Mom and baby natural light

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by outlier, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I don't do portraits at all but tried this candid one for a friend who has an infant. I shot it by a window with natural light and no flash. Any C & C is welcome as I would like to learn to do this better.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You captured a nice moment, but it's a little bit shadow heavy. You need something to reflect some light back onto the shadow side. A large piece of white foamcore will work, and if that doesn't give you enough light, then add some tin foil to it. It also looks as if it's not totally sharp. This is one pitfall with window light. It's often not intense enough to give you a good shutter speed. Try moving the subject as close to the window as possible. This combined with a reflector of some sort will make the difference.
     
  3. shanstar

    shanstar TPF Noob!

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    I worked at a kid's portrait studio, and I know I would have gotten in trouble for making the baby's clothes all bunchy at her neck and pulled up in the crotch area. it looks a little like she is choking. i know studios like to keep things fakely perfect a lot of the time, but some of the things I learned there really do help.

    it's a really pretty picture, nonetheless. i bet mom was pleased :)
     
  4. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Digital Matt. I was trying to make it a bit interesting with side lighting but I agree the shadows are a bit much. It was hand held as well which probably explains the sharpness problem given the need for a lower shutter speed. I think the foamcore idea is great but I was at someone else's home and this was a very spur of the moment event. I generally hate to use my on camera flash because it just looks harsh and doesn't suit my tastes. Maybe I should save up for a decent flash that I could bounce to fill in this type of shadow problem.



     
  5. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Thanks shanstar.

    I hadn't even noticed until you pointed it out but you are very correct. My friend just picked up her kid and plopped her on her knee which bunched up the clothes. I'm not sure if it bothers me enough to crop it higher though. Yes, the Mom was very pleased with the photo.

     
  6. perylousdemon

    perylousdemon TPF owns my soul...

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    I'm not very good at portraits, myself, but I'd say you did a pretty good job. I like it. :)
     
  7. shanstar

    shanstar TPF Noob!

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    i hate my flash too. although, i just found a cool flash in my grandfather's camera bag that allows it to be moved from a 45 degree angle up to a 90. maybe that will make me hate flash less.
     
  8. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    Yep, I'd definitely listen to Matt...he's good when it comes to lighting. :)

    Did you shoot in RAW?
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    After looking at this picture again, it also occurred to me that if you had just turned the models toward the light a bit, you'd have a much more even distribution of light across the face. Side lighting is difficult to work with.
     
  10. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Yes it is shot in RAW. But I'm still pretty new to photoshop so my ability to rescue shots is somewhat weak. And yes, I have seen Matt's work and I realize how good he is at this sort of thing. I certainly should be more organized if I'm going to do this and bring reflective material and such. It was a spur of the moment thing though and babies only smile for a bit before they get cranky so speed was of the essence:)
     
  11. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Good point Matt. The angle wasn't great for that but in the future I would defintely try to get the lighting more square to the subject. To my eye it looked like beautiful light but the camera doesn't work like my eyes. I'm starting to learn that the hard way. With my old film camera I had a better sense of what it could do. But that was after years of using the same equipment.

     
  12. outlier

    outlier TPF Noob!

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    Okay, here is a different crop and used a bit of softening too. Is this any better or worse???

    [​IMG]
     

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