Neringa olbutaite's picture

my first photo taken with softbox

i am beginner with portraits, so I want to know is this good enough , should i keep trying or should i return with macro photography ? cc welcome . ps i still pretty new in fstoppers

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Even if the picture was bad, why would you stop trying??? If you want to do something worthwhile, repeated failure is usually part of the cost.

...This looks like it is a little underexposed - that's easy to fix. The nose looks a touch bulbous - that means you should use a longer lens and stand further away if you can. Otherwise, well on the way.

Neringa olbutaite's picture

my room is very small so i couldn't use longer lens for it, i had my 50mm for it. thank you

That happens. Just be confident in yourself - not that you won't make mistakes, but that you will make them and overcome them. You have an eye and the desire and you don't fool yourself into thinking that images are better than they are. Push on and you'll ***amaze*** yourself.

Neringa olbutaite's picture

thank you for kind word and not harsh critic :)

Anonymous's picture

why the young lady is scalped?

My mother always told me that everything is hard before it becomes easy!:)

You are obviously interested in portraits, otherwise you wouldn't be doing this. It is not about what other people think, it is about what you yourself feel and think. If you enjoy making portraits, then that's reason enough to persist. Why giving up?

I think this photo is a very decent image. If you really are a beginner with portraits, you paid much attention to what you did. There is a catch light in both eyes. Both eyes are visible through your models glasses. There is no reflection in the glasses. You posed her well. All good things!!

I love low key for portraits, but this indeed looks a bit underexposed because there is no detail in her hair. And I would like to see just a little background separation in the right bottom corner. Maybe you just overdid your editing, and the information is still in the original files. Did you shoot in raw? Then there is a good chance to recover it. Just be careful not to blow out the specular highlights on her forehead an cheeks.

I don't mind a tight crop for portraits. But maybe this is just a little bit too tight. Only half an inch more above and below could make the difference.

I hope you appriciate my two pennies. And enjoy your portraits!

Neringa olbutaite's picture

thank you, yes i did shoot in raw, i tried to use frequency separation for skin editing too, maybe i did too much for the first time , it's really hard method , need time to master it

I am glad you are getting interested in portraits as that is what I do most of the time. I agree with others that you could turn up the exposure. Also, remember that portraits are about shadows and while she has some, I think she could have more. You might read about Rembrandt or Hollywood lighting for examples. You did very well not to get the reflection from her glasses. Maybe it is just me, but I see the dimple on her right cheek and I like it as it adds character. I might have used a fill card (a white piece of paper or card can do) to bounce the light back under her chin a little. I hope you do not quit as being able to do portraits and give them to people is invaluable. I live in Thailand where many people cannot afford a camera let alone prints. I do portraits and give them to the people and oftentimes that is the only photos of their loved ones they have. Please e mail me if I can help you in any way:
I do workshops and have a studio here as well as my own traveling. Please do not give up. If you read enough about photographers who are honest, they will admit that perhaps 4 of 100 shots they take please them. With digital, it costs nothing.

You might also experiment with posing. A simple key with women is to turn their back to the light and then have them look into the camera -- it makes them look more slim and accentuates the cleavage. Remember that photography is about light AND shadows for if we do not have shadows, we have not depth or feel. You might also think about baby powder to take away some of the highlights on her face. Our makeup artists uses it all the time and it works well.

Neringa olbutaite's picture

thank you so much for tips, i gonna use it for sure in the future

Brava! I think this is a gorgeous photograph.

I'm a firm believer in "the only mistakes are effects which you did not intend." Very often you need to push an effect until it's too much before you know how much is too much. Do YOU feel this is underexposed, or were you aiming for this very low-key look? That's what's important here.

Maybe next time bracket your portrait with three differing levels of lighting, and see which one you prefer. But don't make snap judgments. Very often I return to a piece after some weeks and realize that the ones I rejected contain some beautiful results. Unless your subject has a tree growing out of their head or an obvious similar mistake, don't reject out of hand.

What impresses me is the subtle highlights - no "hot spots", so your placement of the softbox was good. Digital photography in my opinion is usually horribly over-lit. Don't be afraid to see how little light you can get away with.

I've got to ask - were there actually lenses in those glasses?

Neringa olbutaite's picture

thank you for advice, yes it were lenses in the glasses, i think i get lucky so reflection barely visible on glasses

David Pavlich's picture

I'd stay with it. Macro is fun, but not as much fun as portrait work. I have nothing to add to the advice already given other than you might consider posting this in the Head Shot group as well.