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Some portraits...Please Advise
Posted By: ronald_durst, 10-30-2007, 09:27 PM

i took these on a sunny day with my k110d and 18-55 kit lens. Im not to pleased with them but id like some serious advice and criticism. Anything i can do to make them better. Thanks

Here is the link to the rest of them.....

lite_brite7/Danielle Rowell - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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10-30-2007, 09:55 PM   #2
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Portraits are always going to be difficult because you have to worry so much including pose, facial expression, hair, focus, background, lighting, etc. it's going to take time and here is my honest help for you to get you going on to your next shoot with better success.

Image 1: The pose is good, face is turned and the look is right into the camera, but the lighting is just tooooooo bright from the left side and caused her face to burn out a bit and her nose gets some of that bright light. If you're shooting on a bright day either find shade or learn to use reflectors to balance that harsh light or even wireless lighting. If you go with reflectors pick up some white foam core boards and in this shot place it at an angle below and to the right of the subject to balance that harsh light uniformly.

Image 2: You picked a contrasty background vs the subject with that small bit of pine tree and super bright skyline and building. You gained a lot of CA (Chromatic aberration or purple fringe) from the pine tree needles and the sky is waaaay to bright to use. To fix this make sure your bright light is facing your subject so the subject is well lit or balance again with a reflector or off camera lighting. The pose is not flattering for your subject as it makes her midsection look larger than it really is. Have her either twist her body more to slim it and place her legs up on the branch to get it more sideways and have her arch her back a bit for a little more slimming.

Image 3: you got a great expression and the focus is good but you still got that contrasty bright area which could have been avoided by shooting from a higher vantage point and having the girl look up at you more. I love the brick wall and it really adds to the photo and I feel this is your strongest shot.

Image 4: an ok pose and you don't have that bright contrasty sunlight brekaing up the image, but you missed the focus a bit. Be patient with portraits and take time to focus on the subjects eyes then recompose for an excellent shot. Also try having her look at you in this shot and lift her chin up just a tad or out to be a bit more flattering.

Image 5: A little better than 4 in terms of composition, but the focus seems off and cutting her off at the knees is sometimes a sin when shooting person. Always avoid cutting your subject off at one of the joints, it tends to leave an almost maimed look, but sometimes it works for the image so it's a hit or miss subject. The camera angle bothers me in this one too and maybe something a little lower or more from the side and above or eye level with the subject would have helped.

Image 6&7: Suffer dearly from the bright day as the harsh sun has nearly washed out the skin in areas of the face and leaves the model looking awful. Again try a different angle where the sun doesn't interfere, use reflectors or off camera lighting, or go into the shade completely on such a bright day. I know it's tough, but good light or lack there of is the only way to get great images easily. Fighting off bright sun is difficult and doable, but your experience and practice will be the only way to fix these errors in the future if you plan to be out on such a bright day again.

Image 8: The pose again is not flattering and the sun has burned out her arm and some of the right leg. Try to get her completely into the shade and with that bright background again try some reflectors to balance the light. For the pose she needed to straighten up a bit more and maybe shoot a little more from the left to get a better perspective on the shot.

I hope these tips help and don't be discouraged, I've done the same things many-a-times and still do from time to time, but only after rethinking the shots and adding things I've learned from this forums great photographers like Dave Madison, Hamid, Roenterre, Stu, Devisor and many others have I been able to get better at portraits. If you want to see some decent examples of poses and lighting check out their pictures or some of my own, it's a great step forward and gives you ideas of what looks good to you and what to try next time.

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