Advertising Critique Part 2
This is great for me. This is it's an ad I mean it's it's it's the gray background it's the vignette in corners she's not looking at us. It's about the dress it's not about her, but she still looks great in there. Um there's the creek is the person put their own name in there but there's room for copy er need band of the hand the hand may be just a little too flat on from through my my taste just soften the hand a little bit that's across the front but I like the hand of the head what do you mean by soften the hand? What does that mean? They're not gonna put lotion on my hand that might help to but softened bell a hands. I think you stated yesterday when you grab someone stand and you press it here in the middle of the palm and it brings their thumb and middle finger together think ballet hands and this is just soft come up and treat the sides of the hand's. Not not the fist but beautiful, beautiful picture. And I think that one of the reasons that this image works for me is the fact t...
hat the expression on her face it's very fun and very playful she looks like she's actually enjoying wearing that garment, so in that editorial in and advertising world, you'll notice that the images are very much about expression that and that's, by the way, a great tool to keeping your arsenal is that if everything else fails and you can't remember a certain pose, or you can't remember how to do something, if you get great expression from your subject, everything else is forgivable. Great expression, trump's at all emotion. I love it. I think this is adorable. I love it, but I'm it's the what he called lift um, spot colored thing is it's kind of been overdone for me that having the red lips on there, but otherwise I like the image. Maybe maybe if it wasn't just a black and white with the red, maybe it was just de saturated quite a bit. It might be a little stronger for me. It's, it's it's sort of like the hdr thing where spot colors just kind of lessens the impact for me. No, and typically I hate hand coloring stuff I did in the nineties, so I this is actually one of the few exceptions where it does not bother me in this photograph. And because it's in the advertising category, to me, I feel that in that particular context, it's okay, I loved the expression on his face I think the maker did an interesting job the way that they let it it's very moody the bottle is the way they lift that bottle the light is separating the bottle from the background john, can you talk a little about the lighting on this and what maybe you would do different not sure what I do different I mean I don't want to separate him from the wall a little bit he's just too close and there's too much detail in the wall and we've seen that in a in a few images where the the background is competing with the subject the background needs to fall away so it may be more in the choice of aperture than then in the lighting here because we still want that hard lighting on his face I like that hard shadow the lights just above his eyes you could see the nose shadow cast down a little bit but doesn't quite reach the mouth so there's some separation there so I think the lighting was done well but I just want that background to go just a little bit softer it feels a newer than it then I think I wanted to feel I'd like to see more rustic that's a great way to put that where you are so good for you this is a lot of fun huh makes me wonder what what movie they're what they're watching? I mean they the lighting is done really well that the people in the front seat or let more than the guy in the back seat assume he's in the back seat. Or is it just, I think he's leaning over between the sheets so he's a little further back, so the lighting works there if as an editorial, though, I mean, it works more advertising, I think editorial, and they want to see some more shadowing on the faces because usually went, oh, when I think of watching someone is watching a movie or a tv screen, there's colors and things moving across that it's not so flat late, but it's it's comes down to what the makers wanted to do with it works either way from a book. I just wanted to point that out. I'd almost just like to see. I think this is a really fun image. I think that they told a great story with this picture. The one thing I'd like to see it, I feel like I'd like to see it just taken down just a little bit. I feel that it's a little bit too bright for the context of the environment, the hood of the car, especially I just feel that if this in making this photograph a little bit more editorial, I'd like to just see some of the towns just pulled down just a little bit more so that we kind of feel like we're actually peering into a car. I understand why they probably let the front of the car that way because you're thinking there's light from the screen hitting it, but if the light from the screens hitting it it's bouncing towards the people, not toward us would probably still be dark toward us remember angle of incidence equals angular reflections of the lights from the screens, not going to come at this, and we're right back at us unless it was a flight up. So I think we you have a little more than getting your tone down the hood of the car uh, would would even draw s'more into the people in the car. So for those that aren't familiar with that angle of incidence thing, can you just, like, demonstrate exactly what do you mean by that? Well, when when light hits a subject, it bounces back off at the same angle that it hit it, so if the lights coming straight down, it's going to come right back at the camera, we did a still life being here with thick was andrew, screw vanni recently, where we're shooting some food and the plate was really reflecting and all we did was lower the light just a little bit so that the reflection in the plate went below the camera instead of right into the lens thank very good thank you. First thing I'm trying to do is figure out if the horizon straight sorry I'm actually the trees are pretty straight and that sometimes you know in the way the land goes you really can't tell what but, you know, like at first I feel a little skewed, but then as they fall into the picture, I get comfortable with it. Um the lighting works pretty well on here like maybe see a little more interface of reflector something kicking in what I am disturbed by the o is the corners it doesn't look like a traditional vignette. It looks like the lens hood was on wrong or it was the wrong size lends hood or there's some filter on the lens that that was causing the via anything yet in the corners it just doesn't feel natural to me, but I am drawn to the center to the people, to the brightness behind him I like the flare coming through there, but what do the ways that corner blue you know, that was my thoughts exactly, I think a cz just a word of critique unlike the connection between the two people, I think they have been engaging in engaging look with one another I want to see a bit more room below them, eh? So what I would think might have been good was too too back up just a little bit and then photograph from a slightly lower camera angle. I want a bit more foreground and again those corners I completely agree with you. The corners are a bit that is a very great distraction. We don't want to see that. Yeah, that za tough one to get the camera angle here because as you say, you want to shoot from a lower angle that's going a lesson in the foreground, you're gonna have to pull back even more motion of the camera down, we lose foreground as the camera goes up. The foreground stretches out in front of the person. Yes, betty, when you have a really bright background like that, because even if you want to shoot a portrait or something, where do you meet her? It depends on what you want to show up if you want. If you want to make sure that they're not dark in the front of them, where would you meet her? John? I'm not a big meter fan. I tend to oh, go well, we outdoors that you will use the camera meter, but then I'll start overriding it, and I used the lcd quite a bit, um and even in the studio I do have a light meter in the studio and I usually use it after I'm done and it always comes up that I shot it like stop and half different than what the meter told me I was so for here I want to get their faces so I may spot meter on the face and then open up slightly caucasian skin is about a thirty six percent reflect reflect its so that's a big mistake people make if they spot meter on the palm of their hand and then you shoot at that it's going to be under exposed because the hand is brighter than with the meters looking for so spot meter on the skin and then open up about a stop in and that'll probably be where where we get you into the ballpark but I'd still look at it look at it and see how good you can get it and that's what I do I take I use the spot meter and I'll meet her on the face andi I will open up a slightly depending on what I want to show up and this is one of my favorite techniques to do I do in the studio literally all the time I like to have a bright face against a very light background I think it just is it's kind of my little thing right now is I'm kind of liking light airy backgrounds and and soft, warm, you know, bright skin. So out what amount shooting, for instance, when I was out in the desert photographing a ferment bride I shot I metered on the face opened up about a stop so that I could really like it so the background would go completely light, very light atonality. And then and then the faces would be exposed properly. Properly doing that in a doorway is beautiful. It could be really, really print in and it's a balance that they've done really well here. I mean, it is super bright behind him, but the flares not blowing out their faces, I can still make out their faces. And they whoever did this did a really nice job of balancing it all. I really like this's very grunge. The pose is fantastic it to me it works really well with what this young man is doing. I like the separation between him and the background. John. If the camera was raised about an inch or two inches, he would separate just a little bit from the the cross bar behind him. I mean, it's just it's a slight connect there and probably wouldn't bother the subject would notice it. I mean, a lot of the stuff we're talking about, too is things other photographers notice um, like yesterday, that you're talking about lighting patterns in the lake. I mean, no one comes into the studio and says, I want a rembrandt startling image of myself, you know? But you want to know that stuff so you can use it. But, you know, I think the subject of this will probably love this just a zit isthe and I like the way that they separated him by using that debt kicker light tio illuminate his his body, and they've also done a very nice job of lighting the skateboard as well. The one area that is, but give me keys from my eye away is the bright spot on them shipping container, you know, the shipping container that I thought I'd love to see them take that down because my eye bounces between that and him, and I'm actually wondering, even if that's even important, to be in the picture, and that makes it that if you could just if you cropped it out, if that would make a difference yeah, just halfway into the blue one, get the full yellow and half of the blue, I might make a stronger a stronger image because it'll make him larger, too very nice that nicely done challenger, um I mean, it's it's. Nicely late. We've got this, this phil on the grill of this car, but I feel if this was going to be an ed, they'd probably want another card underneath to make the whole word challenger. Stand out. Can you talk a bit more about that? What do you mean by that? A card? What do you like a plain car? What? Some sort of way. White paper on the ground. A white piece of foam core white are bored or something like that. That's just going toe. Lighten up. The bottom of the letter c at the top of the letters is probably a soft bucks that's lighting those up with the bottom of letters curve underneath and they're not getting hit by the soft bucks. So I just want to get something white underneath to fill in the letters there. Um, you may again. This may be a time to do two exposures because the grill looks great going from the bright spots to the bottom there. So you may want to put the card in for one shot. Take it out and a photo shop come combined them so that the the word challenger is more legible, but you still have the dramatic full off in the grill. Grillwork itself you mentioned using a soft box for those that aren't familiar with it may be that this is the first time they've ever seen anything like this why not use an umbrella? Why are you talking soft box? You know there's different kinds that she should consider yeah, so an umbrella could work on this but thing you're probably going to see the ribs of the umbrella in the silver of the of the car. I didn't do it for a week I did a lighting class where he showed this on a wine bottle using a soft box worsen umbrella at the same position and the soft box gives this nice move hard edged reflection down the bottom where the umbrella you see the light itself, you see the ribs of the umbrella and falls off toward the edges so that the soft bucks because just a nice even phil across umbrellas tend this bill light in normal sorts of directions where soft box just kind of pushes it forward. Well, is there a way? Is there is? What if you don't have a soft bucks? What appear a photographer who's newer is there anything? Are you? Are you just this is our dream what the shower curtain okay, so translucent shower curtain so hang the shower curtain in front of the subject and put your light behind it and sometimes it gives you even more control than a soft box because you can move the light closer to the shower curtain to make the light smaller you can pull it away without having a chance to move the shower curtain itself you khun you can kind of point the light up or down in there give some gradation also to the light where soft boxes the idea soft boxes to have the front of it evenly lit by using something like a shower curtain cloth one is better than plastic, especially for using hotter lights and melted catch fire on you but yeah that's um again and past creative life places don janadi goes over how to do home made like lighting modifiers like that that's great I like men a lot and in fact is his courses courses problem or those that's on sale this month too, isn't it? Donji nadia's lighting essentials I think believes awesome absolutely so I love that guy bring it I just think that I think that it's important for us to learn how to macgyver things because if we can do that then we're never sit there going oh I can't you know I'm stuck u s o I love thinking in an abstract way so that idea about the shower curtains just really great one and now we have another image up here this just looks like in nineteen seventies eighties vintage and that could run today I mean it's got this this feel the coloration, the warm the warm tones, the attitude it looks like she's biting into those flowers there I don't mind that our elbow goes out because it does return back in farm was straight out holding something out here I'd say ouch but here you know it comes back in their head tilted back a soft light at it attitude it's it works for me so what do you think that they're selling in this picture selling attitude? Okay, very good, you know, and that's that's an important thing to think about is what is the what are they selling? Because in many cases it's not about the product it's about an experience and that's really to me perfect advertising is one that sells and experience what are you going to feel when you use this product? One of my favorite cos I've ever I've tried to emulate is tiffany's and a number of years ago tiffany's had this fantastic ad in a bride's magazine and it was a picture of of what mother, a woman and a man and she's got her arms wrapped around his head and you could barely see her big honking diamond I mean barely like just a little bit but it's almost cut off in the entire picture and she's hugging him with your cheek and there's no words on the ad and down but it's a very tiny part of bottom literally in very small letters it has to the name tiffany and where you can find them and I saw that ad and I went that is brilliant marketing because they don't even have to show the product for us to want to buy into it and it made me realize how powerful emotional responses can be to us and that many times photographer specifically we think it's all about our art and so we'll make like the history of the universe part one and two will tell everybody money every accolade we've ever had you know we'll say, well, I won this award in nineteen, ninety two below and we have all this stuff and nobody cares a bit of what you're saying like on your about paige look, I've been doing this for thirty five years and I have this grief no tell me tell the person what they're going to feel by working with you. Why are you special to them? Why are they special to you? You know, you could be in business for three months if you're really good, you know? And you just have this connection that you're going to make them feel the best they've ever felt in their life, you know, be yourself only better when you're with me something like that and so when it comes to ads that you're going to do, make sure that it's about an interesting photograph make the picture big and don't have a a bunch of words on a page because what happens when you do that and advertisers understand this, which is why when you see advertisements and magazines, big picture, little tiny words and the and the price of that problem, if they happen to have the price and they're of a product it's in literally microscopic words because they don't want you to think logically, they want you to think emotionally so that it will override the logic of the expensive product and there's nobody. I mean, magazines tamir made for women and women are our clients is a general rule. I mean, I think, and even in the advertising world, they're selling to women, you know, connected research a number of years ago, they can't found out that something like somewhere in the ninety percent range of products photography is bought by women think about how powerful that is, and we women buy magazines like crazy there's, not a bride in the world that doesn't go out the first thing she does when she gets in cages go by the brian magazine. She starts looking through that magazine and so that's where I started getting my ideas for my advertising and marketing material and for pictures that I took from my website is I started looking at the pictures well, how large is the picture isn't an interesting picture isn't a beautiful person or what is it that makes this people want to stop here and then how big is the lettering and the wording? Because I want to give enough I want them to come to me not because of what I charge but in spite of what I charge. So the wording on my brochures and on my marketing material is very, very minimal. It's very, very minimal and there's. The photographs are very interesting and that way it's something that grabs their attention first, and then I can show them afterwards about the logical end of it. By the way, if anybody's interested in marketing material I have on bambi control dot net under the tab bambi land. I have some marketing templates that can give you some ideas on that kind of thing, but this is really very interesting. Yeah, do you mind the crop through the hair? Not at all? No, I don't either no, not at all now I think it's very nice I'm hungry on this one, I just wish they use a bigger light you say that the highlight on the chocolate is so small it's this big speculative highlight looks like the lights kind of far away from the subject if there was a soft box and it doesn't have to be larger meaning this is played and and strawberries are probably eight inches by eight inches. So even a twelve by twelve twenty four by twenty four square soft box in just right outside the frame would make such a beautiful highlight on the chocolate and we get rid of all the hot spots in there and just just make it more luscious for me. Sure, what? I think so too. I think they may even make a highlight down the poor of the of the chocolate there, but it's it's a nice exposure, the white on white styling wise, I would probably choose different strawberries that weren't so wait at the top there. I mean, when you if you're going to do advertising, you know you're going to go out and buy five hundred strawberries and find the right too. So I hope you like strawberries, you know? Let me ask you about that, john about him. What do you think it would pay tire a stylist could help you with definitely for for food stuff. Yeah, there's there's few photographers that do both of styling and the shooting we have a couple of classes with andrew schiavone available in the catalogue that sure on sale where he does both for the time, new york times and others and we covers off a lot of the lighting stuff like this on on how to do this stuff, but yeah, a stylist really really helps because you're concentrating on the technical stuff and getting things ready when when they could be picking the right image they can get the strawberries placed on the plate so they looked the best I mean it's what they do for a living and it just works out really well working with the team I really enjoyed looking at this photo for me it's about the photographer that's what in the background there yeah everyone else's dark and it's just this once one person that's that's there and that that's more of the subject for me of this fashion week image I mean the model looks great, you don't have control of where hand is and you probably couldn't raise your camera foot to get it did not touch your face of I'm not going to go there that it's an editorial image it's it's what it was but for me I really enjoyed that that there's this one person back there that's taking the picture so what about the exposure on her though? What are your thoughts on that on which one on the bride on the model of south of bride it's it's a little hot there but you don't have again units control maybe in post you can you could try to tone down but but it's hard to tone down really bright whites without them starting with dirty I'm sure there's photoshopped experts that can do it it's that's not something I found out myself to be to be good at so well couldn't you you know when she's walking down that aisle could you not take a light meter reading and then compensate say ok, this light is going to be very bright how do you want your thoughts on that? But if I if I lower the exposure for the for the dress that I'm gonna maybe lose her face so again it's it's a compromise what's more important to get the face to get the all the texture and the fabric and it's hard to tell on these monitors there maybe texture in that fabric may maybe look better than it actually does here um I made take that little blue square of the metal leg of the table at the front and just clone it out or dodge it down a little bit just just something less to pull the I okay very good questions you guys have any questions about this? Yes do you see a crop that would be stronger uh for the image I'm not seeing you know for me I don't see a stronger crop this is a tough photographed for me to critique because you know that if this is during fashion week you don't have a lot of control and you're not gonna be able to go okay changes but I'll tell you what I would do if I were in this america's I've had to shoot runway before on dh one of the things that I've done is I try to before I'm going to get to the finale I tried to stack the deck in my behalf so when I start seeing that the first person comes down that aisle I want to make sure that I nailed the exposure because exposure is critical and especially on white dresses like this it's very very critical and so the first thing I would do is is when that first person gets to the point where I know I want to take the photograph the first for the walk down I'm going to try to nail the exposure and get the exposure right I'm gonna look at the back of that screen and then I'm going to say to myself ok do I need tio increase my exposure or do I need to decrease it a bit so that I'm prepared when the finale or when something that is the hero shot walks down that aisle so that I'm not having to guess I use the same technique when I'm photographing wedding because for instance when the bride stuff is walking down the aisle that's not the time for you to go excuse me or you can't to me I don't want to start again yeah that's what I try to do I will say to my assistant if I know that we'll say that let's say she's walking down a staircase to get to where her ceremony site is if I know that she's got to walk down that staircase and what I'm going to do is I'm gonna pre plan in my mind how I'm going to accomplish it so I'll tell my assistant hey mike I want you to walk down that staircase to you get to this point let me take a like me to read it off of you that way I've got a foundation and that way he gets to that spot I'll take a couple of exposures I'll see which one is going to give me the best bang for my book for the background the foreground in them of course my subject and that way when she starts walking down that staircase I don't have to stop her go excuse me honey could you stop for a second but it's a great way to pre plan and get the job done in real time and in a good photo journalistic way which in this case this would really lend itself to more of a p j experience p j being photo journalistic, correct? Yeah, andi, I hope that profession week the models are more experience and have a a good pace coming down I've had to shoot runway things with with amateur models or someone is first timer someone got craigslist people you want to be in a fashion show and they come out there and they think they're going slow and they run and then when they come, they they seemed like it went so fast, you know, went so fast because you ran down that aisle, you know, they thought they were just moving slow, but the adrenaline of the first time being out in front of people. So it's it's really tough? If you have to shoot an amateur show, try to get their only talk to the models, go through a rehearsal with them and try to explain the pacing to them where you're going to be and say, stop at this point, do a turn and, you know, I'm going to be there, make eye contact with me. I mean, in a big show like this, you can because there's six hundred photographers we'll lined up deck there than you, you know, as you say, sometimes you can't get the place you want to be, you know, it's there's, just pecking order and ranking of the fashion paparazzi that were already in place so it's it's a tough situation so but what you can do even if you can't in this particular at this particular time and this particular event you can't make me listen you can't talk to the models and even if you could they probably are so crazy they would forget it anyway but what you can do is you can preplanned other scenarios with similar lighting so in other words what I try to do is is you know this room could be could be a my studio this room could be a church this room could be you know, a photograph place right to photograph of family similar experiences happen in a variety of locations so in other words a church could be a runway that's I mean many run made many churches are lit a lot like a runaway actually so what I try to do is I have concepts and I go ok, well, this concept can I apply that concept to this experience and then that to me helps me to become a more able to get things off the cuff in a more experienced way? John this one doesn't quite work as well for me um why I'm drawn to the green I guess it's a tree trunk with moss on it in the front is even though her skin is light and bright I still think the lighting is is emphasizing that tree in the back and she's just the secondary part of it. I'm not sure where the fabrics coming from or going to or white boy it's leading out of her like that, um, I'd like it to be more about the model than about that tree. You know, there are many things I like about this photograph very much I am nuts about the experience and what they tried to do. I think that I love it when people shake up my brain a little bit and the way they have this girl position. I think I think it's really interesting, and I like that a great deal. I think we're the problem in this photograph is is the lighting fall short? I think where the camera position is in relation to the lighting, so if they had to be, in my opinion, had moved the lighting to the back side of her so that we said that it kind of rim let her a bit and maybe illuminated that dress in a in a less than frontal way. This would be a fabulous shot to me because I love the composition I like very much the way that they were creating a story that's, very quirky and interesting, but I think that the lighting just to me makes it fall short a little bit. Yeah, I love the sky, the black background with the model. I mean, if I cropped the image in half and just take the top half toe where the fabric starts to go horizontal, I mean, it's, it's, much stronger. I'm just getting because the knots and the would look like eyes and it's almost like a face down there. And we tend to look at faces that faces more in our face than her face is so it's just too much in the in the front, maybe a longer lens that would would have cropped out. Some of some of that foreground might help. One of the other things that I like, that they did is the way that they have the model's legs position. I love the fact that there is separation between those legs, like that's, really, really an important element. I would like to have seen a bit of separation between this front arm and her chest. I think that would have made for a more a little bit more of an interesting story, but the main makers, definite comment should be commended for doing something that's a bit different. It's a great, great concept and starting, I think just a little bit of work on it, you can really pop it up in a couple of notches sure can