Did I break the rule, or does this work?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Aayria, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to share a few shots from my first "photo session" today. These were taken with my dear friend and her family. She is due for their next baby any day, so I was glad to get these done for her before labor started!:lol:

    I had a specific question about this shot: Namely, does this work? I realized in post processing that I'd accidentally framed the picture on the wall behind my friend and her husband "going through" her husband's head. >< But then, I kind of liked it, because the picture was of their four children, and composition wise, I thought it "told the story" nicely. But, it still "breaks the rule" and I wondered if some of you with more experience might have an opinion on that, or advice to offer... Here's the shot:

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    And here are a few others from the session. The "hands in the shape of a heart" was an idea I saw another poster here use for a maternity shoot she did, and I loved it! I hope you don't mind me using the idea, and I did try to frame the shot differently so it wasn't a direct "copy" of your composition:)

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    There were several other shots I liked, but these were my favorite of the session.

    What I learned:

    1) The more I take pictures the more I love photography- And having the chance to take pictures for another family; pictures that they love and will cherish for years to come- is an AMAZING feeling. She actually wants to print some and her husband (who minored in photography back in college) was sincerely impressed! That. felt. wonderful.

    2) I can study and learn all there is to know about my camera, how to achieve the best angle, lighting, exposure- but as a novice, it isn't "intuitive" for me yet. I would often forget little things that I don't instinctively remember "on the spot." I mentioned this earlier in another post, but wanted to repeat it here- one of the most exciting parts of photography has been how much you can learn EVERY time you take a picture.

    There's more I'd like to say, but I wanted to end it on this last note. I don't know if I will ever "professionally" do photography as any sort of career, but I love having a passion that I can share with so many people in my life that will really mean something to them. I think any "hobby" worth its salt should inspire you to do your best and work at it, even if it never earns you a dime. Photography- is its own reward:)
     
  2. dyyylan

    dyyylan TPF Noob!

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    I think they look great, good job
     
  3. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I would have to say that it doesn't work. I get where you're coming from about having the photo of the family in the photo, but that doesn't change the fact that it's protruding from their heads, and same goes for the clock. There are very few, if any, situations where it 'works' for any strong lines of objects to be interrupted by someone's head. Also, even though the concept of having the family photo in this photo is kind of cool, the bottom line is that it's a huge attention grabber. It really fights for your attention, especially with it being so close to their heads and basically falling between the line of their gaze towards each other. It's better to just have the viewer's eyes only be on the couple.
     
  4. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply, I think I would have to agree with what you said. I had a couple other shots turn out similarly, and will definitely be more on the look out for the same mistake down the road! Here is another shot of my friend and her husband from today - In this one, there isn't really an object through her (TALL) husband's head, but there is a line of the background that I'm not sure about. Is it alright in this shot since it's just background, and doesn't stick out out of his head- just through it, or would you say it's another case where the same applies? Thank you so much, for taking the time, I really will try to take the criticism to heart:blushing:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I would say the same principle applies. Like I said, actually, having looked back at my post, what I meant to say was 'any strong lines OR obejects' coming out of or through peoples heads are generally no good. And this includes real lines and objects or implied lines. Horizons, walls, trees, streetlights, building lines, all of that stuff. Lines lead your eye. So when there is a main subject, which you should naturally look at first, but there is a line leading away from that subject, you eye naturally wants to follow it to see where it goes, which leads you away from the intended subject. Also, with background in general, you don't want anything that is going to take attention away from the subject. You want you people portraits to be all about the people. So even if something isn't growing out of someone's head, you still don't want background elements that will fight for your eyes attention.
     
  6. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    General Benson did a good job of talking about the backgrounds so I will say this. It could be my monitor but all of them seem to be pretty soft focused to me except #2.

    For portraits make sure the people's eyes are in focus. I assume you are using auto focus and that is fine but make sure you select the auto focus point that corresponds with the eyes to be the one the camera uses to focus. If you leave it totally in auto it will just choose a focus point that averages all of its sensor points.
    Make sure the focal point (what you want people to see 1st) is in focus.
     
  7. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    Something that may have worked with that picture would maybe be having mom and dad both holding it by moms belly?
     
  8. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    Here are some perspective from another newbie:

    Pic. 1. A bit soft (I often have a problem with this as well). Husband's left shoulder is covered by something? I like your overall thinking on this picture though.

    Pic 2. Mom's fingers seem a bit "stiff"

    Pic 3. Mom's right fingers got cut-off. Perhaps a bit less space over her head would have help.

    Pic 4. I like the composition. However, the pic seems a bit soft, out of focus.

    Pic 5. I like what you are trying to do here. However, it would have been great if we could see the daughter's face as well.

    Pic 6. I don't like this one. The kids' faces all got cut off.
     
  9. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    This one doesn't work. If it wasn't for the previous pics, I wouldn't know that she is pregnant.
     
  10. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    I think it's okay to have his head intersect the frame somewhat, but I do think it looks crowded, like it's stacked on top of them. I'd like to see the framed photo more to the left.

    #3: Too much bright window/outdoors. The photo is almost cut in half. Center the subject by moving your angle of view closer to the window keeping the window light on the subject, but the interior will be a much darker background. Watch out for those strong vertical lines. I'd rather see them framing the subject than intersecting her.
     
  11. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the input, guys! I will definitely keep these things in mind the next chance I have to do portraits for people. I still have difficulty "noticing" these things during shooting.. and then in post processing/ editing they stand out and I keep kicking myself for it>< But I just try to remember that these are all mistakes I have to learn one way or another, and to keep trying to grow from them.

    On a side note, my friend really loved her pictures despite the amateur mistakes I made in several. She was very happy with them, and wants me to do a session with the newborn when she comes :)

    As for the softness, part of that is me focussing on the wrong area, and the other part is the "diffuser" filter I used on the lens. I like it for some occasions, because it really softens lines nicely, which my friend appreciated because it smoothed out her stretch marks =P But I also have a harder time getting a sharp focus when I use it. I think I'll try going without for a bit and seeing if that helps my focus in future shots.

    Thanks again, I appreciate all the advice! :)
     
  12. Aayria

    Aayria TPF Noob!

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    Wow I hadn't even noticed that! Good eye! lol.. that is actually my son.. He just turned 6, and he was being my "botograppy sistant." (photography assistant :lol: ) What you're seeing in that shot, is the corner of the large white posterboard he was holding up as our "reflector" LOL
     

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