Portrait advice
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Old 08-19-2006   #1
Alter_ego
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Default Portrait advice

I've just had a play with this pic. Adjusted colour, softened the skin, removed blemishes etc.
What do you think of it. Too much, all wrong, etc. Also how would you crop it.

original at top (obviously)

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Old 08-19-2006   #2
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Default Re: Portrait advice

To me your retouch has a blue cast too it. I like the skin color better in the 1st one, but your cosmetic touches in the second one.
I have trouble with a good white balance also. I've been using the whites of the eyes lately if the picture has no other white in it or I didn't use my card.
Most of the time that works pretty well or close enough to tweak it a bit. I would crop it in close and maybe straighten it just a bit to the right. It might be me though on that straighten. I'm kinda crooked. LOL
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Old 08-19-2006   #3
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Default Re: Portrait advice

The top pic is a Jpeg straight from the 1DMk2N. I thought the face seemed a bit too red. The problem seems to be that the face doesn't match the fake tan on the arms. In all my pics the arms have a good colour but the face is too pink/red.
I've been trying to process the raw images for days, (just for practice) but I cannot get the colours right. I think I need to tweak the camera settings a bit, and then maybe I won't have so much trouble.
I wasn't sure whether to crop just below the elbows or just below the fingers.
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Old 08-19-2006   #4
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Default Re: Portrait advice

The most noticeable change is in the color balance. For portraits, the warm tones in the "before" image are generally more pleasing than the cooler tones in the "after" version. The clothing and the wood also look more saturated and vivid, hence better, in the "before" image. To counteract the too-pink in the face, you might consider asking your model to go a little lighter than usual on the blush if she uses it. You might also consider making local changes in the color balance, perhaps adding a bit of yellow and perhaps subtracting just a smidge of magenta from the face only. In this instance, I don't see the color mismatch that you do, nor any cause for color correction.

You need to work on the background because the wrinkles make it all too obvious that this is a cloth backdrop. The visibility of the wrinkles could have been minimized by careful lighting or even prevented by hanging the backdrop evenly over a horizontal bar and ensuring that any creases had been pressed out before use. You can also cure this problem in post-production but the labor invested in prevention will be more than repaid in fewer problems downstream in your workflow.

In your retouching you have removed the wrinkles from below the eyes, but I see this as largely a lighting problem. You still have rather harsh shadows from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth and could have used a stronger fill light and perhaps a softbox on the main light to make these shadows lighter and smoother.

In the framing, I would like to see less space at the sides of the image, perhaps a little less at the top, and more toward the bottom. This woman also doesn't look entirely comfortable perched backward on her chair but the posture of her arms says she intends to stay in that posture for a while anyway. I would like a visual explanation why she doesn't just turn it around to face the viewer instead.

Sorry for unloading on you like that, allcart.
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Old 08-19-2006   #5
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Default Re: Portrait advice

I agree with the others. My opinion, the top one is much better.
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Old 08-19-2006   #6
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Default Re: Portrait advice

ihave to agree on the colour Scoundrel. I thought after white balancing and minor ajustments I could get it better, obviously not. I was using Adobe camera raw for corrections but I need more practice with it. Unfortunately I only posted a small version for c&c, but viewing the larger pic you can see the difference more clearly. I think if I adjust the camera perameters I can get the Jpegs better.
I will have to correct the BG in post I'm afraid as its only a temp setup and its impossible to iron out the creases every time I hang it. I will have to work on a better solution though.
I was experimenting with an umbrella and a reflector for this pic and I don't think I got the fill at the right angle to fill in all the shadows. The model( and I use that term very loosely) does have very deep nasalabial folds. A softbox may be better for her facial features and maybe a reflector in front and below her.
With regards to framing, yes I could have been a little closer. She wqas sitting backwards on the chair so I could try a couple of poses. She was just sort of relaxing when I took the pic. The pose could have been better excecuted though. I put that down to my innexperience with models and the lady's innexperience with being photographed.
I will get better in time.

I'll do a better verion and post it soon. Any advice on where to crop the pic.
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Old 08-19-2006   #7
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Default Re: Portrait advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by allcart
Unfortunately I only posted a small version for c&c, but viewing the larger pic you can see the difference more clearly. I think if I adjust the camera perameters I can get the Jpegs better.
I will have to correct the BG in post I'm afraid as its only a temp setup and its impossible to iron out the creases every time I hang it. I will have to work on a better solution though.
In that case, I would like to see a crop of just her face and part of her arms. At this size, the color mismatch isn't at all obvious. It could be also that you are looking too closely at the individual trees to see the forest. What counts is whether the mismatch is objectionable at the size at which it is intended to be seen.

I think you will have better luck if you change the way you store and hang your backdrop. Instead of hanging the backdrop from the corners, you might want to consider getting a length of rigid PVC water pipe from the hardware store and cut it to length. Fasten one edge of your backdrop firmly to the pipe along the backdrop's entire length and roll the backdrop onto the outer diameter of the pipe to store it.

To use the backdrop, unroll it from the pipe but not completely, then support the pipe horizontally with the backdrop still hanging from it. This will keep the stress wrinkles such as appear in the upper left of your image from occurring. This can be done by passing a wire or other line through the length of the pipe and hanging the line by the ends. Some of our other Photocamelians with more experience at this kind of thing may have other and better ideas on how to store and use the backdrop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allcart
With regards to framing, yes I could have been a little closer. She wqas sitting backwards on the chair so I could try a couple of poses. She was just sort of relaxing when I took the pic. The pose could have been better excecuted though. I put that down to my innexperience with models and the lady's innexperience with being photographed.
I will get better in time.

I'll do a better verion and post it soon. Any advice on where to crop the pic.
I have attached a recropped version of how I might have framed the image. I did a quick fudge job on the lower part of the image to keep the transition from actual image to blank part from being so jarring and to give a rough indication what the missing part of the image might contain.


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