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A Look Through My Lens

By Anthony Thurston on May 7th 2013

I had the pleasure this last weekend of being able to spend some time working with a few models, something that I admit is one of my weaker photography skills. But you can only get better with practice, so I took the weekend and paid a few professional traveling models to come shoot with me.

Today I wanted to highlight this shot and sort of break it down for you. The shot was taken in a stairway with windows on three sides and white walls meaning that the natural light was very pretty, in my opinion at least. This shot was captured by my D300s with the 50mm 1.8G at 1/80th of a second, F1.8, and ISO 800 handheld.


Overall I feel like the light is very pretty and I love the connection you get with her eyes. I have not edited the photo too much, mainly your basic portrait cleanup (RAW processing, Preset Testing,  blemish removal, color correction etc) and I sort of like this shot as is. The hair could probably use come cleaning up,and the crop isn’t quite mainstream but otherwise I am very happy with the shot.

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Now that you have seen through my lens tell me what I did wrong, what did I do right? Please feel free to leave some constructive thoughts in the comments below. As per usual SLR Lounge etiquette any non-constructive critiques will be removed. Its always scary and fun to put an image out there, and this time around its my turn to give you a look through my lens. So let me know what you think, be as harsh as you like – just remember to keep it constructive.


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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mark Miller

    She’s very pretty and the photo is well done technically in terms of exposure, lighting, focus, composition etc. As constructive feedback I think for women specifically, hand placement is important here. Hands should be doing something believable, which it is – but shouldn’t show a fist, the back of the hand or the palm of the hand entirely. I makes the hands look large (and women don’t want big hands) or is a big area of skin to draw the viewers eye. Think “knife” for hands not “spatula” the saying goes – but soften and bend.

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  2. Allen Piercy

    Technically sound photo. Good lighting and white balance. I’m not much for light backdrops but this looks good. Great eyes and you done a great job exhibiting softness but still retaining skin texture.

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    The great advantage of models, over ‘ordinary’ people, is that they are generally good-looking. Shooting at f1.8 to me therefore seems too large of an aperture, as it leaves a large part of the (good-looking) model in bokeh.

    Furthermore, any white in an image attracts an eye’s attention, especially being surrounded by blacks and shades… Unless you think her bosom is the most important part of this image, you might want to lower the contrast, by letting her wear somthing grey, rather than black.

    I do like the diagonal lines of her hair and collar tho, it emphasizes the movement or flow in the entire image!

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  4. James Moxley

    Great job Anthony, the eyes are nice and clear, its definitely a great photo.
    I noticed on the forehead its a bit uneven, towards the hair line, was there some retouching?. The model seems a bit hunched, rather than opening up it feels like shes closing off. The hand is good but maybe less back of the hand, it comes across as stop. The lips are perfect. The background, is a bit too light, as she has very light skin, against dark she would stand out more. Honestly I would be happy if I had taken this shot, definitely one for the portfolio.

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  5. Shortlistphoto

    I think this image is technically sound, with no odd highlights anywhere, but I think more emotion can be drawn from your model. I can’t quite get a sense of her personality. The eyes are captivating, but I feel like her shoulders and head angle are saying “what should I do now?”. It’s not far off, but I think a little bit more direction in those areas would improve on this otherwise great image.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I think there is almost always room for improvement is a given shot, and I would agree with your thoughts on the posing. Thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it.

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