Back Versions (3)
Modifications (1)
Views: 41 (23 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By popeyebilly
Just practising again.

Tags: Portraits and people

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Philo 7 99 83 England
1 Oct 2010 11:13PM
I rather like V4 from this set and I have offered a mod in which I have tried to make the older boy more prominent in the frame by cropping a little from the top and right. It is slightly underexposed so I have corrected in levels and adjusted curves slightly to brighten further. I finished by sharpening the eyes.
I love the adoring gaze of the younger brother.
Nice work.

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strawman 13 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2010 11:19PM
As a thought I think you are missing out a lot by posting all these variants as one. For me the 4th shot works best, and the mod posted by Phil gets more from it. Its a good shot of the two boys with character and I think that is important.

for the 1st shot the lad looks a bit nervous and he is not holding the guitar in a confident manner plus some of it has crept out of the frame. And the background is too visible and wrinkled. I guess you could get rid of that in photoshop. were you using lights? or available light. I am trying to make out if its a softbox or window reflected in his eye. I would try and move him forward from the background if possible, and if lights, could you put a light/more light into the background.

Everything is subjective but I hope that helps.
paulbroad 10 123 1182 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2010 7:57AM
All very different and one at a time would be better. V2 is the better portrait for me - frame filling and strong. V4 would be good if you zoomed in and filled the frame. V1 is rather awkward and stilted - he doesn't know what to do. V3 quite good but a bit full face.

You need to look at your lighting a bit. It is very smooth and even - rather too much so - which means you have little modelling. You need a key light which throws a few shadows - a silver brolly will do that. Then a fill which softens the shadows without over affecting the key. That should be a white brolly or softbox. Then add hair lights, backlights as you wish.

Posing is difficult and this set are generally pleasant other than V1. Full face is rarely totally satisfactory, begin to look like passport shots. Get the lads to sit 3/4 to you, then turn the head towards the camera. If they are doing something, make it look like they are actually doing it rather than posing - then look at the camera.

2 Oct 2010 9:47AM
Once again, thanks for all the comments and the mod.

Paull, i understand that the poses are not the best, but i am trying to take one step at at time and sort the lighting out. the only reason the guitar is in his hands is because he will never put it down. as i say, i am trying to work out the exposure side of life first and with this set i did look at he histrogram and it looked better than the last.

2 Oct 2010 10:01AM
All comments are very useful to me and i am aiming to get a photo on here that ends up with no comments apart from 'good photo', so at least it gives me something to aim for.
banehawi 13 1.7k 3748 Canada
2 Oct 2010 4:25PM
V2 is the best, with V3 good but a little dark.

I find looking at your other shots that your shots appear to get progressively darker going from V1 to the end. I have no idea if you are loading then in the order you shoot them, but theres something you are doing that is not consistent as far as lighting is concerned.

Paul mentioned before about moving either the subjects or the lights closer and further from each other, and when you do this it has a dramatic effect on the light, - further is less light of course, so you need to compensate for this by using a larger (smaller number) aperture.

For a shot that includes your son and the guitar, try having him, without the strap, hold the guitar vertically on his lap, drape his arms across the body so you see the guitar and his face. You can get in fairly close and show a lot of the guitar with him in the shot, and fill the frame.

Hope this helps.


DRicherby 8 269 725 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2010 5:44PM
#2 is the strongest for me — the diagonal composition works very well, though my taste would be for a fractionally looser crop to keep his whole chin in the frame. #3 has a lovely smirk and #4 works really well in, especially in Phil's mod. In all the shots, I like the contrast between the bright clothing and the plain background.

#1 doesn't work so well: partly because he seems a bit lost in the wide composition; partly because, while he looks comfortable and natural, he doesn't look very engaged. He seems about half way between happy to be photographed and surly, unco-operative yoof and I think he needs to be more one or the other.

#1 and #4 (and, to a lesser extent, #3) could use a bit of sharpening around the older lad's eyes. I'm sure the originals are sharp but a bit of that has rubbed off in the resizing.

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