Back Modifications (5)
Views: 111 (55 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By LesleyWalter
I know next to nothing about portrait photography, lighting etc so would appreciate comments as to how I can improve, what I have done wrong etc.

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.


Inner-Funk 10 17 2 Australia
30 Jan 2012 9:49AM
I have looked at your photograph for a while and i'm not really sure what you could do to make this particular photo better apart from maybe create more space above their heads to change the perspective a bit... but i think you should keep going with portraiture as there is something about this photograph that i think you should develop.

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hobbo Plus
5 963 2 England
30 Jan 2012 11:06AM

For me this is a very beautiful double portrait, the subjects and pose are faultless..........My only suggestion would be to have added a side light to emphasise the faces can do this in Photoshop or similar software, but it may not be as subtle as the real lights.

Next time place your subject to be .......side lit from a window, a reflector made from white paper, fabric will help you to avoid harsh or unwanted shadows.

I am no expert so will suggest that you put ........Portrait Photography .....into the ....YouTube search box.......there are dozens of free tutorials there by experienced photographers.

Please let us see how you progress.

Good luck!

Robert51 7 7 28 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2012 11:20AM
Super shotand as stated above play around a little more with the light.

I have added a mod where I played with the highlights and shadows. Also changed the tone to give a warm feel to the image. Hope you like it.

JackAllTog Plus
7 4.4k 58 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2012 3:33PM
The main critique for me is maybe the sad pose, will they want to remember themselves in this way, if so then fine.
I'd try and add more light into them to lift them from a background.
In terms of a mod, Sepia & film grain to add to the sad mood and a blur vignette to centre there expressions.
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3534 Canada
30 Jan 2012 5:34PM
Hi Lesley.

This is a decent effort at a portrait shot.

The image technically is quite underexposed, - or at least the mono conversion appears under.

Theres no connection between either subject and the camera, and as you had complete control over this, you could have had one of the girls look at the camera.

The eyes appears dead as they have no catchlights, - essential to have in a portrait. You could have remedied this by forcing your flash up. It would not fire with full power, - but provide a fill flash which would have achieved the catch lights, AND increased exposure.

The pose looks "posed", not natural to me, - so if you have these willing subjects, you can do wonder with some time and patience.

It is a little tightly frames, - allow a little more room.

Ive loaded a mod to show what I mean.


paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2012 8:27PM
Willie has it - rather under exposed and that spoils it. It's either your original or you have lost tone in the conversion. Did you use a direct conversion to mono or dis you play with RGB - you should do the latter. I would also come in much much tighter on the faces getting rid of most of the background - hands etc. This is about expressions, not surroundings.

31 Jan 2012 7:40AM
Thank you everyone for the excellent critiques/suggestions. I did the conversion in Silverefex and tried lots of different settings before choosing the one I posted. I also tried some conversions with Alien Skin Exposure but had trouble deciding which looked best. I obviously have a lot to learn. I will work on improving! I rather like the tight crop Paul.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 1:42PM
You obviously did a lot of work. Sometimes you can do too much. Obviously depending on what you want at the end, then often some very simple and basic work is enough. Your image here is a straight forward black and white portrait with some mood. Thus, to me, a suitable crop and conversion to high quality mono with a sharpen is all that is needed to end up with a fine image.

I think many people get too involved with the modern ability to do major work at the computer when just a tweak is needed. They should have served an apprenticeship in a wet darkroom where anything other than a bit of dodging and burning in was a major undertaking.

banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3534 Canada
31 Jan 2012 2:21PM
Like Pauls tighter crop. Loaded my mod cropped tighter.

31 Jan 2012 8:08PM
thank you again Paul and Willie. I think you're right, I had so many choices with the conversion software that I got confused when something simpler would have given a better result. Also, I made the mistake of shooting with the ISO up too high so had to do some noise reduction, then lost the sharpness. Oh, it does get complicated!

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