Portrait : What am i missing?

Started Sep 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
nelsonal Senior Member • Posts: 2,464
Re: Portrait : What am i missing?

I'm pretty far from an expert but these are my very amature thoughts, so take them with a pretty big grain of salt.

In general, most photographers dislike the selective desaturation effect. That's going to turn off the majority of this audience before they consider any other merits of a photo.

In addition to that, the positioning of the chair creates several high contrast edges that tend to attract attention away from the subject. They also serve to highlight that the subject is fairly small in the frame. That can be an effect that works, if one wants to emphasize say a child's wonderment with a huge world (like entering a theme park) but there aren't any other visual cues to indicate this was the goal.

Also, the crop/pose tends to be unflattering. Generally limbs shouldn't cut into and out of the frame unless there's a very good reason for it (they should generally enter or leave once and even then there are some guidelines about how to do that). The single knee in the frame and left arm leaving the frame make the image look very haphazardly composed, but the evenness of the chair arms and horizontal position of the eyes tend toward the opposite (careful composition).

Generally, it's wise to ask ourselves as photographers, what about this scene is the reason I want to take the photo and then frame the photo so that thing is emphasized by every other part of the photo. That's not easy, but is an important part of photography and good to practice.

In this case, it appears your subject was very engrossed in something, so to emphasize that engrossment, it might be useful to consider how to include the object of that engrossment in the frame (from the catch lights I suspect it's a television program). Shot with, say, a shadowed TV in the foreground, the haphazard pose, engrossed expression, etc might work to create a photo that tells a story (some scenes are fairly demanding photographically and might require several tries to get an image that expresses what the photographer desires).

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