Xiao Cai  


Summer in the City by Xiao Cai

December 2019 - Summer in the City

December 2019 - Xiao Cai

Original 1

December 2019 - Xiao Cai

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I like to shoot with people (models). Before, all of my photos look like "commercial." Now I am trying to process my photos more naturally, trying to have more "artistic" tastes, but also combine "fashion" and "commercial" favors into my portraiture shots. Metadata: Camera: Nikon D800, Lens: 85mm f/1.4. Shoot: f/5.6, 1/250, ISO800

The reason that I chose this photo is that the model pose and location are straightforward, but it has more storytelling, more likely to have "artistic" effects.

I attached my original process (process 1). It used filter effect, and more has a "commercial" effect.

Now, I am trying to process it more naturally. I hope it has more "artistic" tastes, but I also don't want it to lose "fashion" and "commercial" favors.

Process:
First, I process my photo in Lightroom to adjust the whole picture effect, and later I handle it on Photoshop to edit in detail and do final turning.


16 comments posted

Kathleen Colligan
I have no experience with this type of photograpy. Do you purposely have a shadow on the left side of his face? The photo looks quite artistic with the vibrant colors and glow of his skin.   Posted: 12/01/2019 13:24:41
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Shadow on the left side of his face? I can not see that. The main light is on his left, so the shadow is on his right. I have a flash on the camera, which would reduce the shadows.

Note: On the right, there is a long-distance light source.   Posted: 12/01/2019 13:36:13

Kathleen Colligan
It must be my Mac's screen and yes it would be on his right side ( but left side around the eyes facing the photo.)   Posted: 12/01/2019 13:47:19
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
I attached the big size image of his eyes.   Posted: 12/01/2019 13:58:00
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Kathleen Colligan
It has to be my screen here.. Again- I have no experience with this and you are obviously an experienced and a talented photographer. Your attached image shows no shadows . I did not mean to offend in any way.   Posted: 12/01/2019 14:20:00
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Thank you for your comments! I welcome any kind of comments and suggestions!   Posted: 12/01/2019 14:27:19

Ruth Benson   Ruth Benson
Your background is excellent and not blown out, the colours of the image are strong and vivid, the subject looks into the camera.
Improvements:
1)Composition - there is too much window and it is equally in focus as the person - this competes with the main subject. Ideally you would have moved the subject a bit to the left to have less or no window in the image before taking the shot. With the image as is you could try to reduce sharpness and clarity of the window and grid to push it more into the background.
2)You need to remove the bright areas on the subject's face and if possible knees (not quite as important).

  Posted: 12/01/2019 17:16:04
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Thank you for your comments and suggestions! 1. I will try to blur out the window to make it into the background. 2. I will burn out some high lights.

I like the window position: 1. The window and the person made a diagonal line in the picture to make the composition interesting. 2. The old style of the window and the old style of the wall indicates it is in an old city. It is just how I felt.   Posted: 12/01/2019 18:02:09

Ruth Benson   Ruth Benson
Yes, I understand your point and the window is lovely.
For portraiture it is important to separate the subject from the background. Moving the subject to the left would have separated him from the window. With a high aperture setting and focus on the subject's face you may have got the window slightly out of focus. This would still allow for the feel of the place, but would put more focus on the subject.   Posted: 12/01/2019 19:07:21
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Hi Ruth, I made some adjustments. What do you think? Thank you very much for your help!   Posted: 12/02/2019 10:25:13
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Ruth Benson   Ruth Benson
Hi Xiao, In comparison your original image looks much better. Please remember that I can only tell you what I would do, it's not what you have to do, it's really a personal choice. Your original is a very nice image, I have just pointed out that I would try and separate the window from the person by fading it more into the background.
You could try making the window a bit lighter (gives you more contrast against the person) and depending on the software you use, you could try reducing the clarity and sharpness so it blends more into the background. My advise is if you don't like the adjustments, stay with your original, it's a very nice photograph and the window itself is lovely.   Posted: 12/02/2019 17:35:14
Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Hi Ruth, Thank you very much for your help! OK. I will keep my original image. I am not a good retoucher :(   Posted: 12/02/2019 17:47:59
Ruth Benson   Ruth Benson
It makes you the better photographer if you do not have to rely too much on post processing!   Posted: 12/02/2019 17:56:24

Laurie McShane
I like the muted tones of the building, and the way the brightness of his clothing makes him standout.   Posted: 12/04/2019 16:45:53

Prasad Indulkar   Prasad Indulkar
Hi Xiao

To me its a image that tells a story , also i liked the originals more than the edited one , but as you said you wanted an artistic feels , it does bring that to your image. Colors are nice and bold , flower is balancing the colors , however my eyes tend to keep moving from window grills , Eyes , flower , blue shirt , even his pants , and back . So for a portrait shot i find it distracting , ideally your elements of the image should bring viewers eyes to one thing in image. Light is good , if you subject is the model only then cut out the window , or somehow bring the focus onto the model , as right now window is taking away the attention.

This is purely in my opinion.

I have tried my hand , have soften the image a bit , did levels and curves adjustment , added vignette to hide the window . hope you like it and dont mind my editing.   Posted: 12/06/2019 23:11:19
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Prasad Indulkar   Prasad Indulkar
Hi Xiao

To me its a image that tells a story , also i liked the originals more than the edited one , but as you said you wanted an artistic feels , it does bring that to your image. Colors are nice and bold , flower is balancing the colors , however my eyes tend to keep moving from window grills , Eyes , flower , blue shirt , even his pants , and back . So for a portrait shot i find it distracting , ideally your elements of the image should bring viewers eyes to one thing in image. Light is good , if you subject is the model only then cut out the window , or somehow bring the focus onto the model , as right now window is taking away the attention.

This is purely in my opinion.

I have tried my hand , have soften the image a bit , did levels and curves adjustment , added vignette to hide the window . hope you like it and dont mind my editing.   Posted: 12/06/2019 23:11:22
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