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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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Old 2nd April 2012
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distortion? studio photos.

Hi guys

I need some advice iv been toying with the idea of setting up business doing portraits. So far I have been learning my trade and using speedlites and my 11-22mm lens. Now I'm worried that this lens is distorting my photos to much for portrait work. Sorry to post the photos in question direct from my website but I'm only on my mobile at the mo. The link is http://WWW.Christopherhurrellphotography.com/page3.htm

Can anyone suggest a lens that would be better suited? I only have very limited working area and I struggle to get back far enough to use a really long lens.

Any helpful advice on studio set up, camera setting, lenses, and crit on my photos would be very helpful.

BTW photo number 6 is 2 photos sliced together so I think that is the most distorted one there.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

On your linked page it shows babies & toddlers : the close perspective is perfect in my opinion. Do you have other kinds of distortion to worry about?

For adults you'll need to press youself against the back wall! (from your studio description)
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

I thought so to, its just the canikons out there putting doubts in my mind. So you think the 14-54 willake a good studio/portrait lens?
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

Sorry Chris but I disagree with Ulfric, the distortion is way to much.

The feet in no1 and 2 are way to big and look strange, in no 3 because the lad on the right is closer to the camera his head is distorted way out of proportion to his sibling, and the elongated legs of the girl in no 5 is really strange unless the client likes that wacky fun look.

Sorry but that is my honest opinion and you either need to use a longer focal length or rethink your posing to cut down on the distortion.
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

I tend to agree.. The wide angle does give a novel look to the kids pictures, which is fine and may well sell. However, I imagine a lot of customers will want a different look, so you need to be able to cover their needs as well.

I would consider the 14-54. It is as well made as the 11-22 and the 35-54 part of the range is the "conventional" range for portraits.

:-)

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Re: distortion? studio photos.

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Originally Posted by OlyPaul View Post
Sorry Chris but I disagree with Ulfric, the distortion is way to much.

The feet in no1 and 2 are way to big and look strange, in no 3 because the lad on the right is closer to the camera his head is distorted way out of proportion to his sibling, and the elongated legs of the girl in no 5 is really strange unless the client likes that wacky fun look.

Sorry but that is my honest opinion and you either need to use a longer focal length or rethink your posing to cut down on the distortion.
Thanks Paul, I'm really grateful for your crit thanks for explaining the photos and faults. Sometime you need a bit of truthfulness to build upon mistakes.

However the photos did go down well so at least I got it half way right lol.
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
I would consider the 14-54. It is as well made as the 11-22 and the 35-54 part of the range is the "conventional" range for portraits.

:-)

Pete
Thanks Pete that's really helpful as well, perhaps I should look at getting a 50 mm macro for portraits?
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

I would guess that the 11-22mm will give you some head aches with some of your results Where the long end of the 14 54mm will be more forgiving.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

I have just noticed that you have a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 on your list, is that not an ideal portrait lens?
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

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Originally Posted by Adam Easton View Post
I have just noticed that you have a Zuiko 50mm f1.8 on you list, is that not an ideal portrait lens?
I guess it would be but its manual focus and it might just be Abit to much trouble to focus lt while trying to control kids lol. Auto just makes it run that more smoothly, having said that I'm willing to give it a go next time.
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Old 2nd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

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Originally Posted by Crippledsandwich View Post
I guess it would be but its manual focus and it might just be Abit to much trouble to focus lt while trying to control kids lol. Auto just makes it run that more smoothly, having said that I'm willing to give it a go next time.
Hi. I always use manual focus in portraits. Maybe give this a go.....

I tend to have a chair/stool or something to force the subject into one area. I focus once on a test card around where a subjects head will be then change to manual focus which keeps the focal length you set - yes, that's real lazy. Then just get 'em in, sit 'em down... smile, bang. If you set your aperture for a nice, broad depth of field you have a fair amount of tolerance depending on distance from subject. I see you're shooting high key so this lends itself to shooting like this as you're not worried about the detail in the background.

If you're using the 11-22mm lens remember sharpness starts to drop off around f11-13 but it *will* distort your subjects so try and keep them in the middle of the frame - distortion is worse at the edges. Wide lenses give a great, dramatic effect and are great for close up work. I wouldn't use them as standard for portraits though. They make far away things even further away and close things really close... not good for noses on face shots

11-22mm is superb for scenery with strong foreground. My favourite lens.

I had some great portrait results with the 14-54mm. If you can find the space, the 50-200mm is a beautiful portrait lens, frighteningly sharp but head and shoulders only really. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is great for 3/4 shots (and low light of course) when quite close up but you can't get too close as the minimum focusing distance is nowhere near as good as the zuiko kit.

I looked at your pics and they're really well executed. Try and do as much in camera as you can though if you want to start a business. With high key you should be able to do it all in camera with little or no time in post.

Finally, probably not much a dedicated Nikon or Canon user can tell you tbh. You're shooting in a completely different format, different dof, different lens characteristics, different frame ratio, even different sensor! Probably not much you can tell them about 35mm either or much they can tell someone shooting medium format. It's not apples for apples iyswim. I think 4:3 format is ideal for portraiture so you made the right choice.

Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing some more of those fantastic portraits!

Hope this helps. This is just my thoughts and im not saying what's wrong or right - its whatever works for you. Good luck. Sorry I waffled.
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Old 3rd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

I fyou have the room teh 50mm f2 is my favourite lens full stop
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

Chris I would definitely consider the 50mm f2 Macro, it is my favourite lens for portraits. Most of my portraits in my Zenfolio Portraits section was taken with this lens.

I have done a lot of portraits in people homes and in some really tiny rooms, one tip I can give you if there is little room to work is to set your backdrop and light in that room opposite a doorway and shoot from the opposite room/hallway.

These was taken using the 50mm f2 macro in a kitchen measuring 10 feet by 5 feet including built in units on one side just before Xmas.



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Old 3rd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlinehan View Post
Hi. I always use manual focus in portraits. Maybe give this a go.....

I tend to have a chair/stool or something to force the subject into one area. I focus once on a test card around where a subjects head will be then change to manual focus which keeps the focal length you set - yes, that's real lazy. Then just get 'em in, sit 'em down... smile, bang. If you set your aperture for a nice, broad depth of field you have a fair amount of tolerance depending on distance from subject. I see you're shooting high key so this lends itself to shooting like this as you're not worried about the detail in the background.

If you're using the 11-22mm lens remember sharpness starts to drop off around f11-13 but it *will* distort your subjects so try and keep them in the middle of the frame - distortion is worse at the edges. Wide lenses give a great, dramatic effect and are great for close up work. I wouldn't use them as standard for portraits though. They make far away things even further away and close things really close... not good for noses on face shots

11-22mm is superb for scenery with strong foreground. My favourite lens.

I had some great portrait results with the 14-54mm. If you can find the space, the 50-200mm is a beautiful portrait lens, frighteningly sharp but head and shoulders only really. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is great for 3/4 shots (and low light of course) when quite close up but you can't get too close as the minimum focusing distance is nowhere near as good as the zuiko kit.

I looked at your pics and they're really well executed. Try and do as much in camera as you can though if you want to start a business. With high key you should be able to do it all in camera with little or no time in post.

Finally, probably not much a dedicated Nikon or Canon user can tell you tbh. You're shooting in a completely different format, different dof, different lens characteristics, different frame ratio, even different sensor! Probably not much you can tell them about 35mm either or much they can tell someone shooting medium format. It's not apples for apples iyswim. I think 4:3 format is ideal for portraiture so you made the right choice.

Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing some more of those fantastic portraits!

Hope this helps. This is just my thoughts and im not saying what's wrong or right - its whatever works for you. Good luck. Sorry I waffled.
Thanks mlinehan this has really helped me feel a lot better about my situation. I guess I just need to practise more just working with manual focus. It's a bad habit of mine, I forget my om20 wasn't auto focus lol. With renewed confidence I will give the 14-54mm a wirl and see what results I can get.

Thanks again for your kind words about my photos. felt like a right muppet when I realised what I had done haha. I must have been blind not to have noticed it. But I'm pleased with them all the same. On wards and up wards as they say, cheers

Chris
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Old 3rd April 2012
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Re: distortion? studio photos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlinehan View Post
Hi. I always use manual focus in portraits. Maybe give this a go.....

I tend to have a chair/stool or something to force the subject into one area. I focus once on a test card around where a subjects head will be then change to manual focus which keeps the focal length you set - yes, that's real lazy. Then just get 'em in, sit 'em down... smile, bang. If you set your aperture for a nice, broad depth of field you have a fair amount of tolerance depending on distance from subject. I see you're shooting high key so this lends itself to shooting like this as you're not worried about the detail in the background.

If you're using the 11-22mm lens remember sharpness starts to drop off around f11-13 but it *will* distort your subjects so try and keep them in the middle of the frame - distortion is worse at the edges. Wide lenses give a great, dramatic effect and are great for close up work. I wouldn't use them as standard for portraits though. They make far away things even further away and close things really close... not good for noses on face shots

11-22mm is superb for scenery with strong foreground. My favourite lens.

I had some great portrait results with the 14-54mm. If you can find the space, the 50-200mm is a beautiful portrait lens, frighteningly sharp but head and shoulders only really. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is great for 3/4 shots (and low light of course) when quite close up but you can't get too close as the minimum focusing distance is nowhere near as good as the zuiko kit.

I looked at your pics and they're really well executed. Try and do as much in camera as you can though if you want to start a business. With high key you should be able to do it all in camera with little or no time in post.

Finally, probably not much a dedicated Nikon or Canon user can tell you tbh. You're shooting in a completely different format, different dof, different lens characteristics, different frame ratio, even different sensor! Probably not much you can tell them about 35mm either or much they can tell someone shooting medium format. It's not apples for apples iyswim. I think 4:3 format is ideal for portraiture so you made the right choice.

Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing some more of those fantastic portraits!

Hope this helps. This is just my thoughts and im not saying what's wrong or right - its whatever works for you. Good luck. Sorry I waffled.
I would like to say thanks for a fantastic post. really interesting and useful
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