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© Copyright 2009 Ryan Aldrich/Aldrich Imaging

Kelly 2


50mm, f/5.6, 1/200 sec., ISO 200. Cyanotype in Lightroom 1.4.


© Copyright 2009 Ryan Aldrich/Aldrich Imaging

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This model was quite serious and I mostly wanted to bring that out.

What works for you in this image?


As always, constructive comments, positive and negative, are welcome

and appreciated. Constructive comments help us all improve. Thanks for




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Hi Ryan, I really like this shot. Her expression is very striking and the movement of the hair really helps add drama. On all of the portraits you've done a very nice job with her eyes- they are sharp and well lit. Of the series this is my favorite. Great Catch!
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The wind blowing the hair is a nice touch adding drama to this portrait. I like the bluish/green monotone you used in post-production, nice choice. The eyes are very striking due entirely to the sharpness. Good use of light and shadows. I also like the composition, it is a very tasteful photo. I tried to think of some suggestions to improve this shot, but you have covered all the bases.



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Tracy, she was facing with her back to me, and I had her whip around and look at me with serious faces, as well as smiles. No fan involved. I used 1/200 sec. shutter speed to get sufficient sharpness (and because that's the fastest flash sync my camera allows).


Thank you very much!



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Serious side totally. I feel the lighting could have been just a bit softer but I really don't know much about it as I have no experience of studio set-ups. I like the bang of hair falling over her forehead and the hair flowing back. I don't like the frame size, would prefer a wider canvas, allowing more space front and back. I like the appearance of the subject in this photograph -- it displays the bold side of her nature.
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My least favourite one from the series. On the plus side I like her expression.


I do not understand what you are trying to achieve with the toning? Is it a mood you are trying to create? Perhaps if you explained your motivation I could better understand


Kelly's placement in the frame seems awkward, too much dead space to the left. The cut off point at the bottom going through the middle of her bosom seems a poor choice, being more than head and shoulders and less than her full torso.



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The mood I was trying to convey here was harshness and cold. When shooting, I asked her to "whip her head around as if a piggish man just said "nice a**!" The look on her face is one of anger (her lips) and surprise (her eyes) as well. The harsh side lighting was intended to add to this, as if she suddenly moved from where she was supposed to be.


Thanks for the compliments pretty much through this series on Kelly's eyes. 99% of the time it is the main criteria as to whether an image makes my cut or not. It can be all there, but if the eyes aren't, in the trash it goes :-).


I enjoy the difference of opinions here. Rajat feels there should be more open space to the sides, while Gordon feels the opposite. At first, I wanted to crop this more vertically. Had I done so, it would have avoided the awkward crop Gordon identified. While I don't disagree with that comment, I wanted the focus to be on the hair and eyes/facial expression. Perhaps I should crop more of the bosom area away?


We also have very different opinions of favorite image in the series. I think everyone has indicated each of the four as their personal favorite. When things like this happen, I take it as positively as I can...in this case, as versatility that appeals to many. I don't like using the same pose. I find a need to mix things up with different tones, expressions, etc. I'd rather change those than backgrounds :-). FWIW, this image and Kelly 3 are my favorites of the shoot. Kelly's favorite is Kelly 1.


Thanks again everyone! I'm still awaiting response from others, and I can't wait to see what discussion comes in the future!



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These are all good efforts. Rather than repeat what's been said elsewhere I'll defer to Mark Chartrand's critique (written in the comment section of your portfolio view page), including the positive aspects.


A few nits: As Mark noted the highlights are a bit hot. The angle of the light leaves a patch of white under her left eye, surrounded by shadow that creates an odd appearance. The overall effect makes her eyes look slightly crossed.


On the plus side, the penumbra along her left jawline enhances the look of determination. It's also flattering. I see the same effect in #1, which helps in contrast to her slumped posture. Pay close attention to the jawline in photos 1 & 2, and compare them with #4. Note the slight bulge between her jaw and neck in #4? That's the main distraction in that photo. Overall, the modeling of light and shadow on #4 is not flattering.


Of the four I find this one, #2, the strongest. Despite the flaws it's a dynamic photo that seems to convey her spirit. Assuming you have a high enough resolution original it may be possible to retouch it enough to minimize the problems with the highlights, restore some balance in the overall lighting and eliminate that strand of hair over her left eye. I'd also suggest a tighter crop along the top to eliminate empty space (possibly the bottom as well) to enhance the horizontal flow of her hair.

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