Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Post Your Photos > Photo Critiques

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 6, 2010, 5:43 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default Portrait and new software

Another processing attempt with Topaz Lab's Detail. Not only can you sharpen, you can also soften. I'm not a portrait person, I almost never take pictures of people. This was a quick snap I took, using ambient light. The biggest problem I see with it is that the dof was too small (I was leaving things to the camera and it chose f2.5 - just too large an aperture - should have used something smaller like f8 perhaps?).

I processed two layers with Detail - one to sharpen and one with a preset that for skin smoothing. I used a layer mask to let some of the sharper layer show through for the hair and eyes.

What do you think? I like how this came out, but this is definitely NOT my normal photography thing and I'm totally clueless when it comes to photographing people. So I really don't know what to look for when it comes to portraits. I thought the software handled the dof problems reasonably well by smoothing out things evenly. I thought about sharpening the blue scarf, but then decided that would be distracting - leaving it soft like this doesn't draw the eye as much.



Let me know if you agree, disagree, and have suggestions of things that I could do better next time I try shooting people (given that the chances of me shooting people more formally is slim to none at this point), along with any additional post processing suggestions for this particular picture.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Feb 7, 2010, 1:00 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
VTphotog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Extreme Northeastern Vermont, USA
Posts: 4,214
Default

Not really too much to criticize. It isn't obvious that DOF was too shallow - it seems that the subjects are in focus and backgroung is soft - works well for me. The skin softening is the only place I would mention as a bit off. The lighter areas seem a bit over soft to me, but the parts shaded by the hair seem to have been missed or the effect wasn't the same.

brian
VTphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 2010, 6:21 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Ordo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BsAs
Posts: 3,452
Default

Thats a nice portrait. And if it's your first, better yet.
Ordo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 2010, 11:41 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

Thanks for pointing out about that - I'll have to watch it if I try this again. It's probably a combination of the program being a bit inconsistent with the smoothing (or else it somehow targets just the skin colors, don't know). I did two layers - one that was sharpened for the eyes and hair, and one with the smoothing for everything else. I used a layer mask to show the sharpened eyes more or less completely, then used a brush set for less than 100% opacity to let the sharper hair blend with the softer layer. I don't think I let the brushwork go over the skin, but might have.

I might try the same thing next time, but use a little less than 100% opacity for the smooth layer - thanks, I'll watch for it next time.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 2010, 11:49 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Thanks for pointing out about that - I'll have to watch it if I try this again. It's probably a combination of the program being a bit inconsistent with the smoothing (or else it somehow targets just the skin colors, don't know). I did two layers - one that was sharpened for the eyes and hair, and one with the smoothing for everything else. I used a layer mask to show the sharpened eyes more or less completely, then used a brush set for less than 100% opacity to let the sharper hair blend with the softer layer. I don't think I let the brushwork go over the skin, but might have.

I might try the same thing next time, but use a little less than 100% opacity for the smooth layer - thanks, I'll watch for it next time.
The skin is too softened for me, but that's a matter of taste and not a critique. I would not have clipped off part of the young ladys hair, that's about the only criticism I have; it falls into the picky, picky, picky catagory...

Dave
Chato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 2010, 1:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

Ah, good point about the hair - next time I'll take more time and actually think about getting the right shot. This was very impromptu - I was taking candid shots, they looked up and smiled - click. No thought of framing, posing, lighting or anything else (so many things you have to think about when it comes to portrait photography!). I wonder if I could prevail on these two pretty ladies next time I see them together and see if I could talk them into playing model while I try my hand at something a bit more formally done.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.