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Natural Beauty

The original picture shows a pretty girl of about 18-24, blonde hair in a short dress. She posing on a bridge with the covered bridgeway receding behind her and in soft focus. The lighting is such that there's no detail on the dress as it's in low illumination, insufficient to show the texture of the fabric and the folds. The bottom of the dress is up so that her black panties are revealed, but there's no line segregating one from the other. On her right thigh she has a tattoo and this goes well with ankle lace treatment coming from her shiny black shoes and black lace on her dress at her shoulders. She has a roundish pretty face with a nice smile and her skin is almost uniformly pale from the use of a ring light on the Canon 50mm EF 2.5 Macro lens. She seems naturally, unprepared for a formal shoot with little to no evidence of makeup of of a hair stylist. However, there she is, crouched over one knee, as far as I remember, facing the camera and looking pleasant and natural, but pale. Will, has chosen to replace the picture with that of a Panda. I'm not sure that the panda even had ring flash but the rest of the details might be the same. Come to think of it, the panda might have had the benefit of a far more sophisticated lens, the majestic 200mm f2.0, perhaps the king of all prime portrait lenses! A. K. but then the panda was taken away and the girl came back and you can check for yourself whether or not I remembered Will's picture accurately :)




A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​
 
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Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Will,

A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​
Cute model, nice pose. Thanks.

The pic looks a bit unsharp.

The face has an awfully flat look. May be the ring light.

The shoe is fab.

It would be nice to have a button or mouseover to make the tattoo come and go.

Best regards,

Doug
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Pretty much defines everything I hate about ring light as key...
Ben,

Assuming that Will could have easily lit her classically, maybe he meant it to be this way for a good reason. After all, he has more lights with him than than leopards have spots!

That's how I'd start to think about it! One, he had her use no make up and next he photographed her this even way. That's pretty deviant in photographing a woman these days. So why do it?

Asher
 
For myself I think the tattoo is the key element there (I mean apart from her overall sweetness) it would be a sin to remove it. IMHO. I also think the face is flat and a bit OoF but I won't comment on what is the key light or not because it's a bit out of my reach.
 

fahim mohammed

Active member
I generally do not look at or comment on ' girlie ' photographs.

I make an exception here since it has been referred to in another thread.

The photographer has taken a beautiful young lady and stripped her soul bare. The beauy that is a woman has been violated.

Whether the ' tattoo ' should be higher, lower, to the right and up exemplifies why I abhor such
photography. Peek a Boo..I see you. Is the tattoo the focus of attention? Something else then?

Is it a good photograph? Maybe, but of what? Could it have been a beautiful photograph of a beautiful young woman...Undoubtedly.

Ring flash, lighting etc. does not matter.

It is a question of MY personal values. Similar photographs negatively impact the respect that all
women deserve and should demand. But once again, it is My personal opinion.

I respect opposing views. Respect that they can and do exist. Respect that even some women, of their free will, subscribe to them. However,I do not agree with them.
 
In my mind I try to sort out images that I think represent a contempt of women from those that simply show someone nice and smiling...The way she is dressed doesn't differs from what I can see in the street from my window... So it could be any girl taken in the context of street photography, the difference being she is posing here.

If I look at one male half naked photography, I may find it thrilling and you may find not:

Half naked man in a non sexual intent


It's for you and me to decide for one's point of view...
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​
Will,

Overall the picture has promise. I love the model and the pose is good. She's graceful, natural, relaxed, open and comfortable. It's final presentation, however can be improved to my sense of making a photograph as opposed to taking a picture.

I like the location of the receding lines of the bridge behind her. Her tattoo, shoe and lace have the most detail. So that's where some of the meaning and feeling of the picture will be made. However, the showing of her underwear takes away from this, as it's not a person jumping or dancing where it's accidental. This is posed. As a matter of my own personal taste, the first thing I do in poses is to ensure that the underwear do not show. Not because I'm prudish, but rather out of respect. The showing of the tattoo and the lace is enough for this pretty lady. Tricks I use are to have her hands, purse, flowers or cloth of skirt to drop between her thighs. Now if you actually want to show her panties, that's up to you, but to me, at least it's not a choice that helps the picture's impact. Rather it's a diversion.

Let me risk attack by daring to deal with flat lighting. Who doesn't like beauty dishes? Well a lot of folk choose that light as the sole illumination for portraits! Why? It is very kind to skin texture. Most young folk have skin issues. The smooth light diminishes micro architecture of skin pores, and with a lens of 85 mm or more, there's a very pleasing effect, where color in the cheeks from make up give the form that one wants. A lot of my work with wonderful musicians are made with giant lights for that purpose. When possible, I add a second light for dimension.

There's work I'd consider on this picture before printing.

Thanks for sharing and refer any untoward comments to your own original concept. If the feedback could help you getting a better print, use it.

Keep up you work with you very portable flash!

Asher
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks for the controversy!

O.K.,

Now having talked to Will at length, here's the truth of the matter. Will admits he's lazy, just like when I take an f4.0 70-200 lens rather than a much heavier but it's more useful 2.8L big brother!

Will shoots pictures for model's portfolio to meet their expectations, which are not, I must admit, that high. Pictures just need to get them in the door for a modeling job, say for editorial, wardrobe or catalog.

So everything is minimized. Here he uses the superb but lightweight Canon EF 50 2.5 Macro with a macro ring light to overcome the daytime harsh shadows in the eye sockets. Everything is automatic and mobile. It's just fill; in this case, he admits, it a tad too much. He posed her with her dress up so her panties would show. It's no accident, that's what he happens to like. He makes no effort to show detail in the dress, there are no folds, no draping of material on her form and exquisite texture of the material is hidden, because he likes simple, simplified black!

This picture is shown as taken with no specific effort in preparation beyond getting it to a form and size for posting. I do that often but have spent more time on the lighting in the first place. Will is perfectly capable of lighting her to any dimensional modeling you would ask. He's just lazy! Why do what's not needed?

So this picture is really "art" intended for Will and for the limited purpose of the new model's portfolio. As long as it's good enough for her, he's satisfied. I offered to process the file from RAW. His response came back harshly, "Then it wouldn't be my photograph, it would be yours!" and he's right. When Annie Leibovitz routinely hands over her pictures to a team of retouchers, they are executing her vision. Here, the vision itself is cryptic and locked. What's shot is the picture! To me, taking a picture and making a picture are generally the second and third stages of a process.

Asher
 

Rachel Foster

New member
I came into this discussion late, but I'd like to offer my input.

I have thought a photo should stand on its own merit without explanation. However, this has shown me that it does matter. With no context, I look at what seem to be "flaws, (i.e, harsh lighting). Then my personal tastes enter in (I prefer shooting from a higher angle, etc.)
After reading the circumstances and Wil's goals, I look at it differently.

And it's also important to remember that "art" does not have to be beautiful.

Thanks to Wil for posting and all the commentary.
 
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Rachel Foster

New member
All that I will add to this is that, as I said elsewhere, it's up to each of us to take critique and do what we will. I have pondered all comments on my photos. Some I disregarded because they were not what I was going for; but I thought about my photos from that angle. Sometimes it made me consider a different approach, one unlike either my original or the critic's. Some I tried to put into practice but was unable to. Some sparked a completely new idea.

I think what is important is to allow each of us to be direct and honest in critique, but respectfully and acknowledging each of us has our own vision and esthetic sense.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I've moved this picture here as it is a work showing the beauty of a young person as captured in a combination of lights. The technique happens to be important.


A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​

Much of the light comes from the sky of the cloudy day. Alone, there were shadows. So on-camera-ring flash overcomes that. What's so special about the technique, when everything works perfectly, is that the lens, the f2.5 EF 50 mm Macro is small, superbly sharp and wide open gives a pleasant "bokeh. The ring flash fits directly on the end of the lens, making a lightweight setup!

We've heard of the light being flat and too strong. Ring lights do give even illumination and as most models have skin problems, that's a benefit. Still, it could be nuanced better. Well, the light control of the flash output isn't perfect and nor are the rest of us, LOL! This could have been corrected, but it was not deemed necessary for the intended use. (For myself, I'd not deliver the picture without correction, but then I'd go to bed l2 a.m. for no real purpose, except my own conceit.)

For sure, one can use portable lights. Will has one of the most remarkable collections of mobile lighting I've seen. It's based on Normans to which he's added built in Pocket Wizard controls. What he did here is deliver to the expectations of the model so she can get in the door. Had he used his Norman lights, spending the extra setup time would have generated charges she couldn't afford!

Had there been a budget, there would have been a hairstylist, makeup artist, panties a different color, a key, fill, rim and hair light or reflectors doing the same job. Will is fully capable of taking this shot, to perfection "as shot" with no need for photoshop work. However, just the travel to the shoot was a big expenditure for her. So it had to be simple or not at all. I'm not used to doing, "Good enough" as my motto is ""Good enough!", isn't!"

Still, I must wave my finger at Will for being a tad lazy! He could have been more fastidious with the light and he admits that. He's pretty straightforward about admitting the shortcoming, LOL, that's better than most of us!

If I took a page from Will, I'd get far more work done and completed, no doubt, by being as practical as he is. :)

Asher
 
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Doug Kerr

Active member
The face that launch'd a thousand metaphors.

Sweet ring of light, make me immortal with thy kiss.

-Apologies to Christopher Marlowe


Best regards,

Doug
 

Ashley Karyl

New member
For me the pose is a little forced and while ring flash has its place it has to be used with care. I'm not a huge fan of tattoos in images either, especially coming from a commercial background. One small point you could make would be to look at that area of darkness immediately above the model's head and just lighten it a bit, so that it doesn't distract from the main subject.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I generally do not look at or comment on ' girlie ' photographs.

I make an exception here since it has been referred to in another thread.

The photographer has taken a beautiful young lady and stripped her soul bare. The beauy that is a woman has been violated.

Whether the ' tattoo ' should be higher, lower, to the right and up exemplifies why I abhor such
photography. Peek a Boo..I see you. Is the tattoo the focus of attention? Something else then?

Is it a good photograph? Maybe, but of what? Could it have been a beautiful photograph of a beautiful young woman...Undoubtedly.

Ring flash, lighting etc. does not matter.

It is a question of MY personal values. Similar photographs negatively impact the respect that all
women deserve and should demand. But once again, it is My personal opinion.

I respect opposing views. Respect that they can and do exist. Respect that even some women, of their free will, subscribe to them. However,I do not agree with them.
Beautifully written, Fahim.

I am with you all the way, all the way to the respect for diverging opinions.

I understand your strong view because of my own upbringing. My family would be horrified that axwoman would remove her clothes for “fine art”. First it would be considered “time-wasting” but secondly it would be revolting to them for a girl to be so immodest and for a man to observe her this!

I myself respected their views as it was totally true to them.

For me however, I see no shame in the human figure and do not make lascivious poses and hire a chaperone. My pictures are beautiful. One day my model cancelled. I had my grandchild find beautiful leaves instead. I photographed them as models.

The advantage it turned out was that everyone appreciates the beauty of the nude leaves without inhibition. Only I knew they were part of a family! I still photograph nudes at times but nowclesscoften as I am occupied with working in steel. But the sentiment still comes from the natural works of wonder created in the first place as our heritage!

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Asher,

Why can I no longer see anyplace this photo that has spawned so much philosophy? It seems to have been replaced in the original post by a very detailed description (as in a play-by-play description of a baseball game by telegraph).

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I am also curious to see the image.
A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​


Peter,

Your interest and Doug's prodding made me focus more on this missing image!


I searched and searched and finally today, I found it in an old data base and took the liberty of reconstructing the links from my server.

asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
But now I don't feel her soul has been violated, Fahim, but that is because I judge folk within their own universe, as long as no crime or cruelty is being committed. In our society this degree of exposure is accepted and there is no perceived dishonor. Of course my parents and elder brothers would be distraught and rebuke me, if I even showed this image to them! That's because in their world, such exposure is not ever tolerated and wouldn't be possible.

Now the tattoo is cultural. for me, I don't like to see permanent change of the body unless for medical reasons medical reasons such as to repair trauma damage or correct cleft lip or other ambiguous odd formed features.

I even like the tattoo on her, except, if anyone asked me, I would suggest temporary decorations.

I like her pose, but if you wonder about "underwear showing", that's a consequence of allowing the tattoo as an essential part of the composition. Yes, that may create tension, but I can work with that.

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Asher,

A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​

Peter,

Your interest and Doug's prodding made me focus more on this missing image!

I searched and searched and finally today, I found it in an old data base and took the liberty of reconstructing the links from my server.
Thank you so much.

I find this an utterly charming image.

Best regards,

Doug
 

James Lemon

Active member
A la natural. (no makeup)





EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 1/160 f2.5 ISO 200, Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX Flash​


Peter,

Your interest and Doug's prodding made me focus more on this missing image!


I searched and searched and finally today, I found it in an old data base and took the liberty of reconstructing the links from my server.

asher
Too much of a merger going on with the right arm hanging straight down and hand hidden behind the shoe. By pulling down on the skirt, beautiful curves are lost, had more attention been been given to the placement of of her right hand and arm would have improved this pose tremendously.Her body is too square to the camera. Turning the subject or a different approach with the camera would have improved this as well. A nice base pose to work from though, but much more could have been done with this IMHO.
 
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