Toddler Portrait Shot - C&C Please

eksmith218

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Hello! I'm new to the forums and looking to learn as much as I can from others. I've had my first DSLR (a Canon Rebel T3) for two years now and I've spent that time simply shooting in manual and learning from tutorials. I figured it was time to finally seek C&C if I want to get any better.

I took this photo of my little one while we were playing in the backyard one late afternoon. The photo is nearly SOOC. I used an action in PSE12 to make his skin a little creamier. If I could do anything different, I would have liked to have bumped up the aperture so more of his face (his right ear, his hair, etc.) would be in focus. I've just started hammering hard on nailing my focus. Ha. Any C&C are welcome. :)


$LGS1.jpg

50mm, ISO 100, 1/6000 sec, f/1.8
 

Bo4key

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I don't really like the landscape orientation tbh, the emptiness to his right really doesn't add anything to the photo.

And you are right, you could have chosen a smaller aperture to get more in focus. There was certainly ample light if you were shooting at 1/6000 sec. I'm guessing you shot this in Aperture Priority?
 
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eksmith218

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Yes, I did shoot it in Aperture Priority.

The shot was random, but if it had been "planned", do you have any suggestions for the composition? If having the subject centered dead on is typically considered a no no, wouldn't there be "emptiness" in the shot?

Thank you for your C&C. :)
 

amolitor

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often we try to place the subject off center and then balance it with some form opposite, across the center.

Still, what you shot here works fine. The direction of gaze is across the frame, keeping the frame "together" and you didn't cut off the stray hair or anything, and yet are fairly tight in. You might consider cropping a trifle off the left edge, just to eliminate some of that negative space -- trim to taste, but don't center the subject.

Well done, to my eye.
 

lennon33x

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I personally love the composition. I think your focus is pretty close; however, I think the shot in general is soft (for my own personal taste. What lens are using? Also, what image profile are you using in camera? I do agree with the others that there is a touch of dead space to the right of the subject. That would be the only personal change I would have made. I know how difficult it is to get shots of those little ones...I have twins, and it's a challenge! Good shot though!!
 

vintagesnaps

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Cute picture of him, I too would not want quite that much space to the left and might have left a little more space at the bottom. With the sun hitting him unfortunately I think it makes the wispy strands of hair more noticeable than I'd like.

I think you're right, it might have been better with the lens not open that much, a somewhat smaller aperture might have worked better. That seems like a high ISO which seems higher than you would have needed, although you said it was late day. It's always a matter of figuring out what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO works best together.
 

mmaria

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others said a lot, I'll add my opinion

first I'm aware how difficult is to take photos of children. have two of those :)

second, I love horizontal orientation portraits! but in this case I think it doesn't suit as well. You have to know why you used horizontal orientation in portrait? Is he gazing to his right? he can look at you also but you need to know what that empty space means to you?

we can certainly tell that you are learning an going in the right direction.

Why action? I know it's easier but it prevents you to learn. When you are ready to learn about post processing drop the actions.
 

Derrel

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It would have made a great "tall", so we could literally SEE more of him, and less of that lawn. Consider showing more of HIM, in his regal tinyness, instead of devoting 75% or so of the frame to uninteresting, out of focus,meaningless lawn grass. I'll bet he has a really cute little shirt design on his shirt. Maybe a shirt his auntie or grammy bought him. Maybe you bought it. I bet SHOWING that cuter shirt's design, cut, and style would have added to the cuteness factor.
 

Bo4key

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Yes, I did shoot it in Aperture Priority.

The shot was random, but if it had been "planned", do you have any suggestions for the composition? If having the subject centered dead on is typically considered a no no, wouldn't there be "emptiness" in the shot?

Thank you for your C&C. :)

I just agree with Darrel that the a TALL shot would add more to the image in that he is the most interesting aspect of it.

Don't get me wrong, I have two girls under five and understand how hard it is to get a shot of them because they are so busy. Maybe next time, when you pick up your camera, immediately hold it in Portrait orientation. That way you won't be fumbling around when the decisive moment comes.

I believe a horizontical portrait can work when the rest of the frame adds context to the picture. For example, if you were at the beach or at the park or a theme park or disneyland, then I would want to see where the picture was taken. In this case, it just doesn't add to the image.
 

Derrel

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Yes, I did shoot it in Aperture Priority.

The shot was random, but if it had been "planned", do you have any suggestions for the composition? If having the subject centered dead on is typically considered a no no, wouldn't there be "emptiness" in the shot?

Thank you for your C&C. :)

I just agree with Darrel that the a TALL shot would add more to the image in that he is the most interesting aspect of it.

Don't get me wrong, I have two girls under five and understand how hard it is to get a shot of them because they are so busy. Maybe next time, when you pick up your camera, immediately hold it in Portrait orientation. That way you won't be fumbling around when the decisive moment comes.

I believe a horizontical portrait can work when the rest of the frame adds context to the picture. For example, if you were at the beach or at the park or a theme park or disneyland, then I would want to see where the picture was taken. In this case, it just doesn't add to the image.

This ^^^^^^ is well-stated, well-written advice, from a parent's point of view, and from the photographic point of view.I hate to sound like a rigid thinker, but the advice to pick up the camera and to hold it so it is in "Portrait" orientation, as it has come to be called over the last decade or so, is solid advice.

Here's a shot of my own kid. I framed it horizontal because the simple elements had meaning for me.

View attachment 63303

[ _MG_0481_Spencer_2006.jpg photo - Derrel photos at pbase.com ]

Here are the elements. In the background, to the right, is the doorway from the dining room, and we see the large wooden support member or pedestal of the kitchen or "breakfast table", where he normally would have eaten. On the left of the picture is the back of Daddy's leather-covered dining room chair...he has taken his food, and gotten ahold of a newspaper, and is looking at it, as he eats while seated at Daddy's place...at the big, dining room table...

He is, in effect...pretending to Be "daddy", aka Me...he's got my chair, my place at the table, my paper, and he's amused as heck at what he has done. "Look at me--I'm a big boy, reading the paper like Daddy!" And so, that's why I framed this shot as a wide, not as a tall. For "me", the simple objects in the background are part of the house, part of the story.
 
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eksmith218

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Thanks, Bo4key and Derrel. I appreciate y'all taking the time to give me some feedback!
 

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