Back Modifications (1)
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By maxfired1
My first portrait so far with limited experiance Grin. feel free to give me pointers.

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.


hi14ry 5 21 England
12 Dec 2012 11:51PM
Beautiful picture.....mystical!! H x

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maxfired1 5 2 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 11:56PM
thx hi14ry. that was probably the title it should have been Grin
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
13 Dec 2012 8:19AM
Quite striking image but some anomalies. The EXIF says flash fired, but i see no sign of it. I would have expected a catch light from the gun in the eye and, with flash this close, you should not need ISO800. Looks more like available tungsten/low light, confirmed by the shutter speed, and that has led to the heavy orange colour cast.

Does the colour work? Not sure. I accept it as being 'inside a tent' which then fits the Arabic sort of theme here. A very brave attempt for a first portrait.

Looking again, I wonder if she would be better looking directly in front so the eye is not in the corner. I normally like eye contact, but she looks slightly strained.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
13 Dec 2012 2:19PM
HI Mark, welcome to EPZ.

A few comments on portraits. Youve started with something a little complicated, - try getting some experience with straight poses before getting "mysterious"!

This is underexposed, a lot. I cant trust your exif data, as it should not be underexposed at all according to it, and a shutter speed of 1/5 would not give such a sharp result. Something doesnt look right. The mod Ive uploaded is exposed by one full stop more and then the use of flash becomes more apparent, and the skin colour appears as expected. This is not a subjective opinion, its measured by displaying the histogram in Photoshop, and it shows the dat in the histogram all bunched at the left, with none extending beyond the middle.

Not including the mouth doesnt work for me, simply due to the turned head. Portraits limited to eyes do work if the subject is looking straight at the camera. With a turned head, she should be turned more towards the camera to avoid he nose extending beyond he cheek, and this tends to make a nose appear longer than it is. She is also tilted down a little towards the camera due to the fact youre shooting down, and her far eye has some expressive qualities, whereas the near eye makes her look sleepy.

One very important piece of information is missing from the exif data, and thats exposure mode, - and it might explain the rest of the data. Can you tell us what it was, P,S A or M? Did you use on-camera flash? Was it the built in flash, or a unit mounted on the camera?

Scroll up this page to the modifications tab to see the verion with full exposure.

Hope this is the start of something useful for you, and I will check back to see if you have provided any answers,


maxfired1 5 2 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 12:20AM
hi guys, thx in advance for comments and advice. Please excuse my amature attempts as ive only had my DSLR for about 2 months and was my first portrait. firstly i was switching between modes so dont really know what i shot this on lol. As far as shutter speed i do have a steady hand lol. i did use the camera flash but diffused it a little with a paper cd cover, odd but it works with my macros until i get my light system sorted.
I did adjust the colour as the original was quite bland too me, maybe a little too much for some but i kinda like it.
I totally agree with the eyes, they didnt turn out as planned and perhaps the makeup effects could have been omitted.
We all have to start somewhere and with all ur useful hints i can learn and improve.
Thanks again.

maxfired1 5 2 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 12:26AM
and thx for the mod banehawi. perhaps a happy medium between the 2 shots colour wise and it would be the picture i would be pleased with.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
14 Dec 2012 2:07PM
Mark, - I think theres something being missed here. The original shot is way underexposed. And nobody takes shots close up of a face at 1/5 second unless its a complete fluke, as BOTH ends of the camera need to be absolutely rigid at the same time. So I wouldnt make a habit of using such a low speed. The minimum hand held speed for this without flash would be 1/80th, and 1/60th with a flash. So I would have to surmise that it was the covered flash thats responsible for the image illumination without blur, and that adding that CD cover may have reduced light too much. Tissue paper works a lot better as a diffuser if you want to try it. The mode you used should be in the exif data on the image if you look in Photoshop, - assuming thats what you use.

Try leaving the camera in P mode for your next portrait, use tissue paper and see if the result is any different.

maxfired1 5 2 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 2:40PM
banehawi. yes i use photoshop a little but use view nx 2 which is quite a nice starter app. have checked and it was 1/5 and night portrait mode. and have used the cd cover to good effect while doing macro shots, getting a light-ring this month so diffusing wont be a problem.
Thanks for ur advice which i will use in future portrait shots.

i personally think for a first time try at a portrait you've done a good job. Very mysterious, i like it! Smile

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 7:24PM
I would advise anyone shooting set piece images, and I include set portraits in this to use a tripod. It gives stability and allows the photographer to move around, chat and adjust lights without moving the camera. So many images get spoilt by shake and a tripod does not have to cost much.

Just a general comment for all.


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