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January 14, 2013
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Introducing myself, and asking for a little advice

:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey Photography forum, just wanted to introduce myself as stay-sick aka Oli Polhill and to ask; first of all, are my photographs any good/do they have potential? And as far as lighting goes - I can't afford expensive reflectors etc, so could I just use a piece of white Styrofoam or a white pillow case stapled to a board, or any similar contraption to reflect light? I just wasn't sure if it would work as well, then again I am really at the low budget end of the photography world :)
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:iconmisterharts:
MisterHarts Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Professional Photographer
When i first started i use to use my cars windshield reflector but Rcooper is right reg reflectors are pretty cheap and a great way to start. your work has potential keep it up.

-------------------
Harts Ortiz
www.hartbasscompany.com
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:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :) yeah, I'm looking at investing in some regular reflectors
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Bear in mind that the windshied reflectors in Walmart that are made of wire framed fabric (not the plastic or cardboard kind) are EXACTLY the same as the ones sold in photography shops, and they cost far less.
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:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't have Walmart here in the UK :) although I'm sure i'll find the same stuff
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:iconmad-shrewd:
mad-shrewd Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
This takes some creativity.

If you use math (tm) you can create your own reflectors that do a fine job. It takes some algebra, but using the formula f(x) = a(x-h)^2 + k you can create your own reflector. Just place a tube light of some sort at the point h,k and line the reflector along the arch described by the equation and you should get a nice even light. Or, you can place objects at that point and just use it as a solar cooker. You can use foil or mylar for the reflective coating and you get a pretty good reflector like that.

If you need directions, google "home made solar cooker" and you should find videos and other resources.

If you scrounge parts, it should cost you pretty much nothing. And depending upon the level of precision you need, you could probably even make it fold up. When I return to the US, I'll probably do something like this. I should probably post a tutorial for it when I do it.

I found a beer can reflector online, but the site is dedicated to growing marijuana so I probably shouldn't link it here in the forum. But, google "do it yourself beer can reflector" and you should find it.
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:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013

Go to walmart's automoptive section. Do you know about the folding wire framed fabric shields that go in people's windsheilds and that keep their car's interior from going over boiling on a hot day? They have one metallic shiny side and one dark side -- and darned if they are not exactly like some of those expensive photography store reflectors, at about a tenth of the price.

About your photos: There are some problems, but you have potential. The poses are okay, but you have some things to lear about the rest of composition and about lighting. In particular you need to look up broad and short lighting and see what they do to people's faces. In the photo, "a cluttered background," the wrong kind of lighting (broad lighting, that broadens a narrow face), combined with a bad crop, has added 50 or more pounds of weight to that lady.

In "red is beauty," it looks like you've attempted to use the rule of thirds, but have used it incorrectly, with the result that the viewer's attention is drawn to the area behind her, only to find there is nothing there. If she's on the right side of the photo, she should be facing the left side -- unless you really do want to focus the viewer's attention on something behind her. If there was a really strong wind and her hair was blowing out behind her, that might work, but there was not and it doesn't. In addition, the unfortunate location of the wrinkles in her sweater have the same effect that skin folds in the same area would if she were nude, so they make her look more plump than she is and make her torso look shorter.

Also, if you are going to do portraits, you need to either get closer (classic head and shoulders) or farther away (head to knees or full length). Environmental portraits are also an option (subject in context). The distance you are using isn't working though, and I would recomment that you back off for most of them.

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:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for that, I'll get to work on correcting those mistakes. I appreciate you taking the time to look through my 'art' (I'm my own worst critic), it really does help.
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
If you think portraits are hard, try doing nudes sometime. You have all the things that can possibly go wrong with portraits, but over the whole body. Clothes hide all kinds of things that you will have to deal with (birth marks, scars, stretch marks, cellulite, bad tattoos and etcetera), not to mention body langusage, sagging things, and so on. That's when you REALLY learn things about lighting and poses.
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:iconstay-sick:
stay-sick Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah I can imagine - you see it in the nudes posted here on DA. There are those photographers who have considered lighting and pose meticulously, and there are those who have just shot a naked model.
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