This is very good for your first time. I agree with all the things that Roshenk mentioned. What power are you shooting your flashes at? For you to drain batteries that quick I assume near full power. You can bring the lights in nearer to the subject and drop the power accordingly. This will make them not heat up (which is what makes them die very quickly). If you can fire them at 1/16 or around that a set of batteries should last you for a lot longer time.
I am coming to see that we all learn in different ways, my way was repetition. Taking a subject like this and making subtle changes to the same shot not only in lighting but in face angle. I will shoot, study it in the monitor and make adjustments to try and correct. After doing it for a while I would gain a more immediate discernment to what change will correct what is displeasing in the initial shot.
Camera angle...Like in the case of your image if you would have brought her nose slightly more toward the lens (5-7 degrees) a couple of things would have occurred.
1- Her chin would have been slightly more frontal. The symmetry of it would have lost that flat edge on the bottom. This would have made her chin more rounded, less flat.
2- Her eyes would have shown just a little of white on the side facing the camera. When you lose that little piece of white it can make the eyes look out of balance with each other. Like they are crossed or split too wide. White on both sides seem to prevent that from happening
I think also chin up slightly (again just a couple of degrees), to where she is not looking up at the camera but more straight on would have fixed some of your other issue you had mentioned.
1- Lighting under the nose
2- More light to the eyes
This image and your questions does indicates to me that you are more on track with your approach to portrait photography. Keep up the good work.
Last edited by Mark Engelhart; 02-18-2012 at 12:25 PM.
Nikon D 700/ D300/ Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8, AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR
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