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bikashgupta


Here only the natural source of light, the sun was used to illuminate the model...
Looking forward for some critical comments on how to improve it...
Thanks !!!
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bikashgupta
com'on you guys..not a single suggestion !! I can't believe this one is so pathetic....alright any kind of criticism (constructive as well as destructive ;) ) is welcomed...
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pschtyckque
Just saw this post.

Great coloring. I love the reflection of the chairs in his glasses. Good composition.

My only critique would be to try and soften the background color. It's a bit distracting from your subject. Other than that, nice work!
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ArtBee
Insulting photobloggers is not conducive to getting any critiques to start with......but I will say your portrait is a good 1st attempt.
I do like the profile, but not the colour tone. A little lightening overall .Perhaps a different colour background would work better.
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cballlv11
Not a bad shot at all. I might suggest darkening the coconut a bit to help the contrast...
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SewerRanger
I like the way the model is photographed, but I don't like the over all color of the photo. Too much yellow for me.
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Nukee
The only change that I would make would be to crop the photo just above the thumb holding the coconut...In my humble opinion, it is distracting and leads your eyes to it instead of the face on the model. Try it and let me know what you think.
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bojongkim
It's an okay portrait.
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equivalence
good first attempt; everyone starts somewhere
the model is quite well posed
the yellow background is harsh
the overall colour cast has too much pink saturation which doesn't allow the skin colour of the model to live, not the right contrast level
the thumb at the bottom needs to be cropped
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revenant
At first, I was inclined to echo Artbee's comment, because no one likes to be forced to comment, but I know it's all too easy to misinterpret written comments which may have been written or is read by people who don't have English as their first language.

A portrait is a message between the subject and the viewer. How clearly the message is understood depends on the quality of the image. I read from your portrait a young man, obviously relaxing, but he isn't taking part in your photographic process. Perhaps he doesn't want to or doesn't care.

In portrait photography, as opposed to street/candid photography, you need the willing participation of your subject. If it appears you don't have it, it's your (the photographer's) problem, so the image suffers.

This problem produces others: details, such as the thumb (already mentioned); the inability of the viewer to relate to the subject (because the subject isn't interested); compositional issues - such as the glasses. These are things you have to think about, but you must first obtain the subject's participation. This image seems to be a snapshot masquerading as a portrait and that's my problem with it.

I'll also offer the yellow cast, but that can be fixed in post-processing.

My advice, as you've requested it, is to think about a portrait before you take it. Work on a new one, learn from your mistakes (because mistakes teach us more than our successes) and ask others for their input on something that really matches what you consciously tried to create. Portraiture is a very demanding and unforgiving genre. Nadar, arguably the best portrait photographer ever, said that it takes half a morning to learn the technique and half a lifetime to apply it.
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Jarvo
As a first attempt, I'd say it's very good.

There are a few changes I'd have made if it was my shot, but portraiture isn't really my bag so I'd quite understand if you ignored them:
- I'd try the shot without the sunglasses. I understand that sometimes the anonymity they provide can look cool, but for me the way we engage with a person is through the eyes. If we can't see the eyes it makes it difficult to relate.
- I'd also try to take the shot to lose the post behind his head (either that or go the other way and make a feature of it). You can still lose the bit at the top by cropping it, but starting from scratch I'd guess taking one step to the left should do the trick.
- Finally, and this is the pickiest of the lot, I'd try to get a wider drinking straw. It looks so skinny and out of proportion to both the man and the coconut. I realise that sometimes though making changes like that can be trickier than they sound, and you just have to work with what's available.

Good luck with your future portraits.
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rmjannette
it is a successful first attempt for sure

it looks more like an advertisement then a portrait for me

the color cast is not pleasing to the eye, too much yellow & orange and he appears to have great skin color so i would like to see it more natural and real

the placement of the subject is pretty good in the frame, off to the side and cropped closely but the thumb is problematic (as others have said)

there are many patterns in the fabrics and such that somehow conflict with the color

i might turn this into an environmental portrait and photograph him in such a setting that matches his attire and drink rather then make this a studio style portrait, but that can get quite complicated also
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125margaritababe
I'm not much of a portrait photographer so I'm going to critique it as an onlooker. I think the yellow background is little harsh, maybe a softer shade would have been better.
I also find the model's clothes to be a little distracting. Both the shirt and the polo had prints on them, it kinda diverted my attention away from his face.
Maybe you could turn his face a little more towards the camera to achieve more angle. other than as a first timer, I think the portrait was really good. Kinda reminds me of a paparrazi shot.
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revenant
Wider drinking straws? Wow, and I thought *I* was severe... Still, when you find yourself photoshopping spots and nose hair out of images in post-processing, I suppose no sacrifice is too much.
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urmysunshine
As a photographer who avoids flash as much as absolutely possible, the natural sunlight you took advantage of is impressive. I like the composition, the expression, and yes, even the drinking straw! I think what lacks is an obvious relationship to the camera. It would be perfect for a travel brochure! I really like it.
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bikashgupta
Thank you so much guys for all these comments...
@ArtBee & @revenant and everyone else : it was not at all my intention to insult or even use a rude tone for my fellow photobloggers and really apologize if the words didn't come out nicely....just wanted the opinion of others, as it is one of the very few sites were I found people are so friendly that I hardly find any strangers here....

@revenant : thanks a ton for those suggestions...these were just the things i would have wanted to know....I would keep all the points that you mentioned in mind the next time I shoot a portrait...

I would try to crop the image as you guys suggested and also try to change the background and make it less distracting...

one again thank you all for the comments...
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marilynx
I hope you will re-post too!
I really enjoy learning by making comparisons.
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bikashgupta


Thanks everyone for the comments....
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ArtBee
Apology accepted. I like the changes you have made to your portrait, except for the colour tone of your subject, it is an improvement.
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marilynx
I still go for the first, though it's good to see that thumb out of the way!
The first has soooo much more atmosphere.
I thought he's gained a "logo" with the G. B.
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bikashgupta
@ArtBee & @marilynx : thanks for commenting again
@ArtBee I am still learning with the post processing...am using gimp for it till the time I can afford a photoshop...as for the skin tone I will surely try to work on it..even I was not very happy with the skin tone..
@marilynx : Personally I like this one better...yes had to add my own logo as the polo was looking too simple ;)
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Jarvo
It's good to see your revised version Bikash; I like it.

So may times people ask for feedback and do nothing (I've done it myself) it's good to know you've worked on it.
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bikashgupta
Thanks Jarvo...I just want to improve myself and what better way than try what others suggest....regarding your advice of avoiding sun glasses, I will try that the next time I go about clicking portraits..
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revenant
It's always heartening to see a virtuous circle of improvement based on feedback from people who share your passion. In the same spirit, there's a fairly easy way to fix the colour cast: ask your subject to show a swatch card. This is a card you can find in Amazon or (better) at your local camera store that sports various squares of colour and gray tones. I believe Scott Kelby books always have a tear-off one at the end too.

What it does is provide a relatively reliable scale of absolute white, absolute black and mid-tones (50% grey). As digital cameras are easily thrown off by the colour of external light, subjects can taken on a green/yellow/blue/red colour cast. With a swatch card you can correct in post-processing (it really helps if you shoot in RAW).

A very low-tech solution is to ask your subject to hold a piece of paper, which you take back with you and prop against your monitor. All you have to do is correct the colour cast so that the paper on screen and the real one alongside it are correct. This isn't perfect; your monitor also has a colour cast and it depends on the colour of ambient light where you're working, but it goes a long way towards avoiding jaundice / sea-sickness in the finished result.

Needless to say, the issue of colour cast with Martians, Vulcans and people of an apoplectic disposition isn't resolved with this technique...
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JustmeG
After looking at the before and after...(IMHO) I still feel that part of the problem is the monotone colours in his apparel that also are so closely similiar to his skin tone. And I feel that his skin tone is a bit too saturated in colour. I think it might have been due to the shaded area he is sitting in...though I'm not sure...or perhaps not enough flash in the photo... There needs to be some contrasting colours in the forefront.Maybe you could change the colour of his plaid shirt, or even the colour of his hat... I also would have kept the background white although I'm sure it would have made look even more commercialized...but prefer the yellow background if I had to choose one of the two. I like that you cropped the thumb out...I read somewhere that partial limb are not acceptable in portraits...I think Jim Zuckerman is one of many pro photogs that stated that....In all I think this was a very good first attempt! I cant wait to see more of your work!
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yellodog
I rather prefer the first one. The colour cast gives me the association to lazing under a parasol which seems to be just what this guy is doing. It feels natural and gives the picture ambiance. The second one with the sky in the background and a colour cast in the guys face feels very unnatural. Even if the cast was adjusted the perspective would be wrong unless he was drinking coconut milk on a mountain peak or a ski lift.
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JustmeG
Ok, after viewing the photo a bit longer, I take back what I said about making the background white...I would suggest making the background colour a bit more tropical...beings that the theme seems a bit tropical....like a solid turqouise colour, the hat with a deeper shade of brown, and the shirt an olive green or some type of darker green hue...I also feel that the straw stood out more because of the monotone colours of the forefront...sorry....just felt I had to add that little bit more. )
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bikashgupta
@revenant : Thanks again for sharing your knowledge...I will definitely try the swatch card next time around....
@Katlover & @yelldog : Thanks for sharing your views....
Personally I like the 2nd one better, but yes the background does looks a bit unnatural.....I definitely have got of learning to do....

thanks again guys for all the wonderful comments...
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ArtBee
I have a couple of questions for your first attempt at portrait photography.
Where was this photo taken? Was it set up or a candid shot?
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bikashgupta
@ArtBee : This was just a candid shot...was relaxing with friends on the beach in the afternoon...I had gone out planning to shoot the sun and the sky...but then liked the pose this friend had and clicked it without him knowing about it...
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focusingoneternity
I also like the first better than the second, the colors and the way you have more space around his face ... I like the combination of that background color and the skincolor ... #1
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andremnel
I agree with the others, a great shot, nice angle, good use of props, what I suggest next time, is take a couple but change various thimgs like loose the glass in one, and the hat in the other....my only critique is I am not wild on the colour. what time was this shot? if at midday try earlier in the day or later, to try and get a more natural lighting tone, the backgroud as others suggest is a distraction from your subject, which is not what you want, but for a first attemp I say bravo!!!
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bikashgupta
focusingoneternity : Thank you for your valuable comments..
@andremnel : Thank you so much for your valuable comments...i will definitely keep all your suggestions in mind the next time....it was taken during noon at the beach...
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