Back Modifications (6)
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By RebeccaR
Can I get some feedback please

Tags: Portrait Girl Girls Portraits and people

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dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
6 Sep 2018 10:57AM
A question or two... Where did you intend the sharp focus to be? And have you done any skin-smoothing processing?

You have some intriguing data in the EXIF panel - I suspect that you've entered it manually, instead of letting hte system read it from yoru file, which it will do if you use 'save as' instead of 'save for web'.

320s - I assume 1/320: maximum aperture on that (very, very lovely) lens is f/1.4: the minimum aperture is f/22!

And the next question, related to the first one is how is your focus set? Are you using a single point, and placing it on the eye? (Alternatively, you may be aiming for sharp leaves, and a blurred face - more about this later). If you are letting the camera select points, it becomes a lottery.

The leaves and the front of the model's hair are sharper than her eyes - if you intended this, it woudl be a good idea to have the leaves further in front of her face, and to use an even wider aperture, to get more differentiation. As things are, it's not clear which area you wanted sharp, and which blurred. Or did you want both sharp? (In which case, leaves even closer to the face, and stop the lens down to f/5.6 or f/8).

And this is one case when knowing more will help us a lot with the analysis and suggestions.
clicknimagine Plus
10 723 101 India
6 Sep 2018 11:02AM
Such a beautiful portrait you have taken...can i say as a viewer the leaves blocking one eye is an obstruction which you may have created purposefully but that purpose is not known me...
clicknimagine Plus
10 723 101 India
6 Sep 2018 11:46AM

Quote:Such a beautiful portrait you have taken...can i say as a viewer the leaves blocking one eye is an obstruction which you may have created purposefully but that purpose is not known me...
if you have tried to frame that eye, it is something in between as said earlier by Dudler...
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4174 Canada
6 Sep 2018 1:06PM
Yes, - too much of her face hidden, especially one eye. Focus appears to be on the leaves, b=not her eyes unfortunately, as this could be very nice.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2288 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2018 2:32PM
You had a really lovely idea here, to use the trailing leaves as a veil. A veil adds allure, mystery, it makes us imagine what lies behind. But it depends on there being enough information showing through. If the eye was visible between the leaves, that would be so much better.

Eyes are the window to the soul, they are how we communicate visually. As this is, the leaves simply act as a barrier to communication. Which is a pity.

Technical advice - I'll echo the above, focus on the eyes, not on the obstruction.

I suspect that you added the Exif data, and that maybe you do not fully understand the different settings covered. If you want any of these explained, just ask, that's what we are here for!
6 Sep 2018 5:00PM
Hi, thanks for all the advice.

Yes I focused on her eye, that was meant to be the sharpest part of the image. Focus fell on the leaves, probably as I was shooting on a wide aperture.

I have other variations of this, where her other eye is also showing, I did a few different variations.

I'll upload another tomorrow for more advice!

Thank you everyone.
6 Sep 2018 5:02PM
And skin smoothing, not much, just a bit of guassian blur on the edges of the shadows, at 33% opacity.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
6 Sep 2018 5:56PM
If it's one of the same set, you can upload here, as your own modification...

From a lot of experience of this sort of thing, I can say that there will always be failures, especially if you focus and reframe. Human beings stay upright by swaying backwards and forwards, very slightly - both models and photographers do this. With an 85mm lens, we are actually talking about depth of field that won't get eyebrows and eyes sharp at the same time - it's that critical. So you need a very small focus spot, right on the eye.

There's actually an enormous advantage with electronic viewfinders and manual focus, so you may be wanting to save up for a Z-series Nikon - I've used full-frame Sony EVFs for several years, and have worked out a way to do things that vastly increases my hit-rate. I compose, move the magnification area over the eye, magnify, focus and shoot without going back to full-field viewing. Effectively, you have live view through the viewfinder, and can press the shutter release as soon as focus comes right.

Nikon and Canon users can join the party before the end of the year.
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4174 Canada
6 Sep 2018 6:04PM
Did you use Manual focus, or Auto focus: If Auto, did you use a single focus point (you have to select a single point) and place that single point on her visible eye?

paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2018 7:32PM
It is actually quite nice compared to many. However, the comments above are relevant and you need to think a little more. Just because the lens has a wide aperture, you do not have to use it. I would have been on f5.6 or 8 here and focusing carefully oin the eyes. The leaves and twig across her eye are a real no no - they pull the viewers eye terribly and she should have been told to move them just clear of her eye.

Tilting the eyes slightly across the frame often gives a better effect and hands can be difficult. The old judges comment here is 'whose hand is that?' Not really fair as it is reasonably obvious it is hers.

In my young unmarried days at work we had a works newspaper, and each month we featured one of the office girls. A sort of very mild page 3. Many of the poses were very similar to this shot in a dinner hour at the local stately home. That was my job!

It was tough, but someone had to do it!

6 Sep 2018 9:11PM
I used auto focus, single point.

I don't think I have ever shot at f8 unless it's a group of people! But i will certainly give it a try.

I am used to a 35mm, and shooting lifestyle type photos, the 85 is a big jump for me. I'm not sure I'm loving it that much. I've only used it a handful of times. It had serious focus issues when I first bought It and I had to tune it. It was back focusing and them front focusing. It was basically hit or miss.

Thank you all for your comments, I really want to learn and grow as a photographer, so all comments taken on board. I'll be posting all my photos to the critique gallery in the future, in order for me to learn.

Thank you.
6 Sep 2018 9:26PM
I have added another photo from the same series, in the modification section.

as well as cc on the technicalities, can I get some feedback on the edits to please? the tones etc.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
6 Sep 2018 10:05PM
Thanks for the feedback, and for the extra images.

It must be incredibly frustrating to have bought that lens and then had trouble: I'll add that the back focus/front focus problem is probably not an issue with CSCs, but can be with any system where the sensor isn't the source of focus data. But problems are likely to be consistent, so are tunable out!

Give it time - I have been using an 85mm since 1977, and have owned a good few for various cameras. I reckon to take aroudn 80% of all my pictures with it.

For my money, your gentle touch with colours is excellent, and nicely subdued. I feel that you do more skin softening than I like - but it is currently very fashionable, and I am a bit out of the mainstream in the extent to which I keep the pores, the wrinkles and the hairs on every face!

The focus seems ot be better in the two new shots. Framing is not that great - a lot of excess space, and a cut-off elbow in one shot. It's fine to have extra space, but it needs to form part of an overall composition - is this being unfair?

Lighting's great in all cases, beautifully soft and even.
6 Sep 2018 10:23PM
I think it's because it's a sigma art, i wish i had gone with the nikon 85 and not sigma. I may switch.

Framing and cropping is something I struggle with, i also struggle with good backgrounds (either to busy or too open) i need to learn to frame better. skin softening honestly, it's hardly anything. I used guassian blur around the shadows, just to slightly blend the line between shadows and highlights and at a low opacity.

I have another edit here where I used frequency separation to, so that one may be considered too smooth. I have noticed it's a trend! Haha.

Lighting wise, thank you, natural light, evening time where the light was soft and I pointed her toward the brightest part of the sky.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2018 8:12AM
I echo John's comments. It is composition I would be looking at. I have had, and still have some Sigma lenses. In many cases they are at least as good as the mark lenses and rather less expensive. I have no experience of any 85 mm, but use the 105 and 150 mm macro lenses from Sigma. Not quite the same beast but superb lenses.

The 85 mm, or there abouts, is the ideal portrait lens and not the 35 mm, which this close will distort.

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2288 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2018 8:32AM
Thanks for uploading the extra two pictures from the same series, both are delightful and to my eye much more successful than the main upload. There is a real sense of communication, engagement. And if you are going to include a hand in a portrait, it's best to give it a specific function, a reason for being there. So holding the twig works.

The focus is also much better!

I particularly like the slight tilt of the head in the second, Mod 4. It's quirky, enquiring.

I shall have a go at a modification, landscape format is not necessarily good for a portrait, particularly of a standing figure. It tends to allow too much 'flab' at the sides... Go for a tighter crop (and I know I always go for square but it does work), and you create a sense of someone occupying their own space on their own terms.

Cropping will also play on the off-centre pose.

Back soon...
Robert51 12 7 108 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2018 8:44AM
First may I say Rebecca I like the images. They capture the beauty of the young girl in a relaxed setting. These are good images that just need some minor changes.
Always remember that all the people's comments here are trying to help you with those very small points that help make your images that little bit better.

My mod is really about two things I like to do for portrait shots. The first is also remember it's all about the person, so unless the background tells a story within the image push it further back or crop down. The other is making the background work with the colours within the person. The mod I have cropped most of the foliage and then changed the background colour to work with the colours of the person. A little edge darkening to draw the eye straight to the person and that's it.

I hope you like it and remember these are just ideas, the images are yours and yours alone. Shoot for yourself and if others like them it's a bonus.

Good luck for your journey with photography and your never stop learning...
7 Sep 2018 9:46AM
Thank you everyone for your comments and help! Really appreciate it. I'll be adding another to the critique gallery today for more advice!
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1732 England
7 Sep 2018 2:19PM
I've had a look at the DxOmark tests , which put the Sigma ahead of any Nikkor at 85mm - and it's further ahead if you use one of the higher-pixel bodies. However, if it's not manageable, physically, it isn't a lens to own. (Mind you, the same goes for bodies: a Nikon D850 is a hefty bit of kit, and I'm not sure I'd want to own one myself.

Backgrounds and framing: it's worth reading up on theory, if that's how your mind works - try Michael Freeman's 'The Photographer's Eye': and take pictures and analyse them yourself, then try others, including us in the Critique Gallery.

In the end, your aim should be to make it instinctive that you move round to get the right background, and compose well - that's why some people make it seem so effortless. They've done the hard work with 50,000 frames over the years...

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