrasts rather than curves, cleaned, dodged and burned, sharpened in smart sharpen 50/3. saturated the eyes.

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rontear
rontear e2 Member 11rontear vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2010 - 4:22 PM

The eyes have it ! Patricia. As Victor has stated, if it's comfortable then it's right ! Ron.

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 4:23 PM

Victor, thank you so much! You hit the nail on the head in so many points. Really appreciate you taking the time out. Thank you, X.

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 4:28 PM

Thanks Ron. Yes, it's not comfortable, but it's real and that's (perhaps) what I'm after. Not sure where I'm going..

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derekv
derekv e2 Member 6derekv vcard England
28 Jan 2010 - 5:06 PM

It all comes down to personal preference, Patricia, if you like it that's what you wanted, personally I like it but would have made a few changes, See Mod.
Derek

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custardcanvas
28 Jan 2010 - 5:20 PM

Well i have to say i like the gritty style. Try this again on an adult, im sure you will bring out the wrinkles and character. Ian

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 5:37 PM

Thanks for the mod Derek. Honestly I can't say I like it inasmuch as it gives me a good feeling (I mean my version), it concerns me, and that's the rub.

Thanks Ian. Yes, it works well on adults, especialy older folk. Not sure why we presume they don't mind being Dragonized, tried it on myself, OMG!
LOL!

Thanks Jo. I see where you're coming from and apreciate your view. That's a beautiful baby you have thereSmile

Last Modified By Patricia Fenn at 28 Jan 2010 - 5:43 PM

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ptitcendrier
28 Jan 2010 - 6:06 PM

i thought i'd give it a playSmile i agree that the eyes have it, but i wasn't sure about the choice of colors...since it's a child i would have tried a softer approach and warmer colors, but that might not be what you wantedSmile. just for a difference, i would have perceived it rather like in the mod aboveSmile

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Eviscera
Eviscera  71094 forum posts United Kingdom149 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2010 - 6:16 PM

Has a Dave Hill feel to the processing , but on the wrong subject.

I wasn't sure if by "style" you meant the post-capture technique or the angles for portraiture. And Victor has summed that up perfectly !

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 6:29 PM

Ptitcendrier, thanks so much. I have to say I really like the mod and actually hadn't thought of taking it in that direction.

Eviscera, thanks, I'm also a big admirer of Dave Hill, and it's the same feeling of slightly surreal reality (if you get what I mean) that I would like to find; but more intense on capturing the emotion than the pretty-pretty.

It's the post processing I'm investigating.

Last Modified By Patricia Fenn at 28 Jan 2010 - 6:31 PM

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TyChee
TyChee e2 Member 9184 forum postsTyChee vcard United States1 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2010 - 8:03 PM

Great expression and processing.
Ty

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Patricia Fenn
28 Jan 2010 - 8:15 PM

Thanks for the mod (and the great critique) Victor. That 's certainly warmed it up and given an entirely different feel.

Thanks Ty.

Will catch up with everyone in the morning.
Good night from Crete, X

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cirrusminor
cirrusminor e2 Member 6380 forum postscirrusminor vcard England3 Constructive Critique Points
28 Jan 2010 - 10:02 PM

I admire anyone striving to find their own style Wink
The subject is out of my comfort too but I applied my style of post processing.
Tim

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Patricia Fenn
29 Jan 2010 - 4:23 AM

Thanks Tim, apreciate the mod, very much your style tooSmile

I'm beginning to realise that people don't want to see the vulnerable side of kids. But it's very much part of who they are at this early age.

I've done several portraits in my own experimental style to try to bring out various aspects of the personality and I'll consider all the comments at the end of the series.

Thanks everyone!

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