Be nice, but be honest

Started Jun 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Jere Landis Senior Member • Posts: 1,912
Re: Be nice, but be honest

Chinaexpat wrote:

Jere Landis wrote:

pick away, but those who pick must post pics of their own or be quiet. You people have established that rule

Well I won't be posting anything and I know that it is easier to accept criticism from someone when you can SEE that they know what they are talking about but you need to judge any suggestions for yourself based on the merits of the suggestions themselves.

I won't make any claims for the validity of my suggestions but at least I'm offering some! That was what the OP was asking for, not a long tirade of navel gazing, opining, and insults.

ICopy of Jennalee 117jpeg

•Of the images you posted this is the closest i style to one I might make but the pose & composition are very symmetrical, and with her eyes looking so directly ahead, there is a lack of movement. The direct look from her eyes IS the portrait so that can't be changed but you could have tried having her turn her head slightly. And maybe balancing that by pulling back her hair on the opposite side?

•There are several approaches to a portrait shoot. One way is to shoot more, try more things, if they don't work keep shooting, project confidence to the model, keep interacting with her, you'll know it when THE shot happens.

•The lighting could be more directional / less flat.

• The background color is too similar to her hair color and doesn't go with the sweater
• the white pillow is a bit distracting
• and the obligatory... "you should have shot it wide open"


• Smiles are really difficult. Many expressions can be coaxed or coached but a good smile can be elusive with many subjects. this one is just ok, but improving on it would likely be out of your hands ( just my own experience/limitations)

• shallow DOF probably isn't useful here but why shoot a living subject at 1/60th if it isn't necessary? F5.6 @ 1/125th seems safer in case sby wants a large print.


• Unless she is a former runaway / rail-jumper this is seems to be less of an environmental portrait and more of an interesting / glamorous backdrop. However her pose is not so glamorous.

• The tracks could be at more of a diagonal in the frame and the girl not so perpendicular to them, perhaps in a semi-suppine pose. Such a pose would a) be uncomfortable and b) make her feel you are trying to get a look up her skirt. So such a pose would either require a professional model or a easygoing/trusting model/photographer relationship.

• Also I'd rather there was either more or less DOF. The background is neither here nor there, blurry but not blurred. If going for more DOF, use ISO 200-400 and manual focus a bit behind her (don't you guys miss DOF scales?) because as it is, you are wasting half the DOF.


• her hand position looks awkward. If hands are included in a portrait then for each pose start out by taking a closeup of just the hands to make sure that you are really seeing how they look. You should be able to make a beautiful or at least nice shot of just the hands. If not sth isn't right

• 41mm is not very long. There seems to be a bit of distortion around her elbow.

• her body is probably turned a tiny bit too far from the camera, it would be nice to preserve a bit more black border at the edge of the red pattern.

• Personally I'd prefer this one with more room on each side, more of squarish proportion, and maybe a high key B&W photoshop filter.

• shallow DOF probably isn't useful here but why shoot a living subject at 1/60th if it isn't necessary? F6.7 @ 1/125th seems safer in case sby wants a large print.


• crop it square to get rid of the distracting bit of junk in the bottom left corner

• and the obligatory... "you should have shot it wide open"

Thanks for your critique, but without examples to show what you can do, doesn't seem to be acceptable here. I appreciate you taking time to to view and give your opinions. I didn't make the rules, the posters here did.

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