Trying to learn people. C&C please

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by Ernicus, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    I have been reading and I want to learn to start shooting people. I was practicing on the kid in the park today. Didn't practice on posing, as I was lucky to get her to hold still for longer than 2 seconds. I have no accessories, so I am trying to learn to use natural light and finding scenarios that work with it.

    What I would like your opinions on is a situation I am noticing with my camera, and post editing (as I kinda suck with people, colors, skin tones, etc).

    Yeah the sky is blown out in upper right, not concerned with that. Mommy loves this photo, but to me it looks off...honestly I was going to call it a loss and toss it, but she is making me keep it. So I come to you folks to see if it can be made better.

    I was testing various modes on the camera, seeing what settings AP used, vs my Manual, using kids and action on the dial just for chits and giggles. I literally have zero experience shooting people, only read knowledge over the past week or two. So talk to me like I'm dumb on this one.

    I notice that the exposure meter (hope I'm calling it right) on my camera is showing dead on in the middle...histogram showed a nice swell in middle. yet when I load up pics in ps, histrogram is more left than dead center. All my pics are seemingly like this. Histogram in camera and histogram in ps are off, always to the left. Why would there be a difference? Should I "overexpose" a bit , for lack of better words, since my stuff is seemingly coming out on the under side?

    Lastly, the post editing part. I cannot put into words what I feel when I see this photo, however I feel something is wrong. I tried to adjust levels a bit, but after that, I really dunno what to do to it to try to make it better, mostly because I can't put a finger on what's wrong...but I know something is wrong.

    Thanks for taking the time to read all of my cluttering jumbo and thanks in advance for your advice and help.


    The first is my edit trying to lighten it up, the second is the original. Feel free to edit it yourself or just tell me what you would do and I'll give it a whirl. I use photoshop. Thanks.


    $DSC_0138.jpg









    $DSC_0138-original.jpg
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    It's a clever pose idea, but there are some issues I see. First, while we know what she's doing, we can't see it, which makes the image seem a bit awkward. Next her legs and arms; if we could see all of them, including some of the chains from the swings, this would be much stronger.

    As well, be cognizant of your backgrounds; the fence, and other odds and ends really detract from the overall attractiveness of the image.

    The lighting is good, albeit slightly flat (lacking contrast), and there's a slight red cast to the image, but those are minor. Your edit does significantly improve the image.

    Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

    ~John
     
  3. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be on this kick of filling the frame with the subject, but are forgetting to think about how context may be an important player in the scene.

    Which is funny because most noobs tend to capture far too much scene and are afraid to move in.
     
  4. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    I don't think I have one with more background, I'll look and see and post. On this particular shot, I felt two things. There was too much stuff in the background, so rather than cropping later, I thought if I just filled the frame I would save the time later in post edit. Mom is more interested in the face and smile so I was trying to focus on that, and in all honesty, just trying to catch her smiling and stopping movement for a split second enough to hit the shutter...I did lose sight of other things.

    She was on monkey bars or some sort of thing like that, and I didn't even think of at the time, that the viewer has no idea what she's playing on. So thanks for pointing that out. It's funny, 'cause when I was trying another shot I made a mental note "no floating bench" (see comments in tylers wedding shoot for the reference) so I made sure to get the object she was climbing on in the shot.

    I think that since I am trying out all aspects...from landscape, to flowers, to abstract, to cars...and now to people...my poor brain has not had the time to remember each "rule", for lack of better words, for each type of scenario...so yeah, in this one I kinda treated her like I would a flower shot....lol.

    I was thinking there was a red/pink tone to the image, but just wasn't sure, probly getting thrown off by all the red in her hair n freckles...lol.

    Thanks both of you for the words.
     
  5. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    This is the one I was thinking "floating bench" on as I almost framed out the think she was playing on. However, in review, I see that the sign ruins it, her arm is too high covering her neck/mouth, most 8 yr olds don't have to wrry about "turkey neck" so it's not needed here...lol, and I'd rather have had her looking off over my left shoulder instead, and i lost focus more than I'd like, so it's not good.

    $DSC_0120-1.jpg







    This one I caught her being silly...I almost like it, but it seems I didn't get something right, I think i'm not at level enough, looking down at her too much.

    $DSC_0131-1.jpg



    This one I threw up here so you could see what was in the background. Its the same angle I had on the one in the original post, which at the time I thought I should frame it closer. After seeing the background in this image...do you think I should have found some middle ground? Don't cut it all out...but don't include as much as in this one?

    $DSC_0134.jpg







    This one I really liked, and chose to keep in the background, however upon review I lost focus more than I'd like so its a tosser. But I didn't frame in quite so close, which I think is good.

    $DSC_0136.jpg
     
  6. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    There may be a chance in the future I can do some work with kids...so I'd really like to learn how. I don't want to shoot and have a bad image associated with my name, so I declined for now until I learn more. However the school and camp the kids go to are not that happy with the current persons work. The moms seen some of my stuff my gfriend showed them and they were like "cool...he should do our pictures" and I was like "um...baby...I'm nowhere near ready" lol.
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    What's the EXIF info on that last set?
     
  8. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    a lot of these I was trying to different modes to see how they did vs. what I did in manual. I normally shoot manual always, but today wanted to test things.

    Pic 1 was in kid mode (has an icon of a kid on it, lol)
    It set it to 1/500 f/5.6 iso 400 55mm

    Pic 2 Aperture priority
    1/400 f/5.6 iso 200 55mm

    Pic 3 Aperture priority
    1/60 f/5.6 iso 200 20mm

    Pic 4 Aperture priority
    1/80 f/5.6 iso 200 35mm

    I think most if not all were in /5.6 due to light (the ones under the play things) I used flash on some as fill, but it was popup..didn't bring my big flash.
     
  9. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Well-Known Member

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    Ah. Getting a lens that you can open the aperture up would help blur the background. That's part of the problem with the last set. The background is too busy, but too in focus as well. So yeah, you were working with what you have. You have to really choose your background carefully if you can't blur it to isolate your subject.
     
  10. Ernicus

    Ernicus New Member

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    ;-)
     

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