Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? In need of comments & critiques.

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  • #14311

    http://www.imagesbyamanfredi.com is my website, with some of my work from the last year included.  Since I was young I had interest in graphic design photo editing, but just last December started getting more familiar with photography.  I’ve been searching and talking to photographers with a little more knowledge than myself (from them taking classes, ect.) but I really just need some honest reviews of my work, and suggestions about how to improve.  I’m constantly looking up articles and books, then playing with, and experimenting with my equipment to try to learn more about it.  I feel like I’m in need of a more technical understanding than what I’ve acquired in this short time.  The most recent shots up on my website are the two senior portrait galleries, and the two family portrait galleries.

    #14314

    I mostly just looked through your senior albums and they look good. Your composition is nice and you DOF is wonderful. The only thing I can say is they seem a bit over edited to me, mostly the girl with the dark hairs eyes and some of the close ups of her skin look airbrushed. I do lifestyle photography so it may just be my personal taste but because I noticed it I wanted to mention it 🙂

    #14318

    Thank you!  And I agree, they are a bit over edited.  She’s a beautiful girl but her skin had quite a bit of bumps and wrinkles that I couldn’t quite fix without going over it like that, but now that I think of it, I may try to just do several layers at a lower opacity to try to give it a more natural smoothness.  As for her eyes, I won’t lie, I did it on purpose.  I like how it kind of draws you there, but after a few of them, I started toning it down some, and got to a point where there was a perfect subtlety to it in a few of them.  They were already beautiful to begin with.  But I’m not finished with her session yet, in fact I just had it on Saturday, so I still have time to redo some things editing wise if I need to.  Question though, did you have any thoughts on the indoor lighting?  I honestly haven’t worked with it all that much, and have been reading up on it and trying new things, but have no opinion other than mine on how it looks.

    #14320

    I have no tips on indoor lighting… I do mostly outdoor and lifestyle photography… I find the light where I can! The newborn session I just did I posed the baby under the window in the clients house in order to not use any type of alternative light source.  If you have a facebook there is this great photography group on there that you can ask about lighting. One of the guys that runs it is always going on about his studio and his lighting set up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/newbiephotographers/

    Sorry I am not more help with that but that group is pretty great, almost 6000 people on there, someone always has an answer to my questions 🙂

    #14321

    Awesome.  I’m definitely going to check it out.  I don’t have the resources to be able to take classes or anything, and sometimes I learn better when someone explains things to me rather me just trying to read something in a book or something like that.  I clicked on your profile and saw the link you posted in the one thread with your flickr account, I love the pictures of your little girl, she’s adorable.  And knowing your surroundings so well you have the ability to work with that lighting indoors.  I’m terrified to even think about venturing into newborn work because I’m just not comfortable with handling babies that young.  But I also shoot with a t3i.  I’m not sure if you’ve gotten more lenses since your other thread, but the last two I bought were primes and they’re my favorites.

    #14322

    I haven’t updated that flicker in a while so I am not sure that is the best representation of my work :/ http://www.facebook.com/tealgarciaphotography is the newer stuff. I use a 50mm 1.8 most of the time… it rarely leaves my camera unless I need zoom for some reason. The newborn shoot was for an acquaintance and it was my first and probably only for a while because it was nerve racking and it took 3 hours to get 10 final shots that I was proud of because the baby wouldn’t sleep. I don’t think I could do seniors… crabby teenagers would get on my nerves… so props to you lol

    #14323

    I just looked through them!  They’re beautiful!  The one with her on the mushroom looks amazing.  Last year before I got my t3i I did some crazy picture of this fairy sitting on a flower that I took with a canon p&s I have, in the sky all HDR looking, then I did another one of different fairy sitting on a different kind of flower that I took.  http://thecolourrainbow.deviantart.com/art/The-Fairy-331088306?q=gallery%3Athecolourrainbow%2F23809425&qo=23 and http://thecolourrainbow.deviantart.com/art/daisy-and-the-fairy-335093817?q=gallery%3Athecolourrainbow%2F23809425&qo=18

    I just bought a 50mm 1.8 that is a tad noisy and slow, kind of like the kit lens that came with my t3i, but it did the trick for those indoor portraits.  I just hate using the zoom lenses I have anymore.  My 85mm 1.8 usm is my favorite though.

    #14324

    85mm prime is next on my list 🙂 Those are neat pictures! I am finding a new love for photoshop and trying to find my way around it (only had it for a month lol). I am going to be starting a series soon called “little wonderland” with more of those little portraits I am excited about it!

    #14325

    Thank you!  They were fun to do.  I have several where I turned people into zombies, by hand, unlike those goofy photo generator things from the walking dead and stuff, those make me so mad.  I love the my 85 because it’s quick, quiet, super sharp, and you can manual focus while in auto focus mode.  The only thing I wish it had was Image Stabilization, but you can’t have everything on a budget, lol.  I liked your page so I’ll be watching for that series!  I always love watching other artists and learning different things from them.

    #14329
    ebi
    Member

    Sorry to interrupt your wonderful conversation but you posted in the section: “Am I A Fauxtog?” Sorry to say, this is the work of a fauxtog.

    Aside from the really boring poses in your seniors album, they are way way way overdone. I’d love to see the unretouched versions of these. I’m guessing that the images were in a much better place before this hack job on the retouching. It’s hard to tell, really.

    most of the images of the white girl are overexposed. The eyes are horrendous. You need to undo whatever it is you did.

    The darker girl (shall I call her orange?) are exposed better but then you messed it all up in the retouching.

    You said:

    but now that I think of it, I may try to just do several layers at a lower opacity to try to give it a more natural smoothness.

    no don’t do that. Just clone out the larger bumps at 100% opacity, very carefully. wrinkles and smaller bumps require a more advanced technique that I don’t think you’ll be quite able to grasp at the moment and is a bit difficult to explain. I would suggest that you just live with those imperfections for now until you are able to get a better handle on photoshop.

    As for her eyes, I won’t lie, I did it on purpose. I like how it kind of draws you there, but after a few of them, I started toning it down some, and got to a point where there was a perfect subtlety to it in a few of them.

    There is no perfect subtlety to the eyes at all. They don’t draw you in. They make you look like a bad photographer. If you need brighter eyes, then someone needs to kick light into the eyes with a reflector or you need to find the light. You’ve done it with other images.

    They were already beautiful to begin with.

    Then why fuck with the images? You aren’t doing those girls any justice.

    so I still have time to redo some things editing wise if I need to.

    Yes. You need to. There is no question about it. And if you took money from her, you should give it back unless you intend on improving vastly by your next session.

    you may be asking yourself right now, “Am I reading his tone correctly”?

    Yes, you are. In reading your comments, I get the opinion that you are trying to appear humble but you really think that your images are great. They aren’t. Your skin tones are whack. white girl is totally pink in so many images. orange girl just has so many issues. You should take both down. The other galleries are ok. They suffer from a lot of the same issues and retouching abuse as the senior portraits. Everything pretty much looks like it’s shot on a Point and shoot circa 2001.

    http://www.imagesbyamanfredi.com/#!untitled/zoom/c1kou/imagej3h – zombie baby is coming to eat your brains.

    http://www.imagesbyamanfredi.com/#!untitled/zoom/c1kou/image4pz – this image looks like it was a horizontal shot or a wider vertical and you cropped everyone else out of the frame. Even if you didn’t, it’s still a bad crop.

    I like this image though – http://www.imagesbyamanfredi.com/#!untitled/zoom/c1kou/image12s4

    #14332
    Bill
    Member

    Okay, here it goes! Ebi, you played bad cop, now it’s my turn to play good cop, LOL.

    I hope you know by having a name like Images by…..only draws harsher criticism to you like a lightning rod. It implies a mastery of imagery, which you clearly state you do not possess.

    I’m hoping that you took ebi’s comments to heart as he was being genuine. To some it may sound harsh and hard to take, but when you look at 99% of what he has to say, he is usually pretty much dead on.

    I am going to go through one by one and give you a honest review and give you my take on it.
    Image #1 – Not sure where to really start, I’ll go with the good first, it’s sharp and in focus. I don’t care for the pose and his expression on his face, looks too aggressive as if he were holding her as a possession. 2nd, the DOF could be better and the subjects further away from that green stained fence which looks like mold, not pleasant to see in a portrait.

    Image #2 – This one I though was kind of cute. Maybe a bit too much bokeh fot the background but that can be hit and miss. 2. The little white spots, not sure if they are bugs in the air or spots on your lens or both, you should clone those out. 3. The little girl’s skin color looks a little on the green side, maybe try warming it up a slight bit and fix the tint. I did a super quick edit on the color HERE

    Image #3 Your color is way off here, she looks orange. Also the pose is not doing this little girl any justice, her belly is making her look like a little chubby girl, even though she clearly is not. Re-shoot , re-crop or delete.

    Image #4 This one would be nice if you had some catchlights in the eyes, they look dead and soulless. A reflector or fill flash would have worked wonders for this one. Also the DOF is off some, the little girl is in focus, mom is in focus but dad is starting to fade in sharpness. Also edit out the tree branch coming out of the side of Dad’s head.

    Image #5 – Why is this image so wide? what is the point of interest here, thelake in the background or the no-so impressed kids on the porch bench? The kids look really bored as if you were not engaging them for the shoot but just there to “snap” pictures. Lose the black and white. B&W looks good if there is contrast or texture or something, in this example, it does nothing for this image, sorry.

    Image #6 This is my last one, any more is wasting my time. The DOF is all wrong on this. For one, you are too close to your subjects making your DOF confusing. The focus point looks like it is on the girls boob, not her eyes and by her expression, it looks like she knows it. Again a reflector or fill flash with a slightly lower exposure would have done wonders for the dresses and the dark spots under all of their eyes.

    Your not hopeless, but making several basic mistakes that would drive you to be a full time Pro-Faux, if you don’t improve. You need to be aware of your surroundings, adjust poses to make the best of them and compliment your subjects.
    Your color management needs to be a lot better. Make mental notes when shooting of what color things are in real life so you can use them as reference points when editing. Saturation is not always a good thing.
    Learn your focus points for your camera and learn to control and utilize the light around you better. Focus on your subjects eyes, give them life, they should not be a deep dark black abyss.

    That is all.

    #14334
    nesgran
    Member

    My advice will be similar to ebi’s.

    1. revert all your edits, you’ve ruined the photos
    2. in portrait rotation you have too much room above the heads of you subject, try cropping to 5×7 instead
    3. sort out your skin tones, you need to be able to line up all the shots and they should all look pretty much the same, erika goes from magenta to green to overexposed which is not good given there’s only three photos in there.
    4. Don’t chop people off unnecessarily, vanessa when she is on her side you’ve chopped half her feet off and in another her fingers. Your framing in general is off, it is maybe a quarter image too high quite consistently
    5. Some of your black and whites of vanessa looks mottled
    6. Don’t put b&w and colour version next to each other
    7. Make sure eyes, not eyebrows are the sharpest.
    8. If you do close portraits, make sure there isn’t a lot of flaky make up
    9. Don’t do portraits in the middle of the day unless there is a very specific reason for it.
    10. Stop advertising that you take photos for money until you’ve sorted above out, especially don’t do any weddings. I’d recommend you to refund the seniors. You are part of the way there, your photos have a nice general ambience but you fall short on a number of things that you should have seen yourself before you came here.

    #14349

    Thank you guys for all of your input so far. I know I have a lot to work on, and a lot of them I’m not happy with, but I was asked to put up, so I did. The one with the three children especially. I’m on a short break at work with no wifi, so I can’t answer the way I would want to, but I’ll be sure to answer when I get home. The words come off harsh, but everyone learning needs to hear them at some point in order to improve, so I appreciate your time. A lot of the things you said I did notice, but I honestly just needed a second opinion from someone more experienced. I’ll respond more later today. Thanks again!

    #14350
    wtf
    Member

    I often wonder why people will ask for critiques on portraits that they themselves do not like. If you not happy with the image, why present it? You are showing images that reflect you (professionally and otherwise) why not show only the images that you are proud of…

    #14352

    Well, I was mainly asking about the most recent photos that I have up, which I named in my original post. The older ones are what I am least happy with. I think that asking about older ones that I am dissatisfied with is a good thing though, because I’m able to see if others are seeing the same things I am, and they also point out new things for me to watch for. I’m just trying to improve, and I wouldn’t ask if I thought every little thing was perfect. A little later when I can post a longer response and have access to my computer, I was going to redo over edited ones and post for comparison and tips.

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