Sleepy baby -- for critique!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by julia4480, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. julia4480

    julia4480 TPF Noob!

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    Hi again,

    since I will be doing a few baby shoots here and there for friends as practice, I'd like to get your input on this one. I am trying to learn as much as i can before I go out there!! haha! I know his head is cut off again, Idk why I keep doing that... but I liked his expression. It was again taken in a poorly lit home...

    Thanks so much
    [​IMG]
     
  2. tdiprincess

    tdiprincess TPF Noob!

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    AWWWW!!! He soo beautiful and peaceful!! The shot looks pretty good, you already mentioned the bit of head chopped off...I think it looks good though! :)
     
  3. julia4480

    julia4480 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much :)
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    Don't worry too much about tops of heads chopped off unless it's just a teeny bit or too much. What you've done right here really doesn't hurt the image. I'd be more concerned about the ear. Cutting off chins is the bigger issue (though that can work in rare situation).

    You need to get your shutter speed up. 1/3rd of a second hand-held at 48mm on a crop sensor requires 1/60-1/100th to hand-hold (that would require a 4-stop VR or IS to compensate). The shot is obviously blurry due to camera shake.

    Black and white (or the toning you've got going here) works with babies really well, but the image needs to exhibit a lot more contrast. One thing you can get away with with children is to overexpose by 1/3rd (or more, in some cases) of a stop and it gives them this wonderful smooth and angelic look.

    Be mindful of things like the pattern frame-left behind the child's ear. With only the small amount of it you see, it's rather distracting, especially with the dead space on the right side of the frame.
     
  5. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    cute baby, but quality of the picture is not so cute. You need to work on a lot of things before you take pictures for your friend, that way she will be satisfied! Like rufus said, get your shutter speed up and maybe pump a little more ISO if you dont have that much light in your scene. If you dont have enough natural light and if you don't have an external strobes, be creative and move a lamp or something closer to your subject... you definitely need more light in these pictures in order for them to be sharp and correctly exposed! Be mindful of your focal length, the wide angle is making the baby look distorted. Also, by filling her head in the entire frame makes it look a little distorted and does nothing as far as composition is concerned. the black and white colorcast is awful, too much yellow and red tones and not enough contrast to make a grayscale work. Look up some info on adjusting to B&W to get some tips, there are great ways to do it. Honestly, i wouldn't even like this as a quick hospital snapshot and I doubt I would even put it up on my facebook account to show friends... so much less would I appreciate someone else giving me these as portraits of my baby. keep practicing, you'll get it!

    i wanted to add in that newborns are SO hard to photograph... although extremely precious they aren't the most photogenic creatures yet (I just had one 5 months ago, I know how it is! mine looked like a little alien for about the first month...lol!). that is why I like full body shots of newborns that are centered and symettrical (them lying in a blanket or chair or basket, etc) and portraits with parents holding them and such... that way the baby isn't awkward looking because the picture has something else that the eyes can focus on as well. Shows the beauty of a baby but not the "alien-ness" details that you get when getting so close up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  6. JenLavazza

    JenLavazza TPF Noob!

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    Wow....Jackieclayton! C&C was asked for and appreciated, but you could have delivered it less rudely!

    AS far as the photo, I think Rufus' C&C pretty much covered it.

    I don't think their is anything wrong with capturing a close up of a newborn. Their "alien-ness" is what makes them look like a newborn and I find it precious. Like a kitten with eyes too big for it's face. Here is a close up of my daughter.....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    i'm sorry, i didn't think i came across rude... I believe in honest critique but I always try to come across tactful and supportive when I do it, i believe my thread history on TPF will show that. I'm here to support and get support, not attack or be attacked.. but I am going to give my honest input and hope that others do the same. Sorry if I came across rude, not my intentions...

    You seriously cannot compare the picture you just posted of your daughter to the picture posted by the OP. What you posted is a well composed, perfectly exposed, sharp portrait of a beautiful little baby. The OP posted a blurry distorted snap of a beautiful little baby. Everything about your picture is right, and everything about the OP's picture is wrong. You're comparing apples to oranges...

    And yes, their looks are precious, i'm sure many people would say my son looked like a critter from Alien when he was born but I thought he was the most beautiful thing i've ever seen.... but indeed, newborns are hard to capture if they aren't composed or exposed well in the pictures. You posted an excellent example of what the OP should work towards as far as focus, depth of feild, exposure, framing, and post processing. Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. JenLavazza

    JenLavazza TPF Noob!

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    Saying stuff like "the black and white colorcast is awful, too much yellow and red tones and not enough contrast to make a grayscale work." sounds mean. A nicer, just as effective way of giving critique could have been used.

    "Honestly, i wouldn't even like this as a quick hospital snapshot and I doubt I would even put it up on my facebook account to show friends... so much less would I appreciate someone else giving me these as portraits of my baby." RUDE This is not critiquing. I guess if this is what type of comments you want to throw around you can, but it's not very nice or helpful.

    When people post photos it's usually because they like them enough to do so. Effective C&C is great and helpful to us all, but unnecessary opinions can come off rude and inconsiderate. I've learned a TON from this site and am SO grateful for all the help everyone has given me.
     
  9. tdiprincess

    tdiprincess TPF Noob!

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    Word!
     
  10. julia4480

    julia4480 TPF Noob!

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    Let me just say this... as a complete newbie to photography, and with me just playing around with my camera to learn settings, exposure, composition etc, it helps me immensely when constructive critisicm comes, and I appreciate it very much. I post pictures here to LEARN from my mistakes, hence why I post them in the NEWBIE forum. LOL I obviously know my pictures aren't perfection.

    That said, thank you, for your words and for you being willing to take your time to teach me. You know who you are :lol: I will continue to seek your kind input to become a better photographer.
     
  11. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    julia, if i hurt your feelings, i'd like to apologize for that. wasn't my intention. since you said you will soon be doing shoots for your friends babies, I wanted to throw it out there that a shot like the one you posted isn't quite ready yet. I should have said it "nicer", my apologies. In about the two sentences I spent giving an honest opinion I also threw out numerous suggestions wrt lighting and framing and post processing... hopefully you'll take heed because I truly meant well. I never get on TPF to bash other people's photos, so I'm sorry if my C&C came across that way. Good luck and keep practicing. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  12. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    wanted to add, I see youre using a kit lens with your D3000. when shooting the babe keep that lens at about 50mm and shoot farther away from the subject to avoid that distorted wide angle look. Once you go shorter than that, you risk getting a distorted appearance .

    If this is something you think you might get into (taking portraits and stuff), pick up a longer (zoom) lens (up to 200mm... i have a 55-200mm for my D40 that I got pretty inexpensive, about $200 but that was likke 3 years ago so i'm sure they are even cheaper now) so you get get those longer focal lengths that are ideal for portraits. You can pick up a 50mm 1.8 for around $100 which (from what I read in reviews, I personally dont have one) is an excellent portrait lens on crop sensor cameras like your 3000.
     

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