New Photographer. Looking for Critique.

Discussion in 'The Black & White Gallery' started by Toph112, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Toph112

    Toph112 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to photography, about 7 months in. I am now taking photos will manual settings and I wanted to post a picture that I thought was some of my best work thus far. Since I am new though, I wanted to get input from experienced photographers! I would appreciate any insight!
    Abby in Dance Outfit BW 2 Web.jpg
    Thanks!


     
  2. Rick50

    Rick50 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Where is the light? Why so dark? The looking away looks distracting to me.
     
  3. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    The looking away doesn't bother me. She looks deep in thought, but it is a bit too dark for my tastes. Welcome!
     
  4. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Caveat: I am not what one might refer to as an "experienced photographer" ;)

    Looks good on its technical merits. Not certain about what emotion it's meant to convey or evoke, however. The little girl looks almost frightened, or perhaps startled, which evokes a darkness for which I do not care. If she'd had a more thoughtful, pensive or curious expression I think I'd have found it more interesting than ...disturbing?
     
  5. goooner

    goooner Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Welcome, I'm sure there will be some pro's around soon to give better tips. But coming from me, there a few things that bother me.
    • Like mentioned, not enough light
    • seems a tad soft
    • cut off the fingers, and the top of the bow (maybe an upright ie portrait crop would look better)
    • Very central
    That's my 2 pence. Welcome to the forum, if you don't have a thin skin, and you're willing to learn, this place is fantastic.

    If you allow people to edit your photos,they can show you what they mean as well.
     
  6. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome! Agree that this is underexposed. Why b&w? She looks mostly gray. A beautiful little girl in a party dress begs for color, IMO.
     
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  7. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Cute kid! I do like the expression, and it's made me think of whether this is a candid or whether you asked for such a pose? She looks very imaginative, and the outfit seems to fit.

    I agree with the others, it's very dark and very grey.

    IMO, this would look very good as a portrait orientation, rather than landscape. Oddly, she's very tight in the frame, but has a lot of negative space on either side. This seems to negatively impact the balance of the photo. Her hairpiece is just being cropped at the top and her hands are cropped at the bottom.

    You could expand the image above to give a bit more space at the top, and then change to portrait orientation. While her hands will still be cropped out, this might frame her better. In addition, increase exposure, increase contrast, increase clarity/structure/etc.

    If you'd be willing to change your photo settings to allow others to edit, we could give it a go at showing you how we'd personally edit the photo.
     
  8. Toph112

    Toph112 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, thanks so far. I tend to shoot darker for some reason... I guess that's not a good thing. I did this in black and white bc I wanted the more somber feel that even though she is in a dress, there could be other things going on (like her being sick which she is), that are bothering her. FYI, this is my daughter and she came in my office dressed in a dance outfit and asked for pictures. I didn't make her do this when she was sick! Lol.

    You're right that it does end up coming off a little creepier than I had in my mind. I just wanted it pondering, not creepy. But now looking at it though your light, I can totally see that.
     
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  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Nice soft shadows (large light source).

    2 full stops underexposed and with her gaze off tho the side she should not be centered in the frame.
    For people using the value of brightness in the red channel of highlights on a persons face portrait photographers strive for a value of at least 230.
    The image you posted has a red channel value of 130 on her camera left cheek.
    Camera Exposure: Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed
    I added 2 stops of exposure, boosted mid-tone contrast, sharpened a bit and cropped. Abby in Dance Outfit BW 2 WebEdit.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  10. Toph112

    Toph112 TPF Noob!

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    I have changed my settings now. Unfortunately, the bow and fingers are cropped out of the actually shot, so changing to portrait doesn't fix anything as far as that goes. Lesson learned!

    I have uploaded a different shot in portrait mode from the same "series." One in Color and one in BW. BW exposures/contrast brought up a bit and cropped portrait. If you get time, please let me know your thoughts. I don't think the color one worked out. My 2 year old kept messing with my curtains and the my subject (daughter) kept moving so a shot with too much light on her face ended up the being the best one... arg... THANKS!
     

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  11. Toph112

    Toph112 TPF Noob!

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    Wow! Thank you for the edit and lesson there! I still don't quite know why I'm doing around the histogram, so I appreciate your links.
     
  12. Toph112

    Toph112 TPF Noob!

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    She ended up black and white for a couple of reasons. 1) I wanted to shoot black and white to create a more somber mood because even though she is wearing that outfit, her mood did not match the outfit. 2) Her 2-year old brother messed up my better color shots by moving my curtains and causing distraction. :) I posted a color picture that I tried to fix above his reply.
     
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