Back Modifications (7)
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Natural light.

By arahaman17
I like to if this is a good portrait? what are the wrong with this photo. What could be done to improve?

Tags: General Digitally manipulated Natural light Portraits and people Portrait b and amp w

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paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2015 8:07AM
The composition is fine, but I fear the image quality is not very good.

The girl is not very sharp. You have camera movement and need either a tripod, a monopod or a faster shutter speed. The latter would mean an increase in ISO but 400 would be perfectly OK with little quality loss. You are also at virtually full aperture, f5.6. The lens will not be at it's best and f8 would be better at the cost of a slightly sharper background.

The image is flat, lacking in a decent tonal range. The sepia toning is very weak and yellow. If you use sepia, go for a darker brown base to retain some contrast. Removing pure black will always drop contrast.

Up the contrast a bit, then bring hair detail back using the dodge tool.

The two main basics of photography are, get the exposure right, get it sharp. You must master these features in rder to progress.

iancrowson 12 215 169 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2015 11:39AM
Nice portrait.
The sepia look is something some will like others less so. The overall feel to the image is vintage.
You have put the background nicely out of focus. I like the positioning of the woman in the frame. Some people may suggest cropping. This is a personal choice. I find the area to right adds to the atmsopherel of the image.
The photo may have required some additional sharpening when resizing for this site.
As Paul says she is not really sharp. Lack of sharpness can be desirable in a female portrait. You should look at your technique and ask your self why it is not sharp. Was it focus error or camera movement or lack of sharpening in processing.
I would have thought 1/320th sec was high enough to discount it being down to camera movement.

iancrowson 12 215 169 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2015 11:47AM
I've done a mod (click on modifications above).
I have sharpened the image and also toned down the bright line on the railing which is a little distracting.

The image now looks sharper to me. i doubt camera movement myself.

I see you post a mod showing a crop. i prefer the original.
It is probably better to use the versions facility to post alternative variations,

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1294 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2015 1:10PM
There is a difference between softness in a female portrait and lack of sharpness. This is lack of sharpness. A soft diffused image can be very good for female portraits, but a diffused image has a basis in sharpness but with highlights bleeding into shadows.

dudler Plus
18 1.9k 1937 England
8 Nov 2015 2:42PM
Welcome to Ephotozine, and the the Critique Gallery! I hope you enjoy the site, and that the advice you get gives you what you want.

This is a nice idea, and well composed: the girl is looking into and across the frame, and that works nicely.

The logo clashes - my suggestion is not to use one, as it gives the impression that your name is more important than your picture... And your picture is strong enough to speak for itself.

The tone is a bit pale and yellowy: I'd prefer something darker, or something more neutral - either will work. I'll have a try at a mod or two.

I suspect that sharpness issue is to do with very limited depth of field, and using a zoom nearly at maximum aperture. The eye, the most crucial part, looks to be sharper than most other areas - and that's just as it should be.
pablophotographer 11 2.0k 428
8 Nov 2015 3:23PM
I shall not repeat the comments above.
Soft Focusing is an issue, if it happens quite too often you check your eyes to a doctor or an optometrist, you can check the lens and the camera later as your eye worth more.
Suppose for a moment the lady is pin sharp.
Look at the picture again; examine the whole frame. Timewise. Spacewise.
This is a quite exotic lady to me, or quite common and local to you.
Sepia implies a hint of old in the picture. The earring looks traditional, thus old.
And the buildings seem to show that as well from left to right.
Place of worship (?), low buildings, and more low buildings to the right and then a SKYSCRAPPER. Where did this come along?
It may not even be a skyscrapper but... it pops out as an oddity there.
Not that skyscrappers were not built at old times but here it sorts of alienates.
So I would cut this off from the frame from the right and I would trim a tiny bit from the left, before the tall tower.
Best regards,
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4311 Canada
8 Nov 2015 3:57PM
Welcome to EPZ Abu.

You have a lot of information and comments already, so I will try to add some thing to the discussion.

First, the selection of the blue border on EPZ does not show this shot off well, - you need to choose black.

When you add a sepia tone, depending on how you do this, you can significantly reduce contrast (mentioned by Paul). So to assess you imge, we really would need to see the original, before conversion to mono, and before sepia. You can upload it here, if you still have it; select modifications, upload a modification, and then select your original for upload; we will see it as your own modification.

The image presented here looks soft, and this could be the result of toning and mono conversion, but whatever it is, it doesnt work well.

The subject is having some trouble with strong light (as dudler and others mentioned) which you could have avoided at the time. The application of the sepia tends to mask, or cover this to some extent, but it can become more obvious without the toning.

There is certainly a lot of potential here for a very good portrait, so choose the timing and positioning of her face so direct, strong light does not become an issue.

I have uploaded 3 mods. Two are mono, one of these has a diffuse glow applied so you can see the difference between diffusion and no diffusion (you do need sharpness); and another with Sepia toning that retains contrast.

So to summarise my alterations: much stronger contrast, and considerable brighter; reduction of harsh highlights; sharpening.


pamelajean Plus
16 1.7k 2257 United Kingdom
8 Nov 2015 4:05PM
Welcome to EPZ and its Critique Gallery, Abu. Here we do out best to provide constructive feedback, and along the way, help you improve. This is where you forego votes and the chance of awards, in the hope of receiving more detailed and constructive commenting. I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn.

Remember that the more information you give us as regards your photographic aims and intentions, the better.
It also helps us if you respond to critique and indicate which ideas you found helpful. That means we can tailor advice according to your needs and abilities.

Your choice of EPZ background colour is important. It will either enhance your image or harm it. Here you have chosen a bright blue behind your gently hued black and white image, and it's not ideal. A simple black or white would look good.

You have been given some good advice above, as well as several modifications, and I hope they help.


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