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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Color Portrait (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-300D Rebel
Lens: Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DL Macro Super for Canon
Location: Walnut Creek, California
Date: Sep 5, 2005
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1000
Galleries: Portraiture, Macro
Date Uploaded: Sep 5, 2005

This was one of the last pictures of a shoot for a friend of mine. She had mentioned during the session, that her best physical attribute was her lips. On our way back to the car, she grabbed a sunflower and started playfully kissing it, so I turned her into the sun and shot a couple of frames. I really liked what I was seeing so I set my lens to macro mode and got in close and fired away.
We came away with some great portraits, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks later when I was going through the files of our shoot. I didn’t think it needed any editing, but just for kicks I started with a few color adjustments.
It began with a deepening of the yellow petals by burning the shadows of the blue channel at about 8%. It looked pretty good so I did the same on the red channel for the green of the stem. After that I couldn’t stop myself. I selected her lips and put and feathered the selection at about 0.5, where I proceeded to burn the shadows of the green and blue channels at 4%, to give her lips an almost painted look, which I liked in the end. The skin tones required no correction (but I did try, by selecting her skin, adding blue on the curves and changing to CMYK mode. Where I went to selective color and added 100% yellow to the magenta channel. But in the end I thought the original tones looked more pleasing). A little unsharpmask at 151% and there it was, my first entry into DP Challenge.

Place: 282 out of 284
Avg (all users): 3.2351
Avg (commenters): 3.0769
Avg (participants): 3.0068
Avg (non-participants): 3.4487
Views since voting: 925
Views during voting: 450
Votes: 302
Comments: 32
Favorites: 0

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09/22/2005 04:09:20 PM
Hi Marty!
Welcome to DPC!

Critique Club

Initial thoughts
Small, lighting producing shiny skin effect, petal tips look brown, shallow DOF not effective here.

Image Size
As most commenters have mentioned, the Image size is unneccessarily small and especially now I see that you're using a 300D, I can't see any reason for it. A smaller image makes it much harder to really judge the contents – harder to see whether smaller details are sharp and even what the details and textures are.

Composition/ Content
The diagonal of the flower across the frame works reasonably well, as does the framing it provides to the lips/ face. However, it feels a touch too closely cropped to really be a portrait (rather than just a macro of lips).

The harsh light has highlighted the shininess on her skin – not flattering in a portrait image.

In such a close study of the lips the make-up would benefit from being much more accurately and neatly applied – perhaps using a lipliner to create a neater and slightly darker edge and then applying the main colour being within. Instead it looks as though your model has applied lipstick outside the edge of her lips (commonly done to make them look larger).

The dark brown edge on the flower petals is not attractive. Again, when presenting a close-up such as this, this kind of detail is much more important than in a wider angle portrait.

Camera Work - Technical
I don't think that shallow DOF works here – the out of focus cheek area on the left just seems very odd. Given that we're seeing such a small area of the scene, and given that there's not really much variation of depth within that bit of the scene, I think sharpness throughout would be better.

Digital Processing - Technical
The skin seems overly red to me, though I'm unsure whether this is down to post-processing or the model's natural skintone.

Fits The Challenge
I'm fairly open in terms of the definition of portrait – I don't think it has to be a full face or include neck and shoulders to be considered a portrait – and this does share something about how the model views herself. However, the majority would not consider this a real portrait and that has clearly harmed your score.

My Opinion On The Photo
An interesting idea but, with more care taken over props, lighting and make-up, as well as consideration of exact cropping, could be stronger.
09/20/2005 09:25:03 AM
i was going through the colour portrait score pages and thought i was having a spell of deja vu
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/374/thumb/227087.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/374/thumb/227087.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
(my entry for last weeks members challenge).
Our PP almosts matches too haha.
Uncanny ;)
09/19/2005 08:33:24 PM
I got third to the bottom my first challenge. Welcome to DPC! Keep it coming. Up to 5.7 for perspectives and I have greatly appreciated the comments on my previous shots as it has helped me to not stop at 'hey that's cool' with my pictures and to shoot for WOW. Good luck.

Message edited by author 2005-09-19 20:34:51.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
09/18/2005 11:39:34 PM
Distracting DOF and lighting
09/18/2005 11:20:36 PM
sorry but this image is way too small, also there is a strange blur on the side where you can see her face, I like that it's diffrent but doesn't really meet what I call portrait.
09/18/2005 11:14:21 PM
it's important that any oil on the face be wiped clean because it is highly reflective in direct light. it doesn't look like you used the camera flash becaus of the way the shadows fall across the petals, but it is important that you also diffuse the light in some way
09/18/2005 07:38:26 PM
You may disagree with me, and that's okay, but this doesn't meet the spirit of the challenge in my opinion.
09/18/2005 10:57:58 AM
the head on flash is almost never a good choice..trade it in for a longer exposure and perhaps close down your iris (for dof). the size on the picture doesnt help it either.. also remember to keep an eye on your models look..dab the sweat ect.. sorry for the bluntness but i hope these comment help you in later challenges.
09/17/2005 09:56:13 PM
You're main problem here, honestly, is that you saved it too small. The idea is good for an out-of-the-box image, but I'd like to see it larger.
09/17/2005 12:03:48 PM
This is different and well done I think. Good job.
09/17/2005 10:24:37 AM
This has no sense of portraiture. You need the full face, or profile. Also, the shot is way too small. It needs to have 150k and your larger dimension be 640 pixels, so that it is large enough to critique properly.
09/17/2005 05:26:44 AM
This is very small, which, for me, makes it more difficult to formulate a comment on. The colors seem very saturated, and the lighting, at least from what I can tell, feels harsh. A tighter crop on the lips and flower might help the composition by cropping out the unflattering shadow on the left side.
09/16/2005 03:35:53 PM
need to increase the size of your submission.
09/14/2005 09:35:37 AM
Good idea. Needs some work, just cleaned up in photoshop. Immage is very small. I had this problem too when I started someone sugested the tutorials on getting your immage ready for DPI. That comment helped me the most. Good Luck
09/14/2005 02:57:28 AM
The light is hitting the upper lip and I feel it is claiming the attention instead of the lips and the flower. Nice concept though.
09/13/2005 11:35:40 PM
Why so small?
09/13/2005 11:03:06 PM
Interesting idea.
09/13/2005 09:12:00 PM
An interesting shot to be sure. I sort of view this as a macro shot rather than a portrait. Also, would like to see a larger image so that it can be properly rated for quality.
09/13/2005 03:53:27 PM
I do not think this is a portrait.
09/13/2005 11:43:03 AM
A little on the small size.
09/13/2005 11:01:15 AM
Interesting. Nice juxtaposition of elements, but I think a portrait should be of the whole face. I want to say the picture should be larger, but I'm not sure I want to look at a huge set of lips.
09/13/2005 08:43:34 AM
Good Picture. The textures are great.
09/13/2005 03:15:52 AM
Very small image. Could have been interesting. But is it really a portrait? 3
09/13/2005 01:02:42 AM
this image just didn't fit the definition of a portrait for me. if it was just the lips or just the flower - but thats just my op nice concept tho
09/13/2005 12:35:03 AM
Picture is just a little too small
09/12/2005 11:52:19 PM
Nice when its small, but se it in a larger form is bad? y
09/12/2005 11:34:14 PM
I'm sure everyone has already commented on how small this shot is.. to learn how to make the picture larger.. go to the tutorials.. in Learn
09/12/2005 09:53:20 PM
This is a little small in size and not really enough of a face to be considered a portrait, I don't think. I like the idea of the flower. Would just like to see a little more face to go along with it. You should definitely use the full 640 size when submitting. It will help us to see more of the details of your photo. :-)
09/12/2005 08:33:21 PM
I wish there was more of the face...makes me think of a lipstick ad.
09/12/2005 07:54:26 PM
like it..wouldd be better if bigger
09/12/2005 04:49:18 AM
I think this shows potential. Could use some better lighting and colors. I think the flower needs to show more. A brighter yellow would help. Sharper focus would also be good. Larger picture would help.
09/12/2005 12:57:00 AM
This will probally hear a lot about it being too small. I think it is a good photo, but I don't really get a Portrait out of it. Good luck~Roni

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