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Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Take a look at my photos and let me know what you think. Composition of the pose, exposure, expressions and anything else you see that you might want to comment on. I welcome all of it. Thanks ahead!!
Jan 17 13 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Effective Image
Posts: 3,935
Lansing, Michigan, US


Pick another avatar. That one is too dark. It's just a black clump in thumbnail size.

Okay, you are a beginner. First hard lesson... camera meters CAN be fooled, you have to think a bit before shooting.

Whenever the background is significantly brighter than the model's face, and the image you are trying to make includes that background, the camera will try to expose for the background. Result -- very dark faces. Solution - set the camera on Manual mode, move in close so the model's face fills up the entire viewfinder, read the camera's exposure settings. Move back to the original position and manually enter those exposure settings. The exposure will be for the model's face, NOT the background.

Or if your camera has a selection for reading exposure from a small central area of the image, put that area on the models face, not on the background.

A lot of your images show situations where the camera's meter was fooled by a bright background. The model's faces are way too dark.

Good luck!
Jan 17 13 06:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


The Effective Image wrote:
Pick another avatar. That one is too dark. It's just a black clump in thumbnail size.

Okay, you are a beginner. First hard lesson... camera meters CAN be fooled, you have to think a bit before shooting.

Whenever the background is significantly brighter than the model's face, and the image you are trying to make includes that background, the camera will try to expose for the background. Result -- very dark faces. Solution - set the camera on Manual mode, move in close so the model's face fills up the entire viewfinder, read the camera's exposure settings. Move back to the original position and manually enter those exposure settings. The exposure will be for the model's face, NOT the background.

Or if your camera has a selection for reading exposure from a small central area of the image, put that area on the models face, not on the background.

A lot of your images show situations where the camera's meter was fooled by a bright background. The model's faces are way too dark.

Good luck!

If you are referring to the avatar pic specifically. I made it dark like so the abs would show up as much as possible by. I am not sure if that advice would apply to most of my shots. And I am using a manual setting and only modifying shutter speed, F stop and ISO.

Jan 17 13 07:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Effective Image
Posts: 3,935
Lansing, Michigan, US


Sasha R Expressions  wrote:

If you are referring to the avatar pic specifically. I made it dark like so the abs would show up as much as possible by. I am not sure if that advice would apply to most of my shots. And I am using a manual setting and only modifying shutter speed, F stop and ISO.

Okay... tell me how you determine what setting to use if you are using manual settings.

And as for your avatar... leave it if you want, it's YOUR portfolio. Obviously you are getting LOTS of visitors. Your avatar is a mini-ad for your portfolio.

Jan 17 13 07:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


The Effective Image wrote:

Okay... tell me how you determine what setting to use if you are using manual settings.

And as for your avatar... leave it if you want, it's YOUR portfolio. Obviously you are getting LOTS of visitors. Your avatar is a mini-ad for your portfolio.

I have kept to myself on MM, but now wanting to find some models to shot and only today started posting in forums. (i gained more views thru activity on this site unlike being inactive before)

Due to the fact that I am using an entry level camera, many of my shots are on a tripod. Night shots or evening, I might use live view for focusing and it give me a preview to work with. (i understand its simulated and so i don't rely fully on that) Most of the time I use evaluative metering to start out and after each shot I might change the shutter speed or ISO(i try not to be higher than 400) if I have to. F stop really depend on how sharp the pic I want to look. My 50mm sweet spot is at F5, so I try to shoot between f3-f5. That lens doesn't perform well at F1.8 unless I want it like that for a some specific shots. Plus when I can't see well, it also doesn't auto focus well on very shallow depth of field setting.

Jan 17 13 07:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Effective Image
Posts: 3,935
Lansing, Michigan, US


"I use evaluative metering to start out..."

I don't have a Canon camera (Nikon man here), so I have no idea what you mean by 'evaluative metering'. But IMHO, it ain't working too good for ya.
Jan 17 13 08:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


The Effective Image wrote:
"I use evaluative metering to start out..."

I don't have a Canon camera (Nikon man here), so I have no idea what you mean by 'evaluative metering'. But IMHO, it ain't working too good for ya.

I just looked at my port. My avatar pic is the only shot with a dark face. I don't know if thats the area I have issues with. Poses, White Balance(two main issues, especially for night shots of the white balance)...for sure, but faces too dark, I just don't see it. I appreciate the time you took to resound.

Jan 17 13 08:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
E e v a
Posts: 1,724
Nashville, Tennessee, US


i think what The Effective Image was originally trying to say is that shot is too dark to make a good shrunken down avatar. Pick something easily visible so it can advertise you better.
Jan 17 13 08:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The Effective Image
Posts: 3,935
Lansing, Michigan, US


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/07/50f81f2d8a149_m.jpg

Well, you have your opinion... I gave you mine..
Jan 17 13 08:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MichaelClements
Posts: 1,728
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Use lights. It seems a lot if your work if not all is by available light only, if you insist on keeping to that then implement effective reflectors and people to use them.
And.
The Canon 50mm 1.8 is a poor mans prime, don't expect any miracles with it, optically it's rubbish.
Give the 35mm f2 a go, cheap but infinitely better glass, just beware of barreling.
Jan 17 13 08:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,764
Los Angeles, California, US


The Effective Image wrote:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/07/50f81f2d8a149_m.jpg

Well, you have your opinion... I gave you mine..

I believe on the avatar The Effective Image's opinion was bang on. The avatar has to draw people in. A lot of photographers have difficulty picking them and, particularly when starting out.

Your portfolio. It doesn't have a stunner. It has Okay photography but nothing that would stop a lot of professionals models to offer to work with you TF for the following reasons: the models don't look really great. They look okay. I saw one good shot, compositionally, exposure wise, and something that was good enough for the model.

I'm not saying you're bad. To build a portfolio you might look at maximizing your equipment's potential. You call your camera "entry level." As a Canon crop sensor, the rebel series delivers the ability for a good photographer, who chooses the right glass for the mission and is in control of the shot, to take good photos and some great ones.

I know someone who owns a rebel and she bought a 50mm 1.8 lens and she took a shot of someone's dog and the owner wants to pay her and she is like you: starting out, etc. She went with the 50mm because she decided that bang for buck it would do her a lot of good.

You current lens is okay and you're using it on a tripod. I rarely use a tripod.  I would take the camera off the tripod and really work with the model to setup really great shots so you get the most out of these sessions.

Good luck.

Jan 17 13 08:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


LA StarShooter wrote:

I believe on the avatar The Effective Image's opinion was bang on. The avatar has to draw people in. A lot of photographers have difficulty picking them and, particularly when starting out.

Your portfolio. It doesn't have a stunner. It has Okay photography but nothing that would stop a lot of professionals models to offer to work with you TF for the following reasons: the models don't look really great. They look okay. I saw one good shot, compositionally, exposure wise, and something that was good enough for the model.

I'm not saying you're bad. To build a portfolio you might look at maximizing your equipment's potential. You call your camera "entry level." As a Canon crop sensor, the rebel series delivers the ability for a good photographer, who chooses the right glass for the mission and is in control of the shot, to take good photos and some great ones.

I know someone who owns a rebel and she bought a 50mm 1.8 lens and she took a shot of someone's dog and the owner wants to pay her and she is like you: starting out, etc. She went with the 50mm because she decided that bang for buck it would do her a lot of good.

You current lens is okay and you're using it on a tripod. I rarely use a tripod.  I would take the camera off the tripod and really work with the model to setup really great shots so you get the most out of these sessions.

Good luck.

How's that? better? I will consider everyones points, no doubt. but keep in mind you only seeing 15 of my photos.

Jan 17 13 09:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LA StarShooter
Posts: 1,764
Los Angeles, California, US


Sasha R Expressions  wrote:

How's that? better? I will consider everyones points, no doubt. but keep in mind you only seeing 15 of my photos.

You asked for opinions and now you tell us you have more photos but one presumes that you put your best or what you consider interesting up on your portfolio. I have many more photos than what's up on MM. Most photographers do. When models approach me it is because of that portfolio.

You new avatar is okay but doesn't rock but then your portfolio doesn't rock yet.

Jan 18 13 12:35 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Saedcantas
Posts: 445
Saint Saviour, Saint Saviour, United Kingdom


Well you aren't enjoying photographic technique advice so I'll try addressing the posing and direction big_smile

None of this is a dig at the llamas, I'm commenting from the perspective that you should have been directing them wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/23/50f8f7ea93341_m.jpg

The image is ok but the pose looks forced because of her left arm position, her elbow is too far back and her hand hidden on the hip. I think if you'd told her it would have brought more balance to the shot, she can't see exactly how she is oriented in your viewfinder smile

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/22/50f8ee61cdbef_m.jpg

This one she is doing nearly the same arms... why? It looks odd.
She's also leaning over a lot, the whole position looks exceptionally forced and like she is about to fall into the camera. She's got a super cute face but the crop is off, you could have gone much tighter and just focused on capturing her great face or you shouldn't have chopped her elbows off wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/22/50f8e5cc9f9d0_m.jpg

Rather than capturing a beautiful girl at ease in a golden glow you've got a nondescript expression, a hunched left shoulder and an awkward right arm sad The shot is also too soft to be used.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/09/50f83ba094000_m.jpg

What's the story we're supposed to see here? The 'musician' isn't having fun, enjoying her talent, she isn't looking confident or sexy, she's looking at the camera with disdain... The right leg position is locked at the knee and therefore very awkward, the left leg position is forced and unnecessary. Her right arm is nonexistent.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/09/50f83704768b3_m.jpg

Your whole body is tight and awkward, while your face is wide eyed just short of expressionless. You don't need to be a llama yourself, so unless you intend to the self portraits do nothing for your portfolio.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121229/09/50df2973edff8_m.jpg

The llama looks cold. Because her whole body is tight and closed to the viewer. She has her legs coming straight towards the camera making the proportions look weird. Her hands are practically stuffed up under her armpits. Again the expression is more challenging than alluring or mysterious.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121229/09/50df2928aa633_m.jpg

Same arms, same expression, same plane in the background. Is this shot about a llama or about a plane? The composition needs work.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120630/09/4fef2a8816691_m.jpg

This one doesn't do your portfolio any good at all, it's soft and the llama looks like an afterthought. Her closed pose sets the scene; "Girl has heated argument with BF in club and storms off to simmer down by the water." I don't think that was your intention!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120626/22/4fea98be5e1e2_m.jpg

Beware of the unusual pose for the sake of it. If you had shot her in this pose straight on it might have worked or been able to be tweaked into something cool, as it is she looks unnatural but without enough commitment or the right styling to pull it off into something quirky.


I have a feeling that reading expressions and body language is difficult for you, it's definitely a subject to work on smile
Jan 18 13 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GregBrown
Posts: 780
Atlanta, Georgia, US


The Effective Image wrote:
http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/07/50f81f2d8a149_m.jpg

Well, you have your opinion... I gave you mine..

This is one of my FAVORITE images in your portfolio. It has the feel of images in Paper Magazine. One thing you will learn about this site- AND THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE SPECIFICALLY HERE..... Many people have a very limited frame of reference.
I say over and over- critique does not exist in a vacuum. To correctly critique a portfolio, one needs to know the goals of the photographs. To be a glamour photographer- yes, some of your images are kind of dark.
HOWEVER......   There's a kind of "fashion journalism" going on with your sensibility. I think you put your models in interesting locations- I think you are trying to stretch yourself beyond what is easiest to shoot.... a FANTASTIC goal. I think you are limited by model's wardrobes and their lack of experience. One of the things I REALLY push when I shoot is I DO NOT ALLOW POSING. If I see a model going through their "routine" I stop and tell them I'm not interested in shooting everything they have handed to every other photographer they have shot with, and what they learned from "Top Model."  Instead- I give them an acting improv:  You're waiting for your girlfriend, she's 45 minutes late, doesn't answer her phone- you can't leave this spot. GO. I allow them to verbalize if it makes it easier for them.....  Some "get" it, and we shoot some amazing things.... Others don't, and I try a few other ideas.... 
For me, some of your least successful images are the "posey" ones.... (There is a  girl in a striped dress, leaning to the side, standing on a bridge.... It just FEELS awkward to me.)  But overall- I like WHERE your ideas are taking you, and how you are achieving them.

Jan 18 13 04:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eric Jackson
Posts: 1,289
Dayton, Ohio, US


The Effective Image wrote:
Pick another avatar. That one is too dark. It's just a black clump in thumbnail size.

Okay, you are a beginner. First hard lesson... camera meters CAN be fooled, you have to think a bit before shooting.

Whenever the background is significantly brighter than the model's face, and the image you are trying to make includes that background, the camera will try to expose for the background. Result -- very dark faces. Solution - set the camera on Manual mode, move in close so the model's face fills up the entire viewfinder, read the camera's exposure settings. Move back to the original position and manually enter those exposure settings. The exposure will be for the model's face, NOT the background.

Or if your camera has a selection for reading exposure from a small central area of the image, put that area on the models face, not on the background.

A lot of your images show situations where the camera's meter was fooled by a bright background. The model's faces are way too dark.

Good luck!

Or invest in a hand held light meter, and learn how to use it.

Jan 18 13 04:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


LA StarShooter wrote:

You asked for opinions and now you tell us you have more photos but one presumes that you put your best or what you consider interesting up on your portfolio. I have many more photos than what's up on MM. Most photographers do. When models approach me it is because of that portfolio.

You new avatar is okay but doesn't rock but then your portfolio doesn't rock yet.

Because my other photos were of highest quality, but i am finding out people are looking for a different "look" here and since I just started updating my stuff. That is my goal to understand whats best here and which of my shots i need to put up. If I didn't asked that prior I would of had my least "modeling" look shots.

Jan 18 13 07:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


GregBrown wrote:

This is one of my FAVORITE images in your portfolio. It has the feel of images in Paper Magazine. One thing you will learn about this site- AND THIS IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE SPECIFICALLY HERE..... Many people have a very limited frame of reference.
I say over and over- critique does not exist in a vacuum. To correctly critique a portfolio, one needs to know the goals of the photographs. To be a glamour photographer- yes, some of your images are kind of dark.
HOWEVER......   There's a kind of "fashion journalism" going on with your sensibility. I think you put your models in interesting locations- I think you are trying to stretch yourself beyond what is easiest to shoot.... a FANTASTIC goal. I think you are limited by model's wardrobes and their lack of experience. One of the things I REALLY push when I shoot is I DO NOT ALLOW POSING. If I see a model going through their "routine" I stop and tell them I'm not interested in shooting everything they have handed to every other photographer they have shot with, and what they learned from "Top Model."  Instead- I give them an acting improv:  You're waiting for your girlfriend, she's 45 minutes late, doesn't answer her phone- you can't leave this spot. GO. I allow them to verbalize if it makes it easier for them.....  Some "get" it, and we shoot some amazing things.... Others don't, and I try a few other ideas.... 
For me, some of your least successful images are the "posey" ones.... (There is a  girl in a striped dress, leaning to the side, standing on a bridge.... It just FEELS awkward to me.)  But overall- I like WHERE your ideas are taking you, and how you are achieving them.

Thank you for your critique!

Jan 18 13 07:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Russian Invasion
Posts: 136
Phoenix, Arizona, US


Saedcantas wrote:
Well you aren't enjoying photographic technique advice so I'll try addressing the posing and direction big_smile

None of this is a dig at the models, I'm commenting from the perspective that you should have been directing them wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/23/50f8f7ea93341_m.jpg

The image is ok but the pose looks forced because of her left arm position, her elbow is too far back and her hand hidden on the hip. I think if you'd told her it would have brought more balance to the shot, she can't see exactly how she is oriented in your viewfinder smile

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/22/50f8ee61cdbef_m.jpg

This one she is doing nearly the same arms... why? It looks odd.
She's also leaning over a lot, the whole position looks exceptionally forced and like she is about to fall into the camera. She's got a super cute face but the crop is off, you could have gone much tighter and just focused on capturing her great face or you shouldn't have chopped her elbows off wink

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/22/50f8e5cc9f9d0_m.jpg

Rather than capturing a beautiful girl at ease in a golden glow you've got a nondescript expression, a hunched left shoulder and an awkward right arm sad The shot is also too soft to be used.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/09/50f83ba094000_m.jpg

What's the story we're supposed to see here? The 'musician' isn't having fun, enjoying her talent, she isn't looking confident or sexy, she's looking at the camera with disdain... The right leg position is locked at the knee and therefore very awkward, the left leg position is forced and unnecessary. Her right arm is nonexistent.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130117/09/50f83704768b3_m.jpg

Your whole body is tight and awkward, while your face is wide eyed just short of expressionless. You don't need to be a model yourself, so unless you intend to the self portraits do nothing for your portfolio.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121229/09/50df2973edff8_m.jpg

The model looks cold. Because her whole body is tight and closed to the viewer. She has her legs coming straight towards the camera making the proportions look weird. Her hands are practically stuffed up under her armpits. Again the expression is more challenging than alluring or mysterious.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121229/09/50df2928aa633_m.jpg

Same arms, same expression, same plane in the background. Is this shot about a model or about a plane? The composition needs work.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120630/09/4fef2a8816691_m.jpg

This one doesn't do your portfolio any good at all, it's soft and the model looks like an afterthought. Her closed pose sets the scene; "Girl has heated argument with BF in club and storms off to simmer down by the water." I don't think that was your intention!

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/120626/22/4fea98be5e1e2_m.jpg

Beware of the unusual pose for the sake of it. If you had shot her in this pose straight on it might have worked or been able to be tweaked into something cool, as it is she looks unnatural but without enough commitment or the right styling to pull it off into something quirky.


I have a feeling that reading expressions and body language is difficult for you, it's definitely a subject to work on smile

None of who I shot so far in my time has been a model. This is just a girl that actually did some poses for me. I didn't direct her and those are the only poses that she knows. I took those sessions as practice to learn my camera and stuff. Very much appreciate your thoughts on each of the photos. I will agree with you about cutting the elbows off, but that was my error during the shot, because that photo is not cropped. I still like her pose and the bokeh effect i got with that pose. Girl musician wanted that look because of what songs she sings and she is not a model as well. She just wanted some shots for herself. So some people tell me get a good model others tell me I should direct. I am trying to figure out best balance for coming up with good pose compositions. Next time I think I'll have some music playing for the mood. Thank you again, I will definitely keep in mind your points for the next time.

Jan 18 13 08:02 am  Link  Quote 
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