Michelle...my attempt at a classic...
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Old 07-29-2011   #1
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Default Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

Thanks for any comments and suggestions!


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Old 07-29-2011   #2
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

Not sure what you mean by your attempt at a classic. A classic what?

The dress is way too busy for my tastes.

The lighting is simple, even, and pleasing.
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Old 07-30-2011   #3
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

Nice portrait. The lighting and focus are nice. Cropping is a bit off though. Shes too centered in the image and too much space above her head. A little more turn to the shoulders would of been nice.
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Old 07-30-2011   #4
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

If you mean you are attempting a class style portrait, I think it looks pretty good.
Not sure what nice "even" lighting means, classic portaiture would use some classic lighting patterns with shadows adding dimension. While this lighting isn't truly flat, it is pretty close. Perhaps a Rembrandt, butterfly, or loop lighting would make it look more classic. Raise the light a little and feather it more forward. The black bg is definitely boring, and a bg light might add to the classic goal.
I don't think she is too centered and her eyes are above the upper third line, so I don't think too much space above is the problem, it's just that it's a rather awkward crop mid forearm.
The dress is busy and classic portraiture might call for a more subdued color/pattern.
Typically the face should be the brightest, and this "even" pattern is making the chest skin and dress as bright if not brighter than the face, thus taking away attention from the face which is the goal in classic portraiture. I'd burn that down a little, raising the light would add some light fall off to if metered correctly.
So add a hairlight, perhaps a kicker light, and a bg light and the lighting would get more dramamtic.
She looks just a tad slumped and I'd turn her body a little more to her right.
As it is, it's a pleasing photo of a pretty girl. If you want classic then a few more things might make it more in the classic style.
A few more things as above would also take it up a notch or two in the impact department.
And if you really want a critique in regards to classic portraiture why not post it in the Pro Critique Forum and let those guys take a look. I bet you find it extremely helpful!
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Old 07-30-2011   #5
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

If I'm not mistaken, to help correct the problem with the chest area catching more light than the face (although it's not a huge difference, imo), Benji would suggest that you turn her face into the main light, giving you short lighting and brightening her face just a bit. Also perhaps raise it slightly, it seems a little low (looking at catchlights). The ratio is very small between light and shadow, but it's pretty all the same.

As far as the dress, I don't mind the pattern - it's one of those things I look at for a second or two and then I look back at the face. But I will say, I don't care for the ruffle at each side of her bosom area - it muddles the definition of her shape a bit.

One last thing - I wonder how this would have looked with her shoulders back just a bit? She seems slightly slumped.

I hope all this critique you're getting doesn't discourage you. I see you improving all the time and now you're getting to the point of detail improvement because you have so much of this already down pat. Fran's idea for posting in the Professional Portrait forum is a good one.

Edit: let me add some positive critique as well. Great sharpness and clarity, the color is gorgeous, and if you did skin smoothing, you did a great job. I don't mind the centering - I think some images just beg for it and off center wouldn't work with this kind of portrait, imo.
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Old 07-31-2011   #6
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

Thanks for the excellent comments. I will submit some to the Pro forum. I never knew it existed. Shows how well I pay attention!
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Old 08-02-2011   #7
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Default Re: Michelle...my attempt at a classic...

have to agree that the dress is too much/distracting for the shot


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