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Eden #5

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Sorry to those who viewed and voted on the last upload of this.....

I have changed the version on this and also forgot to add it to the critique. Anyway, as I said before, I know there are faults on this, but not going to say. Will be interested to see what happens with the critique and want to see if the critique matches the faults and advice I think this needs. Be gentle with me Smile

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 7D
Lens:EF24-105mm F/4L IS USM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:21 Apr 2012 - 1:25 PM
Focal Length:35mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/4.0
Shutter Speed:1/400sec
Exposure Comp:+5/3
ISO:800
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Eden #5
Username:johnnyboy114 johnnyboy114
Uploaded:26 Apr 2012 - 7:13 PM
Tags:Flash / lighting, General, Portraits / people
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
drfireball
26 Apr 2012 - 7:45 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Johnnyboy
Firstly I like this and I appreciate your bravery and honesty in requesting critique/suggesting that you are aware that this is not perfect. In the interests of improving I very much appreciate honest crit and so I hope you find this useful:
Things I like:
1. Great eye contact/engagement
2. Lovely model
3. Off centre composition and the blank space on the left - great for text if used editorially.
4. Hair colour really pops.

Things I do not like:
1. The fingers of her right hand. They are overly magenta (viewing this on a calibrated Eizo) and I do not like how the pose crops them so it appears that she has only three fingers and a bit of thumb. Yes I know that she has more but I feel that visually it is unsettling.
2. I am unsure as to why she feels a little "cramped" I do not mind the intentional crop through her head but feel that the crop through her forearm does not help. Also I would like to see more neck but her head is hunched down.
3. So what is the story telling here? On the one hand she is connecting with the camera and therefore the viewer directly - on the other hand she is hiding/covering herself up. That leads to a contradiction - if that was your intention then it has worked.
4. Lastly the edge of her left forearm with the tattoo is a little burnt out- v technical point and slightly odd as the catchlights suggest the key light was coming from her right but may represent the proximity of her to the background.

Overall do I like it? Yes - otherwise I would not have taken the time to comment. Looking at your port I feel you have stronger images there.

What might I have done differently?

Have her lean back against the b/g and extend her neck - have her look away or down to fix the "hiding" idea - present one shoulder towards the camera more to prevent her looking too broad and square on to the camera.

Any use? Feel free to ignore any or all.

Kind regards

DrF

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Mrserenesunrise
Mrserenesunrise e2 Member 350 forum postsMrserenesunrise vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2012 - 7:50 PM

Hi JohnnyboySmile
I will give you my thoughts.
Eden is a beautiful model with fantastic red hair. You have captured her well.
The crop: I like the space to the left, but stop at the edge of the wall, to balance the image up.
I would like to see the top of her head and to see the rest of her arms, this would balance the image top to bottom.
Finally there is the bright hightlight in the top RH corner, which could be toned down to balance the lighting across the whole image.
I hope you find this useful Johnny, and I hope this has been gentle as wellSmile

Tim

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ugly
ugly e2 Member 6ugly vcard United Kingdom55 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2012 - 8:18 PM


Quote: Hi Johnnyboy
Firstly I like this and I appreciate your bravery and honesty in requesting critique/suggesting that you are aware that this is not perfect. In the interests of improving I very much appreciate honest crit and so I hope you find this useful:
Things I like:
1. Great eye contact/engagement
2. Lovely model
3. Off centre composition and the blank space on the left - great for text if used editorially.
4. Hair colour really pops.

Things I do not like:
1. The fingers of her right hand. They are overly magenta (viewing this on a calibrated Eizo) and I do not like how the pose crops them so it appears that she has only three fingers and a bit of thumb. Yes I know that she has more but I feel that visually it is unsettling.
2. I am unsure as to why she feels a little "cramped" I do not mind the intentional crop through her head but feel that the crop through her forearm does not help. Also I would like to see more neck but her head is hunched down.
3. So what is the story telling here? On the one hand she is connecting with the camera and therefore the viewer directly - on the other hand she is hiding/covering herself up. That leads to a contradiction - if that was your intention then it has worked.
4. Lastly the edge of her left forearm with the tattoo is a little burnt out- v technical point and slightly odd as the catchlights suggest the key light was coming from her right but may represent the proximity of her to the background.

Overall do I like it? Yes - otherwise I would not have taken the time to comment. Looking at your port I feel you have stronger images there.

What might I have done differently?

Have her lean back against the b/g and extend her neck - have her look away or down to fix the "hiding" idea - present one shoulder towards the camera more to prevent her looking too broad and square on to the camera.

Any use? Feel free to ignore any or all.

Kind regards

DrF

Some very useful comments here...
I like to see the model smile...
Great work so far you just need to keep your chin up..
You are doing a good job we just trying to point you in the right direction so you can inprove...

Dave

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FlashBangPicture

#facepalm

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NEWMANP
NEWMANP e2 Member 61583 forum postsNEWMANP vcard United Kingdom574 Constructive Critique Points
26 Apr 2012 - 9:49 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

hi,

i could take it over easy but im sure you wouldnt really want sugar coating, i will just give my honest opinion, if you dont agree, tell me so and we can chat it through, its better that way.

interesting model, lovely eyes, expression, added interest with the tattoo which IMHO you have not really capitalised on. the neck is pushed downwards a little and its usually better to try and gain a little extension to the neck to add elegance.

the lighting is quite flat, would have liked to see more info here, it looks unusually flat and judging from the catchlights looks semi frontal and low rather than the 45 degree downward approach. some modeling in the lighting would have given more impact particularly with the edgy appeal of the tattoo (Which is a real work of art)

compositionally im comfortable with the negative space and the use whites, but see below .

The way the arms are cupping the boobs is a little awkward and im finding the hand on view is looking out of place and not as graceful as it could be. the crop on the bottom across the underside of the folded arms is too tight and its bunching up the torso and by cropping the top of the head (which isnt always an issue) it compacts the whole body shape a little too much.

with an image like this, its best to ask what is the main subject or why is it being taken and what will it say or convey to a viewer. for me here its the tattoo and its this that makes a statement about the models character. for me the torso is too full on, the head direct on / eye contact is great but a more angular position with the arm taking a more dominant position in frame would have said much more.

clearly you wanted a high key sort of look with the strength of the whites but to balance that the models probably too saturated and may benefit from losing some of the magenta shade castes and desaturating the skin tones.
although im sure the whites were intentinal and may even have been pushed harder into purity, i think the left side is probably too bright and almost looks as if the canvas has been extended without colour fill.

thanks for an interesting image to critique, id be interested to hear your feelings on the feedback so far.

best regards
Phil

Last Modified By NEWMANP at 26 Apr 2012 - 9:54 PM

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Jestertheclown
26 Apr 2012 - 10:16 PM

Interesting . . .

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DRicherby
DRicherby  5269 forum posts United Kingdom725 Constructive Critique Points
27 Apr 2012 - 11:31 AM

This isn't a kind of photography I know a lot about and there's lots of advice above, so I'll just give some general remarks. Maybe they're a bit picky but you're at the level where there's not much left for the critic to be. Smile

She doesn't look entirely comfortable, to me. She's not "Oh my god get that camera away from me!" but her pose looks rather defensive. Related to this is the question of why she's covering her breasts -- I'd rather get the answer of "Because she is (or is pretending to be) shy/coy/teasing/embarrassed/etc." but, here, I get the feeling that it's more "Because I asked her to/because that's what models do/because I want to use the photo in a place where I can't show nipples." People relate best a photograph when it conveys something they can understand: the first set of answers are emotions we can all relate to; the second set could be conveyed quite brilliantly but would only be understood by somebody very familiar with portrait/glamour photography.

The crop's a little cramped. Cropping the top of her head is fine but cropping at joints is best avoided because it means that her upper arm and her hair are strong lines that lead the viewer straight out of the frame. If you keep the elbows in and get the end of her hair in the shot, it closes off those lines so the viewer stops before they leave the photograph.

I hope that's food for thought, even if you don't agree. Smile

Dave.

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10818 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2820 Constructive Critique Points
27 Apr 2012 - 3:53 PM

A good shot overall. I dont know your intent with this, so a few comments anyway.

It looks slightly soft, can benefit if a little sharper; crop space from the left especially; her right hand/arm are reflecting quite a bit of light, and to me attract some attention, - can look better a little darker, and less red, - and Ive blurred it slightly in the mod to reduce the mottled appearance. Colour overall can benefit with slightly less red, and slightly more yellow.

See mod as an example of what I mean. I do agree her head is a little high in the frame, - just judging by her eye placement using thirds. I will have a go at a mod for this too.



Regards



Willie

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johnnyboy114
29 Apr 2012 - 9:56 AM

Hi guys

Sorry for the late comeback on all of this, but had a poorly baby to attend to and not really had time...

Anyway, all of the above is very good and very valid criticism. Some of it, I already was aware and is the reason I posted this particular picture as I just wanted to make sure that 1) I was on the right track and 2) there was no criticism for the sake of it lol! Smile But the things that have been pointed out ( the crop of the arm, the slightly cramped crop, the full on of the shoulders and the awkwardness of the hands etc etc) I was very aware of.

Willy, the "sharpness", I am not sure.....on other sites this isn't an issue and from here on my monitor, its razor sharp. So not sure if its an upload artifact etc? Who knows. But, I do like your second mod and the removal of the slight magenta cast is really nice. I tried this by playing around in the RAW converter but actually ended up going back to pretty much how it was in camera. The colour is really and genuinely a reflection from her hair and it was a major bugbear of mine, as it seemed that whatever I did with the light, I couldn't get rid of this.

Oh and to clear this up, there is no flash light in this whatsoever. I wanted a high key, flat-ish look to the image if I am honest and may have gone a touch TOO far with it. But this was basically a big, white room with two large widows on the walls to either side of Eden. She was stood in the corner between the two and there was a reflector held to her right and slightly lower at chin level reflecting the lovely light from the windows to soften the shadows under her chin and eyes. There is almost no retouching in this. All I did was raise the exposure in RAW by about 0.15 and darken the blacks by another couple of points to bring in a touch of contrast rather than the extremes of the curve. And thats it....

As for the cupping of the boobs.....well, this one could have been difficult as she wasn't comfortable showing anything, but wanted a shot like this to emulate a shot she had found and really liked. So, once she had her hands in position, she wasn't in any way going to move them for showing me a little too much of what she didn't want to show! lol! So, the pose is based on a well known photo from a magazine a little while ago, but as she doesn't and didn't want to do topless, getting her to move her hands to a correct position could have been awkward. As I wanted to work "professionally" and respect her wishes, I didn't push this issue much further than her moving her arms to a position that was a lot better than when she first positioned them. A tough call and not sure how you would handle that situation really, but something to think about....


Jester, you say interesting.....in what way? lol! Bad? Good? lol! Don't worry, I am a big boy....lol!

As for the brightness on the left hand side? Its a compromise, I have to admit. That is the window frame and wall, so the sun was bright through that, hence it was much brighter than the rest. I was exposing for the model and this ended up being over exposed. Again, I tried to bring the brightness down in RAW for that side, but I made a complete hash of it, so something i need to work on. But it does make the image look uneven, but in a way, I also thought it did give things a sense of placement. After the good critique, I am not so sure now. Something I need to learn how to control in future shoots if this happens again.....

Thank you guys. Appreciate all of the above. I very much like to try and work on things right in the camera first and I know a lot of people (especially on this site) are advocates of working things a lot in PS and LR etc. Not really my style for two reasons....I like "natural" looking images and I am pretty rubbish at post processing! lol! But I guess little tweaks here and there make all the difference and gives me food for thought on learning more about post.....so, will keep all of the above in mind and endeavour to use it to improve further.....thanks again!

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Jestertheclown
29 Apr 2012 - 11:43 AM


Quote: Jester, you say interesting.....in what way?


I was comparing the feedback here with the feedback you got when you uploaded this originally.

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johnnyboy114
29 Apr 2012 - 12:13 PM

Ahhh I see! Weirdly, I haven't uploaded this before. It's a different shot. The crop with this was done in camera Smile It IS very similar though so good point Smile

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10818 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2820 Constructive Critique Points
29 Apr 2012 - 1:48 PM

Yes, sharpness loss is likely due to the re sizing process. After you re size and save, you need to open the re sized image and check for sharpness, sharpen, save, and upload. Many people miss that one step which results in a soft shot on EPZ.


Just a comment on skin colour, - its been my experience with many years of Canon use that the camera will favour red in skin tones, with any hair colour, in every shot. I can tell a Canon portrait from a Nikon at this stage simply by looking at skin tone. Nikon will render skin much more neutral and less red. BUT I still use Canon! In the years on the CT team, I have modified skin tone on Canon shots regularly, but not a single Nikon.


Willie

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DRicherby
DRicherby  5269 forum posts United Kingdom725 Constructive Critique Points
29 Apr 2012 - 1:53 PM

Interesting, Willie. Does using the 'portrait' picture style fix this to any degree?

Dave.

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johnnyboy114
29 Apr 2012 - 6:08 PM

Willie, strangely, I have heard that before about Canon. And I have noticed the slightly pink cast on some images in the past, but this was almost certainly down to the reflection from the hair this time I feel. I could be wrong, but I saw it in the flesh pretty strongly and tried to correct for it. Annoying. But the red tones are definitely a Canon thing I think.....

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