Back Modifications (2)
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By paulussen  
Portrait of a fan at a cycling event
tried to make a close more intimate portrait of the man
focusing on the eyes

Tags: Portrait Nikon Bw Black and white Nikkor Fan Portraits and people

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.8k 2420 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2014 5:23PM
Hi, welcome to the Critique Gallery, and to the site - I see that you have joined recently and this is your first upload. I hope you will enjoy it here, it's a good place to learn and also to share.

This is a strong and very engaging portrait. A direct, thoughtful face. Leaning forward, not actually talking but definitely interacting. Listening, perhaps. Not intimidated by the large camera, but not playing to it either. I think I would like him. (Oh, and I cannot even imagine this in anything other than b&w. It's just right.)

A few points that come to mind immediately:

That's a wonderful lens. But the fact that it gives a large aperture doesn't necessarily mean that it's compulsory to use it. For optimum image quality it's best to aim for F2.8 upwards. Here, you have used F1.6 and focused perfectly on the eyes, which gives a large expanse of nose very soft. For my personal taste I find that a bit distracting. I would prefer a bit more depth of field - no larger than F3.5 here, I think. Noses are a problem...

The eyes are about half way up the frame, the balance would work better I think if they were proportionally higher. That gives a more direct feel, it places his eye level closer to the viewer's. Cropping is not easy with the curved bands on the hat, but I'll see what I can do.

I'd like to do a tiny bit of dodging and burning on the eyes. Not a lot, but to give a bit of brightness there.

I don't actually think your plus 1/3 exposure compensation was needed, I might tone this down a wee bit.

Those are minor quibbles, but presented as things to think about. I shall try a quick Modification, it will appear in due course under the Modifications button below your upload. Click on the thumbnail to view.
banehawi Plus
17 2.5k 4247 Canada
1 Mar 2014 5:35PM
Really intense, - great eyes. I would think that crop suggested by Moira would only enhance the intensity and intimacy.

Ive uploaded me version, scroll up and click the modifications tab.

The nose is less of a problem for me, Im so focused on those eyes.


Coast 13 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2014 10:47AM
It has all been said.

This is an appealing and captivating portrait. Considered and well executed mono conversion which suits the subject. Moira is right to address the composition however I would go down the same road as Willie's mod. That tighter crop really suits the intensity of the subject and those great lively eyes. It does need a little more DoF as the sharpness just falls away too quickly. With that cracking 85mm portrait lens it probably does need f2.8 as Moira suggests - certainly f2 might have give an extra 2cm of sharpness and that may have been enough.

Great subject and good portrait nonetheless.
paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2014 1:19PM
Strong and a very suitable mono shot. The main single problem is a lack of depth of field. The eyes are sharp, indeed, but the out of focus areas, especially the nose, are very off putting. The whole facial area needed to be absolutely crisp to give that impact this image deserves.

F5.6 at least. You obviously understand spot metering. I wish more did.


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