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Portrait Photography

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Let's share and discuss some portrait work here. Please note that by posting an image you invite others to critique and discuss it. Let's make it great learning experience.
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Portrait photography is something I am working on right now (for years I have been street/travel photographer). I truly admire some of you who shoot great, beautifully lid portraits. Here is my image taken for the Renatus Project about organ transplantation. This lady received a kidney transplant from her father.

GFX 50S
GF 110

©osztaba_monica_20180819__DSF5331.jpg
 
M

mjr

Guest
Hmmm, my apologies but I have quite a conflict with this shot, for me I would definitely prefer to see it within a wider set of images, it doesn't work alone for the reason, completely truthfully that the absolute first thing I saw on viewing it, with the quilted background, soft light and eyes closed, pine board above, stick propping open what appears to be a lid and square edge at the bottom was that this was looking down at someone in a coffin, sorry clearly that isn't what it is but I can't un-see it.

Taking the woman in isolation, the light on the hair is just beautiful, I am a big fan of subject placed off centre and the balance of warmth is perfect to my eye, not too warm, not too cold. What I do think you have captured really nicely is an essence of the woman, she looks peaceful, do you have any not necessarily with direct eye contact, that may be too much but indirect or her looking off to the side or back towards the light? I want to shout, come back to the light Gladys!

Just an opinion, as with all critique.

Mat
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
Hmmm, my apologies but I have quite a conflict with this shot, for me I would definitely prefer to see it within a wider set of images, it doesn't work alone for the reason, completely truthfully that the absolute first thing I saw on viewing it, with the quilted background, soft light and eyes closed, pine board above, stick propping open what appears to be a lid and square edge at the bottom was that this was looking down at someone in a coffin, sorry clearly that isn't what it is but I can't un-see it.

Taking the woman in isolation, the light on the hair is just beautiful, I am a big fan of subject placed off centre and the balance of warmth is perfect to my eye, not too warm, not too cold. What I do think you have captured really nicely is an essence of the woman, she looks peaceful, do you have any not necessarily with direct eye contact, that may be too much but indirect or her looking off to the side or back towards the light? I want to shout, come back to the light Gladys!

Just an opinion, as with all critique.

Mat
You are absolutely right that the image may not connect while presented as a separate frame and out of context. Indeed, it is a much more powerful vision while presented with other images in the series. I took this photo as a part of my Renatus Project, which portrays people who had an organ transplant. In terms of light she is playing piano therefore looking down (I didn't want her to look toward the light as it would destroy the melancholic mood). Thank you so much for sharing your critique and I trust more people will be open to sharing their imagery here. We can all learn from each other.

Here are two more images from the series :)

©osztaba_monica_20180819__DSF5515.jpg©osztaba_monica_20180819__DSF5460.jpg
 

olafphoto

Administrator
Staff member
As part of the set they work beautifully together and nicely resolved as a collection. I'm not sure as a group they'd need much critiquing, it appears you have achieved what you wanted to achieve? Do you feel something is missing that maybe people could give an opinion on specifically?

Here's a portrait that is nowhere near as polished, taken whilst on a mine-clearance project in Vietnam. I was not paid to photograph and so I have more freedom, I tend to do the same thing in most places I go, sit around with a camera and wait and see what happens. Usually kids approach and want to see what it is, then they want to see how it works and ultimately they want to be in shots, this way, it's a natural development and I avoid the negative feelings associated with imagery of displaced or vulnerable people.

This lady was receiving a new wheelchair, she had lost her leg as a child in the American war, had what can only be described as a life tougher than anyone should have to go through and yet was an amazing character. She asked me to take her picture as she said she'd never had her own picture before, every time I lifted the camera she gave this wistful, story laden expression, looking deep into the camera, every time I showed her the picture she burst out laughing! I took a couple of shots and returned a week later with a print in a little frame which she put on the wall.

I really like this shot, GFX50S and the 110mm, I shot thousands of portraits with this kit, I actually wished I'd still had the Leica S though, for natural light shots like this the S was just unbeatable. As with all unplanned grab shots in terrible conditions, there are many things I wished I had done differently but overall, it could be a lot worse.

Feel free to offer suggestions or critique in any way you like.


Beautifully done! Great, natural portrait. The only thing that bothers me is this pocket of light on her neck. Since this is the brightest part of the image, my eyes go there. I wish there is a slightly more light on her face. Having said that, it looks like you used a natural light, which could be trickly at times. Really well done. Thanks for sharing. Please post this portrait in our new curated section under the Members's Exhibition. (Portrait Photography).
 
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Reactions: mjr

jsf

Active member
I welcome any and all critiques. I learn more from what one does not like than from what one does like.
 

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jsf

Active member
I rarely crop this tight on a portrait. I rarely use such dramatic lighting. I usually light on a 1:2 ratio, not a 1:3 as this is. I don't dislike the image at all, in fact, I like it. But it is out of my comfort zone and as such, I really have no idea how others might respond to it. I always welcome any and all critiques.
 

Attachments

jsf

Active member
As part of the set they work beautifully together and nicely resolved as a collection. I'm not sure as a group they'd need much critiquing, it appears you have achieved what you wanted to achieve? Do you feel something is missing that maybe people could give an opinion on specifically?

Here's a portrait that is nowhere near as polished, taken whilst on a mine-clearance project in Vietnam. I was not paid to photograph and so I have more freedom, I tend to do the same thing in most places I go, sit around with a camera and wait and see what happens. Usually kids approach and want to see what it is, then they want to see how it works and ultimately they want to be in shots, this way, it's a natural development and I avoid the negative feelings associated with imagery of displaced or vulnerable people.

This lady was receiving a new wheelchair, she had lost her leg as a child in the American war, had what can only be described as a life tougher than anyone should have to go through and yet was an amazing character. She asked me to take her picture as she said she'd never had her own picture before, every time I lifted the camera she gave this wistful, story laden expression, looking deep into the camera, every time I showed her the picture she burst out laughing! I took a couple of shots and returned a week later with a print in a little frame which she put on the wall.

I really like this shot, GFX50S and the 110mm, I shot thousands of portraits with this kit, I actually wished I'd still had the Leica S though, for natural light shots like this the S was just unbeatable. As with all unplanned grab shots in terrible conditions, there are many things I wished I had done differently but overall, it could be a lot worse.

Feel free to offer suggestions or critique in any way you like.


Candid portraits are very difficult. There is nothing to be improved that I can see here. I think in processing the eyes could be subtly lightened and just give a small bit more spark to the eyes. But that is my taste in processing and certainly not a negative if your taste is different. Otherwise to me, this is clear in intention and very reasonably well executed. I'd be happy with the shot.
 
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