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Stairs

Joe Thomas

New member


Joe Thomas : Stairs x3

I shot this last weekend. My friend Lina Chen designed the clothes, and one of her friends, Grace Baik, modeled for us. I had to hurry on this because it started to rain on us since we were outside. Any thoughts?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Joseph,

You are lucky to have lovely young model to go with that shaped short black dress. She, herself, is lit so her face and hands are well shown with no shadows and nothing distracting. Yes, perhaps the lighting is a tad strong on her but it successfully separates the black folds and pleats and differentiates her skirt from her back stockings. Too often, the separation of blacks and showing the textures is the first part of such a picture for folk to screw up.

To critique the entire picture is harder. Presumably this is a fun shoot given the happenstance opportunity of the new dress and the model. So under the heading of artistic fun, I want to venture into composition. There is so much light going to the rest of the large image area and this illuminates so much detail of stairs, perhaps not really needed for the main subject. One can consider two main output choices for final delivery. First I can imagine the picture cropped at the left edge of the main round stair column. Then on the right, again just to the left of the other stair gives us a picture which celebrates your subject better.

The other alternative is the far wider view but can you vignette all the periphery. If the larger picture were used in print, likely that outer area would be both blurred and dark so it would have light text over it.

Was there more above the girls head that was cropped away?

Asher
 

Joe Thomas

New member


Joe Thomas : Stairs x3 - Original raw file

Here is the raw file. So like you guessed there is plenty of room above the model's head.

This was another testing shoot for me. I have only been shooting for a year, literally, so I view these shoots as times to practice my photography. I think my lighting is the aspect I am still having the most trouble with. So I appreciate your comment that the model seems to have too much light on her.

Hmmmm. Your ideas are interesting. Lol. I don't see those things yet. Right now when I am retouching I just do what I think looks pretty. I wasn't even thinking about this for print since it was just a test shoot for me. I was thinking about the best way to portray the clothes and then the model. And since you have both pictures now, you can probably see my train of thought.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments and suggestions. I always learn something here and it is very instructive.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
[QUO
Joe Thomas : Stairs x3 - Original raw file[/CENTER]

I'm so glad, Joe, to see the large file. I like large margins around the subject in the planning stages! It is fine to have an environmental space in which your model inhabits but then you might show her again, perhaps, sitting on the steps, in a different pose, to show off the dress and/or looking at herself, but with different clothes.

Here's a suggestion. (I say this often so one more time won't harm). Print in B&W say ten copies, get a glass of your favorite beverage and sketch rough figures, (the girl seated, bending forward, doing a headstand whatever your mind conjures up. The specifics are not as important as getting some break from the limitations of shooting a live model. The idea is to use what you have already achieved, (and that's a lot), to explore what your mind can devise to make an entire mental mage of some happening or impact. Give it a title: Stairs # 1 and ask what it might show that uses that concept. Then go to Stairs #2.

As this is Riskit! You are in the right place for heavier criticism but it's your own project and not for anyone to show their ideas of stairs so I'd stick to this and use your first image as the foundation for everything else to come.

I hope that your model is available for more shoots. When you have decided on the composition for your next shot, then you can start working on the lighting. If the camera is on a tripod, think nothing of having the model move to a new position in the frame and take another picture for you to combine n photoshop.

Good luck,

You have tons of room to be creative.

Asher
 
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Joe Thomas

New member
Thanks Asher. I have thought a bit what you said about the composition of the photo and I think I now understand and appreciate your comments a bit better. Even though I was rushed while taking this photo because of the inclement weather the thought of if the composition would be cluttered, or if the picture would appear too busy never entered my mind. I will have to try to play around with cropping to make the model try to stand out more.

And I will try to be more imaginative with my posing. Trying to plan it out before by making sketches (as per your suggestion).

I welcome the harsh criticism and that is why I post here. I am looking for ideas to improve. So thank you for all your feedback.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
And I will try to be more imaginative with my posing. Trying to plan it out before by making sketches (as per your suggestion).

I welcome the harsh criticism and that is why I post here. I am looking for ideas to improve. So thank you for all your feedback.

Joe,

You are ahead when you are open to new experience. However, it's your ideas that count. What's just needed is the use of drawing, (really quick simple blocking out on a sketch pad) will likely drill a hole down to you library of preferences and experiences so your imagination get's to be able to work for you.

A drawing class is always helpful for photography although the sketching I refer to does not have to be more than very simple strokes and shapes to share out the space.

Keep shooting in the meanwhile and be encouraged for what you have done so far!

Asher
 
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