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Old May 5, 2005, 1:37 AM   #1
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I have been taking photos for a long time, but my photos are always not as good as those professionals':sad:. I recently figured out it's the camera!:-) So I bought myself an istDS (lots of money, I tell you:?).

So as you can see I am learning.Could you please help me by commenting. I thought this would be a quicker way of leaning photography. Thanks to internet, thanks to Steve and thanks to you guys in advance.
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Old May 5, 2005, 11:45 AM   #2
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Hello gwei,

Welcome to the forum

This is a magnificent photo!

You have captured a quiet dignity in your subject.

The only thing I might suggest is a slight crop to enhance the quiet dignity.
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Old May 5, 2005, 5:28 PM   #3
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Nice shot, maybe a little overexposed at the shirt collar.

Maybe position your subject in a little less contrastylight, then bang away about 20 pics and see which one you like the best.

Great photos can be hard work!

-- Terry
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Old May 5, 2005, 7:29 PM   #4
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Thanks digcamfan and Terry for your comments and encouragement.

It was during a relaxed conversation about my new camera. I started shooting at him. Natually he tried to pos himself. so I quickly took about 5 photos at different angles, trying to get a suitable background and light condition.

I am happy about the "quiet dignity" moment. The light was not idea. Some sun light came down straight from between the leaves (that's probably why the collar was overexposed). It would be better is the background had less contrast.

Yes the cropping. I initially croped in more than this one. I then was hasitating as wheather to leave bit space or crop to fill the frame.

Indeed,greate photos can be hard work! I'll keep practising.
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Old May 6, 2005, 12:37 AM   #5
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This is an OK candid, but a bad portrait when compared to more professional type portraiture you desire. The lighting is not flattering. The highlights(brighter spot) on his head, side of face and eye sockets make his skin look like he has pigmentation problems often associated with aging. Most importantly, the lighting doesn't provide good modeling of his facial features.

The highlighted background elements are a distraction and do nothing to enhance the overall scene. The brightly highlighted shirt collar is a distraction to the extent it is the center of interest here.

Our eyes filter out distractions and we often do not recognize them when shooting a scene. It is important to study the scene looking for these distractions because they rarely jump out at you until you become a more seasoned shooter. It will be easier to avoid a mixture of bright highlights and shadows in the background.

For more flattering lighting on your subjects, find an area that is completely shaded from the sun. With the sun behind the subject, though blocked by the elements providing shade, position your subject near the shadow/highlight edge where the sun hits the ground in front of your subject. Buildings, grass, concrete, water, etc. all reflect light. Your subjects can be posed in direct sunlight during early morning or late evening hours.

When the above mentioned is not an option, don't hesitate to use Fill Flash with flash compensation -2.0EV.

Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your next attempt.

Rodney
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Old May 6, 2005, 2:18 AM   #6
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Thanks Rodney for your in depth analysis and sharing your experience. That's exactly what I need.

Yes, the "pigmentation" effectwas caused by the uneven light. looks anoying.

Next timeI'lltake time and try to apply what you said. Thanks again. By the way, I have seen your photos around here in the forums,they are so beautiful.
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Old May 6, 2005, 2:33 AM   #7
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It all depends on what you want.
If you want professional looking portraits make sure you get a bit less harsch light, although even here it's not as bad but just a bit too much on the shirt.

The hair or piece of fabric that is showing near the neck has to be cloned out it distracts.

Remember alway's one thing.
There are two way's to look at a picture before making it.

1.
Aim for perfection.

2.
Aim for a soul.

I think you did nr. 2 here perfectly it reflects the person.

I would much rather see a picture with a soul than a picture without.
ALWAYS REMEMBER you can learn a monkey to make perfect photo's but you have to have an eye to make pictures with soul.
I see so much perfect lighted pictures with a soulless subject and sometimes I see the most dreadfull shots lighting and composition wise which just breath the subject.

Work on your light but ALWAY's keep the soul.
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Old May 6, 2005, 2:48 AM   #8
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Hi Frank,

Whilst I am still struggling to improve my technical skills, I think what you say about the importance of expressing the person or the moment isincredibly true.

This pic seems a lovely portrait in those terms.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
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Old May 6, 2005, 3:34 AM   #9
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gwei wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Rodney for your in depth analysis and sharing your experience. That's exactly what I need.

Yes, the "pigmentation" effect was caused by the uneven light. looks anoying.

Next time I'll take time and try to apply what you said. Thanks again. By the way, I have seen your photos around here in the forums, they are so beautiful.
You are off to a good start. You have the image you've posted here as a good starting point. You can look at it's strong elements and the weak ones and improve on that. The pose and camera angle are very good and you seem to understand exposure. Now, learn how different lighting scenes affect your subject and you will do just fine.

You've invested a lot of money and expressed you want to be as good as the professionals. You aren't far from having the results you desire. Keep it simple as I mentioned previously and expand your techniques as you feel more comfortable.

Keep shooting and good luck!

Rodney
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Old May 6, 2005, 5:24 AM   #10
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Thanks Frank, Canna and Rodney. Your comments are so valuable.

I am glad that I found this place at the begining of my jouny. :-)


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