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Strobist Portraits
Posted By: Mikhail, 06-20-2008, 10:06 AM

I had some time on my hands recently and saw this interesting shadow created by a window. So I set up next to the window for main light and speed light for fill/slide light and also used a black "reflector" to get some interesting shadows.

There are a few of the same copies here but I would also like feedback on the postprocessing techniques. Click on images for larger views.

1.



2.



3.



4.



5.



6.



Comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Last edited by Mikhail; 06-20-2008 at 11:28 AM.
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06-20-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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#1 is something you see a lot of with the purposely blown highlights. Not exactly something I like, but very well done. I really like #'s 2, 3, and 4.....probably because they're all the same pic PP'd differently. Some folks might consider them to be 'busy' in the background, but the extra shadows don't take anything away from the shot. In fact, I think they add something to it.

I'm having a hard time picking one of those over the others. The warmth added to #3 is a very cool effect. If I had to choose one, that would probably be it. The last 2 don't work for me. Maybe it's the pose or the composition of the shot.
06-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #3
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I like #4 and 5
06-20-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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I like nr 2 the best and because I like that pp I also like nr 5. it looks more interesting than the, probably, more correct version

06-20-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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I like number 5 a lot.

I wonder about number 4. I like the window and blinds, but they tend to dominate. I wonder if you could overpower the ambient light with your flash to make the window light a lot darker - that way it wouldn't command as much attention in the photo...

Still, nice experiments! Much better than my results to date.
06-20-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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i like #5 the most also. #1- 4 the shirt sleeve is kinda messed up
06-20-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the comments guys.

@Maxwell: Well Im not a huge fan of HighKey either but I like how it worked with that photo.
Just like Don I do think you are correct in saying the shadows are maybe a tad busy. The sun was setting fast and they are self portraits so I was working quickly and didnt notice I didnt underexpose the background enough.

@vizjerei: thanks! you seem to like that PP Im assuming?

@and: Thanks!

@don: Thanks and see above for shadows.

Thanks
06-20-2008, 11:39 AM   #8
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@nupentaxian: thanks for the comments, and I do agree the sleeve is a slight distraction to the photo.

Thanks

06-20-2008, 12:06 PM   #9
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I like the PP but I would also like if his eyeballs look more near the lens. I think it will look better
06-20-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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I think you did a good light practice
06-20-2008, 12:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikhail Quote
@Maxwell: Well Im not a huge fan of HighKey either but I like how it worked with that photo.
Just like Don I do think you are correct in saying the shadows are maybe a tad busy. The sun was setting fast and they are self portraits so I was working quickly and didnt notice I didnt underexpose the background enough.
I like the shadows in that they add something to the shot. Blank backgrounds are pretty boring if you ask me...
06-20-2008, 01:05 PM   #12
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see what happens when you convert that 10000K warm photo #3 to black and white.

sometimes when i know i want to make a black and white photo, i turn the cam to 10000K and shoot like that.

warm images really go B&W well..

mitch
06-20-2008, 01:50 PM   #13
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Upon going over them again I do agree that maybe looking towards the camera more would have helped the photos.
i totally agree that blank backgrounds can be very boring add I am always looking for something interesting to use as a background.

Thanks everyone for the comments
06-20-2008, 02:58 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mikhail Quote
Upon going over them again I do agree that maybe looking towards the camera more would have helped the photos.
i totally agree that blank backgrounds can be very boring add I am always looking for something interesting to use as a background.

Thanks everyone for the comments
I liked the fact that you did not look more towards the camera in the second shot - gave you some really nice shadows I thought.

For the backgrounds, use some gels on a second strobe and point it through a stack of glass or plastic glasses at the background- you'll turn any boring background into a color splash and get great separation from the background/subject too. Strobist has some neat examples of this on his site if you haven't seen them already.
06-20-2008, 04:37 PM   #15
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You literally read my mind irish_spring right after I took those photos, but I was too tired to get everything out again and play around with that. its definitely something I plan on playing with.

Thanks
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