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Portraiture

This is a discussion on Portraiture within the Critiques forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Hello, I am trying to shoot a good portrait of my father next to a velux window: Here is the ...

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    apylyser is offline Junior Member
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    Hello,

    I am trying to shoot a good portrait of my father next to a velux window:
    Here is the album of images I have shot so far (from a selection).
    In the first image I really liked the light falling on my father's face and that was what I wanted to capture...I used a whiteboard to reflect light back into the shadowside of his face. Sadly I didn't expose right and the highlights are blown out. I am really happy with the how the light is displayed on the shadowside though.
    The next Image is a lighttest with a skull from almost the same position. I'm relatively happy with the lighting but maybe the highlights are on the edge of being overexposed.
    So I tried a third time. The composition of the skull in my opinion has more appeal but I think the overall lighting in this image is good. I will go closer with the camera next time to get a more interesting image.

    What are your thoughts on this album ?

    Thank you in advance,

    A.
    Last edited by apylyser; 02-25-2014 at 11:09 AM. Reason: wording

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    this is the album link http://imgur.com/a/mg7fn


    Hi Apylyser!

    First off welcome to the forum!

    OK critique wise here goes -
    Shot 1 is too overexposed. Too much information is clipped on the highlight side, so for me this is a redo.
    In addition, the direct light coming into that window is too strong at your dad's position. Try this same test with DIFFUSE light and the reflector and the shot should work out much better.

    Shot 2 - is much better light-quality wise. The position may have been identical to the shot of your dad - but notice the near lack of clipping.

    shot 3 is okay but it's not super interesting light as the face is too evenly lit. Had the reflector been farther away I think it would have been more interesting.
    That background in shot 3 is a major distraction for me as my eye naturally follows a white triangle.

    Hope that may help and hope to see more work!
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    apylyser is offline Junior Member
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    Hey Marko,

    Thank you. Although I already replied in a pm I will reply here again so others can join in if they want.

    Shot 1: I agree. I will redo this portrait when the light is right. This time I will use a white bedsheet in front of the window to diffuse the strong direct sunlight more. I must note this was shot on midday. Dusk or dawn or atleast the early morning and afternoon might be better moments to shoot...?
    Shot 2: You are right. The position was the same indeed, but the time of the day I shot this image was different. This one in the late afternoon while the first one was in midday. I also used a bedsheet in front of the window to reduce the direct sunlight.
    Shot 3: I will try again with the suggestions you have mentioned.

    Thank you for your feedback and thank you for the encouragment!

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    I like #1 even with the over exposure on the right side of his face. I find the logo at the middle bottom more distracting. i would clone it out.

    BTW, welcome to the forum!!!
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    Shot 1: I agree. I will redo this portrait when the light is right. This time I will use a white bedsheet in front of the window to diffuse the strong direct sunlight more. I must note this was shot on midday. Dusk or dawn or atleast the early morning and afternoon might be better moments to shoot...?
    The light quality is the main thing that matters in this case. You may not need the sheet if the sun isn't direct. So long as the light quality looks like shot 2 you are rocking. The time of day is fairly meaningless, so long as there is enough softish light to achieve the minimum shutter speed for a human. (1/60 or faster if the camera is on a tripod, and 1/focal length of the lens with at least a 1/60 shutter speed or faster if handheld)

    Hope that may help.
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    apylyser is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by theantiquetiger View Post
    I like #1 even with the over exposure on the right side of his face. I find the logo at the middle bottom more distracting. i would clone it out.

    BTW, welcome to the forum!!!
    Thank you theantiquetiger! I too like the image but I think it might be better with less harsh direct sunlight (early morning/late afternoon) so a little detail is still visible in the highlights. I am especially liking the light on the shadowside of his face. I think this will be a good image in combination with highlights just not blown out highlights...

    @Marko: I agree. This what was what I tried to do in shot 3 but I didn't do it quite right. I will try again and post here. It helps ;-)!

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    Hey,

    I shot some new images on the same spot, on an overcast day:

    image 1 & image 2.

    I prefer image 1 - I think 2 is a bit underexposed - but I think the highlight is still a bit strong. I might have to use the bedsheet afterall to dim the incoming light more or maybe expose for a little less light and bring the whiteboard/reflector a bit closer to the face. What are your thoughts ?

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