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Old Sep 23, 2012, 9:11 PM   #1
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Default First portrait attempt

This is my soon to be wife, Erin. As many of you know, I don't shoot a lot of people and if I do its Candid/ street photos.

This wasn't exactly a proper 'studio' setup but I thought I would roll with it. It was actually taken in my hallway.

As you can see, I attempted a white background studio shot, and think I could have pulled it off if it weren't for her leaning against the wall.. but did the best I knew how.

Please leave critique as I had a lot of fun and so did she. I am really looking to improve upon these any way possible.

Thanks

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Old Sep 24, 2012, 6:35 PM   #2
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I'm not a portrait photographer, so I'm sorry to say that I cannot offer any suggestions on how to improve. But I think this is an absolutely wonderful portrait. You've done an excellent job!
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Old Sep 24, 2012, 6:44 PM   #3
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Congrats on the upcoming event and the great shot

Hans
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 5:48 AM   #4
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Nice pose.

Her left eye seems to be a tad out of focus compared to her right eye and cheek. I'd recommend a smaller aperture to get a slight increase in DoF to make sure that both eyes are in focus. I'd also crop some of the shoulder out of the image since to my eyes, it dominates the frame, especially with it being in sharp focus.

Congratulations on the upcoming nuptuals!

Jehan

Last edited by Wingman; Sep 25, 2012 at 5:50 AM.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 6:51 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the suggestions wingman, I will take that into consideration for next time.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 1:36 PM   #6
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Hi NMR,

I hope you don't mind, but I just did a similar PP job on a friend's photo of her dad -- removing unwanted background -- so I played a bit with the image of your lovely fiancÚ. If you have any objections, please post or send a PM and I'll remove it.

One of the problems in blurring the edge of a selected object is that the blurring adds a halo since the edge is now essentially X number of pixels greater instead of just 1 or 2.

In this version, I tried to correct for Jehan's observation about the difference in focus between the eyes by applying a local sharpening (by deconvolution and micro contrast only in Topaz InFocus), then added a little glint since the eye appeared to be darker because this was absent.

I then tried to remove most of the halo using the clone brush in lighten or darken modes. The border is still a bit abrupt, especially for the hair, and if I took more time, I'd add some "flyer" hair to make it look more natural, then soften it appropriately to match the border. I pretty much just wanted to illustrate how removing the halo and selective sharpening the eye could make a difference.

One thing you could do when doing this type of shooting is to use your own background. -- for a bust shot like this, a white (or probably even better, some off-white) posterboard would have been sufficient. It's large enough, and is inexpensive -- it doesn't have to cover the entire background, just the area just around your subject so you get a natural border between subject and background -- then you can white out the remaining background in PP -- much easier than trying to create a natural looking transition between subject and background in PP.

Very nice shot of a very attractive subject!

Scott
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 3:28 PM   #7
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Congrats and a great shot, I always find it hard to get portrait shots and most of the time end up with nothing I really like so I can't help you.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 7:14 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

Scott that was a definite improvement. To be honest, I overlooked the eye. i guess i wasnt paying to close attention as well as the corners where there is obvious healing brush mistakes on my part.

I shot it in my hallway and the walls here have a stucco like finish with a sand color which just looked bad as a background, even as bokeh.

What I should have done was get her further away from the wall to get the bokeh more pleasant looking sicne I didn't want to drop the aperture too low.

I have to say, I have learned a lot even off that 1 shot.


As far as the haloing effect.. It wasn't really apparent in the raw file I was tooling with but I notice it very much so in the jpeg here. Im not saying its nonexistent in the original - but it looked more like a smooth gradient opposed to the apparent abrupt color transitions you see in my shot above.

Your PP fix is a big improvement on the jpeg.

When I originally moved here, I had a room I designated as the studio room. months later it was turned into a gym. Since I turned the large great room into my recording studio due to its 14 foot ceilings, I'm not left with a photo studio room anymore. :-/ I thought about sharing the recording studio but I liek a nice clean look and didn't want it to get cluttered.

I think I have too many hobbies

Thanks again. and yes she is quite beautiful :-)

Last edited by NMRecording; Sep 26, 2012 at 7:16 PM.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 7:54 PM   #9
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Congratulations to you & Erin and best wishes for many years of happiness together!

PS - I am definitely NOT a portrait expert (!!) but this looks fine to me, Scott's edit of the eyes and edges looks even better.
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Old Sep 27, 2012, 9:33 AM   #10
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Good luck to you and Erin for a long and happy marriage.

I am also not a portrait shooter but like what you have presented here and also like the improvements that Scott has made.

Lou
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