May I have a critique? First photoshoot

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by msbarnes, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    OK so I had my first photo shoot. I am not a payed photographer and this is not a payed model so it is purely for fun.


    I threw in a bunch of candids in this set and left in some out of focus images too, because I liked them. I wanted to do a lot of experimentation and hence my style and film/dev choice is all over the place and so is my camera/format selection. In the future I will be more consistent, but for my first few shoots I plan on doing a lot of experimentation. I'm not a post processing guru but I think that my pictures might be a bit too high key...I might have to fix that.

    Mistakes that I already recognized:

    Development:
    1. I lost too much speed with fomapan 100 + Rodinal. More exposure next time or another developer.
    2. I accidently underexposed fuji acros so I had to do a two stop push. Idiotic mistake.

    Composition:
    1. The coat on the bed was a bit awkward.
    2. Sometimes the background elements were a bit distracting.

    Lighting:
    1. I sometimes could have used a stronger fill.

    Overall, what do you think? honestly. What would you have done differently and how can I improve?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/michael_sergio_barnes/sets/72157632125565479/
     
  2. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    Well I've added one positive and one negative comment on flickr to get the ball rolling :smile:
     
  3. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    OK, I am by no means an expert on portraiture but here are my thoughts.

    This is the image that jumped out for me. I like the composition and light and it suggests a story where the reader can fill in the details of who she is and who she might be looking at.

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    As Andrew mentioned the edges are too tight and you need a bit more room for the head an elbow. Also, unfortunately her bottom hand looks kind of weird (like a foot?) but I know that I would never have noticed that when I was composing the shot.

    Overall that set is really nice use of the window light. What else were you using for light sources?
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Self edit, post what you feel is the best and ask for comments. JMHO
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I agree with fotch. On the ones with a large part of the face dark, you may want to set up a reflector for those cases. Great start, keep it up.
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    I like the self edit idea. Find the images that you feel are the top 3 or 4. It is easy to weed out the real crappy ones when you self edit but it is very hard to limit yourself to 3 or 4 when you have a lot. It forces you to think. Post those and maybe explain why you think they are the top o the heap. People around here will give you some good help.
     
  7. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I used natural light and a reflector. Silver or white depending on the strength that I wanted.

    Image 1:
    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    This was taken with a Rolleiflex T (FP4 and Rodinal 1+50).

    I like the tones of FP4 + Rodinal 1+50.
    I like the simplicity in her expression and composition. The framing was a little tight but that didn't bother me.

    Image 2:
    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    This was taken with a Rolleiflex 3.5E (Acros and D76 1+3).

    I found the midtones of Acros + D76 1+3 a bit lacking.
    I like how the lighting illuminates her face and also the simplicity of the lighting and composition. She looks graceful and a bit more elegant.

    Image 3:
    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    This was taken with an OM2n and 28mm f3.5 (Foma 100 and Rodinal 1+50).

    I like the grain but it is definitely underexposed. I need more light next time.
    I like the wide angle and small format use because the grain and higher contrast adds a bit to the atmosphere, I think. I was going for something more sexual but still refined. I found the crookedness of framing a little more interesting. I like the women's pose but I'm not so sure if the coat and belt adds to the image. I like how the light paints the environment but I could have used more fill, especially in her face.

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Michael_Sergio_Barnes, on Flickr

    This was taken with an OM2n and 28mm f3.5 (Acros 100 @ 400 and Rodinal 1+50).

    OK so the development was an error. I need to pay more attention next time :smile:.
    I was going for something more sexy as in the previous image. I like the womens pose and how she is looking into the camera. As with the other image, I'm not sure about the coat/belt. To me, if something doesn't add to the image then it just doesn't belong. Similarly to the other post, I could have used more fill.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012
  8. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    OK so there are 4 images that I would like to be analyzed and critiqued in terms of development, lighting, composition, and/or anything you find relevant.

    Quick question. For black and white, is there a difference between gold and silver reflectors? I figured that it isn't relevant.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The photographs show good composition. The last two as you stated are under exposed. The problem is that they are back lit. Either open the lens a stop or take a reading off the subject directly.
     
  10. mark

    mark Member

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    Keep in mind that I am not holding the images in front of me and my monitor is not the greatest

    Of the images posted I find the first to be the best but I think it needs
    • A bit more space so the head and elbow to not connect with the outside of the frame
    • If those are white sheets I want to see them white so when you print you might bump up the contrast some. As it is they are a little too grey for my taste.
    • Agree with the hand looking like a foot. Hands are always troublesome
    I like the story it tells

    Image number 2 seems a tad lacking in emotion for me but it not a deal killer. Once again I want the subject not connected with the frame at the bottom.

    I think 3 and 4 are too under exposed to comment on.
     
  11. jvo

    jvo Subscriber

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    really good....

    really good 1st effort, both on photog's and model's part...

    and what "they" said!

    thought some of them needed tighter cropping - the bedding does not add to the message.

    you're definitely on the right track.

    jvo
     
  12. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, " normal" black and white film is less sensitive to warmer light. Lit all tungsten for example, you lose about a stop. I have tested this.
     
  13. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In regard to the preferred images they depart somewhat from my tastes because the focal length introduces a lot of perspective. Was this your intention?

    The lighting could use a little more ratio for my taste, except the third of the selects. That's just me of course. The important thing to ask yourself is did they come out the way you envisioned?
     
  14. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thank you for your response in regards to the silver/gold reflector but can you elaborate in your response a bit? I'm not so well acquainted with some photography lingo.

    1. By a lot of perspective, you mean that you would have preferred to use a longer lens, say for like the first image, because my lens selection/distance seems to make the front of her body unnaturally larger than the rear?

    2. By lighting ratio, do you mean more contrast? As in more lighting in certain areas and less in other areas?

    As in achieving my vision. I'm not sure. I just wanted to experiment and play around. I think as I get more experienced my style will be more consistent and my vision more clear. Overall, I am happy with the images and so is she.

    I just posted this to get some feedback and to understand what people do and do not like about my work. Ofcourse tastes differ as our styles and preferences can be different. I will accept and reject comments and advice but having more feedback, I think, never hurts as long as it is constructive. Some people have commented on things like keeping my background vertical lines straight, I honestly never payed attention to details like that, but that is something that I will be more aware of. I also feel that film photographers are more conservative in the focal lengths/lighting so advice here I value greatly.
     
  15. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi,

    Light comes in different flavors that range from warm to cool, or to be a little more correct, wavelengths that correspond from red-ish to blue-ish. It is measured in something called kelvin degrees. Warmer light, like that from candles, old school tungsten light bulbs, quartz halogen, and golden reflectors, are on the warm, red/ orange end of things. Daylight, flash, arc lights, cool fluorescents, etc are on the blue end. Most black and white film is less sensitive to warm red-ish light than it is to cool blue-ish light. This is called spectral sensitivity. For some films this curve has been published and for some you've got to test or guess, but usually it's from 1/2 to 1 stop less sensitive. Since negative film enjoys over exposure much more than under exposure, I just call it one stop open up one when my key source is warm.

    In regards to perspective, yes, that is what I mean, but that is a matter of taste. If that was your intention, you did a good job. If it wasn't, well, something else to consider.

    In regard to lighting, yes, old farts like me express contrasts as ratios of key to fill in stops.


    It's fun to play around, it is a good way to learn certain things. Certain other things are learned by setting out to do something deliberate and figuring out how. Once you can do that, playing around becomes much more powerful, because you know how to take full advantage.