Too new to have been ctitiqued. May as well start somewhere!


TPF Noob!
Jul 31, 2013
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New at site and photography. Look forward to learning more. :)


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Getting the flash of the camera can be a goal. Also using flash and manual camera/flash adjustments lets you control the ambient light exposure separately from the background exposure.

I can see from the pinlight in the child's pupil that the flash was on the camera. By the pinlights size I would guess you used the camera's small built-in flash unit.
I would further guess that you let the camera make the technical exposure and lighting decisions.

While convenient, the built-in flash unit is right on the lens axis and eliminates the subtle shadows that add definition and some depth to a face.
The small size of the built-in flash unit also produces harsh light and very sharp shadow edges. People photographers usually use light modifiers to make their light source apparently much larger.
A larger apparent light source softens the light and makes shadow edges more diffuse, also known as light that 'wraps' around edges.

For this type of shot a flash unit in a 36 inch softbox would deliver much nicer light.
An alternative it to bounce flash of a ceiling or other surface which also makes the light source apparently larger. Bouncing light off a ceiling or wall limits your control over the direction light falls on your subject.

Here are some online resources you might look at;
flash photography techniques - Neil vN - tangents
Strobist: Lighting 101

And some inexpensive books:
Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers
Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere
Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light (Voices That Matter)
That's all great but sorta drinking from the fire hose.

A very good first step would be getting an on-camera flash that you can bounce off a wall or ceiling and experimenting with that. It'll cost you a few hundred dollars (you can get one for less, just be sure it works with your camera as a bad pairing can fry your SLR), but it'll go a LONG way towards much better images when flash is necessary.

Beautiful baby, btw... and I don't say that to everyone.
Great! Thanks! I agree, and as I am still using a "point and shoot" camera, my possibilities are a bit limited. :) I am focusing on my camera options to suit my style and look forward to a future in photography! Gotta start somewhere!
My photos right now have been limited to a highly edited snapshot.. I am currently working on lighting and expanding my creativity to eliminate as much of the editing process as possible. :) Have lots to learn!

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