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People CritiqueCarmel

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Dave J
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Carmel

Post by Dave J » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:46 am

I was asked by a friend to take some portrait shots of her for as "press shots" for her DJ business.
As I have not done portraits before I told her that I would do it "gratis" and treat the experience as a learning opportunity if she was happy to go with that.
These are 2 examples that I ended up with. I would be grateful for your feedback.
Dave
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Post by Onslow » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:24 am

Dave J wrote:I was asked by a friend to take some portrait shots of her for as "press shots" for her DJ business.
As I have not done portraits before I told her that I would do it "gratis" and treat the experience as a learning opportunity if she was happy to go with that.
These are 2 examples that I ended up with. I would be grateful for your feedback.
Dave

G'day Dave, good to see you posting. :) I quite like these. Fairly clean images with a good white balance and nice lighting.
Just a couple or three of minor things occur to me. In both images the skin seems slightly over processed in regards to smoothness, just a tad though. However, that may be part of what the subject wants so may well be intentional.
In the first image, the headphones pop out easily and the posing with them is effective to my taste. In the second though, I find the camera right earpiece to be hard to find. It doesn't jump out at me and so the image seems slightly unbalanced with one showing and one hidden if that makes sense. Not being familiar with DJs, this may be their "standard" look though..
The only other thing is that I can see in both images near her hairline to the camera right of her parting a faint ruddy arrea. It stands out for me as her skin is so smooth in tone that it highlights that area. Perhaps deliberate but I am not sure.
Just rechecking now before I hit post, I wonder if just skimming a touch off the top of the image in both would assist in the framing? Not sure but I would have a look at the cropping..
I dare say she would be very happy with these... :)

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Post by TomCofer » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:39 am

I like them. Very nicely done and a lovely young lady.
My mind says she should have a microphone too.
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Post by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:00 am

Overall rather nice, however we really need to back off on the skin softening.
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Dave J
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Post by Dave J » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:59 am

Ok, thanks for the feedback. I was wondering about the skin! Unfortunately the day we did the photos she was still recovering from some "peeling" due to sun exposure and even with make up the skin was very course, particularly on the forehead. John, the "ruddy" area was the worst of it! I will try and back off the softening, do a crop and see how it looks. She is happy with the outcome so far. We may have to do another session later.
Thanks again.
BTW, this is a great forum! I have been looking through the posts and find them very relevant and informative. It is great that you are all so willing to share your knowledge and experience! Kudos to the founders!
Dave J :|

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Post by Onslow » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:50 am

Dave J wrote:Ok, thanks for the feedback. I was wondering about the skin! Unfortunately the day we did the photos she was still recovering from some "peeling" due to sun exposure and even with make up the skin was very course, particularly on the forehead. John, the "ruddy" area was the worst of it! I will try and back off the softening, do a crop and see how it looks. She is happy with the outcome so far. We may have to do another session later.
Thanks again.
BTW, this is a great forum! I have been looking through the posts and find them very relevant and informative. It is great that you are all so willing to share your knowledge and experience! Kudos to the founders!


Thank you for the feedback on that Dave. :) I was wondering if it was sunburn. :) If you are doing the softening in PS, do the smoothing and then apply a mask, turn it black and then grab a white brush with soft feather and low opacity and gently brush in the smoothing where you want it to go.... :)
Dave, I was lucky to meet a lot of these people at another site. I can assure you, they are a great bunch of people who will give freely of their knowledge and experience. No keyboard warriors allowed here thank goodness. :) I am looking forward to seeing some of your great landscape and travel photography here as well. :)

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Dave J
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Post by Dave J » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:06 pm

This is my second edit. This is her favorite shot for the posters she intends to do and the "headphone" look is what she wanted. I lightened the photo some what and hope I eased up on the softening enough. The trouble was still with the skin peeling which I cloned out as much as possible. I also touched out the red vessels in her eyes and did a slight crop.
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Bobby Deal
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Post by Bobby Deal » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:07 pm

Dave, welcome to photoMentoris I am glad to see you posting here. For a first effort these really are solid images. As has been noted the skin smoothing is perhaps a bit heavy but in truth it can be hard to read just how smooth skin is in a web res image, particularly such fair skin. Is suspect given the high luminous value of her skin that there is actually more texture in the print file than we are seeing here. Overall I feel the image could use just a touch more contrast even though the skin has a nice tone I think the overall image is a little week on the shadow side of the histogram and could use the addition of a little more black in the Reds and Mid tones. This can be accomplished in selective color.

The skewed head phone position is not uncommon in DJ's, here in Las Vegas which is the Mecca for DJ's it is not uncommon to see the head phones perched on the head with one cup on the ear and the other on the back of the head, or to be simply hanging around the neck and they will bring one side to the ear while mixing.

Composition on this image is a bit imbalanced. I would really like to see the camera left shoulder as well as the elbows. If the shot is for use in print the lack of room to crop can be a real restriction to the graphic designer and limits them to a left hand placement in the design.

I am curious if this was lit with a speed light on the hot shoe. I ask because every time I look at the eyes I am seeing just a hint of red eye deep in the catch light, perhaps it is an optical illusion but it feels quite real and if it is indeed there it will be amplified in print

All and all though as I said for a first effort in the genre these look very good and suggest that perhaps you should explore the idea of working with human subjects more often. Thanks for sharing these and I look forward to seeing more from you.

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Dave J
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Post by Dave J » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:08 am

Thanks for the comments Bobby, I really appreciate them. Portraits are not something I had considered pursuing but I have enjoyed the learning from this project. BTW the fill flash was just my camera (Canon 60D) built in. The lens I was using was a Canon 100mm macro IS USM L. The subject was standing in front of a projector screen that was lit with work lights from behind and below her. I had ambient (shaded) light from a wide open shed door shining on the subject. Very much a make shift "studio" on the hop!
Dave J :|

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Post by Bobby Deal » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:04 pm

Ahh then it likely is a bit of red eye in there. That little popup flash must have been able to overpower the ambient and background lights as i see no evidience of the mixed lighting. With 3 different color temps of light fillng the frame if the flash had not provided all the light i think we would be seeing some significant color issues.

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