A first attempt

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by medic001918, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. medic001918

    medic001918 TPF Noob!

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    Hello:
    [​IMG]


    I look here more than I post. I purchased a D80 about a year and half ago and really haven't done much with it other than taking some quick photos. Lately I've found myself having a little bit of time and some desire to start actually trying to advance with photography. This is a photo I took of a friend's baby. I did very little post processing with it since my capabilities are limited. I used Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 4.0.

    I know that I have an incredible amount to learn about photography yet, so I'm hoping I can learn from you guys through posting photos and getting ideas.

    Please feel free to comment of edit the photo...as long as it's constructive.

    Thanks,
    Shane
     
  2. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    Its awesome that you are getting into photography. It is addictive, which is good because it takes a ton of work to get really good.

    This photo has some flaws in my opinion. One is that its orientation makes the baby seem like its falling. Second is there is no connection with the subject. I think the coloring is not flattering for the baby either.

    I think you should keep at it, photography is a ton of fun!
     
  3. medic001918

    medic001918 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the constructive criticism. I didn't really like the photo in color and for some reason liked the way this looked. That of course takes into consideration my "uninformed" eye on the formal and technical aspects of photography.

    I'm far from being able to take the perfect (or close to it) photograph. Maybe someday though, I'll be on par with some of the people that post here. The talent held in this site is beyond incredible. The generally positive thing is that most of the people here are more than willing to share what they know with new people like me.

    Could I ask how you'd change the orientation of the photo? And what did you mean by the no connection with the subject? I'm guessing that there was no engagement between her and I while the photo was being taken, but I could be way off base.

    Thanks again,
    Shane
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think Emerana is exactly right; I'm not much of a 'people' photog, but generally children, and especially infants are subjects which are not ideally suited for 'artistic' work.

    I think restoring the natural colour, and cropping the image to have the child's head slightly elevated would make it a much more pleasing image.

    I think by 'no connection' it was meant that the child isn't looking toward the camera or doing anything to connect with the viewer, giving the one the impression that it's simply a documentary capture
     
  5. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    I'd go with all color or all B&W, especially with this photo, which doesn't lend itself toward selective coloring anyway. You'll find folks here aren't keen on selective coloring either, but if you like it, go with it. If the color is too much, instead of B&W you can also desaturate it a little which makes the color more tolerable and less distracting.

    I thought the photo was sideways - that you had forgotten to rotate it. That baby isn't looking at you makes it hard to see which way it goes. In a pose like that, if you can get her attention next time, I think it will be a much better shot (not that babies always need to be looking at the camera, of course).

    The hair and face are nice and clear, which is great. Keep at it!
     
  6. amkphotography

    amkphotography TPF Noob!

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    First, such a cute little baby!
    Second, experiment with angles. This angle in this particular shot doesn't really do much, in my opinion. More of a snap shot which is fine and I am sure your friend loves the shot, but you want to make it so when anyone looks they see more than just another cute baby. You know?

    I am not really the best to give critiques since I am still learning myself.
     
  7. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    Yeah people explained it well. I will go more in to detail though.

    What bothers me about the coloring is that it is very cold. A cold baby...well thats a dead baby and I think it just isn't suited to pictures of people, but even more so children and even more babies. Just on an emotional level, I think babies should be in neutral to warm tones.

    Experimenting with angles is great and important. But I do think you need to get some basic of composition down before you go too wild. Research basic rules like rule of 3rds and what causes tension in a photo. Too much tension, like in this case where the head is almost tipping down, can be unappealing (like "omg the baby is going to fall" gut reaction). Too little tension, like a centered subject, can just feel boring to the eye.

    By connection I mean there is nothing to draw the viewer in. Sometimes thats eye contact, sometimes is leading lines, or using depth of field well or interesting composition. Lots of things draw people in. With portraits, eye contact is a big draw, so is seeing what the person is looking at. When you focus your camera, focus on the eyes and then re-compose. They eyes should be the sharpest.

    I am by no means an expert, so be fore-warned before you take my advice. :)
     

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