Which of these do you like best?

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Discussions
Docno
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Re: ► Now please look at these ◄ - more natural this time
In reply to elliottnewcomb, Apr 26, 2013

elliottnewcomb wrote:

Docno wrote:

So there's a clear consensus that the natural look is preferable, at least among the folks here. Now it's possible there's a contrast effect operating here... having the photos side-by-side could make the punched-up one look over the top and/or the natural one look dull.

So what do you think of the images below? No natural background in this case... that might make a difference. And I'm not showing the 'originals' so as to avoid a contrast effect.  [Bit of background: I messed up on these shots... stupidly took them at F8 without checking, which meant they suffer badly from camera shake in the low light]. Anyway, I like the boosted oranges and blues, but maybe its senility setting in. Should I be worried?

boosted blues are nice, boosted orange is distracting for me, wood grain on table is odd, what is her hair color?

and, a full eyebrow shot is highly requested, err I mean recommended.

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Elliott

Her hair colour is 'amber' (lightened) but it gets quite boosted with this treatment. The grain on the table is also toward orange, but not as bright. Here's a more realistic rendition:

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Docno
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Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Apr 26, 2013

Stephen McDonald wrote:

That's not a fair question. Anything in which she appears, we will like.

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I told her what you said and I think she's still smiling

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salla30
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Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Dennis, Apr 26, 2013

I dont think I have posted more than one PP'ed image on this forum, and then it was just to show DR of RX100 (to bring out shadows on a specific image).

I am with you on this. I think you can make a heck of a photo on camera, without needed PP. For me that's the fun.

I would like to learn PP to CREATE something completely new and artistic.

I don't bemoan the people who do use PP to enhance, but it's just not my interest. I'd rather be out taking more pics with the camera.

That's me, now, perhaps in 5 years' time Ill be of the opposite opinion.

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jrdu
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I can't see much difference between them
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

I don't feel that you have ventured very far into abstract art if that is what you are afraid of.

The original photo taken outdoors was underexposed on the face, which I think is the wrong way to get your best photos, but you saved it expertly.

The ones of the strikingly beautiful girl in the bar, (what a yucky place to shoot her), are way overexposed in the face, and you haven't fixed them.

But all the treatments look very normal, or even pedestrian to me.  You haven't been the least bit edgy.

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Chris Crevasse
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Re: ► Now please look at these ◄
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

In your first group of photos (a great photo, by the way), I prefer the second punchier photo.  In the side-by-side comparison, the first looks too flat.  This is somewhat of an odd conclusion for me, because I generally prefer more muted, lower-contrast portraits.  Maybe my tastes are changing.  As for your second group of photos, her face seems too bright and washed out.

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Docno
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PP'ing
In reply to salla30, Apr 26, 2013

salla30 wrote:

I dont think I have posted more than one PP'ed image on this forum, and then it was just to show DR of RX100 (to bring out shadows on a specific image).

I am with you on this. I think you can make a heck of a photo on camera, without needed PP. For me that's the fun.

I would like to learn PP to CREATE something completely new and artistic.

I don't bemoan the people who do use PP to enhance, but it's just not my interest. I'd rather be out taking more pics with the camera.

That's me, now, perhaps in 5 years' time Ill be of the opposite opinion.

Yeah, I see your point. But I like to do my post work at night (when the light is best) and when nothing else is going on. Some people can watch and focus on TV, but I can't ... if the TV is on, I will also be on my laptop playing with photos from a recent trip. I was a painter when I was young, so I actually quite enjoy the process of 'working' on images and experimenting with different looks. And my girlfriend, when she's in town, is very patient with me... when we're relaxing at the end of the night, she has no problem with me playing about with my photos. She keeps herself entertained on my iPad and occasionally checks in to see what I'm doing with her portraits or our travel shots

But I fully understand how this may not be everyone's cup of tea... especially if there's work to be done and kids to attend to ...

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MarioV
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Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

I do like the vibrance of the second shot.  But you'll first need to reduce the green tint in the first shot before you can properly compare.

You are lucky to have such a photogenic lady to shoot.

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Docno
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John...
In reply to jrdu, Apr 26, 2013

jrdu wrote:

I don't feel that you have ventured very far into abstract art if that is what you are afraid of.

The original photo taken outdoors was underexposed on the face, which I think is the wrong way to get your best photos, but you saved it expertly.

The ones of the strikingly beautiful girl in the bar, (what a yucky place to shoot her), are way overexposed in the face, and you haven't fixed them.

But all the treatments look very normal, or even pedestrian to me.  You haven't been the least bit edgy.

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John Dunn

Hi John. Definitely wasn't trying to be edgy or abstract, just seeing what I could with a particular before it went 'over the edge'. Most people think that the more naturalistic image looks best though, of course, we're dealing with subjectivity.

I have to disagree with you when you say the first shot (in the original) was underexposed. In fact, a lot of people will tell you that such statements can't be made... it all depends on what you're exposing for. In this case, as a 'convenience shot', the subject was standing on a shaded bridge with a bright background behind her. Had I exposed for her face, the background would have been horribly blown out beyond recovery. There would have been areas of plain, detail-less white behind her that would have been quite distracting. So I made the conscious decision to expose for the background, knowing that I would have to bring up the shadows later. I know that this brings the risk of noise, but I was shooting at ISO100 ... also, in terms of perception, we tend to be more accepting of pure blacks in an image than pure whites (as that reflects our experience in the 'real world'). So the exposure was done purposefully and I think appropriately.

As for the friend in the bar... well, she just arrived in town and wanted to meet there, so I didn't have much of a choice. And we both like pubs ... I know you don't. Yes, the face (in treatment given) is over-exposed. But that's just in the processing (much like in high-key portraits you will sometimes see). Here's the original exposure....

Thanks, John... always good to see you about (even if we don't always agree!)

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DFPanno
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In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

More light on her face; more "pop".

More interesting in my view.

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KCHAWK
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1st one
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

It is more pleasing to my eye and draws me to the face gently.

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Richard
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Second
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Docno wrote:

So out of curiosity, which of the following RX1 portraits do you prefer? The first one is a more 'standard' and realistic treatment. Basically just lightened face (using the Viveza plug-i) and vignetted the background to draw attention to the subject. The second one I went a little 'wild', upping the contrast and simulating Fujichrome Sensia 100 paper and then shifting the colour caste. Is it over the top?

Second eyes are drawn to face which is something you want. First not so much. Combine 2 images so only the face and skin show from the second image would probably be best.

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Chris Crevasse
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Re: John...
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

Did you consider using fill flash (using the built-in flash) with the RX1 shot?  My brief dalliance with the RX1's flash was not very satisfying, and I haven't used it since, but I wonder if there is a technique to get value from it.  Fill flash with my 1Ds2 and GF1 is actually pretty good.

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Hughesnet
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2nd is much much better
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013
No text.
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jrdu
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If you are taking a portrait...the face is important
In reply to Docno, Apr 26, 2013

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.

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Chris Crevasse
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Re: If you are taking a portrait...the face is important
In reply to jrdu, Apr 26, 2013

John!  Noy is the avatar of this forum, in both the digital and the Hindu sense.  It is unwise -- reckless, even -- to discourage the posting of her portraits.

Nice photos, by the way.  You paint with light.

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aaanouel
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Re: Which of these do you like best?
In reply to Docno, Apr 27, 2013

First one better, the second one is a bit over exposed.

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Corrections and critics are more than very welcome, desirables.

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Docno
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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.

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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.

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Docno
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Re: ► Now please look at these ◄
In reply to Chris Crevasse, Apr 27, 2013

Chris Crevasse wrote:

In your first group of photos (a great photo, by the way), I prefer the second punchier photo.  In the side-by-side comparison, the first looks too flat.  This is somewhat of an odd conclusion for me, because I generally prefer more muted, lower-contrast portraits.  Maybe my tastes are changing.  As for your second group of photos, her face seems too bright and washed out.

Yeah - I think I'm the same as you on this count and am not crazy about a lot of saturation. My personal preference (I think) leans toward portraits with muted colours (even monochrome), though I do like contrasty images. I first liked the naturalistic version of the shot. But after I 'bumped it up' to version 2 then looked back at version 1, it also looked dull and flat to me. Maybe just a contrast effect... or maybe just how our perceptual systems operate. In fact, they say that camera companies intentionally boost the saturation and contrast of their cameras' 'default' jpegs because this is what the public wants to see and what they expect of 'realistic' images....

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Docno
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In reply to Chris Crevasse, Apr 27, 2013

Chris Crevasse wrote:

John!  Noy is the avatar of this forum, in both the digital and the Hindu sense.  It is unwise -- reckless, even -- to discourage the posting of her portraits.

Nice photos, by the way.  You paint with light.

I'll definitely be showing her this comment when she arrives in town tomorrow... but I may have to do some 'ego management' afterwards.

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teseg
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The best one is the one you like the best.
In reply to Docno, Apr 27, 2013

The 2nd caught my attention first, so liked it at the initial moment.  If I were to have it in a place where I would look at it frequently, I probably like #1.

The intended audience and "life cycle" of the image have to be considered.

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