Which of these do you like best?

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Docno
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,094Gear list
Like?
Portraits, backgrounds, and the RX1
In reply to jrdu, Apr 27, 2013

jrdu wrote:

Docno, I respond to your threads because I like the way you shoot and I like the way you think. I've become a bit of a curmudgeon, not really feeling at home here on the dprairie so much any more, but please don't take my attitude as if it were aimed at you personally.

In the first set of photos, you took a shot when the girl's face was in shadow.  Now I might do that myself if I'm out with a friend who doesn't mind posing, because as you go along, you take a lot of shots, and not all of them are masterpieces.  But I don't share the lesser shots here in the forum.  I think if you start out with a face in shadow, then your excellent post work is really just playing catch up.  In a portrait, you want to get the best possible lighting on the face, then the background will be in the proper relaitionship to the figure.

The second set of photos is even more frustrating to me because you had a well exposed face, and then you gave it a treatment to overexpose it.  High key is cool, but again, I think that it works best if you shoot for it, not by reworking an ordinary shot.

This is not really a high key shot, but one that's been inverted like a negative.  I just posted a couple of my shots because it's only fair that if I'm taking potshots at you, I should give you a chance to shoot back at me.

-- hide signature --

John Dunn

Fair points, John. [And I've always enjoyed your portraits from China though it seems that you've now also picked up the reputation of being the 'lotus guy'... but it's the portraits I always remember].

You and I both enjoyed the R1 (in its time) and the a900. And perhaps because of these cameras and the lenses we typically used (on the a900), I think we tended to shoot fairly close portraits. The RX1 has forced me to approach portrait shooting quite differently because of its wide angle. In a sense, the background becomes much more critical to the image (because it necessarily takes up so much more of the image), and it's no longer just about getting the light right on the face.

Compare your wonderful portrait here to the uncropped portraits you see from the RX1. In your image, the background is almost 'not there' to begin with, and you have tried to further 'eliminate' it with some heavy vignetting. That's not possible with an uncropped RX1 image (unless you have a plain background). So when shooting, you have to take more account of the background. And sometimes this means exposing more for the background if you know you can 'salvage' the face in post. [As I said previously, it's easier to bring up shadows in a low ISO shot than to fix blown-to-white highlights]. Anyway, that's been my experience with the camera.

That said, my intent with this thread was not to 'showcase' some photos that I thought were special but to assuage my curiosity about whether some more 'extreme' processing was still aesthetically appealing. Hence the original subject line and explanation.

BTW, love your first portrait, though I would personally soften the vignette a bit. (My taste only). A stunning beauty with a mysterious and alluring expression on her face.

 Docno's gear list:Docno's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX1 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha NEX-7
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