Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)

Started Feb 15, 2008 | Discussions
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
Feb 15, 2008

Hey everyone.

I would appreciate some comments from you folks on these photos. Any response, good or bad, is helpful, but please try to be constructive.

I used a Canon G7 with a Sunpak 383 bounced up towards the white ceiling for all photos.

Unfortunately, my flash was stuck on full power so I had to use f8 and a speed of 1/1000 to compensate for that (it's all in the thread below). I wanted a much lower aperture, but at least the exposure looks good to me. These are all edited for color curves, but unsharpened and no noise reduction used yet.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=26754316

Here are the best from the shoot:

Thanks for looking!

ExNihilo
Contributing MemberPosts: 543
Like?
mediocre
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

I hate to be harsh... but they are mediocre. They look like snapshots with a bounced flash.

I do think you'll be able to get some good stuff with the G7 if you can work on getting in a more productive environment (not such static layering), work on composition, etc.
--
http://exnophoto.com

The blog: http://Exno.Blogspot.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MrPond
New MemberPosts: 9
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

These look like snapshots to me. The light seems to be coming from every direction. No modeling or depth.

I think the mirror pose is the best. Smiling and not looking at the camera is an odd pose. Looking at the camera usually works best.

There is a lot of clutter/distractions in the shots. It needs to be simpler. Say for the mirror shot. Remove the ornament from the mirror and the table with things on it from behind her. The bed shot has that dolphin blanket. Lose it and just use a plain blanket or the solid white sheet. You need to prepare your backgrounds. It is a requirement of a good shot.

I think you can rapidly improve if you read more of the posts in this forum.

I would try off camera flash and some better backgrounds.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bikinchris
Forum ProPosts: 13,652Gear list
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

First of all, she is very cute and also sweet to let you take photos and let you post them.

Your spirit of experimantation will help you get good as a photographer. So don't get discouraged by people critisizing your shots.
Not so many nose hair search photos please.
--
Chris, Broussard, LA

 bikinchris's gear list:bikinchris's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tazz93
Senior MemberPosts: 1,135Gear list
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

I agree with the snapshot look, try to find a lighting that gives a mood and character to your images. Also, don't include anything in the frame that doesn't add to the composition. Lastly, try a tripod or faster shutter speeds. These suggestions will not make a great photo they are just the key ingredients to making a good one. Keep trying and reading and I'm sure you'll get it.

 Tazz93's gear list:Tazz93's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Canon EOS 350D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Verdict1st
Regular MemberPosts: 214
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

Is it just me or is there a focus problem?
--
Leges sine moribus vanae
Laws without morals are useless...
http://www.noahmaier.zenfolio.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AZDYJ2K
Junior MemberPosts: 40
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

I agree with the other poster that she is a cute sweet looking girl. I also agree with the other comments.

This is not meant to be a harsh comment at all, however, I think a little make up would help. Her hair is fine in all the shots except #4 where it looks a little messy on her left side (the hair is fine on the mirror image).

I'm new at this also, however, it seems like you are going for more advanced shots and I think you should concentrate on getting basic poses down first. This will help you get your lighting and settings down and then you can go for the more advanced poses.

I'm still doing basic poses until I perfect that (which is frustrating at times). Listen to the more experienced members on here and keep reading the forums, they are a ton of help! Good luck!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to MrPond, Feb 15, 2008

Their home is very cluttered, and believe me I moved so much stuff I was tired of moving everything.

I was trying to go for a "this is how she lives" style, as in, not a studio setup. I agree that a strobist approach would have worked better but I don't have the right equipment for that just yet.

The focus is slightly off because I completely forgot to do spot metering.

Thanks for the replies.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to AZDYJ2K, Feb 15, 2008

AZDYJ2K wrote:

I agree with the other poster that she is a cute sweet looking girl.
I also agree with the other comments.

This is not meant to be a harsh comment at all, however, I think a
little make up would help. Her hair is fine in all the shots except

  1. 4 where it looks a little messy on her left side (the hair is fine

on the mirror image).

I'm new at this also, however, it seems like you are going for more
advanced shots and I think you should concentrate on getting basic
poses down first. This will help you get your lighting and settings
down and then you can go for the more advanced poses.

I'm still doing basic poses until I perfect that (which is
frustrating at times). Listen to the more experienced members on
here and keep reading the forums, they are a ton of help! Good luck!

I had her brush her hair beforehand, but I guess both of us didn't catch that.

I'm definitely trying to go beyond the basic classic portrait headshot, but I can see that it is probably best to master that first. The problem is that until I buy the extra stuff, I'm limited to bouncing the Sunpak.

Thanks for looking.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to bikinchris, Feb 15, 2008

bikinchris wrote:

First of all, she is very cute and also sweet to let you take photos
and let you post them.
Your spirit of experimantation will help you get good as a
photographer. So don't get discouraged by people critisizing your
shots.
Not so many nose hair search photos please.
--
Chris, Broussard, LA

Thanks.

Are you saying that the photos of her head tilted up are not flattering?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kent Johnson
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,354
Like?
A little freaked out...
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

... not by the images but by the poor quality of the responses. Apparently we don't have too many high school graduates here any more.

First of all, if your G7 has an x-sync of 1000th of a second then you have basically defied the laws of physics. Not likely.

Your Sunpak can probably do f/5.6 at ISO 100 and 1/160th of a second if it is bounced off of an 8ft white ceiling. Can you confirm?
Other than that I'd say try to nail the focus and not blow the highlights.
-Kent

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: A little freaked out...
In reply to Kent Johnson, Feb 15, 2008

Kent Johnson wrote:

... not by the images but by the poor quality of the responses.
Apparently we don't have too many high school graduates here any more.
First of all, if your G7 has an x-sync of 1000th of a second then you
have basically defied the laws of physics. Not likely.
Your Sunpak can probably do f/5.6 at ISO 100 and 1/160th of a second
if it is bounced off of an 8ft white ceiling. Can you confirm?
Other than that I'd say try to nail the focus and not blow the
highlights.
-Kent

Kent,

Please read the link I referenced. I tried setting fairly similar to those, expecting good exposure - but the image was completely washed out, pure white. Only by making ridiculous aperture and shutter speed values did I achieve the correct exposure, because the flash was, for an undetermined reason, only firing at full power. I took a LOT of shots until I found a sucessful-enough remedy.

By the way, the G7/G9 does have quite high flash sync speeds. It's certainly less than 1/250.

Can you pinpoint exactly which highlights are blown? I concentrated most on the stucco detail in #4, I tried very hard to preserve that, and I think I did (especially seen in bigger size it is clearly still visible).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thanos
Regular MemberPosts: 300
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

KennyS,

it's nice of her to let you take shots in the apartment. You really need to reduce the background clutter, as ExNihilo suggested and also try some non conventional angles. Interesting photos usually use an angle different from the one that the average viewer looks at things.
For example here's some tips on how to improve these shots.

Shot 1 on the bathroom mirror: Loose the towel. It's very distracting. Let her stand on the left side of the sink and closer to the mirror and tell her to look inside the mirror. Take a close up shot of both her head and the mirror image.

Shot 2 on the bed: Instead of the flash pointing to the ceiling, point it low on the wall to her left and lower your camera angle. Also make yourself a snoot (see strobist.com) and don't let the flash light spread so much. Half of her face should be in the shadow. Much more interesting lighting/shadow contrast like that.
Shot 3: see above.

Shot 4 round mirror: Get closer and put her closer. Her face profile is nice and you should try something like the bathroom shot. Also you can play with the upper mirror curve and create lines to drive the eye to her face etc.

Shot 5 Scrabble board: The stool and desk behind her are distracting. Also her pose is not that flattering. A fast fix could be to hide the desk/stool with a white sheet thus creating an all-white background. Also you can use the game board to create lines. For example you could have her lay on the floor and put her cheek on the corner of the board looking at the camera. Crop tight. In that way the board edges will create lines that drive the viewer's eye to her face.

General note: The light in all the photos is uncontrolled and spreading all over the place. You should try to control it using "gobos" like snoots, reflecting cards, flags etc. You don't need to buy anything, you can build them on your own.

Good luck.
Thanos
--

Istanbul Street Photography:
http://www.photo-estiasi.gr/thumbnails.php?album=178
Theatrical Rehearsal and portraiture:
http://www.photo-estiasi.gr/thumbnails.php?album=182
http://www.photo-estiasi.gr/thumbnails.php?album=223
My Photoshop efforts:
http://www.photo-estiasi.gr/thumbnails.php?album=203

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pradipta Dutta
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,750Gear list
Like?
Focus and metering...
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

KennyS wrote:

The focus is slightly off because I completely forgot to do spot
metering.

Could you please explain what has focus got to do with metering?

-- hide signature --
 Pradipta Dutta's gear list:Pradipta Dutta's gear list
Nikon D2X Nikon D3 Nikon D800 Nikon D3200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Yehuda Katz
Forum ProPosts: 25,916
Like?
Kenny,
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

She's a cute young girl. I'm sure she's VERY happy wth your shots.
Yehuda

KennyS wrote:

Hey everyone.

I would appreciate some comments from you folks on these photos. Any
response, good or bad, is helpful, but please try to be constructive.

I used a Canon G7 with a Sunpak 383 bounced up towards the white
ceiling for all photos.

Unfortunately, my flash was stuck on full power so I had to use f8
and a speed of 1/1000 to compensate for that (it's all in the thread
below). I wanted a much lower aperture, but at least the exposure
looks good to me. These are all edited for color curves, but
unsharpened and no noise reduction used yet.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=26754316

Here are the best from the shoot:

Thanks for looking!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Focus and metering...
In reply to Pradipta Dutta, Feb 15, 2008

You're right. I had assumed spot metering was a technique for both exposure and focus - and now I know it is only a more accurate way for determining exposure in certain situations, and not related to focus at all.

I have a hard time "seeing" when something is in sharp focus on the G7.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to thanos, Feb 15, 2008

thanos wrote:

KennyS,
it's nice of her to let you take shots in the apartment. You really
need to reduce the background clutter, as ExNihilo suggested and also
try some non conventional angles. Interesting photos usually use an
angle different from the one that the average viewer looks at things.
For example here's some tips on how to improve these shots.
Shot 1 on the bathroom mirror: Loose the towel. It's very
distracting. Let her stand on the left side of the sink and closer to
the mirror and tell her to look inside the mirror. Take a close up
shot of both her head and the mirror image.
Shot 2 on the bed: Instead of the flash pointing to the ceiling,
point it low on the wall to her left and lower your camera angle.
Also make yourself a snoot (see strobist.com) and don't let the flash
light spread so much. Half of her face should be in the shadow. Much
more interesting lighting/shadow contrast like that.
Shot 3: see above.
Shot 4 round mirror: Get closer and put her closer. Her face profile
is nice and you should try something like the bathroom shot. Also you
can play with the upper mirror curve and create lines to drive the
eye to her face etc.
Shot 5 Scrabble board: The stool and desk behind her are distracting.
Also her pose is not that flattering. A fast fix could be to hide the
desk/stool with a white sheet thus creating an all-white background.
Also you can use the game board to create lines. For example you
could have her lay on the floor and put her cheek on the corner of
the board looking at the camera. Crop tight. In that way the board
edges will create lines that drive the viewer's eye to her face.

General note: The light in all the photos is uncontrolled and
spreading all over the place. You should try to control it using
"gobos" like snoots, reflecting cards, flags etc. You don't need to
buy anything, you can build them on your own.

Good luck.
Thanos

Thanos,

That is some excellent advice, and thank you for going picture by picture.

Now that you have pointed it out, I can 'see' that the lighting on 2 and 3 should have been bounced from the left.

Is the towel really that distracting? I left it in b/c in essence it "belongs" to a shot of her in the bathroom.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bikinchris
Forum ProPosts: 13,652Gear list
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

In a clumbsy sort of way, yes. Looking up her nose is probably not her best side! You are lucky that she wants to let you take photos of her (and that she is so pretty too). So practice a lot. Post here often with your results also!

Remember that light is what makes an image great. There are several great books that can help you understand modeling (light, not your subject). A single flash does not usually make a great image.

KennyS wrote:

bikinchris wrote:
Are you saying that the photos of her head tilted up are not flattering?

-- hide signature --

Chris, Broussard, LA

 bikinchris's gear list:bikinchris's gear list
Nikon D2H Nikon D3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thanos
Regular MemberPosts: 300
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to KennyS, Feb 15, 2008

KennyS wrote:

Is the towel really that distracting? I left it in b/c in essence
it "belongs" to a shot of her in the bathroom.

Yes, it's dead center and white. The eye is attracted to the brightest things in a scene. If you want to include it change it with a darker one and put it in a corner of the photo. The photo should concentrate on your main subject. Everything else is a distruction.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KennyS
Contributing MemberPosts: 639
Like?
Re: Shots of My Girlfriend (C&C Welcome)
In reply to bikinchris, Feb 16, 2008

bikinchris wrote:

In a clumbsy sort of way, yes. Looking up her nose is probably not
her best side! You are lucky that she wants to let you take photos of
her (and that she is so pretty too). So practice a lot. Post here
often with your results also!

Remember that light is what makes an image great. There are several
great books that can help you understand modeling (light, not your
subject). A single flash does not usually make a great image.

Chris, Broussard, LA

Upon further review of the last image, I can see that the lighting created an appearance of a double chin, so I think I understand what you mean.

I've been reading lots and lots, and learning lots and lots... but do not own the necessary equipment yet.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads