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Tragic Beauty

By shadow18
I know this is not my best photo, but I have gotten out of the loop of photography for a few months. I've been crazy busy with college!
But the other day, I decided to play around a bit and get back into it.
In this photo, I am basically going for simplicity with focus on the eyes and collar bones. I am aiming for a more serious than happy shot, more of a tragic beauty.
Feel free to critique!!! All comments are welcome! I'd love to get back into my photography! Wink


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.


Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 3:29PM
To me the composition is rather unbalanced, there being too much in the lower section compared with that taken up by the girl's face. The eyes therefore are too high in the frame, perhaps better on a junction of thirds. In addition it is not as sharp as I would have hoped that could be due toone of two things or even both.

1. Your Focal Length demands a shutter speed of around 1/75sec for hand holding, so perhaps that is the cause of camera shake.
2. Given the use of f6.3 perhaps f8 might have given better coverage.

I am sorry to be so negative but I do hope it is helpful.


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banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
21 Sep 2012 5:46PM
Hi Louise.

I know this is a self portrait, though you havent said so.

Looking at your objective, I think you have achieved what you wanted. You also need to take into account Franks comment about the image being rather long, and it does benefit with space cropped from the bottom as in the mods.

I assume you wither used a tripod, a support like a counter top, or a friend for this? And I wounder if thats why you seem to be slightly bending down to get into the frame?

I like this personally, - its show me a fragility, almost as if your unsure is you should be in the pic. So for the tragic beauty, - beauty certainly, but more tender, fragile that tragic for me, - and it works.

Ive loaded 2 mods. You need to do a little work on accentuating shoulder bone structure with shadows, with with lighting, more angular and dramatic, or in Photoshop, which is what Ive done. Noise is quite pronounced, - you can reduce this with a noise reduction program if you like. Mod2 has a little diffuse glow to soften.

One key thing for me is when there are eyes, and large attractive eyes like this, you really do need catchlights, - so Ive done that also.

Hope this works for you, and welcome back


paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2012 8:18PM
I don't dislike your composition, a bit little girl lost. The quality is not so good as the 20D is old technology and is not so good with high ISO. I still own one, a fine camera but better at up to ISO400. Eyes are just a bit dark too. 9ossible a touch with the dodge tool.

shadow18 7 406 England
21 Sep 2012 8:52PM
Hey! Thanks everyone for your comments! It's nice to be back!

As I said, I know this isn't really my best photo.
Thanks for all the comments! They are ALWAYS helpful!

I would actually like to learn more about the best way to accentuate collar bone structure, because I haven't researched it much, and I think that would be a fun thing for me to get artistic with and practice! Smile

Yes, you are correct, Willie! Smile it's a sp. I used a countertop type thing in my room. I may try again when it's light. It was just dark when I got all my work done, and then I got in photography mood! Smile so natural light should fix all my iso and blurriness issues! I may use reflection or flash to help with my eyes and bones. Flash would prolly be easier!

Hey! I'm getting back into this! Yay!

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2012 4:35PM
Lighting is always the way to show any features. Either direction or intensity/quality. Shapes are shown by light and shadow, so master lighting.

parob 7 3 74 France
26 Oct 2012 4:46PM
It has been said before, but when you boost ISO as much, you get noise. I guess the proof is in the pudding. It must be attended to. As well, the over-saturation much be modified, and sharpness has to be improved. But with a JPEG, I am not certain! I won't repeat what is said above regarding the camera's settings; Speed and Aperture. Yet, I have no problem with the aesthetic characteristics of the shot (even more so, if it is a self-portrait, but something in the image must indicate it is.). The subject's expression works as it should. Further, I like the large contrast of skin and cloth. Smile
shadow18 7 406 England
26 Oct 2012 5:15PM
Thank you very much! Smile

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