Portraiture at sunset

Home Photography Forums The Shark Tank Portraiture at sunset

This topic contains 21 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Michael Lloyd Michael Lloyd 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #120611
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant
  • #120617
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    Dang… another one that is well lit. Maybe a touch more light on the face but it's really hard to say for sure with the small images we have to post.

    Do you have the settings? We are supposed to post settings with the images.

    The horizon looks crooked. Referencing the bottom of the clouds kind of reinforces the idea that it's sloping left.

  • #120619
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    Hi, sorry forgot to give set up again. So this time I had two speedlights. One behind her with no diffuser and one in front with a diffuser. F4, ISO320 and I think shutter of 100, 7D 24-105. Yeah I'm shocking with horizons and often have to take a few shots to get them straight or straighter post production…drives me insane

  • #120621
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    oh and that's the ocean crashing behind her

  • #120622
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    I was scratching deep just to find the crooked horizon. I started with – this girl knows her lighting :o)

    Well done

    PS- I knew I heard some kind of crashing thing going on in the background :o)

  • #120624
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    heheh:) glad you could hear it through the picture

  • #120640
    Profile photo of Tobie
    Tobie
    Moderator

    Nothing to add except that you've obviously chosen the best part of the day for the photo session to complete your lighting setup…

  • #120667
    Profile photo of Lenny Wollitz
    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    You do nice photos but IMO they are ruined by the big and bold water mark competing for attention with the subject. Is there something I am missing? Why so colorful and prominent?

  • #120668
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    Commercial work has to be protected from clients that see no harm in putting an image on their FB page or taking a file to Walmart to be printed. There is a “it's on the internet so it must be free” attitude that is very prevalent among none photographers.

    I generally hate watermarks (I have one and I use it as needed) but in the case of a commercial image it's a no brainer.

  • #120669
    Profile photo of Lenny Wollitz
    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    I didn't ask why use water marks but in this case why so prominent in size and placement? The only reason I can think of to put it where there is for advertising purposes. BTW, the placement of this one is in a spot that would be simple for even a beginner like me to remove in Lightroom. I guess if you really want to protect the photo the best place for a watermark would be on top of the face 🙂

    I was critiquing this photo and IMHO the watermark and especially it's placement ruins a great photo. Why not move it to one of the lower corners and remove the distracting pink graphics? I am really hoping to hear from @tareen on this not in a adversarial way, I'm just curious. Why?

  • #120705
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    Hi @el_dub Thanks for feedback. These pictures have come directly from my FB page. With FB policy saying that any image uploaded can be used by them I have started to watermark in very prominent places. I have no problem social media networks using my pictures as long as people are aware of whom shot them. A simple placement in one of the top or bottom corners can be too easily be cropped out. Yes I could place over the face as you suggested but then my client viewing on FB will not be too impressed so it is a tricky one. Of course as you mentioned one could easily remove it should they have the time in Photoshop but this will take time and many people will hopefully rather not put in the effort.
    As this is a photography critique site I really don't see how you are viewing this as advertising on this particular site?

  • #120721
    Profile photo of Lenny Wollitz
    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    @tareen. I quit FB several years ago… not interested in the politics or religion of my “friends”. I looked at your web site and you are obviously a very skilled and talented commercial photographer and care very much about your finished product and your immage. I think you should take the time to “clean up” your photos before posting them here from FB so you put your best foot forward like the pro you are. There are some very skilled photo processors on the ST so if you are concerned about someone having this skill to remove your watermark this is one of the last places I would post it 🙂

    No, I didn't mean you are advertising on THIS site. Don't hold your breath for a flood of wedding customers from the Shark Tank to travel to NZ! I meant that the photo with the big and prominent watermark would be a good photo for you to advertise yourself in a “Bridal” magazine/pamphlet or whatever. It's like a flashing neon sign to me. OK, I understand where you are coming from but I still think the watermark cheapens an otherwise great shot.

    BTW, I would be thrilled is someone stole one of my photos! Just send me a copy!

  • #120722
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    @el-dub shew thought you meant advertising on this site and I chuckled to myself thinking highly doubt this would be the best area for me to do that:) Point taken around watermark and I have been tossing it up. I'm just very aware that once an image is on the internet it seems to be fair game for anyone these days ( not so much on this site but other areas). I do agree it does become imposing and possibly there is a better way to do it. I'd rather be safe. I've recently seen a photographer that is starting off using another photographers images ( and I know the professional photographer so knew the images). Just a personal choice I guess:)

  • #120727
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    “BTW, I would be thrilled is someone stole one of my photos! Just send me a copy!”

    You would be thrilled until you found out that an ad agency stole your image and sold it. And all of your friends called to congratulate you on the sale of an image that showed up in every major newspaper in Texas as well as Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine. Por nada to the photographer. Me.

    And then when I called the ad agency to discuss compensation they told me that I couldn't prove it was my image. The were downright nasty about it. It was a fairly unique image and proof was easy to come up with. Unfortunately the source of the image for them was the sister of a friend of mine that interned at the agency. I was left with the dilemma of (1) Sue them in small claims courts and win, which would have put the girl at risk for losing her job or (2) Let it go.

    To this day I don't know if I made the right decision. The upper limit in small claims court at the time was $10k. The value of the image, based on circulation, number of publications, image size, etc was multiples of the small claims court award maximum according to photoQuote Pro 6. I chose to drop it. My attorney wasn't happy. I still second guess the decision. If they had run the ad a second time I probably would've taken them to court.

    The biggest problem in photography today is two pronged. Easy access to photography and blatant disregard for the craft.

    The easy access to digital imagery has opened up doors to people that would never otherwise be interested in the craft. The net result is an overwhelming flood of crap sprinkled with an occasional gem. I am glad digital came along. It has helped me immensely. There are very successful photographers in the business that wouldn't have made it shooting film. They never would've even tried. On that note, it's been a blessing.

    There are people that used to make a good living with stock photography that can no longer survive doing it thanks to the over whelming pool of images created by photographers that discount their work because they don't value it. It's just a click away. Add to that the reality that ad agencies of come to accept- people don't really know a good image from crap and you get a business model that has been virtually turned upside down almost overnight, mostly by people that have no regard for copyright laws. Add to that studios that have had to completely rework their business model because some mom with a camera was told that she creates beautiful images on Facebook so now she runs around doing free portraits or $20 portrait sessions. Wedding photographers have had to rework their business model for the same reason. I hope to never shoot another wedding again in my life. They are way too much like work.

    There is a high degree of skill involved in creating images that @tarene creates. You can't roll up on the scene with a consumer grade camera with a popup flash and blast light at the model and hope for a good result. She put a lot of work into the result that she got. She probably had an assistant. Those don't come for free most of the time. If not she had some heavy bags to keep the light stands from blowing over. Equipment had to be hauled to the location. Exposure wasn't some random guess. Flash power wasn't a rule of thumb. Remote triggers were used. The scene changes rapidly at sunset. It takes quick thinking and a good working knowledge of the craft to create images like this one.

    Giving ones photography away is a slap in the face to any professional photographer. It is a statement of disregard for the craft.

    I'm no fan of watermarks… frankly I think they are a waste of time if the intent is to protect an image from thievery. But I choose not to make a big deal out of it because it falls into the category of personal preference.

    To mitigate loss due to thievery I taught myself how to create “postable” images at 72ppi or less, and sub 100k file size. I chose those numbers because even with OnOne Perfect Resize 8, as good as it is, you're not going to get a sale-able image. Anything much bigger and I can recover an 8×10 or larger and then scrub the watermark off of it fairly easily.

  • #120731
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    @michael-lloyd if there was a “Like” button here I would click for your post:)

  • #120742
    Profile photo of Lenny Wollitz
    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    @michael-lloyd I agree with most of what you said, especially about theft, except that as a freedom lover, I believe that if some “mom” with a camera wants to do free portraits or only charge 200 pesos… more power to her if that's what she wants to do. It's called competition dude! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if the “mom” photos are good enough for some people or are all they can afford too bad for the pros and their sometimes overblown sense of artsyness and importance. Don't tell me you think photographers should protected from competition?

    But back to the original topic. Regardless of the reason for putting a huge water mark in a photo, I don't care for it and never will. The watermark does play and important part in THIS photo as it distracted me so much I didn't notice the crooked horizon until you mentioned it!

  • #120752
    Profile photo of Admin
    Admin
    Keymaster

    @tareen – if you look above @michael-lloyd‘s post, you will see a “Rate this post” thingy with thumbs up. It's something we are trialling. (We obviously need to reposition it).

    It will also go towards reputation for the person you are thumbing up too. (at least that is the plan at the moment)

  • #120756
    Profile photo of Tareen
    Tareen
    Participant

    thanks @admin, saw those but thought it was for the post before i.e mine and didn't want to go and “like” my own:)

  • #120757
    Profile photo of Admin
    Admin
    Keymaster

    lol @tareen – naah, go for it! It's the only way to get some appreciation! 😉

  • #120772
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if the “mom” photos are good enough for some people or are all they can afford too bad for the pros and their sometimes overblown sense of artsyness and importance. Don’t tell me you think photographers should protected from competition?”

    Just because something is cheaper doesn't give it validity. The pros aren't hurt by MWAC's. People that value the craft and the quality of a well made image wouldn't use a MWAC or a “I only shoot in natural light” photographer. It's the mediocre photographers that worked at Walmart and in the mall creating portrait packages for some conglomerate at cut rate prices that were hurt. Their opportunity to learn the craft in difficult circumstances stolen from them… That's the market that was destroyed.

    I have a friend that has worked her tail off to learn to do professional grade portraits for people that can't afford “big money” portraits. She was priced right for her small town and her skill level. Too cheap for the work she did but she knows her market and she has a heart for helping people. She's now losing money because another gal got a camera for Christmas, posted a few crappy images on Facebook, got a bunch of unqualified likes, and started to do portraits for 10 cents on my friends version of a dollar. Sometimes even for free. That's not competition, it's stupidity.

    I'm no a fan of watermarks either… but I understand why she uses them. People can be disrespectful. Almost none care or have a clue of how much work goes into creating a great portrait and if they want it, they'll right click / save as with no thought that it's theft.

    The craft of photography has tanked over the digital years. The majority of photographers today spend far too much time in the computer and not enough with a camera in their hand. They have the greatest opportunity to learn photography of any time in the history of the craft and rather than spend time learning how to read and control light, the majority of photographers click away, creating volumes of digitized garbage, and then run the garbage through the computer, washing it in actions and software addons in the hopes that they can somehow turn an image that should have never been made in the first place into something good.

    I was one of those people. I was terrible with film. I was equally terrible with digital only I didn't know it because I had gotten pretty decent with Photoshop. A few of years ago I started shooting film again, confident that I was a much better photographer than before. Guess what? I wasn't. So I set out to learn the craft of photography. To learn lighting. To learn every aspect of how to make a great image no matter what the genre. To get it right in the camera. I suspect that I'll be on this journey until I die… maybe 1/60s after :o)

    We can either contribute to the further dumbing down of the craft or we can try to help people (A) see the need to improve and (B) show them how to improve within our limitations

  • #120845
    Profile photo of Lenny Wollitz
    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    @michael-lloyd You said “just because something is cheaper doesn't give it validity”.
    A large portion of my neighbors here in Mexico can't even afford a chicken let alone a “pro” photographer to take photos of their kids. I have taken photos of several of my neighbors kids, printed them (on what you would think of as a crap printer) and framed them for free. I'm sure the photos aren't up to your high standards because I am not a pro as I have proven with my posts here 🙂 Does that make me a mom and invalid? I don't feel invalid and my friends sure enjoy their photos!

    I started a camera club here and in the process I have met several of the pros here. Some of them are quite knowledgeable but I was surprised to learn how little many of them know about photography outside of their own little specialty area… and don't want to learn, just make money. How are they any different from the “moms”? And are they invalid too because they don't meet your high standards.

    I don't think the craft of photography has “|tanked” because of digital. I for one have always been interested in photography but couldn't afford it in the film days. Because of digital many more people can enjoy photography and even if they spend too much time in front of a computer (according to you) they are still enjoying it in their way and don't need the elitist pros bullying them!

    I'm heading out to the local antique car show to take some unprofessional and invalid photos of some cool cars but I think I will still have a lot of fun in spite of my cheap camera and crap lenses in our 75 degree and sunny weather. Valid or not!

  • #120881
    Profile photo of Michael Lloyd
    Michael Lloyd
    Participant

    Lenny… I gave you an example of someone that I know that does just what you say you do… that is supply people that couldn't afford a high end pro high quality image for an extremely low price only to have someone that just bought a camera undercut her. In the end, her business recovered, like I figured it would.

    Somehow the discussion about someone else has turned into the Lenny show. Did I bring up your images (which by the way I think pretty highly of) No… I did not. Do I care what camera you use? No I do not.

    What I did as make generalizations about the state of the craft of photography, that I stand by. We'll have to agree to disagree on that one I guess.

    I spend a lot of time with photography. It's a daily thing with me. It's a way of life. A passion. It's not a business. I don't make money. I often print 17×22 images and send them to friends because they like owning something that I made. I printed six 17 x 22 images for a guy in California that I have never met a few months ago. They were taken at Mach Pichu and some town whose name escapes me, with the first version of the digital Rebel. They were amazing. They weren't amazing because he had a digital camera. They were amazing because he understands the craft. He worked at it for years. He knows light and how it works and what makes a great image. The camera doesn't make a great image. A great photographer makes a great image.

    I do this for the love of the craft. I exhibit in local art shows. So far, no sales. This year I'll exhibit in Photofest and I'm looking forward to the exposure (pun intended). I often joke that I own some very expensive prints if nobody buys them. They will become heirlooms for my kids.

    I have many, many friends that are professional photographers. I know what their struggles have been and I have seen them overcome the so called competition from lesser photographers. I only know one that has retired from a lucrative business. Her portraits started at $10k and went up from there. I have no idea what her weddings cost but I doubt if a Dallas Cowboys football player would hire a $500 wedding photographer. She retired because she could. But… if you ask her, Brooks Institute trained, she will tell you that the craft has declined. It has been diluted.

    Speaking of $500 wedding photographers- there is a place for them, but there is a reason that they don't last long. The one and only wedding that I have done, complete package- Engagement, Bridals, Ceremony was done as a gift to the bride since her father and mother were friends. Her budget was $500. I told her to keep her money, it would be a gift. I talked my friend, mentioned above, to take care of the “chick stuff” since it would be hard for me to be in places that she could be. She helped because she wanted more experience. $500.00… two photographers (pretty typical)… (1) full day for engagement. 120 miles round trip. (1/2 day) for Bridals. Local mileage. (1) Extremely full 18 hour day. Two photographers for the ceremony and reception. Over 2,000 images (after we culled all the duds) total from the photographers. So… lets break that down. 16 man hours plus 8 man hours + 36 man hours = 60 man hours. $500 / 60 = $8.33/hr for both photographers divided by 2 = $4.17/hour per photographer and that DOES NOT count the 2 plus days of editing, upload time, etc. You would have to be insane or desperate to be a $500 wedding photographer… but they are out there because they service a need… just not for very long. Even if you manage to sell a few prints from Costco for 20 bucks apiece it's not worth it.

    I seek out people that are far better photographers than I am. It's not hard to find them. I enjoy the time that I get with them. I don't “pay” to be in their presence. They are friends of mine. All of the pros that I know enjoy getting away, making images for the sake of the image… and I enjoy the company

    As far as high standards go- Aim small, miss small. Aim low, hit low. It's a choice.

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