Back Modifications (3)
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By IanGray
I am currently trying to improve my portrait work, any feedback will be greatly appreciated. This shot was taken of Liane when I was shooting at a wedding and I had the time to do some portrait work of some of the girls.

Tags: Black and white 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.


glazzaro 11 70 23 United States
31 Aug 2010 11:35PM
It looks like to much light was used which has the effect of washing out the skin tones. Might consider using a diffuser to tone down the light or cover your lamps. The angle in the photo seems to centered towards the front leaving the back a bit exposed awkwardly. Check out my mod, I think this gives her closer. Overall you captured the detail, and I see no camera blur, but you just have to add some excitement in the shot to make it stand out a bit more. The mod I did shows just one of many ways you can change the outcome of the shot either by camera or photoshop.


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banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3531 Canada
1 Sep 2010 12:29AM
Welcome back Greg!

paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 10:59AM
I don't mind landscape portraits, but you do have the head on the wrong side here. I also feel that a landscape format works better if you come in much closer to the face cropping top of head considerably - some will not agree.

Lighting is a bit full on, and I suspect this was because it was at a wedding and thus grab shots rather than planned. She also looks a bit formal as if cohersed into having her portrait shot.

IanGray 9 4 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 1:30PM
Thankyou for your comments. Paul, i can see what you mean with it being on the wrong side, I haven't made any adjustments to this as of yet so will have a play around, as for the lighting it was a bit of a grab shot as we had little time, I bounced the flash of the ceiling and had natural light coming in from the right.
Once again thank you all for your feedback.
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3531 Canada
1 Sep 2010 2:37PM
Ian, for the best feedback you need to provide all of you shot settings, focal length, ISO etc.

Its a decent shot, and youve got good feedback already above, and a great mod by Greg.

Franks makes a point about the composition as landscape vs portrait, - and though I think the landscape can work very well as in Gregs mod, - its worth trying a portrait style shot when doing these as it has the advantage of focusing the attention exclusively on the face, as theres noting else in the frame.

Ive loaded a portrait crop mod, with some light reduction, sking softening and eyes sharpened. two mods = first is the original, secind is with a slight smile using the Photoshop liquify tool.

Also noticed you are not re sizing you images correctly, - you first need to change the pixels per inch to 72, then adjust dimensions, then save as, - and then sharpen as needed. If you upload at 300ppi as youre doing, the shots on EPZ will always look soft.


IanGray 9 4 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 5:17PM
Thanks Willie, in future I will put in more detailed shot info, thanks for the info on PPI I was using my print default, I like the portrait versions you have loaded.

Many thanks Ian.
8 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2010 10:53PM
its had a good bit of critique already so ill just chip in with a quick run down,

the lighting is a little flat and has not provided much modeling and the exposure is a little high key without being a serious stab at high key. if you are devoid of modeling id opt for overlaying a blurred layer and popping it back thro to the optimum glow with the opacity slider this will add a lovely softness and lose the few imperfections left in the skin tones. before flattening the layers erase thro on a low opacity to keep the eyes sharp.

the composition is staged too far left of centre and would look stronger over to the right with space to look into. there are distractions in the bottom corner that need cloning away.

whilst i like the angle of the body to the face, you have not managed to emphasise the elegance of the neck which is pushed back and leaving skin creases. maintain angular position of the body but make the angle of the face less oblique and try to have a little neck extension and a slight angle across the eye line so its not so full on horizontal,

the top and bottom of the hair have been cropped out of frame and it would be stronger with them included.

its not a lost cause by any means and the expression is nice. just take it back to photoshop, extend the canvas tp the left and crop to the right, add a little Jean Harlow with the diffusion or soft focus look leaving the eyes sharp and you will have a very nice portrait
IanGray 9 4 United Kingdom
2 Sep 2010 8:44AM
Excellent feedback, these are really useful points, I will work on my modifications to see how I can improve this, I have some similar portraits that were shot at the same time, I will upload some versions to see what your thoughts are.
Many thanks Ian.

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