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Old May 12, 2005, 1:09 AM   #1
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i like the background here better.. the dogwoods are slightly oof, could be a bit more so.. the lighting is very similar as the first.. the crop is better as i took rodneys advice and cropped off extra space.. the problems i have here are that i still have my catchlights centered as rodney mentioned in the first.. and the hair is distracting covering part of her right eye..

this one better than the first?
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Old May 12, 2005, 4:16 AM   #2
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This one is much better than the first one, but the dogwood blossoms are still a major player here. A little more distance would have been helpful so they are more out of focus, but the brightness would still distract. These are the types of distractions you need to develop an eye to spot before pressing the shutter. After a few sessions, you begin to recognize these elements. When you have white in the scene, I'd recommend exposure compensation of -1.0EV.

Pose, camera height and facial angle are much better in this composition. The shoulders are too square to the lens, however. The same pose with the right side slightly back further would have been much more pleasing.

Catchlights look fine in this one.

The crop leaves too little space to the right of the frame. I generally prefer more space on the side the face is turned toward instead of the direction of the eyes.

The image lacks contrast. You'll begin to recognize when more contrast is needed.

Colors are good, though I warmed up the lighting slightly in the edit I'm providing.

Practice your post skills. I like to make women look as soft and pretty as possible, but at the same time, I try not to make them look better than they will with properly applied make-up. There are other participants here with much better post skills than I. I hope they will chime in with specific touch-up suggestions. I saw StitchBabe demonstrate an awesome DOF adjustment on another thread which will be nice for this image.

I think your friend will be pleased with this one even though the above mentioned is needed for more professional looking results.

You are off to a very good start. I hope this will be helpful and look forward to future portrait attempts from you.

Rodney
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Old May 12, 2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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I like it, that's what it's all about.
Good first photo and great Rodney fix.
Lonnie
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Old May 12, 2005, 12:04 PM   #4
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RodneyBlair

thank you for all of the suggestions, both from this and my previous, it will be very helpful for future attempts.. these practical suggestions as they relate to a specific picture i took are much easier then to put in practice compared to general "how to take a portrait" articles and such.. and nice edit, i love the warmed up colors, very flattering.. i will play around with some post processing and see if i can rereate..

both of my friends requested that the dogwood blossoms be part of their pictures.. is there a way to make them an element in these portraits without them becoming a distraction?

much appreciated, Dustin
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Old May 12, 2005, 12:05 PM   #5
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Lonnie Honeycutt wrote:
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I like it, that's what it's all about.
Good first photo and great Rodney fix.
Lonnie

Thanks for the encouragement!! :-)

dustin
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Old May 12, 2005, 11:58 PM   #6
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Hards80 wrote:
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both of my friends requested that the dogwood blossoms be part of their pictures.. is there a way to make them an element in these portraits without them becoming a distraction?
Find a plain/darker background and let her holda branch with flowersin hand.....:-)

Just kidding, very nice photo!
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Old May 13, 2005, 3:43 AM   #7
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gwei wrote:
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Hards80 wrote:
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both of my friends requested that the dogwood blossoms be part of their pictures.. is there a way to make them an element in these portraits without them becoming a distraction?
Find a plain/darker background and let her hold a branch with flowers in hand.....:-)

Just kidding, very nice photo!
Holding or reaching out to a branch isn't such a bad idea.

Rodney
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Old May 13, 2005, 12:50 PM   #8
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i really like those ideas.. too bad i have to wait another year for dogwood blossoms...

thanks guys.. i will get my girlfriend to go out to the park with me sometime here soon and see if i can put all of these suggestions to practice..

thanks, dustin
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Old May 13, 2005, 1:13 PM   #9
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I just looked at your before image and i would de3finatly say you are going in the right direction. If I may suggest some things it would be these:

Try a little longer focal length (80 to 100mm equiv 35mm) this helps to flatten and flatter the face and makes it easier to soften the background.

Try to fill the face with reflected light (it appears yours is a flash fill correct me if I am wrong). I have been using a Photoflex light disk for years and it is the ticket. Mine is white on one side and silver/gold on the other. The results are easy to see and manipulate while you are shooting. Also by filling in your subject this way and exposing for the face, the background will drop down in brightness and your subject will "POP".

Hope this is helpful...TDT
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Old May 13, 2005, 1:38 PM   #10
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Tim is correct that using reflectors will give your images a different look. I disagree that the use of a reflector will give your images more "pop". Improper use of reflectors can produce unattractive lighting results. I'm sure Tim will agree.

First learn to get the impact Tim mentions by understanding how contrast between the subject and background will influence the scene. Understanding what color combinations contrast well together is another important ingredient.

I feel you are not consistent enough to introduce more variables to fumble around with at this point. In the end, you'll have greater skills if you become consistent using minimum equipment. You already have flash available so learn to use it effectively and know when not to use it.

I strongly advocate learning to use one light source before introducing additional sources. Household lighting, the sun, flash and reflectors are considered light sources though a reflector only reflects light. It takes a lot of practice and baby steps to learn to manipulate light effectively.

Keep Tim's suggestions in mind and when you see you are producing consistent quality images, don't hesitate to introduce a new variable.

Rodney
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