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Amber

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I was asked to take some photo's of a friends daughter for prom which took me out of my comfort zone, I had said they might not be any good but they insisted so I gave it a try, they were very happy with them but I was not. So now I have a little time on my hands so thought I would put one up here so you can see the outcome, also with the little free time I have I thought I would try and improve in this area any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 550D
Lens:EF17-40mm f/4L USM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:18 May 2012 - 5:40 PM
Focal Length:40mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/4.0
Shutter Speed:1/200sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:200
Exposure Mode:Shutter speed priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Fired
White Balance:As Shot
Title:Amber
Username:TheRiverRat TheRiverRat
Uploaded:23 Sep 2012 - 9:57 AM
Tags:Close-up / macro, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 99 (28.57% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
gazlowe
gazlowe e2 Member 2gazlowe vcard United Kingdom
23 Sep 2012 - 10:17 AM

no critique needed its a lovely portrait

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Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
23 Sep 2012 - 10:57 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Not being a portrait expert my critique is limited but a few points herewith.

1. You have left 'red eye' on display and so I would remove it using the red-eye reducer which all packages of photo software contains. This is probably because your flash unit in use was the camera's built in unit and your subject is looking straight at you. This red-eye is the reflection of the flash on the retina of the eye. It is always prefereable to either use bounce flash or an off-camera flash unit.

2. For me the subject within your frame should have been further left. Presently, the nose and eyes are too far right rendering a lot of the LHS redundant. I would also have liked to have seen some space removed from the top and added to the botton to make the eyes closer to 1/3 the way down rather than half as at present.

You nay have wished to include the earring on her right ear but then chopping off the ear itself does not help. Personally, I am not over keen on the earring resting on her shoulder either, maybe it would be better all trailing on her back rather than splita s at present. That ear could be included by the use of a looser crop also adding some space to the RHS to give the balance I mantioned earlier.

You have used f4 here but there is no background to throw out of focus so I would personally have used f5.6 to give a little more DoF and a little better lens efficiency to be sure of getting sharp focus as well.


Frank

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pluckyfilly
pluckyfilly e2 Member 7282 forum postspluckyfilly vcard United Kingdom33 Constructive Critique Points
23 Sep 2012 - 2:27 PM

I dont see the red eye aforementioned but I do agree with most of the comments above, afraid this is not my forte either but the skin tones are good and generally I like the picture

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 9706 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2668 Constructive Critique Points
23 Sep 2012 - 4:21 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Phil,

I assume this is one of the prom shots?

AS Frank points out, one of the main objectives in general with portraits is eye placement, and in this, you have them in the centre vertically, whereas you would be better with them 1/3 the way down. I know you were limited by the lens, and also by trying to include all of the tiara.

The image here is quite soft, her eyes are soft for example, and I think this is simply due to the fact that you didnt sharpen after you re sized the image. 5.6 would have been a sweeter spot for the lens and give a little more dof as mentioned above. This would mean using Aperture priority rather than Shutter. Most portraits would be shot in Av mode. When viewed large, the top of her shoulder is slightly sharper that her eyes, - so make sure you move the focus point to the nearest eye to the camera. She is a little too close to the background which has resulted in a shadow that would be better not there. The wall did act as somewhat of a reflector, brightening her face.
A cheap diffuser for the on board flash is a piece of tissue wrapped around it, so its a little larger than the flash surface that you might try sometime, - its surprisingly effective.

There is a little red in the black area of her eye which Ive cleaned up in the mod, - its slight, but its there. Not a very obvious red eye example, but subtle.

The mod Ive uploaded is cropped to get as close as possible to the best composition, which also gives it an 8 X 10 printable aspect ratio; I have added a small highlight in her other eye; sharpened overall; and brightened the hair slightly.

One last question, - is it possible you applied some skin smoothing, and if so, did it also affect her eyes, - just a possibility I would like to rule out as a cause of softness.


Hope this helps,



regards



Willie

Last Modified By banehawi at 23 Sep 2012 - 4:26 PM

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Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 31125 forum posts United Kingdom192 Constructive Critique Points
23 Sep 2012 - 4:35 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Agreed with most of the above. I would prefer a little more space around the head to give you more options, and the camera flash is so the wrong way to shoot these. The ugly shadows spoil the look.

If you get her to lift her chin and extend her neck, the ugly lines and potential double chin around her neck disappear, the earring hangs properly, the shape of her face is more flattering and she can move slightly to allow both eyes to be shown fully. She looks slightly hunched as she is.

Close, but not quite there, though if the 'customers' are happy, that is the main thing.

Nick

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TheRiverRat
23 Sep 2012 - 4:56 PM

Thanks for all the comments will try and take all points into consideration for my next upload, Think the skin softness came from using Portrait Professional, a programme I will never use again but like I said I was out of my comfort zone and it seemed the better option. Model was not the best to pose if I am honest a 16 year old who was nervous infront of the camera and worried about looking silly. Have now invested in a580EX ll so there will be no more on board flash

Last Modified By TheRiverRat at 23 Sep 2012 - 4:58 PM

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pablophotographer

I have noticed a common mistake girls do in pictures where a bit of body flesh is shown, I've mentioned also in my blog, they forget to apply make up so their faces look whiter... I had met a young lady on a train and i was amazed by her talent applying make up. She ended up looking completely natural (to my opinion she didn't need any at all to look pretty) We've started talking, she told me she was not a professional but she had learned her lesson after noticing it in her pictures. I think the photographers ought to tell the models (especially the less experienced) things that they ought to know so their looks and our photographs improve.

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom825 Constructive Critique Points
24 Sep 2012 - 11:49 AM

This is a nice shot and the composition, whilst breaking some rules it works well. Get in close and fill the frame. There is a slight sharpness loss and you explain that but f8 would be better for adequate depth of field. You probably had to use your on board or camera mounted flash, but for the best portraits you do need a lighting set up. Main light and fill in at least. A whole subject in itself, far too much for here.

Paul

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