Back Modifications (6)
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pippin 1

By brian7d
this was taken 2 weeks ago at image red studios in tamworth , iv only been a few times but I like the lighting in this shoot

Tags: Black and white 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.


paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2014 6:24PM
The lighting suites the model, but I wonder why you left all the black above her head. That can go to the top of her hair at least. I would also prefer colour. I struggle in this day and age with glamour in mono when you could have glorious ranges of colour tones. Subjective, but my feeling.


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dudler Plus
14 706 1352 England
26 Feb 2014 6:38PM
I've shot at Image Red on a chilly day, and I recognise the goosepimples!

This has a very Eighties feel to it - the whole style is distinctly retro.

I tend to agree with Paul about both the composition and the colour. This is the sort of shot which should have knockout colour.

Compositionally, it's very easy to let AF lull you into over-central compositions: but you can lock focus with the first pressure on the shutter release and then recompose. (Sony Alpha 900s have a lovely button that uncouples the AF mechnism as long as you hold it: wonderful for this kind of work!)

The lighting is borderline harsh, at the least - unforgiving of goosepimples, and stray hairs. One way to deal with this is to go for the very tousled look, so it's not just a few hairs out of place...

Mod coming - cropped.
Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2014 6:42PM
As Paul has stated this needs a tighter crop to lose the black. Okay for this space if it is being used for something like a magazine cover to allow space for titles for example but presented as a straight image it is stronger cropped. In this type of head shot try to keep the eyes on or close to the top third line - helps balance the image.

Also the lighting needs a little tweak. Generally it is good however the catchlight on the eye has missed the spot. You have the reflection of the soft box in the eye whites and just the lightest dot of light in her pupil. Try and avoid reflecting the light source in the eye whites. You need a catchlight in the pupil which brings the portrait to life and adds sparkle and personality to the subject. Just needed the lights moving a few centimetres - when you have your model positioned just tweak the light position. Alternatively of course you can reposition your subject and direct the head angle etc.

Colour glamour shots I suppose are the common norm and it is good to see a mono conversion here. Processing is good with strong blacks and detail in the highlights.

Good effort.

I have uploaded a mod to demonstrate a tighter crop and have added the catchlight to her pupil.

I hope that helps.

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2014 4:54PM
It may be that a woman will pick up on things that a man will not, Brian, but there are a few little niggles here from my female point of view.

Firstly, the light has highlighted every little hair on Pippin's right arm. No woman wants to appear to be hairyTongue! If you don't crop, as in some of the modifications, this is an easy fix with the clone tool, extending the dark background over the hairs.

Secondly, her teeth have been bothering me. She looks a bit like the advertisement for tooth loss on the TV. Again, it could well be the direction of the light that is good on one of the large front teeth, and leaves the other in shadow. Alternatively, it could be that her teeth are not naturally well aligned. Whatever the reason, the fix isn't as easy as for the hairs, but I thought I would have a go, so have uploaded two modifications, both with the arm hairs dealt with, then the teeth.
In the first, I brightened them all. In the second, I removed them all (painlessly, I assure you).


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