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Thread: Brotherly photoshoot (critique needed)

  1. #1

    Brotherly photoshoot (critique needed)

    Hey guys my brother asked me to take some Portraits of him, and of course I was glad too, this was some good experience for me too since I don't take many portraits (not by choice, I just don't know anyone) so I got to work and below are a few I took, and no photographers were harmed in the taking of these photos.

    need Critique for these, don't worry I can take it haha

    P.S. [these shots were taken with the canon 40mm pancake]

    1 very light post work done here.

    my brother by zachary T., on Flickr

    2 again just light work done.

    IMG_7975m by zachary T., on Flickr

    3 cropped, 2 photos merged to get pistol barrel and eyes in focus.

    Untitled-1m by zachary T., on Flickr

    4 cropped, converted to B/W, low-key effect added, again 2 photos merged for eyes and barrel.

    Untitled-2mmm by zachary T., on Flickr

    5 The Experiment easy to tell what I've done here mostly just for fun.

    test 2 by zachary T., on Flickr

    a tripod was only used for number 5
    Last edited by Zach; 03-08-2015 at 04:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Ottawa, ON
    I'm not portrait guru, but to me #1 looks overexposed (forehead, cheek, and beard).

    For the merged photos, they turned out well. I likely wouldn't have noticed if you haven't said you took two photos, but since you did... it does look a bit odd to have the hand/gun in focus, the arm slightly blurred, then the face back in focus again.

    Aside from that, your brother looks sharp. The background is sufficiently blurred. You gave him some space to look into. I'd say it's a decent job, aside from the harsh sun.

    If you were to try this again, find open shade (under a tree (that gives SOLID shade, not speckled!), near a building, on a porch, under a patio umbrella). Somewhere where you're shaded, to avoid the harsh mid-day sun, but the eyes can still catch some bright reflections. Or... try to fix the sun. If you have one of those 4 in 1 or 5 in 1 reflector kits, they often have a diffusion disc inside. Unzip, remove the disc, and use it to soften the sunlight. It won't be large enough to work for a full body shot (unless you have a very big reflector kit!), but it should manage a head/shoulders shot.
    On Flickr - Namethatnobodyelsetook on Flickr
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  3. #3
    Senior Member jamsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Try also a long focal for portraits, it "plans" the prospective which is always good. With a 40mm the risk is to catch too much distortion in the middle of the picture

    55-250 will be ok in sunny conditions, and you can also try some classic kind of portraits (search on the internet)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Planet Earth
    Not a portrait guy so take it for what it's worth.

    I agree with David, first is blown out. But the I see many local "pros" that this seems to be their style.

    Background in the B&W third pic is not pleasing. to choppy.

    Bottom pic is against the wall. Needs some separation. This is one of my unwritten rules I follow, it is the way most people take a pic. Line up the folk on a flat wall. The wall gets in the DOF and becomes to much of a component. Move out from it.

    Hopefully Sean will hop in the thread and give some advice.

    Finally it's hard to tell, but next time at the range check the overlap of the right hand thumb placement on the pistol. (Maybe not the critique you were looking for).

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Hampshire, USA
    Zach...for someone that doesn't do portraits much, those are pretty darn good. I am another guy who doesn't do many portraits, so take these comments for what they are worth:

    #1-- Agreed that this one is overexposed, but to an extent, it "works." My comment would be to crop it. There is too much head room. Also skin tone looks a bit off. I'd play with color temp, tint, vibrance, etc and see if you can dial that in a bit more. Might also up the contrast just a little bit.

    #2--This one seems underexposed to me.

    #3--the sharp--blur--sharp is a pretty neat effect, IMO.

    Overall, I think it is a nice set and would hope your brother is happy with it......because I am not sure if I want to see him angry

  6. #6
    @David, I was going for a little bit of over exp look, on the merged pics like you said the focus/blur/focus does look a little off, but I was shooting freehand and his arms were getting tired so this was the best I could do ATM, i'll try to find a better spot next time and I don't have any diffuser kits, I may try to make a reflector kit sometime, i'm saving up for a GND filter ATM.

    @Jamsus, next time i'll use my 75-300mm and see how it goes.

    @HDNitehawk, thanks, yes the background is not the best, I need to work on that some more, thanks for the tip on the DOF on the background, i'll let my brother know about the thumb.

    @Brant, wow thanks brant, I will work on them later tonight and see what I can do to them, glad you like number 3 S/B/S effect
    yes he's happy with them, he's easy to please..... most of the time lol.

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