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People CritiqueSelfie a la Master Ernst

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Matt Quinn
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Re: Selfie a la Master Ernst

Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:20 pm

Duck,
"There is definite inner turmoil going on and subconsciously I caught that in that one single frame.." You certainly did. Amateur psych here: you are turning away from you hands, momentarily, but not turning your back on them. They have been, are and always will be there for you. You may go back, but, for the moment, you need to have them at your side, not in front of you. Maybe other "things" may need to be there. Only time will tell. In the meantime, don't buy a red sports car.

I am 82, and have had at least 7 different "careers" so far; more to come, perhaps. After high school, I entered the Jesuits and remained there for 12 years, spending 3 years as a missionary in the Philippine Islands, and was part of a singing group of Jesuits that recorded for Columbia Records and was on the Ed Sullivan Show (before your time). A year spent in dark, inner turmoil and with some visits to a shrink, and I decided to leave the Jesuits. Found a job on Madison Ave in NYC as an advertising copywriter: yes, Mad Men got it right. Diamond earrings at the end of an affair. Then on to PR, follow by marriage, Ph.D. studies, college/university work (dean, vp, president), law school, consultant, founding ceo of an educational philanthropy, retirement, recalled back to philanthropy, retired again permanently. A full life of trying to find myself, changing my mind, moving, changing my life and my family's, moving, helping others, especially young people, find themselves.

As I look back, if I had to do it all over again, I would eat more ice cream. The soft kind. Chocolate.

Good luck in your search.

Matt
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Post by davechinn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:46 pm

Duck wrote:
davechinn wrote:Seeing the images from this shoot, your selected chosen one was IMO, the best choice. I do like the fact that you have shown the setup for any of us that may want to duplicate your efforts.
Dave

Thank you for looking and thank you for commenting. The setup was included to show how easy it can be to get results like this. While I may be using studio strobes it can easily be replicated with small flashes or even continuous lights. Hopefully it will encourage others to try something similar.

I have a hangup about photographing people (in a formal way) I am trying to overcome. I suppose, as with anything else, it is a matter of confidence in one's ability. I wouldn't want to deliver an embarrassing product to a client so I have been avoiding it. Being in a community such as ours, seeing the works of others and influenced by the photographers I admire, I am finding encouragement to step out of my comfort zone. In particular, I am inspired by Ernst's portrait work and emboldened by Miss Julian's selfies I wrote about previously. I have also taken on a personal project which I started with the Deadpool photos I took of my neighbor's son. I have a few others in the pipeline for after the winter weather.


I totally understand your meaning of overcoming "hangups" because when I first started doing street photography, I had issues as well. Most times we have to force ourselves out of that comfort zone we create for ourselves. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but I do believe you have the knowledge and skill to perform well in this area of photography.

I also understand your setup and do realize it can be rather easy with some practice. The task can be accomplished with some simple continuous lights for those on a small budget. I have experimented with various lighting setups and I'll admit, I need more practice.

I like Miss Julian's selfies and wish to see more, because I have a huge interest in that area of photography and editing.
Dave
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Post by St3v3M » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:17 pm

Reading through all of this feels like an open discussion in a twelve-step meeting and I love it. There's so much more to everyone here, beyond the LIKES, and I couldn't be happier to know each and every one of you, now more personal than ever. Isn't it interesting what started out as a self-portrait turned into a self-revelation!

I don't know enough about enough to comment on the selfie other than to tell you what I've learned from listening to others on this site -
- find the models inner self and let it shine on the page
- shoot for the client but add a little of you along the way
- and always, always have fun with it

This has been impactful and a great learning tool, as ever we are indebted to your openness and honesty in all things! S-
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Post by Duck » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:53 pm

Thanks, Steve. Every shot is a learning experience, for sure.
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Post by Bobby Deal » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:44 am

Duck, this is a wonderful start. What I would suggest is trying to add a little more drama to the lighting. As it is it is very even across your face with the key light at such a straight on angle it can be nothing else. However if you move it toward the background behind the background light. Then rotate the soft box back to the short side of the face. Place another white card for a reflector on the camera side of the setup to act as fill. Position it forward of the chair and at a 45-60 degree angle to the face. This will catch the key light as it passes the subject and provide a half stop or so of fill to the broad side of the face which with the settings you are using should give you a stop and a half fall off from short side to broad side.

Now rotate your background light so that it does not go straight into the background but rather strafes across it. This will feather it across the background and allow a bit of its spill to be picked up by the rear reflector, then adjust that reflector so this background spill is now being directed at the back of the head and shoulders. This will give it just a slight rim and create some separation between background and subject.

I know it reads like a bunch of changes but in reality it is just a few small adjustments that allow you to take better control of the light and to utilize as many of the available lumens as effectively as possible.

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Post by Duck » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:36 am

Bobby Deal wrote:I know it reads like a bunch of changes but in reality it is just a few small adjustments that allow you to take better control of the light and to utilize as many of the available lumens as effectively as possible.

No, I see the shifts. Your description was easy to follow and definitely piques my interest. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the interest and for the suggestions. :thumbup:
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Post by Bobby Deal » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:14 am

Duck wrote:No, I see the shifts. Your description was easy to follow and definitely piques my interest. I'll give it a try. Thanks for the interest and for the suggestions. :thumbup:
The results should be a short lit version of this broad lit portrait

Image

Image

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Post by Duck » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:55 am

Okay, I have to admit, this was more challenging than I first thought. What is often in the mind doesn't necessarily mean it's correct. Here's the result of my attempt at reproducing your lighting. Not sure if I got it 100% but it seems close. I definitely learned a ton.

Unitas_Photography-9880.jpg


And the setup...
Unitas_Photography-9880_BTS.jpg
Unitas_Photography-9880_BTS.jpg (42.34 KiB) Viewed 529 times


Some minor things I picked on as I was processing this... the hat's crushing my ear, the background could have used a little more light behind the hat and depth of field could be a little deeper to catch the far eye better. All comments absolutely welcomed.
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:02 am

Duck wrote:Okay, I have to admit, this was more challenging than I first thought. What is often in the mind doesn't necessarily mean it's correct. Here's the result of my attempt at reproducing your lighting. Not sure if I got it 100% but it seems close. I definitely learned a ton.
...

I've had fun watching your progress and would say reduce the bright spot under your right eye and you have it! S-
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Post by Duck » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:15 am

Good call Steve. I didn't se that. I also brought my color back up a bit. I'm looking a little too washed out.

Unitas_Photography-9880-2.jpg
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