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Portraiture work including self critique
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject: Portraiture work including self critique Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
typically people here share their work to get some feedback. Since I find my self to be an apprentice I would like to share with you my latest homework. I asked last May my brother to pose for me. Part of the assignment was to work with available light. I only had a camera with a pop up flash and a reflector.
Instead for asking you to critique my work I will be doing that directly. The point I am looking for is to see that I have somehow started developing my known "healthy" reflexes when comes to giving self feedback. I guess this is a necessary step in my learning curve.
Are you ready? (please remember I only had camera, pop up flash, reflector)


#1 I like the way I asked him loot at the side. Lighting was done with a reflectorthat is visible at this shot. What I think is bad is the nose against the hidden cheek and eye. I think this pose just makes his nose look larger (and my brother always says that he is not happy with his nose)





#2
Kind I like the next pose . I used reflector to send him back just a hint of light to make him more separate from the background. What I think is bad is the background that is very light and somehow steals attention from subject. Also the way he looks back makes his face look more fat of what he really is.




#3
This looks creepy. I got quite of distortion on his face, that I tried (but not happy with results) to fix at post. I am not sure though why this happened given I was shooting with 75mm equivalent focal length. Also lighting is creepy. "Yes I have scr"ed with my reflector in any single way". That day was overcast with almost no shadows and I was trying to find light to reflect back to him. I only found some light when reflector was below his neck.. and this lighting is really creepy.. Bad shot



#4
I am sharing this since someone told me that he liked this shot, that otherwise I would not share here. The focus is out. The mistake comes from the center focus point that was focused at his face. I have very narrow dof and I was recomposing moving without understanding what I do the focus point back to his hair. At least I know what I did wrong.




#5 Hm.. this one.... . Again I have problem with my reflector being slightle below his neck line.. and thus the lighting is a bit "funny" Although he has a bold appearance that I liked. Perhaps I should have worked more the posing since his shoulders look dead.





#6
Hm.. I think what breaks this shot is the bench popping out of his nose. I like though the pose that his body is slightly shifted on the camera and the way he looks at the side.




#7 Hm... Here my reflector found some light I guess... still though I am not sure how much the background (that is very bright) draws attention. I like also that I asked him to slightly turn to the camera.... I am not sure though if this is a masculine or a feminine pose. My brother has a good body and the shoulders do not look that "alive" here. What do you think?





#8 This one.. He was standing at a very dark spot so my reflector had no single chance. I was desperate and thus I used my pop up flash to fill in his face a bit more. He finally got a bit more separation from the background but it really looks like pop up flash was used...



#9
In this one I do not think my reflector was able to find any light to send back to his face and light him a bit more. Like a bit the pose.. buy his eyes suffer from darkness....


#10
Focus here is out for the same reason I described above. Bad focusing technique and his body is in focus but not his head. I had to post process a bit and increase the overall bluriness in the shot...
I think If I had good focus that would have been a keeper.. his face though needs more light


So that is it. Any feedback on how I criticize my work would be beneficial. Also write back if you think I have some good shots as keepers
Please let me know what you think

Regards
Alex


PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing wrong with #4. It's actually the strongest by far because it's the only one where I feel there is a positive emotional connection with th subject.

#5 there is a connection. Lighting is what it is - sounds like it wasn't on purpose. it gives it a "cold" feeling and his emotion... sadness? It's an interesting look.

#1 #2 - just a pic of a person and nothing really communicated, no story.

#3 - not creepy. I think having it be a wider frame and giving him some environment to the right would have helped a lot.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a n expert so can't give any relevant feedback, but for what is worth I too think #4 is the best one from this series despite missed focus which isn't even that apparent at this small size.


PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Portraiture work including self critique Reply with quote

alaios wrote:

#10
Focus here is out for the same reason I described above. Bad focusing technique and his body is in focus but not his head. I had to post process a bit and increase the overall bluriness in the shot...
I think If I had good focus that would have been a keeper.. his face though needs more light


So that is it. Any feedback on how I criticize my work would be beneficial. Also write back if you think I have some good shots as keepers
Please let me know what you think

Regards
Alex


On how you criticise your work, if I could, I would say that you still have in mind the shoot itself. What you did, what you would do differently. From the perspective of the viewer, that area is lost and it's the image alone that is reacted to. With that in mind, I find #10 by far the strongest although I know these things are subjective. Your brother seems at his most relaxed (least self-aware? - only you will know), and the separation of foreground and background has a filmic quality, similar to what your eye actually sees when looking at something. I feel like I'm there, standing where you were. It feels more personal, which always helps. I get the most sense of your brother in this one, regardless of any flaws you've picked up. From the perspective of the strength of the image, rather than the technicalities of producing it, I like this one. I think you've caught your brother. I hope that helps a little bit.

I recall, far too many moons ago now, seeing a portrait in the National Gallery. Why it caught my attention was that the portrait was not only there, but also the artists sketches as he progressed to the final painting. In the first sketches you see a headmaster, upright, forthright, in his mortar board and cape. As the artist spent more time with the sitter, you see the sketches change, and in the final portrait you see only the man.

Was #10 at the end of the shoot?