Please Critique

Photography Forums The Shark Tank Please Critique

This topic contains 30 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of LightStalking Admin 1 year, 1 month ago. This post has been viewed 358 times

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 31 total)
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  • #99102
    Avatar of Bodwell
    Udell Bodwell

    This photo was part of a test shoot to familiarize myself with my new Pocket Wizard AC3 controller.

    Camera Body: Canon Rebel Xsi
    Glass: Canon 50mm 1:1.8 II
    Flash: 2-Canon EX430 II – Key flash in 40″ softbox, secondary flash through 42″ umbrella
    Flash Settings: ETTL
    Shot Settings: f8, 1/250 second

    I liked this shot so I thought I would let the “sharks” comment!

    Avatar of Mike88

    This portrait could have been improved by softer lighting and a less awkward pose. I would like to see more of the hair and face shown by some back lighting and also the use of reflected light to enhance her facial features.
    Being unfamiliar with the AC3 controller I am unable to comment on its use.
    Thank you for posting.

    Avatar of Bodwell
    Udell Bodwell

    Thanks, I could dial down the key light which was coming from the left side of the photo and dialed the secondary flash up a notch (on the right side of the photo), possibly putting it in a soft box as well. Another thing might be to move the flash units closer to soften the light as well as re-position the secondary flash a little more to the front to illuminate the face better. Also a rim light from behind would define her hair better.

    The AC3 controller is a fantastic device that gives so much control over the flash units, I just have to learn how to use it to its fullest extent.

    Again, thanks for the critique.

    Avatar of Paulygass
    Paul Gass

    I would get a lot more light in the shadows. It is always the eyes that make a portrait. You can hardly see her eyes. Have her turn her face toward the light more.

    Avatar of Fidelito
    Walter Lustig

    There are two tiny spheres in both glasses just below the upper rim … I first thought it was lint on my screen but nope … and they are not in her eyes and are no catchlights.

    You liked this shot, but did the model? Unless there is a specific purpose for the pose and the dress, why on earth would you draw the viewers attention to a pair of sagging breasts and a half-revealed tattoo on one of them? Plus that heavy skin fold just above her left breast and below the armpit (in the photo this is on the right). I honestly don’t think that a woman her age should wear this kind of dress for a posed upper body portrait shot.

    When looking at it in high-res, nothing seems to be in focus. The shadows seem still rather harsh.

    I find the skin tone colour-version definitely not to her advantage and would experiment with B&W instead.

    The right side of her face needs some brightening up and the folds could do with some smoothening .

    There seems to be a part of a chair or sth similar peeking out in the lower left hand corner which I find distracting as I cannot see it anywhere else which means it is of no importance. That said, I also think that her right arm on that side should not be cropped like this.

    I just think you didn’t show her from her best side but there might be more to the story we do not know …

    Avatar of tomdinning
    tom dinning

    That does it! I can’t hold back any more. A dress critic. This may well be the woman he loves. She might be overweight, sagging, tattoed, short sighted and aging but that’s the way it is with some people. The photo has delivered the goods on all that. Like my comment on the fat guy on the bike, if the photo delivers the goods, that’s all that counts. This is a photo of one hell of a woman and who in their right mind would want it any different.

    Avatar of Fidelito
    Walter Lustig

    In this forum she is a model and it is a photo and it has been thrown into the shark tank.

    I am a proponent of how the Brazilian photographer SebastiĆ£o Salgado describes it: “If you take a picture of a human that does not make him noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

    I did ask how the model felt about the photo … or would that not matter?

    Avatar of gtpete

    first time in this forum and i have say that i completely agree with @fidelito‘s feedback.
    In fact i think he was reasonable and respectable with his critique.

    Avatar of Fidelito
    Walter Lustig

    I think in a forum like this we have to be careful not to throw the gauntlet for the wrong reason. If a member submits a photo, whatever personal attachment there might be, should not play a part in the critique. It should not matter what the subject of the photo is, we still look at it from all angles.

    It is much easier with landscapes, travel photos, wildlife and a few others but when it comes to people, I do think that we photographers also have a duty which is to make the other person, the model, look their best whatever their age, physical shape, etc. I am not talking about glamour shots but I am talking about making them come across as someone others would take an interest in. Documentary style photos are of course an exception.

    We all have shots which do not meet those criteria but perhaps we should think twice before making them public or we need to be prepared to take some heat.

    My intention was not to insult and if anyone felt I did, I honestly apologise. If the forum’s moderators feel that I crossed an (invisible) line, please feel free to delete my post but in general I expressed what I would think if this photo crossed my desk for a critique or analysis.

    @tomdinning, with all respect, I find your comment that you can’t hold back anymore interesting as it would make me assume that your were waiting for something like this to step in. I respect what you are defending but from my POV it has nothing to do with the photograph as such. I hope we can move on after here without getting into shark-fights too often.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Avatar of Fidelito Walter Lustig. Reason: typo
    Avatar of Bodwell
    Udell Bodwell

    I find these “discussions” interesting. One of the good things about this forum is I can pick and choose from the comments what I want to take as constructive criticism and separate those parts from what I perceive as personal preferences. @fidelito has some valid technical points and those I take to heart. As for his remarks about my wife, I can let those slide as those are, in my opinion, his personal tastes and after all, his comments are not the definitive authoritative but just that, his personal view. @tomdinning, thanks for your view as well.

    Avatar of LightStalking

    Sometimes the pose / look etc of a model affects a photo. That’s ok.

    Just keep it respectful.

    Avatar of redman

    hmmm… :/

    Avatar of tomdinning
    tom dinning

    Absolutely no respect intended @fidelito. There are two things under discussion here. One is the photo and the other is the appearance of the woman. If you don’t like the photo that’s fine. If you don’t like the look of the woman that’s fine as well. Just don’t get your wires crossed. Neither of your comments has anything to do with the quality of the image, like most comments in this thread.
    As for her appearance, this may be as good as she gets or wants to be. This is the woman @bodwell is married to and it may be the way he wants to see her. ‘ nobility’ in a human isn’t judged by how someone looks to you or me.
    What is insulting is your assumption that you know what you’re talking about here.

    Avatar of tomdinning
    tom dinning

    You have to be kidding. You started this. Asking people to be blunt and courteous is like asking Mohamed Ali not to hit so hard.
    Here we have random shots being thrown at innocent bystanders without some means of defense. It beats me why it’s so bloody popular. People must be masochistic . And you must be desperate for the numbers, Rob. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean helpful. Every day for years you have provided good advise to budding photographers and good opportunities to generate discussion. That’s what distinguishes this site from all others. Little of this stuff here is helpful. It’s nit-picking, discouraging, irrelevant, inaccurate and beneath you dignity.

    Whatever came over you?

    Avatar of jujujems32
    Julie Moses

    I have to agree with most if not all @fidelito said, though perhaps not HOW he chose to convey it. It came across more as a critique of the model instead of the photographer and the choices he made in regard to the image. Thus far in this conversation there are only male voices. Though I do not know if the model likes this picture of herself or not, I have to say that I don’t find it to be a flattering representation. Perhaps that was the intent, and if so should have been stated. As a female, I like the pictures shared of me to be flattering. I delete self portraits that are not and I do not feel at all shy about using the photoshop tools at my disposal to enhance my appearance, and I do the same for my clients-glamour shot or not. Perhaps if we knew WHY or WHAT made this particular shot a favorite, we could speak to that.
    For what I might have done differently though…
    To flatter… shoot with a wider aperture and focus on the eyes, letting focus fall off lines and shadows. Shoot from above the eye line to minimize anything unflattering under the chin and neck. Depending on the physical capability of the model, request them to raise their chin, push it out, and then bring it down also helps create a flattering chin line. Lifting up tall through the spine and bringing the shoulders forward also helps stretch and lengthen as well as taking trouble areas away from the focal plane making them fall out of light and look smaller. (lots of great posing advice on Youtube and Sue Bryce is awesome at this!)
    To create mood, drama, and character… Stop down the aperture big time, and kick up the shutter speed as high as your flash sync will let you to get rid of the ambient light as much as possible and point the lights(on manual flash) to the parts of the face and body you really want to emphasize and keep that area relatively narrow. Posing could still be the same as above, or not depending on the story/mood you are trying to convey.

    As per the format of critique going on in here…I believe it is simply an attempt to get users to register constructive criticism that we can use to improve our photography. Positive commentary doesn’t do much to sharpen your skills and that is why I think we see so many masochists here-their ardent desire to improve, more so than self flagellation. Personally I prefer a critique sandwich-starting with positive-what one or two things I like or what is strong and then move to 2 or 3(or more) things than could be improved upon, stated in the way I would have done it-simply because this is an art and thereby subjective. Finally I try to end with something positive. I think you can be positive here, just know that sugar is actually sweeter when there is a little salt in the recipe too.

    That said, I end on this note…I think she has very nice features(mouth, skin) and interesting jewelry both have which could have been showcased differently for more impact.

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