Forums > Critique > Serious Critique > Portfolio updated, serious critiques sought

Photographer

Fred McKie

Posts: 46

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Hi all

I'm still fairly new on MM and have just updated my portfolio with images from recent shoots. I'd value any feedback, whether brief comments or detailed critiques, as I'm really determined to continue to improve my photography.

If you'd like to also state which images are your favourites in my portfolio, and/or which you think should be replaced ASAP, that would be fantastic. If you are able to give reasons/explanations, that would be even better.

Much appreciated - thank you in advance! 

Cheers,
Fred

Dec 08 12 12:24 am Link

Photographer

Veit Photo

Posts: 667

London, England, United Kingdom

You light in a competent way and it looks like your eye is developing.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121217/14/50cf9a4e6f649_m.jpg

This image is nicely lit, although close up you can see that you don't have good skin retouch technique and have opted for a patently obvious, detail-obliterating blur. What about removing the worst of the model's blemishes with the healing brush and leaving at that?

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121216/13/50ce39499ac1b_m.jpg

Absolutely nothing going on here - no expression, no composition, no lighting.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121210/06/50c5eb92a6419_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121207/22/50c2d77c28175_m.jpg


These two look like dated stock photography ideas.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121124/13/50b1363d5f297_m.jpg

This is pretty nice. He's well composed into the gap between the rocks, but it might look better if he was looking into the photo rather than at the edge. His eyes look like they've been whitened.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121115/05/50a4ea60722af_m.jpg

What leaps out is that some very unflattering things are going on with this lady's skin tone. I don't think the white balance sufficiently compensates for the colour shift in shade. Her neck and armpit look an unpleasant greenish yellow. Shame, because your handling of colour is usually very good.

The choice of setting and shooting in open shade are spot on (in fact your use of natural light is great across your portfolio). The post-production - the skin blurring - adds a painfully obvious layer of artifice and fails to fix any of the tonal issues on the face. A minute of good dodging and burning at the smeary patches on her face would have been much more productive.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121206/03/50c08806a1733_m.jpg

The colour shot of this lady seems more popular, but I prefer this. It doesn't have as much of the excessive sharpening and eye whitening of the other image and the model's expression is more engaging. This model poses well for you, she is always shown from an angle that accentuates her figure.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121214/17/50cbced660572_m.jpg

This one is a good lesson for you. If you had shot this girl with a longer lens and chosen the background more carefully you would have a much better effect. Instead you have mired the image with fake blur (in my book this is a filter one should never use to replicate lens effects as it's instantly recognisable).
My guess is that someone of this age probably has naturally nice skin so adding blur there is ill-judged. The eyes leap out as being woefully artificial. I don't think it's wrong to slightly accent the eyes but you need to know how far to go. Often a reflective disc can help to get nice catch-lights that mean you don't need to photoshop eyes.

Overall, I would have more faith in the original image. The colour of the light is great and the model's expression works so virtually everything you have done in post production is a step backwards.

Hopefully that doesn't sound too harsh. I'm very critical of my own use of post-production and every time I put together a portfolio I realise that I simply have to do less. You have to either become a genius at natural-looking retouch or trust in the natural beauty of people, light and lenses.

Dec 18 12 03:25 am Link