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Gary McGillivray-Birnie's picture

From a window

From a window.
Model: Dasha @sagirova.model
Location: Norway, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo
Photographer: Gary McGillivray-Birnie
Natural window light
Sony A7riv with 70-200mm lens
ISO 80, f/5.6, 1/200s
www.garymcphotography.com
https://www.instagram.com/mcgillivraybirniephotography/

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10 Comments
r1ch m's picture

Nice picture. I have seen you and other photographers here tightly crop. Cutting off the top of the models head. Is this a stylistic thing? Also I have seen photographers being criticized for shooting in direct sunlight and giving the model raccoon or black eyes. Is this too a stylistic thing? I am trying to learn what is acceptable under what circumstances and what is not.

Robert Nurse's picture

What I've learned over the years is that if this is what the photographer was after, then, it's acceptable. Your vision and what you're after is what matters most. Also, light is light: direct, harsh, soft.

Gary McGillivray-Birnie's picture

Totally agree. I love direct sunlight. I like to play with shadows. I'm creative, I don't care about camera style clubs that critic the photographer's intention because a hand is cropped off etc. Yes, some images work and some don't.

r1ch m's picture

Who determines what works and what doesn't Or better yet, how do you determine what works and what doesn't? If I were shooting this picture, I might use a reflector down low. Is there a reason you did not do that? In Natural window light you do not use reflectors? I have seen images where they use a gobo to produce sharp shadows across the face. You used the light to create Rembrandt lighting any reasoning behind it or are you just playing around with different light?

r1ch m's picture

That is not very helpful, saying everything is acceptable as long as it what you are after. I have seen images on this site that are mediocre to very nice. What make a majority of people like one over the other.

Robert Nurse's picture

But, what you find mediocre may resonate very deeply with others. There's no way a photographer can know what works for their audience. All he/she has are the basic tools of exposure, composition and post. All he/she can do is produce what he/she feels works for them. I've shot, what I thought, was absolute crap. Yet, the image resonated. I've shot images that I loved and put everything into, and yet, got near a peep. That's the thing about art. Not everyone's going to see what you see. This image works, IMHO, because the photographer's vision was fulfilled. Whether the public finds it acceptable or not is really irrelevant.

r1ch m's picture

Thanks for the reply. First I think this is a good image. I did not make that clear. In regular photography there are rules and our brain like it if the subject is on the thirds line, our eyes are drawn to the brightest spot, repeating patterns, symmetry., our brain does not like distractions. So rules/suggestions help make a good strong subject better and more people like those images.

I was looking to understand why Gstu or other photographers did what they did, what is acceptable, what is not. I found a renowned pro photographer that is critiquing for free and I think he has some fantastic images in his portfolio. His critiques are pretty harsh as I have been reading them on others images. It is teaching me things, and while I knew you were suppose to have light glints in the eyes, I have shot with flash and missed one glint in one eye. This is a no no. Maybe this is common sense to people here but I did not know that. Skin tone consistency throughout the picture, Shiny skin is a no no, Glare in glasses, fly away hair, Eyelash crossing. A basic attention to detail. Many of my images fail these basic things so now I have something to strive for. I still don't know what constitutes an outstanding image but at least I am moving forward hopefully. Once I get the basics perhaps I can move out into the more creative stuff.

Robert Nurse's picture

Oh, ok. I have many of these failings in my images as well. Particularly one catchlight brighter in one eye, fly-aways, etc. I think it comes down to slowing down: build your lighting one light at a time and then check each shot as I build. Taking the time to check each shot for those eyelashes, fly-aways, lipstick smudges, etc. would also improve my images and have me spending less time in post. I think what I'll start doing is explaining this process to the models so they know what's going on. But, even some of the no-no's you point out can actually be strengths if that's the desired effect. Could you share the name of that reviewer. I might submit some of my best and see how they measure up. #scary

r1ch m's picture

My camera will instantly forward all my shots to a laptop wirelessly Tethering I guess. I will be able to see on a bigger sceen some of the problems you mentioned.
I went to get the link for sign up, and it states that this is by invitation only. I don't know why I got an invite. I guess because I purchased something from him a couple years ago.

r1ch m's picture

So I guess Joe is opening up to open invites. Click to join and if you are approved you get it. He is pretty brutal. Don't join if you don't have your big boy pants on or flame retardant clothing. I haven't posted any images yet. I have been reading all his knowledge videos. https://www.joeedelman.com/togknowledge-learning-community