First Shoot Down, Comments and Editing suggestions

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by PropilotBW, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well, I said in an earlier thread that I was asked to do a family shoot. Here are some of my pics from the session. A little disappointing from what I was expecting, but it was a learning experience.
    Any comments or critiques are welcomed, as well as editing techniques that may improve the photos.

    Let me be the first to say that these are not professional results.

    Thanks!

    PB060070.jpg PB060264.jpg
    36.36.jpg 36.jpg


     
  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Better than a lot of first shoots. Next time I'd think about your vantage point, how you're setting up and double checking where everybody's legs are going and how they're seated (and not catching an edge of a hand or leg like in the first one). It's more challenging with little ones where you'd need to make interesting noises or use colorful noisy toys (or have a helper do that) to get the youngest one's attention and keep him positioned so it doesn't look like he's starting to slide south.

    The third one is charming, they'll probably like it (who could resist that smile?). So you seem to have engaged his interest and attention well but it's the timing (because the little one is looking off somewhere and so is mom, but at least they're looking toward each other). Bit of a juggling act and more challenging with various ages I think.

    I might make copies and experiment with some slight cropping, nothing major, just to get rid of some edges or where there might be a little more background (or to the side) than needed.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    So what do you see as the issue(s) with these images?
     
  4. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My biggest issue is the soft focus. Not nearly as sharp as I wanted. I had a hard time getting the depth of field I wanted (with the micro four thirds) as well as accounting for an overcast/rainy day. Some of my shots were 1/80th of a second. The first photo was with the small flash, but most were natural light.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My $00.02:
    1. Composition isn't bad; if you'd move the youngest child over to Mom's right knee, you would have had a nice diamond patter (or two triangles) out of the heads. I'm not fond of the location; it looks a bit messy, leaves on the stairs, and such, and the fact that the youngest child is looking away hurts it a bit too. Getting deeper into the weeds, the cropped leg image right and "bitO of hand behind Mom's back are mildly distracting as well.

    2. A cute moment which would have really benefitted from a little fill light image left. The composition is a bit awkward image right as the younger child's hand/arm is partially amputated.

    3. I like the concept here, and I think you chose exactly the right aperture; IMO, DoF is spot-on, but I wish that the parents and younger child were all looking toward the camera. Again, the scene seems a bit messy. Either add leaves to make it appear to delibarate, or clean them off entirely.

    4. Nicely done, and without a doubt the strongest of the set. That said, it would definitely have benefitted from some fill, and I'm really not a fan of the "lean". I think had both parents been sitting straighter, it would have helped the image.

    Overall, they're not a bad first set at all. I've seen a LOT worse from people who have much more experience!

    Just my $00.02 worth - YMMV
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    On the second shot of the older boy holding his baby brother, I think you need to dodge the eyes of the baby, so you can see at least a bit of eye color. On the third shot, I think I would make a selection in Photoshop on the boy's face and then hit Sharpen, then go to Filter>Fade Sharpen, and reduce to 40%, then repeat that twice more, or in Lightroom, "paint on" some Sharpness on his face, and maybe add a dash of Clarity to give the impression of a b it more sharpness, to counteract the blur.

    On the last shot, the group shot, I might try to sharpen them up quite a bit, and then use a filter effect to make it look more pointillist, or perhaps more watercolor-painting-like. it's not very sharp in the conventional sense, but I think it could be re-envisioned to look a bit more painterly, and work out pretty well. You cannot go half-way on that though--it must be done with total commitment on this shot, I think.

    I do not have a very good EXIF reader on this particular computer I'm at now, but you appear to have gotten into a shooting scenario where the ambient exposure for daylight is VERY close to the flash exposure, and it looks like you've gotten some ghosting--images made by a combo of both flash, and daylight, most likely due to wide f/stop use + relatively slow shutter speeds.
     
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  7. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thank you for your comments and suggestion
     
  8. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for your reply and suggestions.
    On the 1st photo, I later put the child on the mom's inner knee for the diamond pattern....it just wasn't one of the "chosen keepers" from her list. Location I agree, isn't ideal. It started raining pretty steady, so we had to make do with what was available. The location was a public park area.
    On the second photo, I was using a reflector, but I guess not enough shine on the right areas.
    #3...yea, that was impromptu (which I imagine most family sessions turn into). I wasn't thinking about directing the background folk...I was assuming they'd look somewhat posed. Next time I'll keep that in mind to have them in unity.
    Thanks for 4. I like it the best too. I was thinking about having them sit straight up, but I told them to lean in. I should have tried both.
     
  9. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Derrel,
    Thanks for the tips for the touch-ups...although I'm not quite sure I know how to perform selective sharpness in Lightroom. I'll have to look it up.
     
  10. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    @tirediron here is another pose for the "diamond" shape. I like this one a little better, but Once again, less than a sharp image...it's probably my hand-holding techniques are fidgety.

    PB060064.jpg
     
  11. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    If these were shot in raw, I would go back to the originals and pull back the highlights, if possible.
    I supect these were brighter and then you pulled down the exposure or brightness for the jpegs.
    Looking at these pictures, you can see that there are large blanched spots on the foreheads and cheeks where there is no texture at all.
    This is due to the light from the sky adding to whatever flash you used resulting in overexposure of those surfaces.

    This will show up very prominently in prints as flat, no texture areas.


    upload_2015-11-7_13-0-32.png

    upload_2015-11-7_13-0-37.png
     

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