Back Modifications (4)
Views: 193 (37 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

The Actress No2

By dusfim
Also this photo was taken at the same location of my previous photo. Please send me where I can improve.

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.


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2012 10:31PM
In my view an excellent characterful portrait. Skin tones and details look really good. As was pointed out in comments about your last image of an actress, these pictures are very revealing of the ladies skin structure. You have made no attempt to flatter the ladies. It may be your intention to present them as they are.
It would be very interesting for viewers if you would state the reasons for taking the photos. To say what you are aiming to achieve. This will help people give advice.
A little could be cropped from the top to bring the eyes up.
If your aim was to create photos of character actress's they are really good but as complementary images of ladies the lighting is too harsh,

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Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 9:06AM
Another decent picture portrait Mario but I think here your composition has let you down a bit. Perhaps consider chopping a bit off the top as the eyes to me are to close to centre. So a crop immediately above the headress I feel would improve this and a little added on to the LHS.

EXIF wise I am left wondering about a negative exposure compensation here and can't see the need for it. Aperture wise f5.6 is good but as there is no background f8 could also have been a good choice, depends on the sweet spot of your lens.

I will upload a mod with a crop to 10X8 format with the above features.

Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
3 Nov 2012 12:15PM
If you study the rule of thirds and the golden ratio it will help with your placement of the eyes in portraiture. If the eyes are on one of these lines, or at the cross lines it will give much more power to the image. You can look these up on google, and I think there is a down loadable program that helps you when you are editing.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
3 Nov 2012 1:42PM
Good morning Mario.

You know about the rule of thirds, but I think you prefer to compose with these subjects central, so I wont dwell on thirds, - something else for a change.

You filled in the background, but youve left a lighter area between the nine and 11 o'clock positions, - this needs to be filled in.

The lady's face is underexposed. You might, - its a guess, have tried to tone down highlights, and ended up underexposed. When I correctled exposure, there are highlights on her face, and any attempt to use the highlight tool darkens the face way too much. What can work is the burn tool, used very carefully. It targets only the areas you want, and wont affect exposure.

The head dress is much too sharp, - its looking for attention, so when sharpening, dont sharpen this area. Ive added s amll amount of blur to it, which not only reduces sharpness, but also brightness, so a bonus.

Ive uploaded your original composition with these changes, and also a thirds composition.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
3 Nov 2012 2:30PM
Sorry folks but to my mind, the modifying of this to suit the 'thirds' business completely spoils it.
Willie's mod. 2 looks good re. the exposure but by moving the lady around in the frame, it's become unbalanced.
I agree that there's a bit too much space at the top, which could be reduced but reduce it because there's too much there. Not to deliberately set anything on a 'third.'
Mario, you often go in for this composition, or something very similar. I think that barring what I've just said,it works very well as it is.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
3 Nov 2012 4:46PM
You make a good point Bren, - hower I believe it appears unbalanced because the background has been blacked out. I believe if it was left in, albeit blurred etc. the balance would be better.

Bottom line I think is that Mario prefers the central position. Perhaps hes a centre forward!


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
3 Nov 2012 5:54PM

Quote:I believe it appears unbalanced because the background has been blacked out. I believe if it was left in, albeit blurred etc. the balance would be better.

Could well be Willie.
It would be interesting to actually see a version with a background although I'm inclined to think that this and in fact all of the shots that Mario takes in this style are best left alone, as far as composition is concerned.
My views on the so-called 'rules' are well documented but I'm inclined to think that they're being applied here simply because convention dictates that they should be, rather than because applying them brings about any real improvement.
Somebody (not I) said in here, quite recently, that people need to "shake off the shackles of convention."
I think that this is a good example of when we should do just that.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
3 Nov 2012 6:49PM
I disagree re the thirds rule when its a portrait, and agree for most other situations the rule can be taken to silly extremes. Portraits, especially those that are posed, or as if posed, always look better with thirds applied IMO. The "rule" can be broken, and it can definitely work, but its when this is intentionally and deliberately done, with knowledge of thirds, and knowledge of the other "rules" like triangles, Fibonacci etc that it can work best. Thirds is only one "rule". Theres are the other "rules" besides thirds that a shot, or portrait can conform to and look great. But, as you say, - its what Mario wants thats important, so for me its Marios call whether one look better than another, and for him to develop a style thats his, rules or not.

Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
3 Nov 2012 6:52PM

Quote:its what Mario wants thats important, so for me its Marios call whether one look better than another, and for him to develop a style thats his, rules or not.


parob 7 3 74 France
4 Nov 2012 6:23PM
"The Actress" aptly describes this photo. I'll side with Mario because I think I understand why he refuses to alter his initial shot. The many comments are not ill-reasoned, but, taken together, they point to the very reason he takes his stand. Indeed, the relationship between the very strong headdress and the background on top requires this additional space to maintain proportion. I think that, consciously or not, Mario found the background to be the catalyst. It forces the viewer's eyes to look down. My viewer's reaction was to privilege the headdress and immediately slide down to the face's intensity. Why this kind of viewing angle? Simply because it is the headdress that adds the theatrical element to the scene. The very essence of this portrait. This is why I like Mario's shot, it is stupendous!
Robert51 9 7 70 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2012 10:58PM
Hi dusfim

Stunning, I just love this portrait. It the reason we all pick up a camera.

I have uploaded a mod with my own post processing, hope you like it.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
5 Nov 2012 6:07PM
Again, Parob, its about the background, and if the as-shot background was included, I might be inclined to follow your reasoning, - otherwise I disagree. I have never critiqued a shot where Ive said you need a lot more of empty black space at the top, unless the subject was way too close to the frames edge. It makes no sense. The conversation is also focused on composition, and is ignoring the fact that the face is underexposed, and not close to a natural appearance!

And I dont believe Mario refuses to do anything, - he has taken all the critique onboard, and will use it as he sees fit!

dusfim 8 Malta
5 Nov 2012 6:20PM
Hi all,

I apologize for my delay to answer, but as I have said to Willie,I am very busy taking care of all competitions held at the Malta Photographic Society. I have to keep all the data for the annual awards etc.
I am very happy that I have created such a discussion on my photo. In my opinion I fell more comfortable to leave the photo close to as it was taken. Regarding the rule of thirds I fell that it is important to keep to it, but there is nothing wrong to break it. In my opinion if the photo catches the eye there is nothing wrong. Hundred viewers hundred opinions. I honestly thank you all for your constructive critique. Hope to find time to upload another photo. Sorry for my English language.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
6 Nov 2012 12:59PM
Its good English Mario and helpful to the discussion!
dusfim 8 Malta
6 Nov 2012 2:36PM This is our new site of The Malta Photographic Society for those who are interested.

Thanks Willie.


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