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Old Jul 16, 2009, 3:28 PM   #1
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Default First attempt. Let's have it

There was a strong was back light. I tried to keep the eyes and neckless colored and the skin sepia with a B&W background.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 3:58 PM   #2
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I think it would have been better had her head been tilted down so its straight into the camera. Using Portrait Pro would do amazing things to the portrait. The only color I see in the photo is in the circular thing hanging on the chain. Perhaps some more saturation of color is called for. Not really sure what effect you were after.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 5:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Bynx. I admire the work you've posted on the forum and appreciate you critique.
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Old Jul 18, 2009, 6:39 PM   #4
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What made you think that a BW background, sepia skin and a coloured necklace was a good idea? You must have had something in mind, but I can't imagine what.

On the plus side I don't think I've ever seen another picture where someone tried that colour arrangement.
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Old Jul 21, 2009, 3:55 PM   #5
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What made you think that a BW background, sepia skin and a coloured necklace was a good idea? You must have had something in mind, but I can't imagine what.

On the plus side I don't think I've ever seen another picture where someone tried that colour arrangement.
B&W background to de-emphasize it, but not eliminate it. Sepia colored model to emphasize her with her backlit hair glowing, and colored eyes and necklace just for fun.

Thanks for reply.
--Mike
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 7:57 AM   #6
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Please excuse my earlier post. I was aiming for droll, but it probably came across as rude.

Of the hundreds of selective colour photos I have seen I must admit to feeling that only a very tiny percentage actually work.

One thing that happen is that the eye is immediately drawn to the coloured object. It becomes the centre of attention in the picture. So in this picture it becomes first and foremost a picture of a necklace.

It is also worth keeping in mind that BW and Sepia are both monochrome tonings. Sepia usually being associated with and oldie-worldie look. Once again I'm not a big fan in general. It is overused, and usually to no good effect. Mixing two monochrome tone schemes is not something I've ever seen done, and as an experiment it doesn't seem to work for me.

I also think the sepia tone overlaid onto a redhead skin tone comes across as very orange and isn't terribly flattering.

If you can't de-emphasise the background by using a wider aperture, I would be tempted to use blur in post-processing. And perhaps use a mask to adjust the contrast on that section to de-emphasise it.

Most photographers will suggest that the best thing you can do with a photograph to make it stronger is to simplify it. My view is that your treatment has complicated the heck out of your picture. The colour treatment seems gratuitous, and doesn't achieve the effect you were trying to achieve.

All the research shows that we are attracted first and foremost to faces. That is the single most important thing that we will seek out in an image. Then we go to areas of sharp focus and high contrast the two factors being almost equal in importance.

This is why pictures with bright eyes, sharply focussed on the eyes, with highlights work so incredibly well. They hit the big 3 attractors. I think you could edit your picture to give it far more impact.
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