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Unread 09-02-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
blood_red_rain
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New Photographer [help?]

I am just wanting some advice and some critiquing on my work. It kinda started with a whim, my friend just wanted some pictures of her as Euricka Frog (Soul Eater). However, she thought I did a really good job along with our other friends.



So then my friend Deric wanted me to take pictures of him as Brief (Panty and Stocking). If you could give me some critiques on this as well.



Any future advice would be wonderful. Thank you for your time.
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Unread 09-10-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
crazywuzhere
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The top thing (in my opinion) when it comes to taking pictures:
Lighting. It can make or break your picture. You could have the best place, the best costume, the best pose. But if your lighting isn't right, just forget it. There is, thank god, photoshop and other places to help, but you reeeally want to focus on your lighting. It can look professional, or just plain ugly.

I only know this because my Mother took photography in college.

Another thing I notice is not necessarily the photographer, but the cosplayer. They should try to pose as if they were that character. Of course, it always helps if the photographer has some sort of direction or pose they want the cosplayer to do.
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Unread 09-10-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
ItsEmmyP
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Just advice for the future. Always take multiple pictures of the same pose like 3-4 pictures incase some are blurry. As well as make sure if your in a dark area to use flash. Also get different angles and the more photos you take the better the outcome as well as never rush.. when you rush pictures they always seem to come out blurry
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Unread 09-17-2011, 11:52 AM   #4
Sufida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsEmmyP View Post
As well as make sure if your in a dark area to use flash.
I'd recommend against this if it is possible. If there are any alternate light sources like flash lights, lamp posts, etc.. try to put your subject close to those. The flash on his/her camera would not work out very well in my opinion

First Picture
Going off what your DA tells me this is pretty decent for a point and shoot.

However if could touch up the brightness or exposure a little it could help. The framing could be a little better. Did you take this standing up? Try kneeling a little to get on "even field" with the subject when they are sitting unless there is a specific effect you are trying to get. Not much else to say; it is an alright picture.

Second Picture
As far as angle this one is a little better. However there are two things. I am not digging the special color effects. Second thing is you cut his hand off at the bottom. His face and hair seems a little out of focus, but getting better at that will come with experience. It looks like the focus grabbed attention to his knee.

Last edited by Sufida : 09-17-2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Unread 12-30-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
JessJupiter
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First thing I noticed: What kind of camera are you using? (Not meant to sound snobby in ANY way, just wondering if you're using a point and shoot or DSLR. Sufida mentioned that you posted on you dA you're shooting with a point and shoot) If possible, you need to play around with your settings to get a crisper image. Most point and shoots allow you to adjust the white balance and lighting settings as well as some limited ISO settings that may help in further pictures. The first one is alright, but the second ones fairly blurry and it takes away from the image and cosplay itself.

Second thing: Watch your composition. There are a few things that go into this:
A general rule of thumb that I use is to try and NOT cut off any hand/fingers/half of a leg/foot. You can always crop photos to suit a more close up portrait style but you can't get those limbs back. In the second photo you have a space above his head, but chopped off a good portion of his lower body. The photo would be actually be really interesting if we could see his feet. >.<"" Also fitting in with this, watch out for little things like that dress strap slipping in the first photo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sufida View Post
Did you take this standing up? Try kneeling a little to get on "even field" with the subject when they are sitting unless there is a specific effect you are trying to get.
I 100% second Sufida's points. She looks a little stockier and shorter than I know that she is because of both the vantage point and the pose she's in. You're putting a LOT of fabric, patterns, and textures together in one focal point by having her sit cross legged. She was slouched over and had her shoulders hunched. As a photographer, I wouldn't say I'm picky about how people pose, but I want to build upon their pose to create something that flatters them.

Third: First image's coloring is alright. Nothing special. Doesn't really make your subject pop. Then again, its a matter of personal preferences on how to edit coloring on photos, so just my opinion really. ^-^Your coloring choice for the second image is interesting, but I think a little over powering for the costume. His hair is orange and the yellow/orange tone to the photo just makes it look a little less professional. A sepia effect is fine in moderation, but its a little too turned up here for my taste.

As far as lighting goes....this is a tough one. If you are shooting with a point and shoot, its a bit tougher to find lighting assistance because you're limited on your options. You can't attach a flash, or rig a set of lights. You could consider using a reflector though, or a set of various lamps with dimmers (a little time consuming, but if you're not wanting to purchase a bunch of equipment, it could work in the right setting.) I'd avoid using JUST the flash off your point and shoot. You want other light sources that work WITH the subject rather than just wash them out and blast their front side. :P

Just my opinions and thoughts as a fellow photographer and cosplayer!
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Unread 03-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
brucer007
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Photo #1 The natural lighting you caught here is actually very flattering and professional looking. It looks like you put her under the shade of some trees on an over-cast, cloudy day, which gave you soft, portrait lighting. Shooting in the shade can give you a lot of blue cast from the sky reflecting its color through the clouds. Also, you camera's color balance was likely set to automatic, so finding a preset color such as one designed for shade might give you warmer colors. You could easily correct the color if you have photoshop and know how to use it.

Her pose does look unflattering from a front angle, but if she was photographed from a side angle, her body would not look so squished. The side angle you she posed her hands in is nearly ideal for making hands look slimmer and more feminine.

It's okay to crop out legs, or feet, but do so more decisively by cropping above the knees or above the waist.

Photo #2 I do like the orange cast, but it is a bit too saturated, and your skin tones got washed out partly from it, and from your exposure being too much. Most simple cameras have a focusing target in the center of the photo. Your model's face is out of focus. To get something in focus that is not in the center of your final photo, you must first aim the center focusing target at, for example, the person's face. Hold the trigger down half-way. When the lens stops focusing, compose the face where you want it, and press the trigger the rest of the way down, until you take a photo.
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Unread 03-21-2012, 05:47 AM   #7
the-essy
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The second image is a bit over processed. I can understand this might appeal to you, but don't underestimate the natural look.
Also try a lens that will give you more 'bokeh'. A 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 will do the trick. This will give you total focus of the cosplayer without disturbing backgrounds.
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Unread 03-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #8
TLY
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First thing is first:
White balance and making sure the correct parts of the image are in focus.

For example, in your second photo, only his outfit is in focus when his face should be much more so.

The colors are really off, so it's hard to even look at the photographs without being distracted.
If you want to have more artistic license with color, I'd recommend only doing accurate color until you get way more experienced.

Think of it like this: a cubist painter had to learn to properly render the figure before he started experimenting.

Lastly, when editing, make sure you're using the best possible screen (one that is calibrated or close to it).
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Unread 04-03-2012, 05:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blood_red_rain View Post
I am just wanting some advice and some critiquing on my work. It kinda started with a whim, my friend just wanted some pictures of her as Euricka Frog (Soul Eater). However, she thought I did a really good job along with our other friends.



So then my friend Deric wanted me to take pictures of him as Brief (Panty and Stocking). If you could give me some critiques on this as well.



Any future advice would be wonderful. Thank you for your time.
If you listen to any advice, listen to this.

Follow your heart, and shoot what moves you. The rest is all just superfluous.

Don't worry about processing either, that comes later once you've found your vision ;P.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 10:37 PM   #10
brucer007
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Oh really?...and All other advice is less valid than...?

Since you want feedback, of course, the rest may be pertinent and helpful. You decide. Apparently, you desire to build on what you know partially based on reactions to your photography. I congratulate you on your courage to put your work on the line with intentions to better yourself.

Processing your photos now may help you find your vision. No need to wait, if you like to experiment now. That is a great way to explore and learn, and find your vision.

For many of us, our vision is not just found, like a destination. It can be one style that we find along our journey, and incorporate into our photography. Then we may continue to explore and build on that vision, and/or expand it to include a increasing varieties of techniques and styles.

Personally, I like the unusual colors in the photo with the orange hair. I do see it as a stylized look. Even though I previously stated that it is over saturated and washed out, it does not mean that it is inherently wrong. Also, the soft focus on the face and hair is not that much. I don't need to see every pore in the skin. I can see the details of the facial features fine, and the blurred hair gives it a bit of a cartoon look, that might be a desirable effect.

I don't agree with Post #8, that you must master color balance before you experiment with unusual colors. On this matter, I agree with Post #9, to go with what interests you. There can be more than one path to achieve greatness.

Last edited by brucer007 : 04-07-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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