Portrait Critiques please


QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 15:03
Ok I know I have been posting a lot of portraits lately but I welcome comments and critiques from everyone particularly those that do it professionally.

I have favoured the tight crop for these so I'm looking more comments/thoughts on the lighting, contrast etc

Cheers









Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Gravelrash

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 15:09
I applaud your persistence carrot. I do enjoy looking at your latest ventures. One thing that is commonly on my mind is that I feel I would close the aperture a stop to increase the DOF a little.

The first in this series I would maybe play with increasing the contrast

The second I really like as it is

and the third is just back to increasing that DOF a little.

Once again thanks for the sharing and these are just my opinions and nothing to really consider. You take the pictures that please you and that's great.
Steve

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?

cabstar

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 15:30
I like em all but they could be a little better.

Curious as to what lighting you are using as the catchlights in number two look a little 'dotted' I can also see your reflection in the eyes of number two which I think would look better cloned out and maybe the catch light making square would help clone 'you' out. I think getting the flash of camera would help with this.

Whilst the compositions are good I don't think many girls would be happy with their hair being strayed as in number two, I would be tempted to closer crop vertically to lose the stray hairs.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 16:52
Thanks guys. I haven't a clue about flash mate and appreciate any tips on that front. I'm guilty of using maybe too much fill light in lightroom which makes the face rather dull
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Smeggypants

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 16:54
cabstar wrote:
I like em all but they could be a little better.

Curious as to what lighting you are using as the catchlights in number two look a little 'dotted' I can also see your reflection in the eyes of number two which I think would look better cloned out and maybe the catch light making square would help clone 'you' out. I think getting the flash of camera would help with this.

Whilst the compositions are good I don't think many girls would be happy with their hair being strayed as in number two, I would be tempted to closer crop vertically to lose the stray hairs.

That's part of what makes the shot for me.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 17:37
Competent, sharp, effective portraits.

Better than I could do but perhaps lacking a bit of memorable magic. Whether it's the landscape format, tight crop or lack of contrast, I haven't a clue.
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 18:04
I often feel like a hypocrite because I post images on here asking for C&C but don't feel comfortable offering opinions to others. However I thought I would try and break that cycle right here

The difficulty with making comment regarding lighting, in these images, is that you have very little control over it.

If I understand correctly, you approach a complete stranger in the street and, if they agree, you take their picture. Unless you take some control of the light source (e.g. add flash or shield the sun) or you adjust the position of the subject in relation to the light source then you will simple get what your given. Attempting to use LR to adjust for random lighting is never going to give you consistent results.

Looking at these 3 I would say that number 1 has very flat lighting and, as a result doesn't show much character. Number 2 is angled slightly which gives some depth to the face and introduces some shadows on her left. The catchlight in the eyes gives them some 'life' compared to the other two. However it's still a bit flat.
Number 3 has no eyes because he's squinting into the sun (presumably) and, without the eyes you often lose a lot of the persons expression. Once again the light is very even across the face and although there are plenty of lines and wrinkles adding character they are somehow lost because of the flat light.

The absence of light is as important as having enough. Shadows are your friends when it comes to creating character and depth in a persons face.

This all sounds rather critical but I don't mean it to be. As close-up, instant portraits of strangers in the street these are pretty good however if you want to improve your portraiture you will need to take control of the light and use it to build shadows and depth. Watch their eyes, manage the catchlights and try and 'get it right' in camera rather than playing in LR.

I am coming to the end of a 6 month portrait course and I cheat by using people who will pose and studio lights. I have the greatest admiration for you 'bottle' in doing this kind of portraiture so please take my comments as critique rather than criticism
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"

cabstar

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 18:14
Smeggypants wrote:
cabstar wrote:
I like em all but they could be a little better.

Curious as to what lighting you are using as the catchlights in number two look a little 'dotted' I can also see your reflection in the eyes of number two which I think would look better cloned out and maybe the catch light making square would help clone 'you' out. I think getting the flash of camera would help with this.

Whilst the compositions are good I don't think many girls would be happy with their hair being strayed as in number two, I would be tempted to closer crop vertically to lose the stray hairs.

That's part of what makes the shot for me.

Yes I agree but I was thinking from a client perspective. I've had females reject portraits for the strangest of reasons over the years and you never know what's next

QuestionableCarrot wrote:
Thanks guys. I haven't a clue about flash mate and appreciate any tips on that front. I'm guilty of using maybe too much fill light in lightroom which makes the face rather dull

I don't think the faces look dull at all. Try one of the lightspheres from 7 day shop to make the on camera flash more diffused and softer.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

stub

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 18:30
Not so sure the first one does it for me. But the other two are more than acceptable. I also think using flash can offer you a different dimension.
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Stuart..

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 18:45
All very helpful. Do you suggest i try and get the person into shadow all the time then? How do you suggest and what flash rig should i use and why. My attempts with pop up are sh* te
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

RalphHardwick

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 19:29
Search on youtube for Joe McNally, he is an absolute master at flash, in addition have a look here stobist blogspot where there is a wealth of information on small flash photography.

Getting the person into shade may help with squinting and will soften he overall effect but you may want to consider the direction of the light and how it falls on the subject. There is no hard and fast rule but 45 degrees is a good angle to go for
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CaptureLight Ltd
flickr
"I carry a camera to capture memories and the occasional photograph worthy of sharing"

QuestionableCarrot

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 20:01
thanks Ralph
Learn how to live and you'll know how to die; learn how to die, and you'll know how to live.

Check out ones photographs on Flickr!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/awprentice/

Stuey

Link Posted 05/05/2014 - 22:27
First of all I am far from above criticism in anything I do an secondly what I will suggest is not criticism

Secondly a lot would depend on what the punter wants if you are selling these or on a paid commission as such

The expression in number may not make the subject happy but she pulled the face so to speak - to narrow a depth of field for me - eyes in focus but the mouth is not.

Number 2 is much better in terms of what I have mentioned above - an despite the comments above (which are correct) - 'nice eyes'

The last one again will be down to what the subject wants - they will love this or hate it - personally I like it

In the short time I have been dealing with portraits, without complaint so far the one thing I have noticed is that when you ask a client/punter what they want they never seem to know but what they actually all want is a picture of their whole head as well as anything like the above as their 'self image' appears to relate to this (oh dear - psychology playing a part) - I would suggest that the photo's above may be better I would also look to supply photo's showing the whole head and shoulders as well

I have not posted any of my portraits or weddings as my own view is that the photo's are for their use not mine but that is only my view of my photo's - just my reason for posting feed back without examples

Hope this helps

Regards


Stu
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 06/05/2014 - 08:05
Love the dof and quizzical stare of no. 3! Nice 'character portrait'.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

ISO

Link Posted 06/05/2014 - 19:18
Hi QC – 4WIW:
#1 is bland – but I suspect that is more to do with the subject
#2 is superb – full of life and interest, and for those saying that a ‘full head’ shot is preferred, maybe the subject should go to a Passport Photo Booth! Cropping is a whole lot more interesting.
#3 I like a lot – was the sun a problem? Or was he just a sort of gritty individual.
Someone has mentioned whether you offer Subjects a Print (free or paid for), can’t see you have responded to that.
Keep going with the ‘Faces of 14’
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.