In desperate need of advice
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Old 10-14-2017   #1
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Default In desperate need of advice

Advice on Studio lighting and getting better at it.
Thank you.

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Old 10-14-2017   #2
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Default Re: In desperate need of advice

just my opinion but: a rim light(optional) to get some separation of his head from background and some reflected/fill light(not optional) from the left would do wonders for a really nice pose. ...and chop off his finger, by PS or knife whatever!
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Old 10-14-2017   #3
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Default Re: In desperate need of advice

The eyes in shadow can be corrected somewhat, you want that eye closest to camera in focus, if it's in shadow chances are its oof.
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Old 10-14-2017   #4
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Depends on what you are going for. I think this might be better as a B&W, but maybe not unless it is strong. Do you have some operation between subject and background, yes, but seems more around the middle of the subject, not his head. Dark hair and dark background looses some viewers eyes.

Agree with the above that his finger sticking out shouldn't be. Light in what amounts to his left eye is dim, or not even really there, and that could be okay depending on the mood you want, but where did you focus? The above comment is true, and you might not have hit that eye in sharpness. Maybe his eyebrow, which isn't the same.

Worse on the eyes is the colored reddish reflection in what is his right eye. That is the brightest part of the area and tends to grab my eyes attention, and it shouldn't. I'd block out whatever created that. Maybe you need a reflector in front and right below him to kick some light up to his eyes...
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Old 10-14-2017   #5
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Default Re: In desperate need of advice

I agree with Mr. Pickles about the red eye on camera left. It's the first thing I noticed, I couldn't stop looking there wondering what was going on. Then I was stuck on the fingers of both hands.

Looking at the lighting I suppose it depends on what you want. To me it looks like you had the light to camera right and almost side lighting him, and facing down. I'd also guess it's a smaller soft box. Were you using a gold/reddish reflector or wall to camera left? There's a lot of warmth to camera left on his eyes, face, hand and arm. I find that distracting. Have you edited this shot? Looks like possibly his forehead and hand were altered?

It all depends on the look you're going for. If it's what you want, then it's right. But since your asking for opinions, I'll give mine. But you know what those are worth.

For me, the eyes need more light. They're too dark. Probably not fully light up, but for me there needs to be something to grab me, especially the eye closest to camera. He's got a bit of a hotspot on his forehead, but you'll probably be able to knocked that down a bit in post. For me, there needs to be some sort of back/kicker light to lift him off the background a bit.

Overall it was a nice job. Let us know more about what gear you used to capture the image, why you chose the gear you did, and what look you were going for. That way people can comment on your thought process as well.
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Old 01-04-2019   #6
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Default Re: In desperate need of advice

I agree with the other comments about the eyes being too dark. It's not engaging as a portrait without that, and isn't working as an abstract as is. The fingernails are much brighter than the rest of the skin, and that's making them distracting/unflattering. If you wanted to leave the thumb on the face, you could try turning the wrist so the thumbnail points downwards as it'd be a bit darker or move the thumb to the bottom of the jawbone so the nail is facing down.

It's hard to know what to suggest without knowing what you've got on hand, so I'm going to take a bit of a stab in the dark. I'm going to assume you're trying for darker/moody lighting. If you move the subject further from the background, you'll be able to move the red light on the left in so that it's lighting the subject up as a red rimlight to give separation.
Then lower the key light enough that the eyes are at least partly lit. Then you need to move it closer to the camera to light the far eye, or much better use a reflector. A 4x8' sheet of white foam core, cut down the middle and then taped together with heavy packing tape (the type with the strings) can be folded a bit and it'll stand on it's own (I cut mine down to 6' to make them easier to manage). Years ago I glued a couple of white and black sheets together so they're white on one side and black on the other, and I've used them as reflectors or flags lots.

Ha! I found a picture of a lighting setup to do similar moody lighting to what you're trying, but that gets light into the eyes and controls the depth of the shadows on the shadow side. The foam core on the right side is blocking the camera from seeing the strobe directly in addition to being a reflector, otherwise you'd get a bunch of veiling flare (loss of contrast across the shot). I used one light with a socked beauty dish, pointed away from the subject a fair bit (feathered). A small to medium soft box would work fine instead of a beauty dish. Then you move the reflectors closer to brighten the shadow areas, further away to darken and angle them to control where the shadows are lifted.
Hopefully I've guessed in the right direction enough to be somewhat helpful.
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Old 01-23-2019   #7
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Default Re: In desperate need of advice

Good expression and exposure, but it appears to me that the kicker at camera left was of a different color temperature than that of the main light. All lights should be of the same color temperature or nearly so.

The main light was positioned too high. I know this because there is no catchlight in either eye. The catchlights should be at either the 11 or 1 o'clock position in the eyes. You need a hair light to separate the dark hair from the dark background. I would have added a fill light above and behind the camera to add some panache to the shadows.

Dark skin like the gentleman above has photographs best with lots of highlights and few shadows. This is because dark skin is quite shiny and highlights accentuate the texture and shape the subject. Lastly I would crop just above his extended finger.

Benji


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