Sunday, 17 October 2010

Assignment 1: Workflow Feedback

My tutor has replied and I have my feedback :o) Pleased with and in agreement with the comments made.

I could have submitted the minimum amount of images but wanted some constructive critisism of the images I knew hadn't worked as well as they could.

Feedback below :o)

Thank you for sending in your first assignment which you have thoroughly understood and handled it very well. Your work flow is fine, but the only thing I did read somewhere in your blog is that you print in Pro Photo RGB. If you are happy with this then that is fine but beware that the color space is so large that many colors are not printable or viewable on your monitor and you may need to do complex editing on subtle colors that are not printable. Smaller color spaces are restricted to colors more likely to be printable, so color changes are fairly small when converted to print. For now I would use sRGB and as you gain more experience switch to Adobe RGB. However, please find below my comments on your images:

I have lots of things to build upon and think about with most areas. Obvious really, or I wouldn't be doing this course. Printing Pro Photo RGB was something I did with my last course when submitting my final portfolio, having had a discussion with regards to best practice and colour space. To be honest not having a large professional printer it probably doesn't have much benefit so possibly converting to Adobe RGB would be ok. I don't think I would use sRGB but it would be interesting to print 3 version sof the same image to see if there was much difference. I calibrate my monitor and using an Epson printer make sure I use Epson inks and Epson papers so I don't need to worry about custom profiles. My printer isn't high enough spec for paper manufacturers to provide free profiles and so far I have been happy enough with the results produced to continue using Epson. Sadly , I also have to run on a budget!

I found some interesting links online about printing, from some who say don't use Pro Photo, to some who recommend its use, to others who say use, but with care and not with every image. As ever divided opinions :o)


Image 1
This image is technically perfect and tells the viewer what is happening. There are nice catch lights in the models eyes and the make up artist is included so that the viewer is aware of the activity involved. A fairly wide aperture has been used to render the background out of focus, thereby keeping the eye on the main subjects themselves. Nice one.

Image 2
A similar shot the  previous image, this time the models face is half in shadow but it does high light the work of the make up artist. Nothing wrong with that but if you wanted to add a little sparkle you could have used fill in flash. To do this set your separate flash gun at two stops less than the camera, ie if the camera is set at f8 set the flash to f4. this would add catch lights to the eyes and help “fill in” the shadow area.

I couldn't find and so didn't take my flashgun, but this is a useful tip to remember, I did contemplate using the fill in flash but was torn between wanting to keep the shadow whilst also having catch lights. A similar shot with the model looking up with the sun shining provided sparkle but I felt the light was a little harsh, maybe I could have played with that a little more in photoshop to tone it down?

Image 3
As in all your shots the  exposures and color balance are very accurate indicated by the skin tones of the models. In this shot the dark back ground has forced the viewers eye to concentrate on the model. Well done.

Image 4
Again you have a good catch light in the models eye and apart from the make up you have a good profile of an attractive model. However the high light area in the back ground is a little distracting and should be toned down a bit in Photoshop.

Will rework :o)

Image 5
This one is a good candid image of the two people having fun and totally unaware of the camera. A very effective but simple composition. Nice one.

Image 6
I don’t think this is quite as good as some of your other images as it is a bit untidy, but nevertheless it is in keeping with the subject matter. As a viewer I would like to see a bit more of the models face but apart from that there is nothing else to say.

I also felt this wasn't a good shot but was being a bit OCD'ish and not wanting to submit an odd number of images included it.

Image 7
As you say in your notes the eyes do match the back ground very well. This is a better shot than the previous image as the model is nicely positioned within the frame and again there is “sparkle” in her eyes. Another nice one.

Image 8
Again this one could do with a touch of fill in flash to give that extra sparkle to the eyes, but you do have a nice diagonal composition with the head tilted to one side. This adds further interest to the image

Again I agree with the need to use flash, on this one the students were filming and I didn't want to have random flashes going off in their background. I should have waited until they stopped rolling and taken again.

Image 9
Again you have a competent image and the model is nicely cropped within the frame. The direct sun light is a bit harsh but in this case that adds more interest to the subject matter.

Image 10
An unusual low level shot and the models pose has formed a nice triangular composition. As you say in your notes the depth of field is excellent indicating that you have used the correct aperture for this subject.

Image 11
This one could do with either a more full length view to include the models limbs, or, going in closer for a more deliberate crop of the upper body and head. As it is it looks just like a grab shot without any thought to composition.

This was one in a series of shots, the others were taken a little further back still "cropping" the limbs, but the model was blinking or there was too much clutter in the shot also a lot of bags and coats were dumped just to one side, I cloned out part of a sign that said "Dead Meat Sucks" for the submitted image. It was a slight experimentation with subject matter; uncomfortable subject, uncomfortable pose, uncomfortable composition. It wasn't as successful as I hoped as it does look just like a grab shot. But if you don't experiment you don't learn from your mistakes :o)

Image 12
For me, the back ground is a touch too light and detracting and the back grounds on most of your other images are better. Also the models heels have just been chopped off slightly, which looks a bit untidy. In situations like these go in closer for a deliberate crop, or zoom out so that all the subject is included.

I quite liked the light background but will rework to see what effect it will have, I also was aware at the outset of the closer crop but wanted to get in just that little bit closer, my thought process at the time was along the lines of patterns and not always having to include the obvious, unfortunately as I didn't take a shot from further back I can't rework that part. However I will experiment with cropping in a little more to see what results it gives :o)

Thank you again for allowing me to comment on your work which I have thoroughly enjoyed doing. Your work flow is fine and your images are excellent, but from your notes you say that viewing and deleting files in camera reduces the cards life expectancy and can corrupt files. I have been doing this for years and never had a problem, so don’t worry too much about that.

Again this was information supplied by previous tutors so just something I have accepted as good practice. Once more divided opinions as to it is just older or poor quality cards that suffer from the deletion of individual images, to never ever do it, or try to limit the habit.

or just plain good advise as to why you shouldn't delete individual shots :o)

  1. The LCD on your camera lies. You got that right – the LCD on your camera lies. As of this posting, there is no way to calibrate the little screens at the back of your camera. Even if there were, there you can’t always control your ambient light – and that can sometimes make a gorgeous image look like crap on that tiny LCD. Wait until you get to a larger screen, then make your judgement.
  2. You can’t trust your fingers. If you delete images straight from you camera, you will, at some point, delete an image you don’t want to erase. Call it clumsiness, Murphy’s Law, or plain bad luck – but whatever you call it, it will give you a headache. Yes, you can try to recover it when you get back to your computer, but in the meantime, you can’t use your memory card.
  3. Your batteries are weak. That LCD at the back of your camera is a power hog, and the more time you spend reviewing, trimming, and deleting images, the less time you have to shoot. If you keep deleting images, before you know it, you’ll end up with an empty battery and an empty memory card.
  4. You’re too slow. Even the best multi-taskers cannot shoot and review images at the same time. If you keep deleting images from your camera, you’re going to miss everything you want to shoot. At the end of the day, all your shots will be reminders of the ones that got away.
Re-Worked Images

Toning down the highlight was a little tricky as it was totally blown, I used two different adjustment layers, levels and exposure to keep the result looking as natural as possible without getting any banding or usual effects. This does emphasise her profile more.

As suggested a closer crop of upper body and head. I had liked her pose in the original series, which I have had to lose in this final version, but agree that the submitted shot didn't work. Even after cropping I don't think it is a particularly interesting image. Possibly it would have been better to not have included it the final set but I did want constructive comments.

Again I have slightly adjusted the brightness of the background. It had to be done sympathetically as it started to look too fake. I also tried cropping in a little closer but none of my attempts gave satisfactory balanced compositions. The best compromise I got was adding a vignette but would not have done this within the set as it would not have been in keeping. As a stand alone shot it may have improved it. Next time I would step back to include the entire subject and use selective cropping if I felt it was needed. You can always take away but you can't add if you never included it!

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