Portrait of a friend

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Iansky, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    A friend asked me to shoot a quick portrait of her last week when she was working doing makeup for a style school.

    The weather was great, and I took her into a shaded part of the garden and used the 75mm on the OMD to grab the image.

    I did use some diffusion in the editing process as she wanted and she was happy with the result.

    A great lens camera combo and I am pleased with the result.

  2. scott0487

    scott0487 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Ian: Your work is always terrific, and this is no exception. I had one question that is in no way a criticism, but I was wondering whether you had intended her bra strap to show. I could understand not, but I could also understand yes in that it adds a certain humanizing element (not sure I explained that well). Anyway, I like it.

  3. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Beautiful and the soft focus look works well here.
  4. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    As you said the lens worked great and I agree that the "soft focus" effect worked to a charm. (Surprised she did not request you smooth out some of the areas below her eyes - my wife ALWAYS insists I do that before I post any shots on Facebook. :rolleyes: Don't know what that says about her or the lovely lady you shot.)
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Lovely image of a lovely woman, Ian.

    You are to "old enough to know better" English beauties as Brady (IconIndustries) is to lovely, young Australian lasses.

    One "improvement" I might try is to clone out some of the stray hairs (particularly on the right side), but it's a really terrific capture.

    sent with my phone...please excuse the typos
  6. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Thank you all for the kind comments and constructive feedback, it is always appreciated and taken on board.

    Unfortunately, as she was in between clients we did not have time to set the shoot up more effectively so it was more a case of "come over here please, turn like that and look this way - click (one shot) and thanks, got to go back to work".

    She is a very pretty lady (just hit 60) so rather than go overboard with softening, I used an old technique - create copied layers from base, No1. I use unsharp mask at 12 and set to Darken and change opacity to 50%, the other layer I use unsharp mask at 20 and set to lighten and 50% opacity. I then merge just these 2 layers and create an adjutment on the merged layer where I can bring back some of the detail as and where I want.

    When I am happy, I merge all visible layers (edited merged layer and base layer) and have the final image to tweak col, curves and add a border if required.

    This is a process I have used for years and it works well for me - it can be a bit long winded to start but once you get used to it, it goes pretty quick.

    I did consider removing the bra strap and tidying up the hair but thought - no, it is a natural image that looks like a mix between a posed shot and a natural turn & look grab so I left them both in and she is happy with the result.

    The 75 is razor sharp and can be a tad unkind to blemishes, lines etc - I used f4 and pulled her away from the bushes to blur them slightly and definately need to diffuse to soften up but not remove the lines or it looks unnatural.

    Certainly a great combo for portrait work even if a tad unforgiving!
  7. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like the pose Ian. The processing is different but looks great and I think it adds to the picture because it is different. Change is as good as a holiday:smile:

    Good to see you're enjoying your gear.
  8. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  9. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    What I really like about this photo is that you have taken her aside and created the right background with the right light.

    It is all rather too diffused for my taste but that is probably her choice rather than yours and if that is what she likes you should give it to her.
  10. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Thanks Rob,

    Without being personal to her in any way, she is very self conscious about her increasing years so I needed to soften the blow a little!
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    The more I look the more I like the diffusion - it makes her face, particularly her eyes, really draw my attention. It puts the focus on the lady rather than her clothing. Beautiful. :2thumbs:
  12. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    Thank you Bob,

    This combination of diffused layers works well for me and usually the subject is pleased with the result.:smile:
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, I like the warm soft glow!

    One of my favorite lenses for creating this effect is the OM Zuiko 50mm/1.4. It's got just the right warmth and richness in colors mixed with just the right sharpness with a slight propensity to spherical aberration when shot wide open. Shot against a darker background with sufficient light on the subject, this effect can be easy to create without post-production.
  14. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Your diffused look goes very well with your subject, nice portrait.
  15. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Thanks All,

    The 75mm helps as it is a great lens for this type of work and allows enough freedom of space (environment permitting) for the subject to move as they see fit without feeling I am in their face with the camera, the size of the OMD also helps as it appears to them less intimidating than my previous full frame + 24-120 set up!
  16. CarlG

    CarlG Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2013
    Tampa, FL
    I like the image but would like to see more light added to the eyes. Her left eye looks lost and could use a little more pop (they both could, but especially the left).

    Nice job - very pretty woman, regardless of age!!
  17. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    Thanks for the feedback - not sure what monitor you are looking at the image on but, I have viewed it on calibrated Mac & PC's at home and work and in both the eyes are fine and definitely clearly visible requiring no further lightening.
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