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Laura 3

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This is a headshot for my girlfriend who has just had her hair cut short and therefore required an interim headshot until she has the money to get a professional one done. I have a few more to photos to upload and I am looking for constructive feedback so I can improve the image as much as possible.

Thanks for the help,

David

Brand:Sony
Camera:Sony A350
Lens:50mm f1.4
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:27 Feb 2011 - 3:25 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/1.4
Aperture:f/1.4
Shutter Speed:1/40sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:100
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Fired
Title:Laura 3
Username:David_Lamb David_Lamb
Uploaded:4 Mar 2011 - 10:48 PM
Tags:Black & white, 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.
Daisymaye
Daisymaye e2 Member 5Daisymaye vcard Canada9 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2011 - 1:38 AM

It feels a little like the head is floating over the body. Maybe because of the dof, the body being soft and the chin so sharp and no shadow. Very pretty girl...........Sandy

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Coast
Coast Critique Team 61004 forum postsCoast vcard United Kingdom292 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2011 - 2:49 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Sandy makes a good point here as the dof is so shallow and the close up makes the head appear to float. More critically here for me is the sharpness of the image. The eyes are not as sharp as they should be.

Lighting is fine and the catchlight in the eyes gives life to the portrait. In processing it may need a little play on the levels to give it crisper tones as it currently looks a little flat.

Great to have an attractive, willing and available model at hand so you can keep practising at will. Grin

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10833 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2833 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2011 - 3:05 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi David, though not a bad shot, theres a few areas where it could be better.

The use of f/1.4 was not a good idea, as it is so shallow it has left her nose out of focus entirely, and parts of her eyebrows. Using at least f/5.6 would be the way to go. You would then have the option to soften evenly post processing

You appears to have been very close to her when the shot was taken, and the result is distortion of the parts of her face closest to the lens, and you may have made he nose appear larger than it actually is (apologies if I am not right here)

The light is flat, - which may be what you wanted, but portrait can often look better with a little more light from one side than the other.

The composition places her eyes too low in the frame, - eyes need to be on a third, so staying back a little further would have given room for cropping to place the eyes while retaining all her head.



Ive loaded 2 mods, second one is a little softer than the first. Ive re cropped; sharpened where I could; applied differential lighting and corrected distortion.



Hope you find this helpful,



regards


Willie

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CathR
CathR  7139 forum posts United Kingdom563 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2011 - 3:06 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Lovely hair style, it really suits her.

You can do portraits at f1.4. David Noton does a lot using that aperture. But you have to get your focussing bang on so the eyes are sharp. Even so the rest of the face will be going out of focus so it is not to everyone's taste. Personally I would experiment with stopping down just a little. The softness is nice though but just a little more dof needed.

best wishes

Catherine

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David_Lamb
5 Mar 2011 - 4:20 PM

Thanks a lot for the comments, they are much appreciated. I'll try using a larger dof and I am thinking about taking the shot outdoors as I couldn't get a decent lighting setup indoors. I'm still not too sure about lighting setup for portraits i.e. whether its best to light from the front or side....and I'm conscious about having shadows on her face. If any of you have any tips please let me know.

Thanks again,

David

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10833 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2833 Constructive Critique Points
5 Mar 2011 - 6:19 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

You dont want a shadow on her face, - just one side a little brighter than the other. You can get this for example if she sites close to a bright (NOT sunny) window, and looks the the camera with her head slightly turned to the window. Whats usually a good lighting sign is that there will be a slight 45 degree shadow of her nose on the opposite side.

Also remember that its a smaller aperture you want, not a larger. Apertures are expressed in fractions, - which is what the F means, so f/1.4 is much larger than f/5.6.


Theres very good information you can read at dofmaster.com.

Its been mentioned above that you can take portraits at f/1.4, which is absolutely correct, BUT the focal length plays a big role as does the distance from the lens in how successful the resulting image is. Read dofmaster, - its all there.


Also, - as an afterthought I loaded a third image, - try tilting her head, - it gives a totally different expression.


W

Last Modified By banehawi at 5 Mar 2011 - 6:24 PM

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