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From the shadows

By strawman
Taken in order to have a play with shadows and lighting. A self portrait I would love feedback on does the lighting work, what about tonal range, should the hand be lighter? Is it too tight a crop? Should it be tighter.

Taken as a side lit photo on self timer using a slide projector as a light source. Then converted to B/W using the red channel and contrast adjusted. Lens set to F8 @ 70mm

Tags: Portrait Self portrait Shadows Bw Contrast Black and white Close-up and macro Flash and lighting

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strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2006 12:19PM
Actualy posting on here has shown me that my black is not black enough in the bottom right. Lesson 1.
MDaniel 14 3 3 Ghana
5 Dec 2006 12:41PM
Yeah black is a tough one. Like the shot, very Jeanloup Sief, the lighting is just about right and the skin texture has worked with that well.
Westers 16 3.9k 1 Burkina Faso
5 Dec 2006 3:51PM
Ooops, pressed the add comment button earlier and it just uploaded the text about you wanting feedback.

Something bugs me about the right hand side of this. I used a piece of card to hide the ear and hair (cropping just after the eyebrow ends, but before the hairline) and the shot worked better for me. It may be because the right hand side is so bright compared to the left, or maybe it pushes your head slightly off centre.

The eyes want pulling out a little more with some additional focusing - they look a hint soft to me and a little lacklustre. Do a search for RAW Challenge 2 and go to the top of page 3. There's a tutorial that Keith did for me, and which I wrote out, that covers processing portraits. The stuff for skin wouldn't suit this, but the stuff for the eyes would.

Other than that I'd say try the shot with some homemade reflectors to lighten the left hand side a touch, although I'm not sure if the reflectors are needed here or not.

However, I think you're onto something and with just a few little tweaks would make this work well.
tonyheps 17 6 1
5 Dec 2006 8:52PM
This works really well for me. Ilove the lighting which is giving a 1950's Holywood effect to the skin and I like the way it fades to the black. Overal it really draws the eye of the viewer into the frame
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2006 10:26PM
Thank you for the comments, especially Ian for taking so long to compose an answer and with so much detail.

Thanks I will have a think and a play.
stix 16 924 87 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2006 10:45PM
When you ask does the lighting work? Work for what? What were you trying to achieve?
If you wanted to make yourself look rather sinister then you have succeeded guessing you lit this from quite a low position which has a hammer horror effect.
For me the right hand side is too bright leading to a loss of detail in the skin.The right side is too dark leading to a black hole of an eye socket, again rather scary.
Your expression again has a look that says I am intent on evil. Maybe you are taking a picture of your victim to add to the collection : )
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2006 11:57PM
Actually Tony is close. I have been reading my Arnold Newman Book and thinking about the style. His photograph of Alfred Krupp intrigued me with its use of shadow. It makes him look evil and I wanted to play with this look.

Also I need a photo for a competition on shadows. So rather than do the obvious I wanted to try something different for me.

And I thought it might make a good profile picture.

Your comments on the RH side are well made, and I will try to burn that area in more.

More experiments to follow. Plus it was a rainy night and it kept me occupied.
Big Bri 19 16.6k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2007 12:31AM
Makes you look like a psycho.


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