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Old May 14, 2007, 4:21 PM   #1
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Hey gang,

This pic was shot in JPEG, in fading light. No PP whatsoerver except resizing. I think the camera nailed the exposure.

What could have been done differently regarding Shooting and composition? What can be done/should be done in post-processing?


All comments, criticism, and badmouthing is welcome!

Camera: Pentax K100D Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200) Aperture: f/2.5 Focal Length: 50 mm ISO Speed: 400
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Old May 14, 2007, 4:39 PM   #2
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I find it a very nice andsympathetic portrait, the person really looks like someone you'd like to make friends with (not to mention having a beer with). Since the background doesn't add anything, I'd crop it a lot tighter. The case would be different if there was a sign or a waiter or something to put the portrait in a context.

The highlight over his head could be cloned out with more green leaves. Or is it steam from his head? What's in that mug???:?

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Old May 14, 2007, 5:01 PM   #3
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Yea I'd have a beer with him too but I don't think I'd let him near my daughter. Something about that smile

Personally I never have liked horizonal portraits unless their is something else of interest in the pic the space on the sides is just waisted. The highlight above the head is distracting. other than that it looks great
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Old May 14, 2007, 5:08 PM   #4
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I would clone out the bright white background. Nice photo of a nice looking fellow.

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Old May 14, 2007, 8:59 PM   #5
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I am glad you posted this question Gazander. I looked at your pic and thought "It looks fine to me." But having read some other's suggestions I am learning along with you. So thanks for sharing the pic and asking the questions.

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Old May 14, 2007, 11:15 PM   #6
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Composition is the hardest thing for me, so I was interested in seeing everyone else's comments. I would crop much closer, too - the first thing I noticed. I'm not the greatest at cloning so I probably would leave the bright spot above his head alone (it didn't particularly bother me at first glance, after reading the comments I looked again and it is bothersome, especially because its blown out). Knowing me, I'd end up messing up his hair trying to clone the leaves in, and would probably just crop out as much of it as I could.

As you said, exposure is fine. I'm not sure about the white balance (was this taken in the shade?), but that could be my monitor rather than your picture (I got a B&H catalogue in the mail today, think I'll look at what they have for a calibrator). Someone with a calibrated monitor should answer that question, not me. In any case, its close enough that I wouldn't mess with it at all, would print it just like this to see if it really did need adjusting or not.

I'd be happy to raise apint with him, though I'm not sure he was happy about having his picture taken.
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Old May 14, 2007, 11:32 PM   #7
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Here is my attempt, cropped it to a 4x5 format, cloned out the eagle on the shirt, and of course changed the hue.
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Old May 14, 2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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When taking the shot I might have taken a step to the right so head was against the tree (might have made exposure a tad better too) and not the bright white sky

(whould also make cloning/stamp fix easier.)

Had a friend take my shot a couple of years ago and they took it with a awning pole staight out of my head.... fortunately behind was a rought texture hedge so cloning it out was a very easy matter.
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Old May 15, 2007, 6:39 AM   #9
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Here's my effort which takes into consideration above comments reference portrait shots & backgrounds.

For the technically minded, I used PS CS3 as follows:

1. The image was cropped with increased height
2. Magnetic Lasso was used to highlight the subject, then a new layer of the subject was created to use later
3.The inverse area was selected to darken the background.
4. Using the cloning tool, the background was suitably filled in - the additional layer made for the subject meant that this could be done easily.
5. Another layer of the background was created and made Soft Light to really darken the background
6. The second layer of the subject was duplicated and set to Soft Light with 16% opacity
7. Both subject layers were merged and slightly sharpened in USM
8. All layers merged to save as JPEG

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Old May 15, 2007, 2:17 PM   #10
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I appreciate the steps provided in what you did in the last PP. I still see at the top in his hair where it still has some work needed to polish this up a bit more.
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