Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Critique?

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    I don’t know why this isn’t posting.

    A little bit about myself: I’ve always been interested in images and the like. I’m a film major, so I have a little background in lighting, composition, framing etc. I took up digital photography about 2 years ago, but it didn’t really take off until I found a 7D on Ebay for 800. Little did I know what I was getting into…

    2 years later, I’ve decided I want to make a leap to the professional level, or at least incrementally. Currently I shoot for my Campus newspaper and do some portraiture on the side. I haven’t officially charged anyone, but a professor has asked me to take photos of his family for cash. I guess I must be doing something right?

    I think my weaknesses lie in underdeveloped editing skills (ie: Lightroom and Photoshop), an inadequate understanding of how to light/no lighting gear, and full mastery of aspects in photography that I have intuitively picked up through trial and error, reading a lot of internet forums, and just going out there and messing up.

    Here are some pics:

    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/29811_4174464330269_1395257263_n.jpg (haven’t figured out how to remove this lens flare)



    The composition in the first shot is actually quite attractive, I like how you framed the person in the bottom third of the picture. You definitely should invest in a lens hood, you can pick up on eBay quite cheap and it will improve the quality of your images. The other photos are good I had a hard time trying to find something to critique. The composition is balanced, and looks very nice. Lens flare is almost impossible to fix in Photoshop with flare that large. Anything else just ask


    I disagree about the composition in the first shot.  It’s a bit odd to me.   It took me a second to look down and see the model.  The subject should be the first thing I notice in the shot.   Also I don’t know about cutting off most of her arm.  The second and third shots are OK but it seems a little soft to me.  I think perhaps a faster shutter speed was needed for those shots to get the subjects a little sharper. I’m certainly no expert.  Hopefully a more experienced photographer can chime in.



    First photo: The crop is awkward. Look up ‘Rule of Thirds’. She is too low in the frame and your perspective is probably also a little too low to make it work. The big yellow spot (a lamp?) is distracting. Be sure to keep an eye out for distracting background elements while composing your shot. You can either compose the shot differently to get that lamp out of frame or if you really still want that perspective you can remove the yellow spot entirely later in post. Be very mindful about where you crop body parts. In general, cropping at ANY joint is a no-no. The reason being is that it gives the appearance of being amputated. Its distracting.

    Then of course from a technical standpoint, the whole image is soft and slightly dark. I’m guessing it was late afternoon and in the shade, so you weren’t likely to get any decent shutter speeds. Did you shoot this hand held? Consider using a support device of some sort for these really low perspectives, like a mini-tripod, bean bag, etc.

    Otherwise, your color accuracy seems fine and the subjects expression is pleasant, although not a very flattering angle. Some photographers prefer to give their subjects a head angle that won’t cram the iris so far into the corner of the eye-socket; gives the iris a little more breathing room.

    Second Photo: In general it looks more like a snap-shot of two people in mid-conversation. Doesn’t feel like a portrait to me for that reason alone. Again, be mindful of the position of your subjects so that you don’t find yourself cropping body parts in awkward places. Seeing the top of the girls knee and a tiny bit of the sleeve cuff is distracting to me. Her position in the frame is too low which contributed to her being cropped awkwardly. Perhaps you could have also had your male subject sitting on the ground like her, or elevate her a little to get her closer to his height. Also consider the shoulder orientation of your female subject: 1) shoulders square to the camera is usually not a flattering position for a female in a simple portrait. She looks much more broad shouldered than is proportionate to her head and she even looks more broad shouldered than the male subject. That should never happen. Also, consider how it effects the dynamic of the relationship between her and him.


    Otherwise, again, you colors look nice, albeit the image is very soft. Definitely use a lens hood if you aren’t already, or if you are, consider using someone/thing to block some light for you.


    Third Photo: Again, looks like a snap-shot of two people paying attention to something else, even a frame-grab of a video. A bit of a green color cast. The quality of light is nice, although I feel the image as a whole is slightly dark. Soft, too. For men, having the camera-forward shoulder higher than the rear shoulder is somewhat of a feminine stance. Men generally look more masculine with the forward shoulder a little bit lower than the rear, (and without squaring the shoulders to the camera of course, speaking in general).


    Compositionally, at this point, if you just learn about and practice the Rule of Thirds, and then learn more about posing, you’ll be off to a great start compared to a lot of inexperienced shooters.


    Thanks for the input! I have to apologize about this topic showing up over and over. I posted it first then it was marked spam for some reason (maybe my name?) and then I got frustrated and posted it again.

    Yeah. The 1st one was shot with a 50mm 1.2 L, which I, at the point in time of when I was shooting it, did not fully comprehend the magnitude of how ffing thing the 1.2 DOF was. The original image perspective was a bit off as you said, as I did a meh crop job. I was trying to do the ‘rule of thirds’ to it, by using the grids in Lightroom, but it didn’t work out so well. I think I left my hood at home for this one too. *world’s saddest violin playing*

    The other two, soft. Agreed. My 7D was in the shop, so I was borrowing an antiquated 450D with a 17-55mm f/2.8. I recall when shooting, being frustrated with the focus system. Compared to the 7D the 450D is weaksauce. Any soft issues is me being a moron and not practicing with the 450D before jumping into a shoot.

    (Though, to be fair, it was a mock shoot. I was filming a shoot for a school project, so it was a shoot inside a film shoot).

    Thank you all for your advice! I do a lot of my stuff hand held because I like the freedom it affords, hence why I like to invest in large apertures and the like.


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