Critique Welcomed Lancaster Street Portrait and People

Discussion in 'People & Portraits' started by Wes Hall, Jan 15, 2022.

  1. Wes Hall

    Wes Hall Active Member

    Faith Portrait Forum.jpg Faith Portrait 2 Forum.jpg Soft Silouhette Leo BW Forum.jpg Clash of Styles BW edit Forum.jpg A walk around the city whilst doing the mundane shopping resulted in a couple of portraits, one of a lovely lady who called herself Faith.

    She casually stopped me to ask if I was a photographer as she was looking for someone to photograph her art. We spoke, which considering being a stranger, outdoors in these times, was a surprisingly novel and human experience. I gave her my email address and asked if I could take a portrait of her.

    I hope she connects so I can share the shots.
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  2. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    I'm curious about your technique in these photos, Wes. The color palette in the first one is lovely, as is the lady's expression, but I'm not sure I dig the soft focus. I'm sure it must appeal to you, though, so what do I know? Anyway, good on you for posting these under a "critique welcomed" banner.
    Wes Hall and Rob MacKillop like this.
  3. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    I love the story of the lady asking you to photograph her artwork. Hopefully she’ll allow her works to be shared here.

    Yes, the soft focus is interesting and maybe questionable. I look forward to getting your thoughts on it. I just thought I’d forgotten to put my glasses on.
    Wes Hall likes this.
  4. Wes Hall

    Wes Hall Active Member

    Thanks for the responses both! The soft focus effect is more pronounced due to the image scaling and reduction to post here, but it's not going to change the effect noticeably. I bought a job lot of around 50 screw on lens filters- was a bargain from a certain auction site as I got some I wanted (colour for B/W etc) and cost well under a £1 per filter, so I wanted to experiment with some of them.

    These were the result of a 'spot' Hoya filter, where the centre is clear but the rest has a diffuse effect. I'd stacked a Jessops polariser onto this as well on my Super Takumar 135 f.3.5- I suspect the extra layer of filter from the polariser enhanced the softness and I'll have to try a couple of shots with just the spot lens.

    I hope so too Rob, but so far no email.

    Brian, no offence ever taken, I genuinely feel the effect is overkill here and not quite what was hoped, but this was the first time I'd tried it with this lens, so may produce other results on different lenses. I concur regarding the colours in the first shot, they required a slight adjustment using the picker in Rawtherapee to get a slightly warmer balance- my Pentax tends to select a cooler temp if left on auto.
    Rob MacKillop and Brian Moore like this.
  5. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    There's nothing like experimentation to move you forward. Well done, Wes.
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  6. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I've softened down the odd image or two before now, or sometimes deliberately used a lens I know to be a bit that way inclined. I think it's a bit too much for my taste here, but it works better in the first two than the last.
    I photographed the busker myself yesterday!
    Wes Hall likes this.
  7. Chris Bennett

    Chris Bennett Well-Known Member

    There's a weird effect going on in the highlight in the top left of the first image. I'd like to recreate that in the right setting.
  8. Wes Hall

    Wes Hall Active Member

    I suspect Chris that's the result of a strong highlight picking up the texture of the diffuse area on the filter and reflecting somehow. Thanks for the comments, I'm going to continue to experiment with these filters (much cheaper addiction than a new lens!).

    He was an interesting fellow that busker, I almost wished I'd stopped to chat with him- different than the usual fare.
  9. Russ Butner

    Russ Butner Active Member

    The very soft focus prevents me from connecting with your subject matter. However, if it appeals to you, then stay with it.
    Wes Hall likes this.
  10. Wes Hall

    Wes Hall Active Member

    I'll definitely be continuing to explore soft lens filters, there is something about the aesthetic that fires the creative spark.

    I do concur with what you say, they certainly don't feel personal to the viewer- possibly there's a guide to what could be good subjects or techniques for the soft look.
  11. Dave Farnes

    Dave Farnes Well-Known Member

    That is something different. Think it suits the guy with the guitar very well, thoughts of "the mists of time".
    Wes Hall likes this.
  12. Wes Hall

    Wes Hall Active Member

    Thanks Dave, and this is exactly why I appreciate all the commentary on this forum, insights and personal tastes expressed freely.
    Rob MacKillop likes this.

Share This Page