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Nicole portrait

By Ahem
Here's is an image that I've shared in the critique gallery. Nicole's skin was softened in the critique gallery. In this image, it is left untouched. The color balance was tweaked a bit, some dust on the cloak was clone stamped out, and the background was burned. I like this version of the image more than the image which was shared in the other gallery; it's just more to my taste. Thanks to everyone in the critique gallery who viewed the image, made some suggestions, even created their own modifications, and joined in the dialogue. Ever upward.
A single rectangular soft box was used for this image; you can see the reflection/placement in Nicole's eyes.

Tags: Portraits and people Nicole portrait

Voters: ColleenA, MadVillPics, Daisymaye and 34 more

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Chrism8 14 1.0k 29 England
10 Jul 2021 6:47AM
I prefer this image to the one we've critiqued on,

This is superb, I do like the background burning on the other gallery image thou, wouldn't go quite as far as turning it completely black but would aim at toning it down a little to focus Nicole more directly.

10 Jul 2021 6:51AM
Intentional or unintentional ... I think this is very clever

Her eyes are looking at you ... or are they?

They somehow also seem to be looking just over my shoulder, giving her that pensive "in another world" look

It's subtle and thought provoking

Great image Hem

Colin Smile

mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2021 7:33AM
I too prefer this, it's a genuinely beautiful portrait. And it's Nicole that we are looking at, not the processing. Though it still looks to me as though the burn tool has been used down the sides of the nose...
Robert51 12 7 124 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2021 8:31AM
This is an an outstanding image and the one thing it shows is we all have different ideas about an image.

This in it's self is why it's so wonderful...
Owdman Plus
5 6 23 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2021 9:01AM
Are we looking at Nicole? Has she got any make up on? Does she normally walk round in a hooded cloak? Is this a 'natural' image if it's taken in a studio and posed in front of a softbox. Moira still feels it's been adjusted, so do we now as photographers automatically assume photographs are not real? In the old days we altered images by our choice of paper and by dodging and burning. Is this is a bit like quantum theory, where the act of measurement changes reality. Does taking an image automatically mean it isn't natural? I actually did a B&W version (which I've just added to the image in the critique gallery), I actually like B&W portraits and they, by being monochrome must surely be automatically unnatural Wink As you can tell, I haven't got out much during Covid Tongue
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
John Lennon
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1878 England
10 Jul 2021 10:16AM
Like most others, I prefer this. Nicole's skin is pretty much flawless, and this has that extra level of 'as she was' to it.

I'm definitely not against some manipulation in processing - I find, quite often, that a little bit of detail extraction (as Nik Color Efex calls it) brings out individual strands of hair nicely, though a fraction too much leads to a cartoonish look (which can be quite effective for some theatrical-style shots).

I suspect that the nose shadows are entirely natural (not that tweaking them would be the same as removing skin texture) and are the result of the light from half of the softbox not reaching the side of the nose. There's similar shading on the cheek on one side.

Good point, Hem, that you can read the lighting from the catchlights in the eyes - though some photographers are not above manipulating that in the belief that one catchlight is enough, and that it shouldn't be the same shape as one of their softboxes...)
10 Jul 2021 2:32PM
This community is something else. You've (collectively) offered a whole bunch to chew on and ruminate about...I'll take my time doing so. The age old adage remains, "beauty/truth is in the eyes of the beholder." Thank you very much for sharing your time, attention, experience, and expertise.
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1878 England
10 Jul 2021 2:54PM
Hem, thank you for your very gracious response, and for opening up an interesting area for discussion.

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