Early Christmas critique needed, please


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 14, 2007
Reaction score
Montreal, QC, Canada
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
I'm still trying to learn how to apply camera and lighting theory to practical knowledge and would appreciate a strong critique, please.

Lighting info:
Three sources of light:
- left: ambient from window
- right: SB-800 set to manual and 1/64th
- center fill: D200 built-in flash set to 1/128th

Camera info:
- Nikon D200
- Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens

All comments much appreciated. :)




Link to near full size pic of top Santa:

Link to near full size pic of bottom Santa:
Your using specular lighting to light a combination of specular and diffused objects. This works fine for the diffused objects, but the specular's do more reflecting than anything else. Grab a piece of 20x30 paper and bounce the strobe off of that. That way, you'll have diffused lighting so there will be softer shadows, and the specular objects will look more natural and don't have the reflective hotspots.

Also, turn the shutter speed up, and close the aperture down while bringing your subjects further from the walls and use fill cards to fill in the shadows and reduce the contrast ratios on the forms and reduce the background. If the darker areas start to fade into the dark background, set your strobe behind the subject and towards the darker side to be used as a kicker and use a fill card or reflector to fill in the front.

2nd, pay more attention to the background. Is that a rail coming out of their heads?

These are (for the most part) low-key subjects, so avoid brighter backgrounds. If the background is brighter than the subject, it will attract more attention to the background and will overwhelm the subject.

Other than that, make sure your lens is stopped down to its sharpest aperture and you're golden.
Thank-you for the comments, they give me a few things to think about and are sincerely appreciated.

Most reactions