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Unread 04-08-2011, 03:05 AM   #1
Briana-Sama
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Hobbyist asking for critique! >w<

Hello there!

Umm so this is a spur of the moment thing and I hope I get some awesome feedback~

I've been doing photography for about three years now, and my D40 is my LIFE. It's all I've ever used, no add-ons, flashes, reflectors or anything (though I need a reflector like burning;; ), so I've noticed a lot of my photos tend to look the same because of that. I wanted to know what types of add-ons, or really anything, I can use to add more depth to my photography. (especially for shoots at night or indoors with little lighting, since I'm wanting to do a night shoot soon)

Other than that, I wanted to get some feedback on what I believe to be some of my best shots, feedback being edits in post, general composition, the works xD. Here's my general gallery ( http://that-way.deviantart.com/gallery/ ) and a couple photos I'm really proud of:

http://fav.me/d3cbt4m

http://fav.me/d2vgcw0

http://fav.me/d3axgmt

http://fav.me/d2zogvv

Thank you so much in advance!
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Unread 04-08-2011, 01:32 PM   #2
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If you want to add depth, I think the first part would be to try to keep your background in balance with the foreground/subject, or darker, not brighter or 'whited out'.
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Unread 04-08-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
brucer007
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I don't think your photos look much the same. In the 4 samples you provided, I saw quite a variety of compositions, angles and tones.

#1 This pose didn't tell me a story, as your other shots did. The cosplayer is just sitting there, without any apparent emotion. Maybe looking up or down would bring something more.
The composition seems a bit too centered for such a side-angle. Leaving more room in front of the direction the cosplayer is looking would be a stronger framing. The shirt is blown out too bright.

#2 The low angle on Lightning gives a heoric feel. Her facial expression seems in-character. Her leaning forward adds interest to the pose and bring her hair forward in a very anime manner. Cropping her hands out feels awkward. I would like to see her hands. I love the background elements; nature in the bottom/left corner, and modern-looking metal architecture with tinted glass above her in the opposite corner. The diagonal of the metal works well with her forward pose.

#3 The high-angle over-the-shoulder angle is very effective to help convey the vulnerability in the pilot. The facial expression feel like a real moment. The black and white imagery give an older look, which goes well with the costume. The lighting looks fine, showing the face very clearly. Perhaps a more moody, shadowy lighting could add more drama to this scene, but I like it as it is too.

#4 The location, composition, and the poses have an epic feel. The modern buildings add a lot to this effect. The vertical composition shows the grandness of the tall buildings. I don't mind the city being blown out a bit bright in this situation, but maybe a bit darker on the city would be ideal. Moving the camera closer to the cosplayers would make them larger and would have a lower angle herioc effect, and would make their feet fill the lower part of the picture.

An off-camera strobe system would be a great way of controlling lighting. I use a camera flash put on a light stand, bounced into a white silk umbrella. Umbrellas can be great for wide spread, soft lighting, but wind can blow them down. Sand bags can help, but also add heavy bulk to carry around. Soft boxes are less likely to get blown down. Umbella softboxes might be the best solution. Plan out carefully the angle you think will give you a nice effect. I like to place my lights 45 degrees to 90 degrees to the side of the cosplayer to get a 3D shadow effect. The lighting will look flat if it is placed close to the camera.. That can be fine for standard or glamour portraits as it reduces shadow on your subjects.

Last edited by brucer007 : 04-08-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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Unread 04-09-2011, 12:16 AM   #4
Rander
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I think you have good photos overall. The composition is good in that you shoot a lot of different angles and you shoot wide and close.

Like brucer007 said, you'll need to add some off camera lighting to add depth. I think one reason that you think that a lot of the photos look the same is that most of your models' faces are lit similarly. Take a look at some of these photos that show how differently a person's face can be lit to make the photo more interesting. These techniques can be achieved with bounce or off camera flash. If you are on a tight budget or just want to experiment ask a friend to hold a Xenon or LED flashlight and have them move around to see what type of lighting you can get.

I like this photo's shadow and it makes the overall photo more interesting.
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Last edited by Rander : 04-09-2011 at 12:19 AM.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 01:42 AM   #5
Miss Tomyo
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The angling and set up of your photos is nice but I noticed that 2 and 4 were a bit over exposed. I also feel tweaking around in brightness/contrast might give a little more life to them.
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