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Random People 5-28-11
Lens: sigma 85mm 1.4 Camera: k-x ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/350s Aperture: F1.8 
Posted By: outsider, 05-28-2011, 12:42 PM


































































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05-28-2011, 04:32 PM   #2
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I really like how there's no face smoothing and everyone looks natural. Just saw a recent spread by a European fashion photographer (forget which one) and she specifically mentioned after the shots that she never retouches the portraits. Sometimes, natural looks best.

The redhead with the glasses are striking shots.
05-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
I really like how there's no face smoothing and everyone looks natural. Just saw a recent spread by a European fashion photographer (forget which one) and she specifically mentioned after the shots that she never retouches the portraits. Sometimes, natural looks best.

The redhead with the glasses are striking shots.
Thanks. I really like the raw, un-messed with look. I posted a picture of a woman here earlier and I couldn't believe how much response I was getting about what I could have done to make the portrait better. A couple people edited it themselves and absolutely killed the facial detail, lines, depth and shadow with masking and saturation. Some remarked on how the shine on the womans forehead was a bit too "distracting". After a bit of reflection, I thought "I don't spend $1000 on a lens and another $1300 on a camera to turn around and kill all the detail". My portrait post processing involves contrast, sharpening, very slight saturation and exposure. A high quality lens and a good camera will take care of the rest. My problem is that people seem frown upon the realistic look. Especially westerners. If you have a camera that can reproduce a portrait scene with great accuracy, even when shooting with raw, sometimes that is not enough for some. The preoccupation with the "glamour" look is also one reason we see such a high rate of low self image among young women as well. They walk around with a preoccupation with dieting and wearing so much makeup, no one knows what they really look like. The point of my photography is portray something as pure and true as possible.
05-29-2011, 06:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by outsider Quote
Thanks. I really like the raw, un-messed with look. I posted a picture of a woman here earlier and I couldn't believe how much response I was getting about what I could have done to make the portrait better. A couple people edited it themselves and absolutely killed the facial detail, lines, depth and shadow with masking and saturation. Some remarked on how the shine on the womans forehead was a bit too "distracting". After a bit of reflection, I thought "I don't spend $1000 on a lens and another $1300 on a camera to turn around and kill all the detail". My portrait post processing involves contrast, sharpening, very slight saturation and exposure. A high quality lens and a good camera will take care of the rest. My problem is that people seem frown upon the realistic look. Especially westerners. If you have a camera that can reproduce a portrait scene with great accuracy, even when shooting with raw, sometimes that is not enough for some. The preoccupation with the "glamour" look is also one reason we see such a high rate of low self image among young women as well. They walk around with a preoccupation with dieting and wearing so much makeup, no one knows what they really look like. The point of my photography is portray something as pure and true as possible.
I couldn't agree with you more, less is more when it comes to PP in my opinion. It really irks me when people offer up suggestions on how to improve a photo when a critique isn't asked for! Obviously you posted the pic you intended to make. I wonder if the same people would offer the same advice if your photos were of animals at a zoo, I think not.

I think your work is awesome, I saw the other post you refer to and thought the "corrections" ruined the shot! Great lens and great shots, keep up the good work!

05-29-2011, 06:57 AM   #5
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All these "in your face" portraits on the fly look great with their natural expressions and skin tones. The shots would be ruined with any post production crap. Agreed about getting expensive lenses, only to tone them down with skin softening. Some of those ads in magazines for portrait software have dreadful looking "after" photos.
05-29-2011, 08:13 AM - 1 Like   #6
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They are all terrific photos, very impressive detail, light and expressions. How do you go about approaching people?
05-29-2011, 08:35 AM   #7
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I love all your portrait shots. You always seem to capture the beauty and uniqueness of these faces.


cheers,

Abhi
05-29-2011, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Some excellent shots there!!! Pic #2 and the redhead are particularly striking!!

05-29-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by billtin59 Quote
I couldn't agree with you more, less is more when it comes to PP in my opinion. It really irks me when people offer up suggestions on how to improve a photo when a critique isn't asked for! Obviously you posted the pic you intended to make. I wonder if the same people would offer the same advice if your photos were of animals at a zoo, I think not.

I think your work is awesome, I saw the other post you refer to and thought the "corrections" ruined the shot! Great lens and great shots, keep up the good work!
Thanks. I've kind of learned that excessive PP is kind of like what we want to see in a photo as opposed to what it actually is. But I think one has to be accepting (at least appreciative) of reality first in order to bring out the best in it. I try to take advice with a grain of salt, knowing that's what we do naturally and even though I may not agree with it's application, there may be something there I could use (though perhaps to a lesser degree) with another picture
05-29-2011, 11:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-9 Quote
All these "in your face" portraits on the fly look great with their natural expressions and skin tones. The shots would be ruined with any post production crap. Agreed about getting expensive lenses, only to tone them down with skin softening. Some of those ads in magazines for portrait software have dreadful looking "after" photos.
The more photos I edit , the more difficult (and critical) the work is. Sometimes I like more color or contrast, apply, done, come back the next day and look at the pic with fresh eyes and clear mind and realize it's too much. Every scene is different. Some portraits I seem to be able to push and push the contrast and it benefits greatly, without taking too much from detail or color and others suffer greatly with the application of moderate contrast, saturation, etc. etc. For instance, some of these are already darkish pictures (taken under cloud cover), so they may need some contrast, but contrast detracts from eye color and brilliance, so has to be done carefully or in tandem with something else. PP is difficult, tedious sometimes frustrating work. There's a TON going on in your mind at once, pros and cons of each slight turn of the knob and what is worth comprimising for the benefit of something else. I don't think it's as easy wanting more of this or that. I can spend 30 minutes sometimes watching how different aspects of the picture respond to different adjustments. Sometimes you sacrifice a slightly overexposed sky or background to the benefit of eyes or hair. I work on my much loved CRT (old, heavy glass) monitor and it just displays contrast and brightness differently than the newer monitors most people are using, so I have to be very careful not to push anything too much since it doesn't take too much too look overdone somewhere else. Photos that look just slightly dark here, look just right at work on the flat screen monitor (with standard settings).
05-29-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamonation Quote
They are all terrific photos, very impressive detail, light and expressions. How do you go about approaching people?
I just ask them. Usually something like "Hey Guys" or "Excuse me", depending on the age. I've learned it's not so much what you say, but how you say it. Mood and state of mind are important too. I find myself having to get mentally prepared before I go out and talk to people. If i'm in a not so great mood, or feeling somber, it won't work (at least with these people). If something's been bothering me or if someone compromised an otherwise great day, by being an a**hole, I have to let it go or people see it. Some, make up there minds about me, what i'm saying and what I ask within 5-8 seconds. I try to be free, happy and talk to them like what I'm doing is significant (which I feel is). I see that they see these things in me and I've gotten some portraits I know would not have been possible without my mood. I must say i've been kind of overwhelmed at the approval rate and most times get more pictures than I can keep pace with for the week. Weekends are spent inside, editing. The idea for me is to go out, be prepared to swallow my pride and if I do (which happens), shrug it off and go on in the name of the project. When I have a purpose, even if it's to take a picture because a woman is good looking, it changes everything and the potential for success is greatly increased.
05-29-2011, 11:46 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smeggypants Quote
Some excellent shots there!!! Pic #2 and the redhead are particularly striking!!
That red head is something else. She's got attitude and when I tell her to be natural or neutral, she gives me more. This is the second time i've run into her, i've wanted to take her picture since getting it 3 months ago with the Tamron 70-200 2.8. This time I had my weapon of choice
05-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dexmus Quote
I love all your portrait shots. You always seem to capture the beauty and uniqueness of these faces.


cheers,

Abhi
I've realized that I have to be the lead most of the time. I need to be in a good mood for most people to take a good shot, if i'm not, people just won't take a good picture.
05-29-2011, 12:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by outsider Quote
The more photos I edit , the more difficult (and critical) the work is. Sometimes I like more color or contrast, apply, done, come back the next day and look at the pic with fresh eyes and clear mind and realize it's too much. Every scene is different. Some portraits I seem to be able to push and push the contrast and it benefits greatly, without taking too much from detail or color and others suffer greatly with the application of moderate contrast, saturation, etc. etc. For instance, some of these are already darkish pictures (taken under cloud cover), so they may need some contrast, but contrast detracts from eye color and brilliance, so has to be done carefully or in tandem with something else. PP is difficult, tedious sometimes frustrating work. There's a TON going on in your mind at once, pros and cons of each slight turn of the knob and what is worth comprimising for the benefit of something else. I don't think it's as easy wanting more of this or that. I can spend 30 minutes sometimes watching how different aspects of the picture respond to different adjustments. Sometimes you sacrifice a slightly overexposed sky or background to the benefit of eyes or hair. I work on my much loved CRT (old, heavy glass) monitor and it just displays contrast and brightness differently than the newer monitors most people are using, so I have to be very careful not to push anything too much since it doesn't take too much too look overdone somewhere else. Photos that look just slightly dark here, look just right at work on the flat screen monitor (with standard settings).
Try to work out lighting and stuff prior to taking the shot, and then you won't have as much post work to do. Obviously you can't keep asking someone who just agreed to quick snapshot to stand here or there, and move this way and that, but whatever you can do ahead of time, will save your headaches later. You could also try to ask the people who are standing in even lighting areas already, over someone in the shade or harsh lighting. The time of day helps too.
05-29-2011, 05:55 PM   #15
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Nice series. Though I am from the heavy PP camp (see the pics I usually share).

I dont think there is a right and wrong here, if I had the eye for the kind of shots you take there, I wouldnt PP them myself either. You've got a specific style for sure. Though I dont think there is anything wrong with PP'ed images too
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