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cjbecker
05-06-2011, 11:03 AM
This is one of my more recent portraits that I have taken. I was going to an epic/intense feel, i was trying to show with the lighting and the forward lean pose.

Tell me what you think and how i could make it better.

http://www.clarkbeckerphotography.com/wp-content/gallery/portraits/tif736.jpg

wfe
05-06-2011, 11:44 AM
The forward lean pose typically makes the head larger which if desired is ok. It appears that you're using cross lighting which I love, however may I suggest that you bring the lights forward just a bit more. I think you may find some results that could be pleasing. The best thing to do is experiment with the lights in different positions until you get the desired result. Really look at the light and shadows when setting the lights and composing the portrait. Every little detail makes a huge difference.

vpwphoto
05-06-2011, 11:48 AM
I think a little more fill from the front is needed. The face is too dark for my tastes. I think he looks a little out of kilter... a more natural lean forward, he feels like he is going to fall off the posing stool.

Light placement is never wrong if it is what you are looking for.
I would do this shot with three lights... one on each side, and one at or below camera level. I see a lot of these kind of portraits done with ring-light fill.

Good job... I think it is pretty good, you asked for the input.

c6h6o3
05-06-2011, 11:49 AM
The lights on either side of his head are too hot. I agree that they should be moved toward the front so that more of the face is lit. It looks like they're hitting him at a 90 angle from both sides. Is this (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/.a/6a00df351e888f883401127963491228a4-800wi&imgrefurl=http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/03/yousuf-karsh-regarding-heroes.html&h=550&w=460&sz=22&tbnid=oKY062YagCdzcM:&tbnh=246&tbnw=205&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkarsh%2Bportrait%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3 Du&zoom=1&q=karsh+portrait&hl=en&usg=__83N44KsQjmL23BYzDEVEZEWgel0=&sa=X&ei=IyfETd_JPNSRgQfMxunKBA&sqi=2&ved=0CBwQ9QEwAA) the effect you're looking for?

TheFlyingCamera
05-06-2011, 11:52 AM
I agree about the lighting - his face is a bit dark and because of the particular blend of cross-lighting, it doesn't flatter the face. This might also be improved by bringing his chin up a little more, so the brow doesn't shade the rest of the face so much and the cross/back-lighting wraps around more. I think he's a little too square to the camera, as well... you can get some more dynamic movement in the pose to reinforce the active look his outfit suggests.

cjbecker
05-06-2011, 11:55 AM
Thank you.

There is actually a fill. I had to use a hotlight for the fill. It was directly above my head. It metered 3.5 1/60, I wanted it to be brighter but you win some and lose some.

I do agree that moving the side lights a little forward would make some pleasing results.

I have also seen people use ring flashes for with and it would be a great tool to use.

Thank you again.

cowanw
05-06-2011, 12:54 PM
One could argue that your fill is actually your key light as it is resposible for the most important shadow, that of the butterfly under the nose.
I would suggest raising the chin and toning down the (now) side accent lights to get some texture and get those lights of the sides of the nose.

cjbecker
05-06-2011, 03:32 PM
I was actually using the light above my head as the key. The side ones were kickers.

c6h6o3
05-06-2011, 04:28 PM
So this is a self portrait? Again I point you to Karsh's self portrait (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/.a/6a00df351e888f883401127963491228a4-800wi&imgrefurl=http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/03/yousuf-karsh-regarding-heroes.html&h=550&w=460&sz=22&tbnid=oKY062YagCdzcM:&tbnh=246&tbnw=205&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dkarsh%2Bportrait%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3 Du&zoom=1&q=karsh+portrait&hl=en&usg=__83N44KsQjmL23BYzDEVEZEWgel0=&sa=X&ei=IyfETd_JPNSRgQfMxunKBA&sqi=2&ved=0CBwQ9QEwAA). Turn up the fill, pull the accent lights forward so that they're at about 45 off his nose and turn them down. You might even want to put snoots on them. It looks to me like that's what Karsh did, although he may have had a main light to give it the Rembrandt effect. Note that there is almost no butterfly shadow under the nose.

jerry lebens
05-06-2011, 04:57 PM
I'd suggest you'd get a more epic feel by lowering the camera position, with the camera is looking up into the model's eyes. A longer lens might help, too - it'd distort the head a bit less.

Personally, I don't think this lighting suits such a young face. You need a really craggy face for it to be effective. I'd use a hard version of Rembrandt lighting to bring out wrinkles etc and 'add character'.

Mannequin
01-27-2012, 10:03 PM
This is one of my more recent portraits that I have taken. I was going to an epic/intense feel, i was trying to show with the lighting and the forward lean pose.

Tell me what you think and how i could make it better.

There is a lot of discussion here about the technical merits but I think the technical merits are fine. The lighting is pretty good! What I sense as most bothersome is his smile/facial reaction to being photographed. Something seems off about the picture and I think it is his reaction to being photographed. He looks as though he is a little self-conscious or smiling/laughing while the lighting and black & white palette lends itself to something more serious. His facial reaction doesn't fit with the rest of the picture. I don't hate the pose but it looks like it could be improved. I think if you had a relaxed subject who was leaning a little more naturally forward, who was thinking less about being photographed and more about "an idea", it would work better. Perhaps if you had taken a full roll you would have been able to find one that worked with all the dynamics. Otherwise I think you are off to a nice start!

tkamiya
01-27-2012, 10:17 PM
I'm sorry, to me, it doesn't work. You said you wanted an epic and intense feel. If this is the case, the expression of the subject, the slightly smiling face is contradictory. Also, the muted lighting of the front center of face does not show off this model as an intense figure. I would also like to see little more light going to his eyes and eye socket area. His eyes are looking right at me, but they don't show well.... they are in shadow. I think you almost want his eyes to look like if he is staring you down - intensely.

edit: haha... I guess I said about the same thing as the poster above, only few minutes later...

Mannequin
01-27-2012, 10:48 PM
I'm sorry, to me, it doesn't work. [...] Also, the muted lighting of the front center of face does not show off this model as an intense figure. I would also like to see little more light going to his eyes and eye socket area. His eyes are looking right at me, but they don't show well.... they are in shadow.

To me these are really pointless remarks. Successful photographs are about the idea, not the details. You may find technical faults in a thousands wonderful photographs that you cherish deeply, and none of them matter because the concepts are successful. Obviously, good exposure and proper lighting is preferable if not essentially required, but quibbling over a little more light in the eye sockets really doesn't help the guy. The idea in his photograph works. Everything about the picture basically works except the facial expression, which as you and I both said, contradicts the otherwise dramatic nature of the photo. Getting an expression that looks natural in a self-portrait is very difficult, but a worthy pursuit! We should focus on these important things, not minor details that would only help the picture in fractional amounts.

tkamiya
01-28-2012, 08:15 AM
To me, portrait is all about the personal connection the subject makes with the viewer. When I saw this photograph for the first time, my first impression was about the face and eyes or lack there of. Then I saw the description of the photograph - it was supposed to be an intense photograph.

For this, I said, "I'm sorry, it doesn't work for me".

To me, lighting eyes and that area properly is very important. Perhaps more important than the rest of the photograph. Then, the overall face. This is a portrait, isn't it?

Portraits are my main area of interest. That's how I do mine.