TPF Noob!
Aug 19, 2007
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
how can i make it better?

i wanted the soft focus look black and white.

so help me then oh wise one dont just tell me what ive done wrong.

my heart sank when i saw you replied.

how do i put you on my ignore list and if i do does that mean i will never see any of your posts
DUDE! I don't think you want to put max on your ignore list, or anyone else for that matter just for pointing out your mistakes.

Photography is hard, but you fail your way to success.

If no one points out your failures, you'll never succeed. Personal growth as an artist involves discomfort.

I participated in a discussion on lighting here, you might get something out of it.
your shot doesnt look like its in black and white. more like sepia...
thanks for the comments but max always says whats wrong and not just to me but seldom suggests ways of making it better.

thanks for your link i will check it out.

If you're happy with the tone, I would consider is selecting both eyes and inverting the selection. This will allow you to apply the soft focus only to the skin while maintaining sharpness in the eyes. There are other ways to do this, but that's how I do it.
thanks for the comments but max always says whats wrong and not just to me but seldom suggests ways of making it better.

thanks for your link i will check it out.

You've got way bigger problems than me if you need to be spoon-fed a list of five hundred ways to properly expose a photo instead of a) Practicing until you figure out what works, or b) Making a legitimate attempt to study your craft using the thousands of resources available to you.

I told you exactly what was wrong with the shot. Now go out and learn how to fix it. If you want private lessons, I'll PM you my rates.

For christ's sake. Laziness. Just laziness.
exactly you told me what was wrong but no help after that.

bye bye max have a nice life :hail:
exactly you told me what was wrong but no help after that.

bye bye max have a nice life :hail:

I don't understand how you are offended. Max always gives, helpful, yet blunt and straight to the point critiques. However, nobody is here to explain to you exactly what to do. Figuring out and experimenting is half the fun. I think you should use other resources and do more playing around. Don't expect to post a half-assed photo and us to spend an hour typing up instructions on how to make it perfect. Making it look good is your job as the photographer, not ours.
If you wont let people help you, you can never get better.
Take criticism, it helps you learn quicker when people are harsh about it.

Max didn't have to reply. He could have just ignored this picture and not give you any things to improve on, but instead he thought that he should help you out, done in a harsh way or not.
I'm still in school so I don't mind giving suggestions, more experienced artist are more terse though, jols. I'd suggest just taking the medicine.

1. Wipe his mouth with a cloth, kid photographers have wetnaps around them always.

2. Use some fill, or reflector, no matter how small. Shadow is a powerful statement, *D-Max (maximum density) is a failure in technique.

3. Make him look at or near you, or into camera with his head in the same position. Headshots must always engage with the eyes.

These really aren't suggestions, but cardinal rules for the type of photography you are doing. Like the rules of grammar, only two types of artists break them, the bad ones (very many), and the great masters (very few).

**minimum and maximum density, are photography terms from the old days. You'd take a peice of paper out of the package and develop and fix it, then take a peice of paper out into daylight for a few seconds, then back into the darkroom and develop that. It's one of the first lessons we were taught, (I'm taking photolab as my arts minor in Univ.)

These represent the lightest and darkest possible whites and blacks your paper is capable of. They aren't so much something to aim for, rather, they also represent areas that contain absolutely no information on the film.

Ideally, you will never get these densities on your film, in fact, you should be two steps either way away from these densities, so that there is visual information contained everywhere with your picture, even if it doesn't consiously register with the viewer at first, on some level, the brain notices, and it looks deeper and less disconcerting/disorienting than absolute black or absolute white.

Just remember, in the actual photographic prints, made by the masters, there is ALWAYS some visual information in the shadows, even if it looks like pure black when these photo's are reproduced in books/magazines/online.

SO, simply put

deep shadow = good
absolute black = bad.
Wow. Bobby. Thanks for that. That was an interesting read!
Makes me wish even more fervently I for once had a chance to learn darkroom work... :confused:

But a question to all here then (which will hijack the thread a little ... and not, maybe, either): I once posted this impromptu photo of my_sister just because I suddenly saw that side light and liked it and ... well, took the pic. And she looks away from the camera, too. And there is only this one-directional light (one big, big window on the side), too.

Many said back when I first posted the pic that it looked good. Even my sister herself said "Old - but interesting!" about her own photo (;)) - but is it all against the cardinal rules of taking portrait pics? (It was not a planned session, though).

Back to this photo.
I feel that what is now declared as "soft focus" was actually once "out of focus". And you seem to have used a very high ISO, and I wonder what your light source was? It cannot have been very light, and it looks like a long exposure was asked for? The light is too one-directional, I think, though I do like when the eyes get lit up like happened here. His skin is too bright, though.

As to what you can do about THIS very photo to make it better: I don't really know.

In the future: add a second light, and maybe diffuse the one light source more? (Just some amateur ideas). Make the child engage with you (us as viewers).

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