Back Modifications (1)
Views: 68 (42 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By matta56
first attempt with studio lights, just messing really

Tags: General Black and white Portraits and people Flash and lighting

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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 Mar 2013 6:10PM
A good portrait, model engaged with photographer and with good expression. Sharp where it needs to be around the eyes. Good eye contact with the camera. Just enough directional light to show the profile on her face and nose. The shadow cast by her nose is maybe just a little heavy/dark but does not spoil the image.
Composition is good but could be improved in my view by cropping at the top, maybe remove just a little of the top of the hat. This would bring her eyes up just a little in the frame. I don't think losing a little hat would matter.
I'm not sure of the significance of the glove but I would prefer it not to be there, its rather dark and catches the eye.
Successful image

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banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
2 Mar 2013 6:16PM
Its a good effort Matthew. You havent given us any lighting info, type, number, positions, power, but as you say youre really experimenting, you will probably get around to how important this is after some time.

A few comments that may help; the shot looks a little underexposed. Youve used -3 for a reason, so perhaps earlier shots were looking too bright?; the shoulder forward pose can sometimes cause reflected light to affect exposure; your focus is not on her closest eye, - its on the front of the hat brim, even though the eye is reasonable sharp, it becomes obvious when downloaded; this can be due to the use of multiple focus points, whereas using a single focus point and placing it on her eye will give much better results (check out the camera manual for how to do this, its quite easy).

For a studio light or flash set up, the amount of light appears low. The usual range with reasonable studio lights, or even off camera flash unite would be a sgutter speed of 1/200 - 1/250; manual mode; and an aperture of arounf f/8 at ISO 200 for the Nikon, so its appears the lighting is low power, or fixed (not flash?). The mono conversion is reasonable, but looks better with a little more contrast.

With her eyes sharpened, and exposure lifted slightly, I would move her up in the frame also.

Ive uploaded a mod with all the above, and the crop is an 8 X 10.

Hope this is helpful,


matta56 14
3 Mar 2013 7:30AM
that's what I love about this site, complements and helpful honest answers. as I'm new to studio type set up just having a play for now.
the lights are interfit ex 150 3 head kit, on this shot used one light, positioned about 45 degrees to the left and 3ft away, 6ft high with a softbox on the lowest power setting. thought I'd try the aperture priority mode first, that's clearly not going to work. will go for manual mode today. I must get my head round the fact it will not work like I flash.
its not until the critiques point a few things out, that you notice where you've gone wrong. I was in 2 minds about single or multipoint focus.

will take all these point on board and bribe my daughter to pose again.

thanks again for all the help and comments.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 10:13AM
A nice start with a good pose. I would crop in a lot, part way down the hat and some off the right. The face and eyes are the subject, so fill the frame with them.

Studio flash. You have so much power at your service, so minimum ISO for quality, and a bit smaller aperture. Your depth of field is too shallow for me, the 50mm 1.8 malady. Just because it has a very wide aperture, you don't have to use them.

I assume the -3 is flash compensation? If you are shooting with flash as your only light source, set your camera fastest synch speed, 1/250 probably to avoid any ambient effects or double image and use manual. You are then in control. I use a separate flash meter, but your camera will do the job. Set exposure on manual, shoot a test image for each set up, adjust aperture as necessary and away you go.

Auto is not needed in the controlled studio environment. Focus manually! You really should not be using auto focus in a set piece studio environment. You should also use a tripod, which leaves you free to move arround and adjust things.


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