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#14936

First photo:  Pretty chick!  Very hard light.  By that, we mean the shadows have well defined, sharp edges.  Generally hard edged shadows are the result of an apparently small light source.  The sun is a huge ball of fire, but it is far enough away that you can block it out with a single finger, so it appears small.  A 2 foot by 4 foot softbox that is only a couple of feet from a subject, is relatively much larger than your subject’s head, so it appears large, and the light wraps around and provides soft shadows.

Looking at your regular household light bulbs, you can see the ones that claim to be soft (on the box) are frosted so you can’t clearly see the filament.  Others have clear glass and cast a harsher light.  At the same time, most dining room chandeliers have multiple bulbs.  Some can accept either clear or frosted bulbs.  With clear bulbs they throw a collection of shadows.  With frosted bulbs, you can still see the shadows a little, but the shadows cast by objects of the table are very soft because the chandelier’s effect is that of a large light source.

You can use studio strobes, or small flash, or lamps from Home Depot or some other similar store.  You can make a small light source seem large by shining it on a white sheet with a low thread count, or a scrim, which is just a taught piece of fabric designed to let light through.  The middle of a 5 in 1 reflector is a scrim.  They are fairly inexpensive.  Nikon makes umbrella kits that have a carry case, stand, bracket to hold flash and umbrella, and of course, the umbrella which can be reflective or shoot through when you remove the outer cover.  Westcott makes softboxes that are available in kits with similar parts to the Nikon kit.  There are many options at all price points.

Photo 2:  Well … There she is, smack in the middle of the frame again.  I like the hard light in this photo!  It looks artistic.  I think the watermark would be better with less opacity, and down in the lower left corner on the grass.

 

Photo 3:  Unlike the first photo, this photo has almost no shadow, so she looks quite flat.  You can see her cheek bones but her nose has very little shape between bridge and nostrils.  Her forehead looks strange because of the flatness.

Railway tracks have been over done.  That aside, there are two real problems with this track.  That plant at the bottom of the frame should have been cut or broken so it is not in the photo.  And, the scene seems to be back lit, which caused the track behind her to become a leading line that takes the eye from your subject and leads it right out of the top of your frame.