Danielle and Bryce


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Sep 24, 2010
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Well another round of trying to improve my skills. Danielle came over last week with her son Bryce. still working on the pics, well just starting actually. still having issues with my lighthing. I really think i need to get a light meter to help me out with setting them up. esp since all my lights are diffrent brands , so that is one thing i think will really help. bryce was my first time shooting a kid. a 5 year old didn't want to stay still at all. I eventually got him playing and was just trying to get pics as he was playing around. which with lighting even makes it harder to get good placement when you have a kid all over the place. but it was a fun day and i got some experience with kids. think the hardest part was just keeping Danielle calm and getting her to just let Bryce do his thing, when he was playing he had a great smile. but soon as you tried to pose him. it just went to the big fake smile.

let me know how i did, point out any flaws you see, and don't be shy. my goal is to improve and i don't think anyone on the interenet can really hurt my feelings.


danielle0003 by JayC photography, on Flickr


bryce by JayC photography, on Flickr


danielle0005 by JayC photography, on Flickr

this is just another crop of 3

danielle0006 by JayC photography, on Flickr
WB on the Mom looks a bit off. Other than that not too bad.
C&C per req:

1. Not a bad shot. I think a hair/rim light would have helped a lot and I would prefer to see her with her shoulders less square to the camera. I would also adjust the bottom crop; above or below, but not through the breasts.

2. I really like this one; the only issue is that he appears to have no feet. For this shot, I would have preferred to see him wearing white running shoes or something similar.

3/4. This looks like an attempt at a high key shot. Good work on the background, but her face is slightly under-exposed, and you've got some spill on to her chest. I really like her expression however. Consider moving the light that was camera right around closer to the lens axis to brighten her face and add some catch lights.

Overall, a nice set; a few minor quibbles, but nothing major.

Just my $00.02 worth - your mileage may vary.

thanks john. i appreciate that ( thank you as well preston)

1. i actually had a hair/rim light. but i didn't notice till half way thru that my batteries had went out on it (dooh!) never fails.i'll take a look at the crop and try and see why i cropped it where i did.

2.i agree about the feet. we started out she asked me if they needed shoes and i said well lets do some 3/4 type shots and we wont need shoes right now. then he didnt want to compromise, by this point he was actually laying on the edge of my muslin and just kinda rolling into the shot and then rolling back, so i was just trying to catch him. i have allot of just blown shots because he finally gets into some decent stuff and i had forgotten to have them put there shoes on. im really kicking myself for that.

3/4 still working on the background, im not getting it properly blown out. im usually getting it blown out around her head but have to go in and clean up the rest. i know there is problaby allot better way of getting it more blown out then im having luck with, but definatly taking more work in post then it should. and yeah the whole set i was a bit underexposed and have had to try and fix it in post. looks like i was still a bit under. hoping to maybe pick up a light meter to help me with setting up the lighting better.
Start using longer lens man. I can totally see it was shot with something wider than 50mm. I would totally use your 55-200mm especially if you use f/8.
My guess is that you may be trying to use too much light to blow out your background. Assuming that you're using a white-ish background to start with, 1-2 stops should be plenty of light to get a pure white (255) background.

I agree that a meter is essential for doing good OCF work. There are LOTS of inexpensive meters available on eBay, Craig's List, etc. A really nice Luna Pro F which would have sold for $500+ in the '80s can be had for <$100, and the outstanding Minolta Flash series of meters can be had for <$200. If your budget is a little healthier than maybe look at the Sekonic series; the 358 is a very popular meter.
your right schwetty it was shot with my 35mm prime. i get in the habbit of using it allot my only other glass right now is my kit lens and it just seems i get a better picture with the 35mm. that and doing it in the living room i dont have a ton of space. i do need to start using a longer lens though. i just get in the habbit of getting more picture then i need and then cropping down to fit. so worried about missing something by zooming in to far with a lens i think.

yeah tired, im using two speedlights on full power. and the meter will be soon. just currently laid off so money has been tight. but for me i think i'll just have to break down and buy one. make my life a bit easier.
Start by getting your key dialed in, then simply set your background 1 stop over and go from there.
i guess i get confused about how to adjust all my lighting since all my lighting is diffrent. i have an ab400 with a 30x60 softbox for my main. then im using my sb900 for a fill. then i have two vivitar 285's that im using for rim lights or hair lights. or whatever. so im not exactly sure how the ratios work out because there not all putting out the same power
You really need that meter! You can do it 'by guess and by golly', but it's a long painful process.
yeah the last two shoots have proven to me that me just guestinmating and figuring it out isnt working. i thought once i got the layout figured out i could somewhat have a starting point, but going up to another friends to shoot her showed me. her place was much smaller so everything was moved diffrently which of course effected the lighting. well live and learn i guess. at least these are an improvement over what i have been doing. though as i sit here editing the backdrops i definatly need to come up with a solution for that. taking way to much time to clean it up. starting to think the vinyl type roll is a better option then a muslin. esp having a dog and two cats.

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