Baby pictures

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Pax, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Pax

    Pax TPF Noob!

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    I've just recently taken pictures of the daughter of a friend to give her as a present for the 1st Birthday of the little one. But I don't feel they have very much of an artistic value. They seem so... flat? Like I haven't managed to capture much of the baby-girls "spirit" or character. I don't know. I thought I'd share and ask what you think before making one of it a present.

    1. Here she is inside a playhouse at a playground. Unfortunately there were
    graffitos all over the place. Do you think they ruin the picture?
    [​IMG]

    2. I quite like this one I took of her in the baby-swing, but I feel that there is
    too much of her red sleeve in the picture. Does it draw the eye too much?
    [​IMG]

    3. Here she is with her bottle. Does this picture work at all or is the bottle
    nothing but distracting? I thought the water looked interesting, but what do I
    know, since I'm nothing but a hobbyist...
    [​IMG]

    4. In this picture I tried to include her favorite doll (the thing at the left
    corner) but she just dragged it along (upside-down, of course ;)), thus I never quite managed to get a decent shot with baby and doll together.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks a lot for looking. Let me know what you think, please, if you'd like.
     
  2. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    The first is by far the best from an artistic standpoint, IMO. With the latter two, it's pretty obvious that they were shot with an on-camera flash due to the harsh shadows and overall flat lighting of the image. If you don't have access to an off-camera flash, I'd recommend shooting with no flash in well-lit conditions, preferrably a bright overcast day. That will also help you shoot at a lower ISO--these look like they were shot at around ISO800 or so.

    It looks like you've done a good job of getting down to the child's level, which is a very important step in getting away from that simple snapshot look. In order to bring a more artistic flair to your photography, work on your cropping...get away from that waist-up crop. In that first image, the great thing is the child's expression...crop to just that. Also, if the child's face/expression is the focus of the image, then there should be as little obstruction to that as possible. In the 2nd image, the sleeve is breaking apart the jawline and beginning to obscure the lower face. In the 3rd, there's just way too much bottle and flash-shadow obscuring the face. (Actually, in that one, I can live with the bottle because it shows good interaction, but we don't need to see all of the bottle to have the photo make sense.)

    Lastly, backgrounds are important. If you're going to include much background, pay attention to it. I, for one, like the graffiti in the first image a LOT more than the 1980s couch and cluttered coffee table in the background of the last image.

    I hope that helps some...I didn't mean to pick at all the 'needs-improvement' aspects of your photos, and I hope it didn't come across that way; I'm just trying to provide some 'next steps' for you. :D :thumbsup:
     
  3. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Oh, also, you'd mentioned the favorite toy in that last image. If that's her favorite toy, get her interacting with it...get full-length shots of her in her room playing with the doll; tell her to give it a kiss, ask her to show it to you, have mom stand off to the side and have her show the doll to mom (profile shot), put the doll on the floor and have her point to it, etc. :)
     
  4. Pax

    Pax TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much, Sharkbait, for your great feedback. That's exactly the type of constructive feedback I'm looking for. :D Your suggestions are very good. Unfortunately I don't have access to a off-camera flash, but I'll try using natural light only for the next pictures.

    I'll also take better care of the backgrounds. I absolutely have to agree about the ugly couch. Now that I look at the pictures after having read what you wrote I must say it really ruins the picture.

    About the cropping: I've worked on it with the first and third picture and that's what I came up with. I tried to follow your advice. Do you think it helps with the pictures? (Unfortunately I don't have access to my computer with Photoshop, for the first would need some more contrast. At least it seems to me that way. ;) )

    Number 1:
    [​IMG]

    Number 3:
    [​IMG]

    Again, thanks for looking. :D If you want to let me know what you think, I thank you, too.

    Oh, and I always forget to add that every picture is OTE, for anyone who'd like to. ;)
     
  5. Pax

    Pax TPF Noob!

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    I've uploaded Photoimpact photoediting software and played a bit around. This is what I came up with:

    1.
    [​IMG]

    2:
    [​IMG]

    What do you think? Like it? Or not?
     
  6. mentos_007

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    from the whole series I like the very last one... edited one. the second picture is blurred, the focal point is on the bush in the background - not on the baby's face.
    and if you have a chance - take the baby and her mum to the park or somewhere outside, where you wouldn't have to use on-built flash... :D
     
  7. Pax

    Pax TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, Mentos. :D Going outside is a very good idea.

    I only just now realized that the second picture is blurred. Funny, you might think, that someone does not notice that, but I guess since most of the pictures I took have been by far more blurred... ;) Well, there's a lot I have yet to learn. And since you like the last, edited one best and nobody else has said otherwise, I think I'm going to make this the present-photograph.
     
  8. Soraiden

    Soraiden TPF Noob!

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    In the first photo... I liked the grafitti when it was the full-sized photo. Now that it's cropped, you can't really tell it's a playground. So, it just leaves me trying to read it & decipher what on earth it says...

    So, if it's cropped, maybe remove the writing, or removed the background all together?

    She sure is precious! Are you going to print, matte & frame the final gift?

    I played around with it, but I noticed the very tips of the top of her hair are cut off. Did you crop it that way, or do you have a full version?

    (not sure how you feel about selective coloring, but oh well :D ) I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of those *beautiful* baby blues. I eye droppered the more vibrant blue from photo #3 to enhance the eye color in this one. Deleted the background.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Pax

    Pax TPF Noob!

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    Hey, Soraiden, I really like what you did with the picture! :thumbup: The selective coloring of the eyes is great!! I sure wish I knew how to do that with my PhotoImpact 7, but I'm not sure if it can do this at all...:roll: I also like the black background to get rid of the graffiti. It looks really great that way.

    Regarding the hair: it was an unlucky coincidence that there was a hole in the playhouse just behind her head. What you see is hair which is lit up from behind and it looked even more distracting with a wider crop. It looked almost like there was a white blotch on top of her head. Perhaps it's possible to darken this whiteish area a bit? I'll try to do so.

    I'll print the final gift. I hope the blackness doesn't darken the final picture too much, but it makes the little one stand out so much nicer. Thank you very much for taking the time to play around with the picture. You really had some excellent ideas there! :D
     
  10. Soraiden

    Soraiden TPF Noob!

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    I am so glad you liked the ideas!! :D You remind me a lot of me... I am always doing gifts like this. Actually, I am making a collage of sorts for my boyfriend's Mom for her birthday (yesterday, oops)...right now :)

    I've never used PhotoImpact, maybe I should try to sometime. I am sure a lot of people here have though...so hopefully one of them will chime in & tell you :) I use Photoshop CS 2, which makes it really easy with layers.

    About her hair.. I thought maybe the top of the playground was open & that is where the light was coming from. Darn hole! I darkened it a bit here...but I don't think it's too much of a problem, it was more of a curious Soraiden, than anything ;)

    [​IMG]

    I hope the final print comes out nice... I am sure the mom is going to love it, which ever photo you use!
     
  11. Jasmine

    Jasmine TPF Noob!

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    I love the first photo. I am constantly trying to capture that innocence that I think you were looking for, it is so very difficult. I find it more luck of the draw and lots of pictures to get the one perfect shot if you are lucky. Good luck and keep posting. I love seeing other pics of little ones and babies for inspiration.

    Jasmine
     

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