Portrait of a friend... by Peter B.
Peter B.'s picture

Portrait of a friend...

This is a picture of my good friend Marc... I tried to achieve a dramatic but still not hard lighting. Inspired by portraits of Dan Winters.

70mm · f/11.0 · 1/200s · ISO 100
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Travis Alex's picture

Wish it had a little more dodging and burning in the face. It's a bit flat and to high key. Could use a little more contrast too, but overall, solid work. :)

Ian McCann's picture

I like it. Good solid professional quality work. The cool colour with the dark, low key image and 1/4 or 1/2 blue kicker all work perfectly well. In short, a good job.

On my screen the face looks a small fraction of a stop too bright (1/4 stop at most) but I have not calibrated for a few weeks, so ignore that comment.

If you can work with a little less modeling light you will open the pupils a bit more and that often looks good. But more than that, having them a tad wider might have worked even better as you are shooting low key. In other words one expects to see dilated eyes when looking at someone in a dark situation. So the low key suggests slight dilation would be natural and dilated eyes do make us look better generally. A win win, just missed. That is all very, very minor, and not to be taken as a complaint. It is just an example of the level of detail that can help take you to the next level. Another trick is when shooting for a western public, having the subject facing camera right creates a positive impression, because we read that way so the suggestion is there is something still to come, rather than this is the end of everything. Of course, all these tricks need to be applied appropriately not just blindly. Not every image wants to be attractive or look natural or be positive. So use to effect rather than just by rote. Lots of these little tricks, that many are still to figure out, are the difference between good work and the best one can do. Mostly people can't detect the reason an image works on them but they do know when one has. And that is often because of such techniques.

Peter B.'s picture

Thanks for the comments, especially to the detailed picture analysis of Ian Mccann! You point out details I didn't even think of. This will help me a lot on my further work!