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Modifications (4)
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By blackbird
This is Ben a young singer-songwriter who is recording his first album, and yesterday we took some pictures for promo and the CD cover.
I have been trying out some processing and lighting and really am looking for feedback on that aspect rather than pose and expression - (got lots of variations to choose from)
I used off-camera flash held up to one side
Thank you for any advice, merille

Tags: Off-camera flash Portraits and people


Iain_Proudfoot 13 40 2 Ireland
15 Feb 2009 7:45PM
A great photograph.

Warm regards, Iain.

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tony64 16 204 9 England
15 Feb 2009 7:56PM
Hi Merille, I had admired your portraits in the past and I can see you can produce first class work. I have also tried shooting a male singer songwriter for a cd album cover, see my pictures of George in my pf, just a small selection of the thousands I have! I know, it's more difficult than it would first appear to get just the right 'look', especially for a solo artist.
My impression on this one is that it is a good try, although there are two pictures here for me. Firstly the lovely peeling paint on the doors and secondly Ben. I think the doors are a little too distracting for me. I think a slightly more muted, less 'interesting door' would be a better background. Although I think the pose is excellent.
I hope some of this has been useful!
If you live in London I could suggest a few places to try!
blackbird 13 159 15 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2009 8:19PM
Tony thank you for your thoughts.
It was interesting doing this shoot because there was a lot to consider - not just the usual lighting and stuff, but also thinking square and leaving space for the name.
Ben found the locations beforehand which was great and I love these peeling doors but agree they are rather busy. Hmm we may have to recce some more places....
Thanks for taking the time, much appreciated Smile
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4149 Canada
15 Feb 2009 8:58PM
It looks a little harsh overall, - I would soften a little, - especially the person.

The face has lost detail in highlights, - again perhaps aggressive lighting?

I would crop closer while retaining the square aspect, - the half guitar id odd.

Otherwise nice. This type of shot often depends a lot on the artist and their type of music and mood, - Im reminded of country music here for example..


blackbird 13 159 15 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2009 9:16PM
Willie thank you your mod shows a much more pleasing crop than mine.
I'm not sure what you mean about softening the image, do you mean not sharpen it at all? or do you mean actively soften? i often seem to struggle to get really sharp images so probably over-sharpen to compensate
Country music is a good guess, Ben is a mellow fellow with an acoustic folky sound Smile
Thanks for your input
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4149 Canada
15 Feb 2009 9:38PM
Im happy I was right about the music style, - country would have offended a rocker!

Harsh can be due to hard light, - or over sharpening, - could be a little of both. I added a small amount of Gaussian blur to the singer in the mod.

SteveCharles 17 2.3k 18 England
16 Feb 2009 11:49AM
Hi Merille, how are you getting on with that lens? I see you've used it here.

I'm not using a particularly good monitor at the moment, but the processing looks a little heavy, could do with backing off the contrast a little. I also think his clothing makes him disappear into the background, which is very dominant. I can't do a mod at the moment, but I would probably be looking to darken down the background.
blackbird 13 159 15 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2009 1:25PM
Steve, the lens is cool thanks, feels really solid and I don't mind the weight Smile
Looking at this again today I can see what you (and Willie) mean...
I shall try again taking on board the comments
Thank you Tony Willie Steve this feedback really helps Smile
Thanks also Paul for the mod - interesting
merille Smile
SteveCharles 17 2.3k 18 England
16 Feb 2009 7:01PM
Now I'm home and seen it on a decent screen (!), I've spent 5 mins in Photoshop to show my approach. I'd prefer to start with a neutral, unworked original. I'm also undecided on the crop, so left that as is.
kitsch 14 439 4 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2009 7:20PM
umm i did the mod before reading the comments etc, oops!
anyway there's my attempt Smile
blackbird 13 159 15 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2009 7:52PM
Steve and kitsch thank you for your mods, I have just uploaded a rework based on the feedback received here
csurry 18 9.2k 92
16 Feb 2009 8:06PM
V2 is so much easier on the eye. V1 looks a little oversaturated given that I'm viewing on the laptop which generally shows muted colours. Like todays though undecided about the brickwork.

Wonder if it could work with colour popping, by desaturating the door and then having the colour on Ben as per V2. Just a thought.
blackbird 13 159 15 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2009 8:13PM
Cheryl thank you for your input, I hadn't thought of that but it's a good thought!

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