DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Portrait critique
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 15 of 15, (reverse)
AuthorThread
11/08/2009 06:06:32 PM · #1
Hi there

So, i was thinking the other day that one type of photography i don't tend to do much of at all is portraiture, or any photography involving people really. I'm not sure why that is but i tend to shy away from it a bit for some reason. So, i've started to try and change that and push myself a bit in that area. I was wondering if anyone could give me a critique on a few recent efforts. It would be greatly appreciated.

First, a couple i took today of my father who is recovering from a heart operation...

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832416.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832416.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832417.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832417.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

and a couple of others..

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832415.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832415.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832419.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832419.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Thanks in advance!

Message edited by author 2009-11-09 15:07:06.
11/08/2009 06:11:23 PM · #2
My dear young man, you have a gift for portraiture. While others can probably provide you with technical information, you already have the ability to show the soul of the person - and that can't be taught.
11/08/2009 07:03:13 PM · #3
I particularly like the images of your dad. Actually, like isn't the right word - I think they're amazing.
11/08/2009 07:15:26 PM · #4
Originally posted by Melethia:

My dear young man, you have a gift for portraiture. While others can probably provide you with technical information, you already have the ability to show the soul of the person - and that can't be taught.


The ability to show the soul of the person can certainly be taught. There are many techniques one can use to put their subject at ease in order to bring out the essence of the person in the portrait.
11/08/2009 08:34:57 PM · #5
Originally posted by nfessel:

Originally posted by Melethia:

My dear young man, you have a gift for portraiture. While others can probably provide you with technical information, you already have the ability to show the soul of the person - and that can't be taught.


The ability to show the soul of the person can certainly be taught. There are many techniques one can use to put their subject at ease in order to bring out the essence of the person in the portrait.


Not sure if I agree with that one...

Not saying it's impossible but I don't think there are techniques or a formula to that.

And the images are great btw. The first two are superb. The choice of using a soft focus is not only bold but very effective. Nice work.

Message edited by author 2009-11-08 20:37:41.
11/09/2009 04:57:29 AM · #6
Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I'm very pleased people like them. I'm extremely pleased myself with the portraits of my father. I seem to be settling into the beginning of my own 'style' in a way, which involves a lot of selective focus and blur and i'm pleased that this is working well with portraiture as well. I'm also very keen on trying to get to grips with black and white. Here's one more of my father, which is perhaps not quite as successful as the other two. Perhaps because of the composition?

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832646.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832646.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Originally posted by pawdrix:

Originally posted by nfessel:

Originally posted by Melethia:

My dear young man, you have a gift for portraiture. While others can probably provide you with technical information, you already have the ability to show the soul of the person - and that can't be taught.


The ability to show the soul of the person can certainly be taught. There are many techniques one can use to put their subject at ease in order to bring out the essence of the person in the portrait.


Not sure if I agree with that one...

Not saying it's impossible but I don't think there are techniques or a formula to that.


There are certainly skills to learn about putting subjects at ease i imagine. Thats one area i have no experience in and i guess i find a bit daunting. Saying that though, many wonderful portraits are often candid and seem to bring out the soul of the person more than if the subject was aware of the camera.
11/09/2009 09:34:01 AM · #7
Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I'm very pleased people like them. I'm extremely pleased myself with the portraits of my father. I seem to be settling into the beginning of my own 'style' in a way, which involves a lot of selective focus and blur and i'm pleased that this is working well with portraiture as well. I'm also very keen on trying to get to grips with black and white. Here's one more of my father, which is perhaps not quite as successful as the other two. Perhaps because of the composition?


' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832646.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832646.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
I certainly do not see anything wrong with this portrait......you are doing a fine job.

LOVE this one, too!

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752922.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752922.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Originally posted by Melethia:

My dear young man, you have a gift for portraiture. While others can probably provide you with technical information, you already have the ability to show the soul of the person - and that can't be taught.


Originally posted by nfessel:

The ability to show the soul of the person can certainly be taught. There are many techniques one can use to put their subject at ease in order to bring out the essence of the person in the portrait.


Originally posted by pawdrix:

Not saying it's impossible but I don't think there are techniques or a formula to that.


Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:

There are certainly skills to learn about putting subjects at ease i imagine. Thats one area i have no experience in and i guess i find a bit daunting. Saying that though, many wonderful portraits are often candid and seem to bring out the soul of the person more than if the subject was aware of the camera.


I'm pretty much on the same page as Steve & Deb. I have much better luck with impromptu portraiture than I do with carefully set up studio work, and I find the semi-random, candid shots ultimately more real & honest. For the life of me, I don't know how you could ever teach capturing the essence of a stolen glimpse into someone like what both Steve and Deb can do, and what I aspire to in my portrait work.....

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_825829.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_825829.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


11/09/2009 09:42:44 AM · #8
I love your portraits and totally agree with Melethia. You have the ability to capture the soul of the subject which indeed can't be taught. A technically perfect portrait would IMO only take away from your images and not convey the same feelings and emotions.
11/09/2009 09:57:59 AM · #9
Originally posted by NikonJeb:


I'm pretty much on the same page as Steve & Deb. I have much better luck with impromptu portraiture than I do with carefully set up studio work, and I find the semi-random, candid shots ultimately more real & honest. For the life of me, I don't know how you could ever teach capturing the essence of a stolen glimpse into someone like what both Steve and Deb can do, and what I aspire to in my portrait work.....

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_825829.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/63398/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_825829.jpg', '/') + 1) . '


I was actually thinking of this portrait of yours just half an hour ago. I was reminded of it and the discussion about Rembrandt et al in a recent thread whilst reading this article on Caravaggio and photography. I was lucky enough to work in a small gallery a few years ago which owned a couple of Rembrandts along with many other wonderful paintings. Endless source of inspiration.
11/09/2009 11:01:32 AM · #10
I am not technically perfect, hence commenting based on my feelings.
You have done an excellent work. Great Portraits!!!

11/09/2009 11:23:34 AM · #11
Originally posted by clive_patric_nolan:

I was reminded of it and the discussion about Rembrandt et al in a recent thread whilst reading this article on Caravaggio and photography.


Forgot to post the link. It was this short Guardian piece.

Thanks a lot Trollman and Nasa. Glad you liked them. :)
11/09/2009 11:53:30 AM · #12
The first one posted of your dad is truly inspiring. You say you've been working on selective focus. Did you achieve the depth of field and resulting focus elements with your camera and lens, or in post? You've really got something there. It's quite breathtaking.

This one is less successful because we are forced to look at the hot area of exposure on the right before anything else. My opinion is that such an element must really have a reason for being in the frame or it won't contribute to the portrait. Here it detracts in my view, especially compared to the tight classic composition of the first, and its subtle backdrop lighting. That truly is an impressive portrait, full of subtle pushes and nudges of all kinds. It really deserves printing and framing (and gallery showing).
11/09/2009 12:06:44 PM · #13
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832419.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/100000-104999/102278/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_832419.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
I like this but for the clipping on the right. Again, in my opinion, this is an element that must be used lightly or with purpose. It can be argued that such a purpose is determined only by the photographer and therefore his/her choice to show a heavily clipped image is indicative of the fact that it serves that purpose, but on the other hand, the viewer also has to connect. Such heavily clipped shadows here are all I see; first thing I notice, and I'm helpless to wonder if it was intentional or not.

Other than that, I'm impressed by that awesome backdrop, and the way it transitions to her face and exposed shoulder so wonderfully. I have to say that is some inspired photography. The duotone only adds to the effect. Now if there was only some faint discernible detail on the right, I'd be blown away...
11/09/2009 01:20:35 PM · #14
Thanks for the great advice Louis. It's very much appreciated.

Originally posted by Louis:

You say you've been working on selective focus. Did you achieve the depth of field and resulting focus elements with your camera and lens, or in post?


These are mostly with the lens at f/2 for the extreme shallow DOF but i've also added a small amount in post processing. In a lot of my other recent images, mostly architectural, the selective focus has been a lot more pronounced. I've been using a Lensbaby a lot recently as well.

Originally posted by Louis:

This one is less successful because we are forced to look at the hot area of exposure on the right before anything else. My opinion is that such an element must really have a reason for being in the frame or it won't contribute to the portrait. Here it detracts in my view, especially compared to the tight classic composition of the first, and its subtle backdrop lighting.


Very good points. It's obvious when i look at the image now. I'll see if i can dampen that hotspot down effectively.

Originally posted by Louis:

I like this but for the clipping on the right. Again, in my opinion, this is an element that must be used lightly or with purpose. It can be argued that such a purpose is determined only by the photographer and therefore his/her choice to show a heavily clipped image is indicative of the fact that it serves that purpose, but on the other hand, the viewer also has to connect. Such heavily clipped shadows here are all I see; first thing I notice, and I'm helpless to wonder if it was intentional or not.


Again, some very good advice. I think i have a tendency for too much contrast and clipping often occurs. I think i need to be a bit more subtle sometimes.

Originally posted by Louis:

Other than that, I'm impressed by that awesome backdrop, and the way it transitions to her face and exposed shoulder so wonderfully. I have to say that is some inspired photography. The duotone only adds to the effect. Now if there was only some faint discernible detail on the right, I'd be blown away...


The backdrop is a layered texture in Photoshop, the original wall was a bit dull really. I don't have any studio equipment so its a harsh reading lamp and chair up against the kitchen wall!

Message edited by author 2009-11-09 13:40:25.
11/09/2009 03:05:17 PM · #15
Inspired nonetheless.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 12/08/2019 11:57:43 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2019 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 12/08/2019 11:57:43 AM EST.