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Old May 11, 2005, 5:52 PM   #1
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i've been working on my outdoor portraits recently.. here is one i took for a friend of mine for graduation.. it was a partly sunny day with a few high clouds for intermittent diffusion.. i had her stand just into the tree enough to get out of the sunlight a bit, but the tree still allowed enough light through to illuminate hair, etc.. i used a little fill flash for some catchlight, but not sure now if that was appropriate..

any comments or suggestions are welcome.. i would especially like any suggestions you have Rodney as i really enjoy your portraits you've posted here...
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Old May 11, 2005, 11:03 PM   #2
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Overall, this is not a bad attempt. As you've mentioned, the light from the sun is diffused on a cloudy day. Though the clouds were intermittent, you captured this image while the sun was blocked by clouds providing diffused even/flat lighting. Fill flash simply to create catchlights was not a good choice, in my opinion, because the catchlights are centered in the eyes. Instead, white foamboard or small white sheet held above the eyes a couple feet from the subject would have produced nicer catchlights. Of course, you'd need an assistant for this.

The dogwood blossoms are a major player here. Ideally, the subject would have been further from the blossoms and they would be slightly oof. The grass in the background is ok, but could have been better. Either complete coverage or scattered coverage would have been nice. Here, you have an obvious line or path which is unattractive. You probably can fix that up in post.

The pose isn't bad, but study the nose. The angle you have here makes her nose look wide. Slightly higher camera angle and slightly more to her left will be a more flattering angle for this subject.

Timing is everything. When your subject gives you that bright big smile, try to capture the image as he/she begins to relax the smile to avoid the huge teeth all gums look. This one isn't bad, but there is more gums than I like to see.

You have too much uninteresting space at the top. Unless it is a full length portrait, extra space above the head will look awkward.

Thanks for sharing.

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Old May 11, 2005, 11:47 PM   #3
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thank you for all of the comments rodney, they are very helpful.. good advice is often hard to come by in my circle of friends, so its nice to have this forumn to get that kind of info... much appreciated..

if i am looking to get some catchlights, but do not have an assistant to get them off-center, can they be photoshopped in later?

i have another attempt from that day that i like a little better after review.. i am gonna play with the crop a bit and post it in a few..


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Old May 17, 2005, 1:43 PM   #4
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Hards80 wrote:
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thank you for all of the comments rodney, they are very helpful.. good advice is often hard to come by in my circle of friends, so its nice to have this forumn to get that kind of info... much appreciated..

if i am looking to get some catchlights, but do not have an assistant to get them off-center, can they be photoshopped in later?

i have another attempt from that day that i like a little better after review.. i am gonna play with the crop a bit and post it in a few..

Adding to Rodney's excellent comments, I would crop the sleeve at the bottom and some of the dogwood at the top. I think a little bit more contrast would spark it up. Otherwise this is a very nice portrait!
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Old May 18, 2005, 11:33 AM   #5
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Here's 2 cents from a wanna be advanced amateur. I like how you framed the shot using the flowered branches. Maybe a little less fill flash and some side lighting would help out.

Dave Porter
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