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Unread 12-18-2014, 05:07 PM   #1
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Critique My 2014

Last year I posted a Critique My 2013 ( http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=335948 ) thread and since I don't see myself going anywhere else for the remainder of this year, I have decided to make this a Critique My 2014 thread.

As there is a lot to choose from, but I have to decided to sway away from just what was solely the most popular. Instead I have decided to pick a few that show off new focuses compared to last year.

Ken AD Photography
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Unread 12-24-2014, 07:28 PM   #2
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First shot: Love it! I like the lens flare theme and think it would be even stronger with the flare being directional (say, out of the upper left quadrant) as opposed to a milky all-over low contrast flare. It would also help to bring the cosplayer's face and body would a little more, too. Overall, love it.

Second shot: I'm not a fan of flat key-lighting and I think the blue gel kicker light somehow comes off strange.

Third shot: Quite possibly my favorite of this set. Love the color and silhouette composition for both the swords and the background characters. I think a bounce light on the swords or even just some post-processing on the luminance values on the foreground subjects would make this near perfect and impossible to critique for me.

Fourth shot: Overall, love it. A technical thing with the blown highlights and flat whiteness of the costume competes with the face and eyes for me. I think raising the levels there along with overlaying some dark texture layer (with low opacity, ofcourse) on the white fabric in post-processing would eliminate the distractions and make this also near perfect for me!

Awesome job!!!
WJS Cosplay Photography
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Unread 01-19-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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I'll keep all that in mind playa. Thanks for giving me your input =)
Ken AD Photography
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Unread 01-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
Victor Voyeur Photography
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Tough for me to critique these - I can usually give helpful critique to a novice, but these are much more difficult for me. At this point in your skill level, it's becoming much more about personal aesthetics and style, and less about how you can technically improve.

With that in mind, I have a bit of a different opinion than WJS above.

The set does a good job of showing off several different styles. However, as a set, I would have liked for you to include some less stylized shots, that show off your skill with natural light portraiture - you're usually really good with setting up, composing, and processing/retouching a natural-light portrait to show off a face & costume in a pleasing composition. Don't leave that work out of your portfolio, in favor of heavily stylized shots.

Out of this set, I think I like #2 the best and #4 the least.

#2, I like the use of colors (gels?) - I think it works well with this character. Good pose, pretty good composition and use of background. If I have to nitpick, the background lines aren't perfectly square with the edges of the frame (that's just a personal obsession of mine, though).
I don't think the light is flat in an objectionable way; it's off-axis enough and hard enough that you get a little bit of butterfly-light effect to define the nose and face structure.

For that character, I might have underexposed the background more, and/or maybe used your kicker light as an environmental/background light, to give that hallway more of a Castlevania feel. But, that's just my usual style, to underexpose the background and pop the subject.

#4, I don't think it would have been a keeper for me. The barely-clipped highlights don't bother me. The edge of the veil cutting across the face & lips, and that little crease in the veil that's right on top of the visible eye... the veil just competes too much with the facial features in this one for me.

I do like #1 and #3 as stylized environmental portraits.

MetroCon - CONjure - Dragon Con - MegaCon

Last edited by nathancarter : 01-28-2015 at 09:49 AM.
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Unread 11-26-2015, 12:57 AM   #5
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Watch out for the glowing effect you are getting in the last image. It isn't done in a way that looks intentional. Your photo taking skills seem to be there, but the editing is where you are lacking in my view. You are making creative compositions, but in some cases the editing is covering up your skill as a photographer- particularly that last image and a little bit in the second one. I would also have loved to see how you work with natural light a bit more, however these are interesting images. You have a great foundation!
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