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Old Aug 6, 2009, 5:10 PM   #1
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Default Self Portrait from new(ish) member

Hi all..I joined this forum awhile back, but never really found the time to invest in photography. I am taking a photography course in a few days, and starting to practice on my own. Here is a self portrait taken today, with tripod and timer. I have NO clue about lighting, or what setting to use, so I used a cheesy application (my PS Elements is my desktop, which crashed) to enhance the color a bit (brightness and contrast). Critiques are welcome.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 9:49 AM   #2
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My suggestion here would be to shoot your shirt on the couch first. When the shirt is exposed properly then the rest of the photo would come out ok. Put the shirt back on and try it again. Even though the picture is over exposed I sure like what I see.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 12:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input Bynx..a;most 100 viewers and only one person has feedback? It's that bad huh! lol
I purposely made it look overexposed, I like how it brought out the blue in my eyes. I brightened the whole pic. I see what you're saying about having something in focus beforehand (the shirt), that way I may have been more in focus, instead of the leather grain on the sofa cushion...lol
It's hard to get into position with only a 10 second timer..maybe I need to invest in a remote, once I figure out the camera?? Thanks for the suggestions..much appreciated!!
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 12:36 PM   #4
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It's not about focusing on the shirt, the intent was to use the shirt to set exposure. I believe the photo would have worked better with a proper exposure as well. Hot spots on skin and blown highlights usually distract. In all honesty those draw the attention more than your eyes do - at least in my opinion. In fact, it tends to wash out the blue of your eyes.

I think the overall composition works but the blown highlights / hot spots on the face are too distracting.

If you want to highlight the eyes - next time expose properly and do some selective lightening around the eyes.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 12:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by photoguru13 View Post
Thanks for the input Bynx..a;most 100 viewers and only one person has feedback? It's that bad huh! lol
I purposely made it look overexposed, I like how it brought out the blue in my eyes. I brightened the whole pic. I see what you're saying about having something in focus beforehand (the shirt), that way I may have been more in focus, instead of the leather grain on the sofa cushion...lol
It's hard to get into position with only a 10 second timer..maybe I need to invest in a remote, once I figure out the camera?? Thanks for the suggestions..much appreciated!!
Don't take it personally as views are from both members and non members. Currently there are 9 members online and 171 non members and this is a usual sort or relationship (although this time of day is quiet anyway so numbers are low) so most of the views will be from people who can't even comment. Next you get people who will look and not feel they can add anything etc so just move on. It's something I keep trying to encourage people to do (post more) and we go through spates of better posting. The more people like you who join in the better that Steve's gets.

Thanks for posting this photo. What Bynx is talking about is that your shirt is pure white (blown out), there is no detail on this. I would expect this to happen if you focus on the sofa and the camera meters on it as the sofa is quite dark. I would put something where your head would be to focus and set the exposure manually. You can take some test shots to see what is needed as a starting point then change shutter speed (or aperture, or ISO) so correctly expose for your face and this should ensure the white shirt is correctly exposed too so it will have some detail left in it.

Looking forward to seeing you around more.

Mark
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 12:39 PM   #6
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I hate writing a post while someone else posts John!!!! LOL. Good points though so I will let you off.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 12:41 PM   #7
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Thanks John..although right now selective highlighting is not an option. I have no post-processing software. If I post the original shot, can you tweek it to show me what you mean exactly, with the lighting?? Thanks for you input!

Thanks Mark..I understand more now. Shutter speed and aperature are something I'm not 100% knowledgeable on..but working on it! lol

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Old Aug 7, 2009, 1:12 PM   #8
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Thanks John..although right now selective highlighting is not an option. I have no post-processing software.
I might suggest Picassa - it's free software from google. I've never used it, but it's a well regarded product (especially given it's price tag).

Post processing is a very valuable part of photography. Most of us don't get perfect images right out of the camera. So some basic post processing skills go a long way towards improving 95% of the photos we take.
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 3:59 PM   #9
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I might suggest Picassa - it's free software from google. I've never used it, but it's a well regarded product (especially given it's price tag).

Post processing is a very valuable part of photography. Most of us don't get perfect images right out of the camera. So some basic post processing skills go a long way towards improving 95% of the photos we take.
Another option is Paint.net

http://www.getpaint.net/

It is also free and has a lot of advanced features for the "price".

-Linc
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 5:53 PM   #10
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You can also try GIMP for free editing software http://www.gimp.org

If you have a Canon and shoot RAW, Canon has its own DPP software. I think there is also a JPG editor packaged with their software CDs. Name escapes me at the moment.
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