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Old 3rd June 2012, 2:50 PM   #1
Modafroman Thread Starter
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Default That dress...

Girlfriend modeled a handmade/hand-dyed silk dress for one of her mums friends who runs a small boutique.

Results:
1


2


3


4


5


Thoughts?

I know I cutoff the odd toe/arm/foot/part of the dress here and there.... had limited time, bad weather, bad location, the photos were supposed to be of the dress firstly, and I really miss having a grip haha. I think the first one (actually the last shot) is probably the strongest of the bunch. and i'm not too sure of the processing either.... eeeehhhhh. All were natural light, tho for 4/5 I had a bare strobe camera right set at lowest power for a bit of fill. 5D3+50mm 1.4 or 70-200mm f4.

CC please
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Old 3rd June 2012, 3:21 PM   #2
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Interesting dress..... But I'm guessing your after comments of the photo's right :P

Of all of them I think number 1 had the most potential however:

- The background appears very crooked but it may be a hill I dont know
- I would have liked to see her more isolated from the background
- The sky is blown
- Her pose is a little weird, the dress doesn't really define her so she kinda looks like she's kicking her leg out. Having her legs face the camera more directly would have helped that a bit imho.
- Dress is cut, if the photo's are to show off the dress then you really should make sure all the dress is in the photo's. (not much is cut I know but cutting it just makes the photo's look amateur)

The rest to be honest just dont do a lot for me, the background is ugly, I think you either needed to find somewhere more pleasing to the eye, or tried harder to really isolate her more.

Off camera flash in the final shot has in my opinion done more bad then good, look at the harsh shadows on the wall, I think you either needed to change its position, soften it or just not use it at all.

Hopefully there's some constructive comments in there, I dont mean to sound harsh. The photo's do however look very rushed and in this instance I dont think you've got the most out of your gear.
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Old 3rd June 2012, 4:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
Interesting dress..... But I'm guessing your after comments of the photo's right :P

Of all of them I think number 1 had the most potential however:

- The background appears very crooked but it may be a hill I dont know
- I would have liked to see her more isolated from the background
- The sky is blown
- Her pose is a little weird, the dress doesn't really define her so she kinda looks like she's kicking her leg out. Having her legs face the camera more directly would have helped that a bit imho.
- Dress is cut, if the photo's are to show off the dress then you really should make sure all the dress is in the photo's. (not much is cut I know but cutting it just makes the photo's look amateur)

The rest to be honest just dont do a lot for me, the background is ugly, I think you either needed to find somewhere more pleasing to the eye, or tried harder to really isolate her more.

Off camera flash in the final shot has in my opinion done more bad then good, look at the harsh shadows on the wall, I think you either needed to change its position, soften it or just not use it at all.

Hopefully there's some constructive comments in there, I dont mean to sound harsh. The photo's do however look very rushed and I really dont think you were getting the most out of your gear.
Cheers buddy

Haha yea.... 'interesting' is one way to put the dress

But anyways, yea it was very rushed, literally had 20 minutes, hence the single (ugly) location. Yea it was a hill, so thats why it's crooked

Sky is blown because it was the only way to get her exposed correctly (I could have used a strobe but meh).... it was extremely overcast, grey and flat sky anyways so it's no big loss.

As for the pose, yea I know, her not being a model and me not being a fashion photographer means neither of us had any idea what we were doing so we were just trying things and seeing what worked and what didn't.... and we were rushed so it didn't help.

To be honest i'm not really pleased with any of them..... it was an ugly area and not much to work with, and I tried to shoot at large enough apertures to blow it out but I couldn't really do that with the 50mm while trying to get the whole dress in (these photos are a bit different to the ones I actually sent through - wasn't worth including of the others).... Ideally I would have loved a 70-200mm f2.8 or 85/1.4 or 135/2 or something, but yea. There were other shots with her on the rock where the dress wasn't cutoff, but her pose was still a bit awkward....



Anyways, cheers for feedback
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Old 4th June 2012, 7:59 AM   #4
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moda i think it's time you stopped worrying about more gear and start learning more about photography.

I know guys that can be given a tiny little shrub in the middle of the ugliest location known to man and still come up with great backgrounds, and get amazing results with 1/4 of the gear you own

You should learn more about framing. Having the models head bang in the middle all the time doesn't work. As already stated chopping bits of the focus out of the frame is a no no. If you were getting in close to show a particular detail then good but otherwise fit it all in, not 95% of it.

#1 if only you'd framed down slightly
Pose in #2 looks awkward. Too much background dominating the shot
#3 she's not looking at the camera. Too much empty space on the left & that tree behind her is really distracting
#4 again too much empty space on the right. You're supposed to be showing the dress off... fill the frame with the dress
#5 same.. plus bits cut off as you're aware.

Processing is inconsistent. First two have much higher contrast.
Lose the fill flash. Would have been better to have someone with a reflector if you wanted fill. Didn't really need it there though imo
The last two are a bit overexposed

The day looked overcast. I wouldn't worry about blowing the sky out
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Old 4th June 2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NismoR31 View Post
moda i think it's time you stopped worrying about more gear and start learning more about photography.

I know guys that can be given a tiny little shrub in the middle of the ugliest location known to man and still come up with great backgrounds, and get amazing results with 1/4 of the gear you own

You should learn more about framing. Having the models head bang in the middle all the time doesn't work. As already stated chopping bits of the focus out of the frame is a no no. If you were getting in close to show a particular detail then good but otherwise fit it all in, not 95% of it.

#1 if only you'd framed down slightly
Pose in #2 looks awkward. Too much background dominating the shot
#3 she's not looking at the camera. Too much empty space on the left & that tree behind her is really distracting
#4 again too much empty space on the right. You're supposed to be showing the dress off... fill the frame with the dress
#5 same.. plus bits cut off as you're aware.

Processing is inconsistent. First two have much higher contrast.
Lose the fill flash. Would have been better to have someone with a reflector if you wanted fill. Didn't really need it there though imo
The last two are a bit overexposed

The day looked overcast. I wouldn't worry about blowing the sky out
Everyone is thinking it, Nismo is saying it.
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Old 4th June 2012, 4:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NismoR31 View Post
moda i think it's time you stopped worrying about more gear and start learning more about photography.

I know guys that can be given a tiny little shrub in the middle of the ugliest location known to man and still come up with great backgrounds, and get amazing results with 1/4 of the gear you own

You should learn more about framing. Having the models head bang in the middle all the time doesn't work. As already stated chopping bits of the focus out of the frame is a no no. If you were getting in close to show a particular detail then good but otherwise fit it all in, not 95% of it.

#1 if only you'd framed down slightly
Pose in #2 looks awkward. Too much background dominating the shot
#3 she's not looking at the camera. Too much empty space on the left & that tree behind her is really distracting
#4 again too much empty space on the right. You're supposed to be showing the dress off... fill the frame with the dress
#5 same.. plus bits cut off as you're aware.

Processing is inconsistent. First two have much higher contrast.
Lose the fill flash. Would have been better to have someone with a reflector if you wanted fill. Didn't really need it there though imo
The last two are a bit overexposed

The day looked overcast. I wouldn't worry about blowing the sky out
I know I know, that's what i'm trying to do, and that's why i'm asking for CC. Much appreciated. I'm just trying to get out there and see what works and what doesn't. I know I need to work on my framing/composition..... I think I've got it more sorted when it comes to landscapes/cityscapes, but not really people.

I was completely and utterly unprepared for this type of thing and it clearly shows.

I realise 2-5 aren't great, but I was just trying to show that we were trying different things to see if they worked... which evidently they didn't.

The processing was my bad, forgot that the first 2 were different to the second 2 (had 2 snapshots, forgot to go back to all the same).

Agreed with the fill, I thought I turned the transmitter off but didn't. Was trying to use it with a different angle but it didn't work so yea.

It was tough because it was a small space, ugly park, no time, and trying to get all of the dress in the frame.... just, yea.

In terms of framing for 1, is this better?


_MG_6512 by alexmoda, on Flickr

Anyways, I really appreciate the CC, like I said, all the feedback is really helpful.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ^catalyst View Post
Everyone is thinking it, Nismo is saying it.
Well don't just think it, bloody well tell me! I'm not going to get any better if people think 'oh well thats crap' and don't actually tell me. Come on guys.

Edit: Anyone recommend some good resources/literature re improving composition?
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Old 4th June 2012, 5:47 PM   #7
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There's only one way of improving and learning and that is by shooting more. Lots more. There's no other way to it.

When photographing people portraits, it is all about the eyes and the jaw line and drawing the viewer to what to the intended subject. For instance, the focus of this shoot was the custom one-of-a-kind silk rainbow acid trippin' dress. A lot of common mistakes is to have some good looking model wear it and focus on the model. Sure, if you're a regular BAZAAR photographer, you know what you're doing, but for the regular photographer, things get tricky because you have to balance an array of distracting and competing subjects. From #2-5, the swing, the playground set, the shitty wall with the shitty leaves are very bad distractions. Some photographers use narrow DoF to isolate the subject and this explains why many will choose MF to get a much bigger sensor to get super narrow DoF. Others incorporate posing to draw the attention from the frame to what ever it is they want to be the focal point of the image.

You can shoot wide, you can shoot tight. But you need to work out why you're doing each composition and plan everything. Everything. When it comes to non-photojournalistic photos, everything in the frame needs to be planned and have a purpose. There is no point thinking that you can fix something in post. The key to a portrait is being in control, from the light, to the subject, to the final look of the image - you are in control.

The wider the composition, the more tendency to have over-the-top styling and props to aid the theme and feel of the image. The tighter you go, the more you bring out the essence of the subject.

Cutting off bit is subjective. But you need to have a purpose to it, that is, not a result of having the AF point at a certain position and taking a photo without much thinking.

Some people get a bit protective of their images. Some people give very technical responses. Take what ever you can from the available comments and keep shooting. Shoot shoot shoot. Practice your photography and home it in as well in your editing. When you're presenting a set of photos, consistency is pretty annoying to maintain.

Posing is hard. Until you try it, you don't realise how difficult a task it is to juggle so many things. Keep at it. Shoot more.
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Old 4th June 2012, 5:53 PM   #8
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I think the locations dont do the dress justice. Sometimes you have to go out of your way for even a single shot.

Think something like this would be better... or do the complete opposite and have a dark blank background!...

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Old 4th June 2012, 6:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Modafroman View Post
image
_MG_6512 by alexmoda, on Flickr
This one is so much better in my opinion, seeing the entire dress improves the overall look of the image. Couple of things

- I would consider a tighter crop, the sky is doing nothing for the image.
- The contrast is still too high
- For future reference a reflector would have helped with the dark shadows on her face, I'd get in there and try and lighten it up a bit
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Old 4th June 2012, 7:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dche5390 View Post
There's only one way of improving and learning and that is by shooting more. Lots more. There's no other way to it.

When photographing people portraits, it is all about the eyes and the jaw line and drawing the viewer to what to the intended subject. For instance, the focus of this shoot was the custom one-of-a-kind silk rainbow acid trippin' dress. A lot of common mistakes is to have some good looking model wear it and focus on the model. Sure, if you're a regular BAZAAR photographer, you know what you're doing, but for the regular photographer, things get tricky because you have to balance an array of distracting and competing subjects. From #2-5, the swing, the playground set, the shitty wall with the shitty leaves are very bad distractions. Some photographers use narrow DoF to isolate the subject and this explains why many will choose MF to get a much bigger sensor to get super narrow DoF. Others incorporate posing to draw the attention from the frame to what ever it is they want to be the focal point of the image.

You can shoot wide, you can shoot tight. But you need to work out why you're doing each composition and plan everything. Everything. When it comes to non-photojournalistic photos, everything in the frame needs to be planned and have a purpose. There is no point thinking that you can fix something in post. The key to a portrait is being in control, from the light, to the subject, to the final look of the image - you are in control.

The wider the composition, the more tendency to have over-the-top styling and props to aid the theme and feel of the image. The tighter you go, the more you bring out the essence of the subject.

Cutting off bit is subjective. But you need to have a purpose to it, that is, not a result of having the AF point at a certain position and taking a photo without much thinking.

Some people get a bit protective of their images. Some people give very technical responses. Take what ever you can from the available comments and keep shooting. Shoot shoot shoot. Practice your photography and home it in as well in your editing. When you're presenting a set of photos, consistency is pretty annoying to maintain.

Posing is hard. Until you try it, you don't realise how difficult a task it is to juggle so many things. Keep at it. Shoot more.
Cheers Yea, thats what i'm trying to do, shoot more and a wider variety of stuff, and see what works and what doesn't and how I can improve.

Having everything in balance was the thing that I found difficult.... I know the dress is the main thing thats supposed to be in focus, but trying to find a background that was neutral and not distracting, while getting everything in frame and correctly framed and all that was challenging.

Like I said, I would have loved an 85 1.2 or 70-200mm 2.8 so that I could completely blow out the background..... just because it wasn't a very flattering area but yea, oh wells.

I guess the other thing is that i'm still not used to the 5D 3 viewfinder/AF spread..... I find it difficult to try and judge where exactly things sit on the lines of rule of 3rds.... especially because the built in AF grid is some fucking retarded 5x4 grid instead of a 3x3/6x6 grid.... in liveview, with static things like landscapes/cityscapes and the like, it's easier because LV has a 3x3 grid, and you can take your time to line up everything and make sure it looks good, but i'm still not entirely sure which AF points sit on the 3x3 lined grid and what not.

Which is also why I really appreciate everyones feedback... I find the technical side of photography easy, what everything does, the exposure triangle, how this setting effects that setting, focal lengths, depth of field and all that, because thats how my brain works, it's very technical and number orientated. The thing that I have a bit of trouble with is the creative side, how things should be composed, when to use DoF, backgrounds, juxtoposition and meaning and all that.... so I really have to work on pulling that up. I feel like I need to think more about the shot and plan things out before I go at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerpeg View Post
I think the locations dont do the dress justice. Sometimes you have to go out of your way for even a single shot.

Think something like this would be better... or do the complete opposite and have a dark blank background!...

image
Yea I agree. When I first saw the dress, my idea was to have a strobe set up lighting her, with a white wall (off in) the distance so that she would be lit and correctly exposed, and the background would just be a nice grey gradient.... very simple, to show off the dress and have nothing else distracting.... but there just wasn't the room or correct location anywhere that I could have achieved that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craggles View Post
This one is so much better in my opinion, seeing the entire dress improves the overall look of the image. Couple of things

- I would consider a tighter crop, the sky is doing nothing for the image.
- The contrast is still too high
- For future reference a reflector would have helped with the dark shadows on her face, I'd get in there and try and lighten it up a bit
Cheers. Yea I thought about cropping it, but figured i'd just leave it in the same frame as 1 to show the difference. As for the contrast, I figured because the dress is so fucking acid-trip like (you can tell how much I like it haha) it needs some nice contrast to show off the colours, where as I originally had it pulled back where the colours get washed out a bit. Meh.

I did have a reflector, but noone/nowhere to hold it up, the ladies whos dress it was were there but they were being useless and fiddling around with other stuff.

Like I said guys, thanks for the feedback, really appreciate it. All a learning experience
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Old 7th June 2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Not much I can add here, everyone has pretty much said it.

Personally, I'd have gone for a darker background, probably green to help with the separation. An ivy covered wall or a darker part of the botanic gardens would have been my choice of location, or even a bare concrete inner-city wall or alley to make it stand out from its surroundings.
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Old 7th June 2012, 11:08 AM   #12
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When I shoot, I constantly say in my head :

"What is the point of this picture?"

Fuck all the technical stuff, just think,

WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF THIS PHOTO?
WHAT AM I TRYING TO SHOW THE VIEWER?
HOW DO I WANT TO PORTRAY THE SUBJECT?

Also, the 70-200/4 and 50/1.4 are more than adequate to get shallow DoF. You need to stop buying gear and stop reading about it and start taking pictures.

You have a collection of equipment a lot of people would kill for, so start using it.

To be brutally honest you strike me as someone who is far more interested in cameras etc. than photography. Which is an easy trap to fall into.
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Old 7th June 2012, 11:22 AM   #13
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Not much I can add here, everyone has pretty much said it.

Personally, I'd have gone for a darker background, probably green to help with the separation. An ivy covered wall or a darker part of the botanic gardens would have been my choice of location, or even a bare concrete inner-city wall or alley to make it stand out from its surroundings.
Yea, but it was short notice, short timing and not the greatest surroundings. Cheers for the feedback tho.

Anyways, gotta stop making excuses

Quote:
Originally Posted by ^catalyst View Post
When I shoot, I constantly say in my head :

"What is the point of this picture?"

Fuck all the technical stuff, just think,

WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF THIS PHOTO?
WHAT AM I TRYING TO SHOW THE VIEWER?
HOW DO I WANT TO PORTRAY THE SUBJECT?

Also, the 70-200/4 and 50/1.4 are more than adequate to get shallow DoF. You need to stop buying gear and stop reading about it and start taking pictures.

You have a collection of equipment a lot of people would kill for, so start using it.

To be brutally honest you strike me as someone who is far more interested in cameras etc. than photography. Which is an easy trap to fall into.
I guess I gotta start really getting that into my head *shrugs*

I know they're capable of shallow DoF, but not to the extent I would have liked while trying to get the entire dress in frame.... or maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough.

Look, I've said from the very beginning that i'm not a creative person. I can't draw to save my life haha. My brain is much more comfortable with numbers (and I guess words - i'm a much better creative writer than anything else creative like that), and is very technical, hence why i'm an engineer.... it just works like that. But, i've found that photography to be something that I can use as creative expression because it incorporates the technical side as well as the creative side into one.

But yea, I agree, I need to focus on the creative side now. I just need more time/opportunities to shoot and learn I suppose.

I'll admit the gear/technical side of it is very alluring.... I think finding out how everything works is a fascinating thing (especially in regards to the technical limitations of cameras and then the cause and effect flow of settings etc). That being said, i've set a budget for myself this year, and i've already (pretty much) used it all, so no more (large) purchases this year for me. The only thing left is the 24-105mm, but that's to benefit my travels....

Anyways.... like I said, cheers for looking and giving me feedback, I really appreciate it and it's extremely helpful.

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Old 7th June 2012, 11:54 AM   #14
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Yea, but it was short notice, short timing and not the greatest surroundings. Cheers for the feedback tho.
Take a close look at #2. See that fence in the background? The one overhung by trees? That would have been the first place I went to.

Looking forward to your next shoot now that you have had all this feedback.
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Old 7th June 2012, 12:50 PM   #15
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Anyways, gotta stop making excuses

I guess I gotta start really getting that into my head *shrugs*

I know they're capable of shallow DoF, but not to the extent I would have liked while trying to get the entire dress in frame.... or maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough.

Look, I've said from the very beginning that i'm not a creative person. I can't draw to save my life haha.

Anyways.... like I said, cheers for looking and giving me feedback, I really appreciate it and it's extremely helpful.

*snips*

Good.. now put the words into action. I cant draw for shit and I couldnt frame to save my life and technically I struggled to the point where 4 years ago I *almost* sold my first camera kit and didnt bother pursuing it further.

It only changed because I knew I had to practice more, and get out and do it more and make the time to do it more. There are always opportunities to shoot, even at night, even at home, even in 5 or 10 minutes.

You dont have to share your experiments, you dont have to post up everything you shoot (I rarely share my things on here anymore). You have to do it for yourself.

Catalyst really nailed it there. It wasnt that you werent trying hard enough, it is perhaps you havent shot in that way before and you need to practice and learn how to get what you want. You can read 1000 reviews, 1000 books but putting it into action is what will teach you and give you the 'in field' knowledge to get what you want.

Last edited by Deftone2k; 7th June 2012 at 12:55 PM.
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