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 Post subject: complete beginner
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 8:43 am
Posts: 8
Hi Guys,

Here is a picture of my daughter.

Image

I would be really interested in any feed back you can offer. I am a complete novice and don't really know what I am doing.

I also have lightroom but again am not too sure how to work it to get the best out of a picture.

I would be really greatful for your comments no matter how harsh and any other feeback you can offer.

I dont really understand what all this means but hope it helps : :D

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9600
Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture: f/4.2
Focal Length: 42.6 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/100 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Shutter Speed: 8643856/1000000
Brightness: 810/100
Maximum Lens Aperture: 300/100
Metering Mode: Pattern
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4482 dpc
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4482 dpc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:04 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent / United Kingdom
She is adorable and you have done a pretty good job of converting to B&W

The cardinal rule I was always told though is never cut off fingers / hands if they are in the frame they should be complete.

Technically it's fine, fast enough shutter to stop any movement in the model and the aperture helps blur out the background a bit.

I might have been tempted to move a couple of steps to the right and get those bushes to fill the background rather than the car / houses personally.

For a complete novice it's a fine start to your new hobby, keep shooting and reading is all I can say! look forward to seeing more from you soon.

_________________
EOS 5D | EOS 40D | 28-80 L f2.8 - 4 (took a swim) replaced with 24-105 F4 L IS USM | 70-200 L F2.8 IS USM | 17-85 | 70-300 | 100mm USM Macro | 50mm 1.4 | 50mm 1.8 II | 2x Extender | 100mm Macro USM 2.8 | 3x 285HV Vivitar Flash | Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger system | 430EX

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 6:37 pm
Posts: 926
Hi. Welcome here.

I could make a couple of remarks. The photo is a bit on the light side and lacks a bit of contrast. Try tweaking it a little. You've also gone for a less customary aspect ratio. Close to square. I'm inclined to stick to the regular formats. Either 4:3 or 3:2. Any reason you went for this type of crop?

If her left hand was in the full photo I think I would have left it in. I would also have left a bit more room at the bottom so her right hand would be more inside the frame and probably a bit more at the top too. Without seeing the full photo I couldn't comment much further on the crop.

You went for Black and White. Personally I'm not a big fan of this. I think it is overused. I feel it can work with certain photos but in the majority of photos I see in B&W I expect I will prefer the colour version. Unless you used it because the houses in the background have some hideously attention drawing colour.

If you could have gotten a background with just bushes and without the houses by taking a step to the right and turning to the left a little that would have improved the shot. The houses and car are a bit of a distraction here. If your camera could have used a wider aperture (smaller number) at this focal length (zoom level) that would have blurred the background even more. An effect often used in portrait photography.

Enough for you? ;) And cute kid. But that you already knew. :)

How do you like your camera? Such a shame it doesn't have IS. There are a few things in the S9600 that I like better than those of my Fuji S8000fd. Like manual zoom, tilt screen and better low light performance. If it had IS I would probably prefer it over mine. But alas. If only they would make an S9700. :D

Ben
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When in doubt..... Press the shutter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:29 pm 
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Posts: 926
Heh.. Just beat me to it while I was writing my posting. :? :)

Ben
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When in doubt..... Press the shutter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 8:43 am
Posts: 8
Many thanks Mark-A and Cam-I-am for taking the time to respond and your comments are really useful.

I think your right about the cropping..the reason for this was that there was a woman walking in the background with a buggy and the photo was just taken on the spur of the moment. To be honest I didn't really consider framing the photo and checking the background I was just intent on taking a clear photo so that's something I am really going to conentrate on for future shots as well as making sure I get all the hands in the shot etc.

The picture was taken in black and white but again looking back I would be better to take in colour and change to B&W after.

Image

I would be really interested to get some feedback also on these two photo's below if possible. As mentioned I am really new to this and I have been playing about with another picture of my daughter in photoshop. I am pretty sure I have over done it with the processing (but i quite like the look of images that have been played around with and are differant from the original) but to be honest have just been moving around buttons without really knowing what they do. Any further feedback on either the photo or processing would be really gratefully received as I am eager to pick up as much advice and tips as possible to help me improve.

Image

Original
Image

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9600
Exposure: 0.022 sec (1/45)
Aperture: f/3.3
Focal Length: 9.3 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0/100 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode
Shutter Speed: 550/100
Brightness: -299/100
Maximum Lens Aperture: 300/100
Metering Mode: Pattern
Focal Plane X-Resolution: 4482 dpc
Focal Plane Y-Resolution: 4482 dpc


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:54 pm 
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My camera has a B&W mode too and I've tested it out once but apart from that I don't expect to use it since indeed it is easy to 'lose' the colour in PP but if it isn't there to begin with you can never get it back. So I always shoot in colour.

With an exactly square crop you could have the hands in view and crop the woman out. The part of the white buggy still in shot could then be cloned out.

The second photo original has a fairly harsh flash lighting on the face with clipping in the bottom left on the dark end. I guess you took it pretty close up. Probably at the widest focal length. By stepping back and zooming in you would have been able to get a more even lighting with the same framing. An external flash with bounced light would have been much better.

I can understand you playing around with PP but the result is pretty gritty here and has a bit of a 'little girl from war torn ghetto' look. :) Perhaps not the most fitting/flattering look for little girls. If this is not a crop but the whole photo you should consider shooting a bit wider framed. You can always crop in PP but as with colour you cannot add.

Ben
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When in doubt..... Press the shutter.

edit: typo.


Last edited by Cam-I-Am on Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:04 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Kent / United Kingdom
Hi Brett,

No worries mate you're more than welcome.

Ben has covered pretty much the second images main faults and these are all in the way the picture was originally captured - try and not use the oncamera flash unless totally necessary and if you do have to use it something like tissue paper over the front of it can help to diffuse the light some what (not ideal but definitely better than nothing).

The result of using the on camera flash has caused some heavy shadows that are pretty much impossible to recover from, this also gives a really harsh look to the image when you were probably going for quite a soft and sweet look for such an adorable youngster.

If light is low rather than popping the flash look around for alternative areas and shot ideas a window or open doorway for example and then use the natural light to dictate where you position your "model".

Not great by any means but I have had a go at editing your image just breifly and have put it below, the basic steps were:

1: A slight crop off the right hand side
2: Adjusted the curves
3: Shadow Highlight to try and soften the highlight on the cheek and upper lip a bit
4: I worked on the eyes a little with some dodge work
5: I lowered the exposure level ever so slightly again to try and lower the highlights as I was hoping to recover a little more here but can't get it any better.
6: Cloned out part of the door structure on the extreme left as that was distracting
7: Unsharp Mask
8: Colour balance adjustment
9: Hue saturation adjustment
10: A very soft Sepia filter over the top
11: Save for Web

Image

As I say it's not 100% but I think it's a bit of an improvement, you have a gorgeous model there and that's as good an excuse as any to keep practicing! :D play around with light and learn what works and what doesnt, read as much about lighting as you can spare the time for. It's all a great way to improve your shots.

Edit to add: I have just gone back in and cloned out the two awkward catch lights above and below the pupil on the eye that's right of frame.

_________________
EOS 5D | EOS 40D | 28-80 L f2.8 - 4 (took a swim) replaced with 24-105 F4 L IS USM | 70-200 L F2.8 IS USM | 17-85 | 70-300 | 100mm USM Macro | 50mm 1.4 | 50mm 1.8 II | 2x Extender | 100mm Macro USM 2.8 | 3x 285HV Vivitar Flash | Cactus V2s Wireless Trigger system | 430EX

My DPC Profile | My Website


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