I suck at head shots.

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    Apr 19, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    ***UPDATE: Re-retouched pic at bottom of this OP.

    Ever since I started photographing people a few years ago, my biggest challenge has always been head shots. I couldn't figure out if it was my lens, my lighting...or just me.

    Well, a couple nights ago I had my trainer over. While he was here, I had him pose for a few shots to try out a new lighting setup and new lens.

    I'm posting this for critique here since you guys are 100x more brutally honest than the folks on ModelMayhem; and the last thing I want is smoke blown up my ass just to be nice. I wanna master this challenge that's been haunting me from day one.

    This is what we got:
    retouched-headshot.jpg

    Tell me how I can make it better.

    ***UPDATE: Here's what I've got so far due to people's input here:
    retouched-headshot-2.jpg
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    Apr 19, 2011 10:31 PM GMT
    His color is far too un-natural. I would start there. Otherwise it's not terrible.
  • calibro

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    Apr 20, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    you had the words "suck" "head" and "shot;" yet, i was dissappointed
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:06 AM GMT
    I feel like you need an in-between picture, but thats just what I think
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    Hey Paul,

    Have you tried to change the White Balance (WB) on your camera.
    Both pictures are way too unnatural. The color on picture one is very warm making him a little too orange.
    Picture two is the opposite since the cold makes him almost too pale.
    Try to do the WB manually with a white sheet and u will see much better results.
    Also, you don't suck on it because the angle and your photographer eye is pretty good.
    Hope I helped a little.

    XO
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    sqsny is right, you'll also want to check the white in the eyes post production to make sure it looks real.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:12 AM GMT
    Just because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:17 AM GMT
    Try taking some shots from above the model's eye-level, or have them tilt their head down, so they are looking up into the camera, even if it's barely noticeable. It is a trick I learned that (supposedly) a lot of headshot photographers use, something about the psychology of the actor looking up at the viewer makes them more likable... or something.

    Also, these come off a little harsh to me. Maybe soften the focus just a tiny bit, or change the backdrop so it is not solid black/has more depth. Even if it is just a slight gradient it might help him look more natural. I feel like solid black or solid white backdrops only work with B&W headshots.

    Can't give you much help on color, because I am a stubborn, color film lover and I totally suck at getting colors right with digital files. Anyway, hope that helps!
  • calibro

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    Apr 20, 2011 2:20 AM GMT
    guy94hg59 saidJust because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.


    and just because you don't have anything nice to say doesn't mean duck lips or a foundation that makes you look like a woman from the nineteenth century or enough hair product product you could patch up the reactor in japan or squinty eyes that make you look like a near-sided kid reading math problems from the back of the room are attractive.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:21 AM GMT
    Hmm - I have no idea when it comes to photography, but I think if you could get the color somewhere between the two photos you have up, it would look better. Not so orange/tan and not so pale. Also, it seems maybe a bit too much photoshop on the photo on the right? Especially around the eyes, it seems maybe there is something just a bit off. Then again maybe it isn't you, but the model! icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    calibro said
    guy94hg59 saidJust because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.


    and just because you don't have anything nice to say doesn't mean duck lips or a foundation that makes you look like a woman from the nineteenth century or enough hair product product you could patch up the reactor in japan or squinty eyes that make you look like a near-sided kid reading math problems from the back of the room are attractive.


    You're definitely not one to talk about being attractive. You look like a mal-nourished homeless man who's hairline is receeding faster than he'd want it to. You're photographer couldn't even make you look decent. You still look fucking terrible. Just because you have 'thin and villainous lips' and you don't have enough hair to even do a comb over doesn't mean you should attack me because I'm NOT lacking in those departments like you are.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    calibro said
    guy94hg59 saidJust because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.


    and just because you don't have anything nice to say doesn't mean duck lips or a foundation that makes you look like a woman from the nineteenth century or enough hair product product you could patch up the reactor in japan or squinty eyes that make you look like a near-sided kid reading math problems from the back of the room are attractive.



    Haha lmao like no joke burn! But let's be nice and I think it depends on what you're going for Paul. Pic 1 is good porno rugged look Pic 2 is more gentle but still captures his masculinity.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:28 AM GMT
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:30 AM GMT
    Anduru said


    I LOVE YOU FOR THIS. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:32 AM GMT
    dekiruman saidI LOVE YOU FOR THIS. icon_lol.gif

    MY OBSTACLE TO OBTAIN MY DREAM JOB...



    WAS MY SKIN
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:37 AM GMT
    calibro saidyou had the words "suck" "head" and "shot;" yet, i was dissappointed
    Make yer own damn porn, bitch. icon_razz.gif
    And invite me to be in it.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Apr 20, 2011 2:37 AM GMT
    says the manorexic elvira look-a-like tranny. perhaps i'll take your critiques seriously when you open your eyes (literally).


    18614__elvira_l.jpg

    guy94hg59 said
    calibro said
    guy94hg59 saidJust because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.


    and just because you don't have anything nice to say doesn't mean duck lips or a foundation that makes you look like a woman from the nineteenth century or enough hair product product you could patch up the reactor in japan or squinty eyes that make you look like a near-sided kid reading math problems from the back of the room are attractive.


    You're definitely not one to talk about being attractive. You look like a mal-nourished homeless man who's hairline is receeding faster than he'd want it to. You're photographer couldn't even make you look decent. You still look fucking terrible. Just because you have 'thin and villainous lips' and you don't have enough hair to even do a comb over doesn't mean you should attack me because I'm NOT lacking in those departments like you are.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:38 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidEver since I started photographing people a few years ago, my biggest challenge has always been head shots. I couldn't figure out if it was my lens, my lighting...or just me.

    Well, a couple nights ago I had my trainer over. While he was here, I had him pose for a few shots to try out a new lighting setup and new lens.

    I'm posting this for critique here since you guys are 100x more brutally honest than the folks on ModelMayhem; and the last thing I want is smoke blown up my ass just to be nice. I wanna master this challenge that's been haunting me from day one.

    This is what we got:
    ...

    Tell me how I can make it better.

    The one on the right is too washed out. Looks like he's a vampire or wearing some heavy foundation/make-up. icon_lol.gif

    The one on the left isn't too bad. Nice deep color and contrast. But it's a little too "strong" for head shots. I would reserve this for physique shots. And where are the physique shots? icon_wink.gif

    Normally for head shots, you want to go a little softer. What kind of lens did you use? Camera settings? Lighting placement?
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    Y'all are definitely right about the color. I'll just blame it on the camera...low-end Nikons fucking suck at skin tones. icon_lol.gif
    (and yes, the white balance is always set for what I'm shooting with a gray card)

    I'll do more work on that tomorrow night. As it stands, I've got 5 layers of skin textures to fuck with and color match...not exactly a one-day job, but always a fun project.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Apr 20, 2011 2:42 AM GMT
    Personally?

    lighting on the first one seems to highlight flaws, and while it looks natural, I'd say it wasn't very flattering.

    The lighting on the second one is so overpowering that it kinda looks photoshopped and artificial.

    Do you have an inbetween?

    (hope this was clear and not too harsh)
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:43 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidY'all are definitely right about the color. I'll just blame it on the camera...low-end Nikons fucking suck at skin tones. icon_lol.gif

    I'll do more work on that tomorrow night. As it stands, I've got 5 layers of skin textures to fuck with and color match...not exactly a one-day job, but always a fun project.


    You photoshopped him to look paler than me, and I'm a fuckin' ginge.

    I'd like to see a video of whatever technique you're using, because it sounds like whatever you're doing you're doing it the long/difficult way.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:44 AM GMT
    calibro saidsays the manorexic elvira look-a-like tranny. perhaps i'll take your critiques seriously when you open your eyes (literally).

    guy94hg59 said
    calibro said
    guy94hg59 saidJust because you buy a fancy Camera, doesn't mean you have the talent to be a photographer.


    and just because you don't have anything nice to say doesn't mean duck lips or a foundation that makes you look like a woman from the nineteenth century or enough hair product product you could patch up the reactor in japan or squinty eyes that make you look like a near-sided kid reading math problems from the back of the room are attractive.


    You're definitely not one to talk about being attractive. You look like a mal-nourished homeless man who's hairline is receeding faster than he'd want it to. You're photographer couldn't even make you look decent. You still look fucking terrible. Just because you have 'thin and villainous lips' and you don't have enough hair to even do a comb over doesn't mean you should attack me because I'm NOT lacking in those departments like you are.


    Yeah, well you should consider my critiques much sooner because they're actually relevant. Your nonsense bullshit I'll never consider because it's not even a critique, it's you scrounging for insults, you pathetic nothing.
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:46 AM GMT
    Anduru said
    paulflexes saidY'all are definitely right about the color. I'll just blame it on the camera...low-end Nikons fucking suck at skin tones. icon_lol.gif

    I'll do more work on that tomorrow night. As it stands, I've got 5 layers of skin textures to fuck with and color match...not exactly a one-day job, but always a fun project.


    You photoshopped him to look paler than me, and I'm a fuckin' ginge.

    I'd like to see a video of whatever technique you're using, because it sounds like whatever you're doing you're doing it the long/difficult way.
    I was gonna completely desaturate it and layer over with a b/w gradient for high contrast (mimics b/w film), but decided to add "some" color back to it...and totally fucked it up.
    The process actually takes about 15 minutes. Deciding what I want to do can take days. icon_lol.gif
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    paulflexes said
    Anduru said
    paulflexes saidY'all are definitely right about the color. I'll just blame it on the camera...low-end Nikons fucking suck at skin tones. icon_lol.gif

    I'll do more work on that tomorrow night. As it stands, I've got 5 layers of skin textures to fuck with and color match...not exactly a one-day job, but always a fun project.


    You photoshopped him to look paler than me, and I'm a fuckin' ginge.

    I'd like to see a video of whatever technique you're using, because it sounds like whatever you're doing you're doing it the long/difficult way.
    I was gonna completely desaturate it and layer over with a b/w gradient for high contrast (mimics b/w film), but decided to add "some" color back to it...and totally fucked it up.
    The process actually takes about 15 minutes. Deciding what I want to do can take days. icon_lol.gif



    This makes it sound like you're doing too much work in Photoshop, when the best "effects" are always in the lens, lighting, and setting.

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    Apr 20, 2011 2:50 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidI was gonna completely desaturate it and layer over with a b/w gradient for high contrast (mimics b/w film), but decided to add "some" color back to it...and totally fucked it up.
    The process actually takes about 15 minutes. Deciding what I want to do can take days. icon_lol.gif

    Okay, good, because I was like "how the fuck does it take somebody over a day to photoshop one photo?"

    I still wanna see a video of it. Is there something on youtube?