Your subject is is strong and done in such a way to leave something for the viewer to interject for themselves. Previous critiques have covered theme and theory well enough so I focus on technique. I think that the choice of a shallow depth of field really helps contribute to the images overall. Lending them a slightly surreal air. Light on the hand and gun in upper image is good I think the faintest highlight on the trigger guard is a nice touch. However I feel the light on the lower end of the barrel could be a bit brighter.
The lower image is a bit more compelling overall. the only real negatives are that I would like to see a little more or less light on the hair so that it is either completely separate from the background or integrates more. It's just hanging around the middle. Final downside (this is subjective) I think the highlights on the chin and teeth are too hot, blown out. That being said I think that you could pull it off if you were so inclined. Finally the light down the top off the lower barrel is very nice and does an excellent job of drawing the eye.
Good work, I really enjoy the almost Noir look. This combination of style and theme is well on it's way to being disturbing in a good way.
Thanks for the critique! I'm trying to get better with different lightnings, all I have is a regular house lamp to work with . I also appreciate the fact you focused on my technique and not the theory/theme. Thanks again!
Good job. Lighting is a lifelong pursuit, there is always more you can learn even on a tight budget(free)
Look at reflectors(white,silver,or gold for warming)This can be done very cheaply. Foam core,the windshield inserts for the summer, cardboard with aluminium foil.They can allow you to bounce light in and fill spots. On the other side you have scrims, flags and gobos. Diffuse, block and shape the light you are using. sheer cloth or sheets to diffuse(careful not to set them on fire the thin stuff can burn quickly and lights get hot)and dark painted cardboard or black foam core can be cut easily to make whatever kind of interesting shadows you might want.
This is a good resource [link] (active community lots of neat ideas.
Have fun chasing the light!!
huh, I never thought about all of that, I actually do have more than a house lamp lol I just didn't think of it. I have a softbox (I had to make it for a class project one time) of a cardboard box covered with tin foil on the outside, and then white paper covering the opening and then a hole for the lamp to stick in. Also sheets and reflector items. I'm checking out the link you sent, good stuff! thank you for sharing