How could I have taken this picture differently to make it less snapshotty?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Danksalot, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Danksalot

    Danksalot TPF Noob!

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    Here's one from Memorial Day. I cropped it, and increased the contrast just a bit in PS.

    It looks more snapshotty than artistic to me, but I like it nonetheless. The subject matter may just be too informal, but what would you experts have done differently to capture this situation in a better way, photographically speaking?

    Thanks in advance!
    Danksalot

    T1i with 18-55mm kit lens, Shutter - 1/320, f5.6, iso 100, 55mm, no flash
    [​IMG]
     
  2. williambarry

    williambarry TPF Noob!

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    Oooooo Ooooo I know. Selective color the crap out of it, then run a quadrillion level blur on the background (don't take your time masking it properly... that's a horrible idea) Then stamp your name somewhere on it and tell everyone it's your masterpiece. Lol
    I'm not making fun of your shot... I personally would have went a little lower with the angle, perhaps tucked the kids swim shorts tag in, and look at possibly going black and white with it.
     
  3. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wellllllllllll .... to begin with, an "Artistic" shot begins with an interesting subject. Now, I know that you're kids are cute - so are mine, and anyone elses that has a camera/family, but - you can't make a silk purse out of a 'snapshot' ...

    Again, cute kid, and I'm sure he/you had a ball over the weekend - just take this one and put it in a family album/scrapbook, and when you want to do something 'artistic' - plan a little more ahead of what you want a picture to look like to the casual viewer..

    Just my opinion, but then again, you did ask.... :D

    r
     
  4. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to TPF! :)

    I would suggest getting lower, I’m thinking kids eye level. I Also might have tried shooting it from more of an angle (slightly to your left, maybe 45 degrees or so). When you get down to that level, then you also have to consider if distracting background elements get into the frame though.

    Time permitting, a shot from down low or from overhead might be interesting to see, though final look may not look good as it's only a concept in my head.

    Generally though, kid shots look good at their level, and fill the frame with the subject. For this (as a starting point, I might have adjusted after seeing the result):

    I would shoot from the child’s eye level, at 45 degrees to the action. Zoom in so kids face is in the left side of the frame, with a little open space in front of his face, and the sunscreen on the right spraying onto the child’s back. This would probably show the top of his head down to about the middle of the chest someplace. Fill flash might have been needed, but hard to say for sure. I would probably shoot one as well pulled back slightly with the idea that I might want to do a slight crop in post to find the best composition.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I would have shot from the boy's perspective (lower) and I would have gotten more of his face and expression. The crop didn't leave enough negative space in front of him to feel natural.

    I would have used off camera flash to create some shadow modeling and to give me control of both the foreground and the background exposure.
     
  6. desertdave

    desertdave TPF Noob!

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    Ottor I love youre signiture.....I'm iraq now and nothing could be more true. Sorry don't mean to hijack the thread, I'll shut up and get back in the bushes.
     
  7. Danksalot

    Danksalot TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I saw that the angle could have been lower. It's good to hear that I was right about that. If I went for more of his face, I would have gotten a huge colorful blow-up waterslide in the background, so lower angle could have worked but moving to the left would not have. (But incase I want to plan a shot like this, I will definitely plan to get more face than just the profile.)


    I'll try B&W and see how it looks. Personally, I think the tag sticking out the back fits with the uncomfortableness of having sunscreen slathered and sprayed all over you when all you want to do is play. It's personal preference and I like it, but thanks for sharing your preference as well. The more I hear, the better I'll know what everybody likes.

    Ottor, I did ask and I appreciate the feedback. Incidentally, that's exactly what will happen with this photo in all probability.

    Danksalot
     
  8. Danksalot

    Danksalot TPF Noob!

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    Good suggestions, all. Thanks! Oh, and it's my nephew.
     
  9. Danksalot

    Danksalot TPF Noob!

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    As far as the crop goes, I have some extra room on the left I could put back in, but I did it this way to keep him out of the center of the picture and more in the left "third" area. I do agree that it doesn't leave much space in front of him. Where do you think I should place him in the frame, or would this only work if I set this up again with a better angle?

    Thanks for the input.

    Danksalot
     
  10. SwissJ

    SwissJ TPF Noob!

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    Get a lower vantage point, have the boy turn around, tightly close his eyes, plug his nose, zoom in closer, spray him in the face, and click... Instant art.

    disclaimer... I don't know what you're spraying, but since he's got some on his face, I assume it's not toxic. If it is, then obviously don't do it.
     
  11. ottor

    ottor No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll dive in and out real quick also,.. Keep your head under the bushes, and stay safe... I think only those that have experienced it, would understand...

    Thanks again...

    1st Bgd, 101st Airborne "LRRP" - Spec Ops VietNam 1968-1969.. "Rangers lead the way"..
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The rule of thirds is only 1 compositional element that needs to be considered.

    You have to consider what the viewers eye will be doing. Humans tend to look where someone else is looking. With your nephews face so close to the edge of the image, people naturally tend to take a quick glance to the left and that takes them right out of the image frame. That's not good for a photograph. The goal is to keep the views eye in the image as long as possible.

    Having the hand to the right of him adds some visual weight to the right side of the image frame and somewhat offsets having him centered.
     

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