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Trying to focus on composition, looking for CC.


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 18, 2015
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This is a shot of my son, one of my main practice subjects lol. I'm new to photography and trying to improve as much as I can. One of my weaknesses has been composition which I tried to focus on in this image. One of the things I could have improved on is getting both eyes in focus. Critique is very much welcomed.

Shot with a Nikon D5500, Nikkor 50mm 1.8G lens, and edited in Lightroom. f/3.5, 1/200th, ISO 200

I like how you used the rule of thirds both vertically (eye)and horizontally (button seam). You did fine. Cute as a button. Too bad the little whipper snapper didn't look into the lens at that head angle, that would have been cool.

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You needed more depth of field to get both eyes in focus (smaller aperture). Or you would need both eyes closer to being on the same plane. . Someone will post a link to a depth of field calculator so that you can see why both eyes are not equally in focus.
You want to make the image of your son distinct from the background and you try to do this by using a shallow depth of field. But to do it with this lens/sensor you have to get close, and this makes it more difficult to keep both eyes in focus. It would be better to use a longer lens from further away and position the subject as to have e.g. window light falling onto the background. Your composition options are constrained by the choice of lens and uniform lighting: imagine a light source beaming down from above and left - onto the background- with a bounced flash above/right at 45 degrees to your son's (left) cheek/temple/forehead. That would be much more dynamic and using a longer lens - greater blur. At f5.6-8 you would have eyes and nose and mouth in focus and probably achievable in a medium sized room of a house bouncing flash.
Thanks everyone. Unfortunately I am a bit restrained with the gear I have but I'm trying to make the best out of what I have. Does the edit look ok? I do not do many B&W conversions.
I like the crop a lot and it's so close to being more than just a good shot. Just a little more DOF and a tad more contrast would be my preference.

Thank you! I wanted to get in close and I loved his expression.
One of my weaknesses has been composition which I tried to focus on in this image.
The DOF not withstanding, you specifically mentioned the composition, so here is a very short critique on the composition:

Eyes are a natural point of interest to us humans, but here the eyes are off to one side, forming a diagonal that goes nowhere.

Taken as a whole, the child's face also has nose and mouth, but those features are not helping your composition much. Yes, there is a triangle, which is usually a good thing, but here the triangle is not in good "balance" with the rest of the frame.

The vast area of clothing takes up nearly half the frame, but there is nothing notable about it, and it is mostly out of focus anyway. With no particular reason for all that cloth to be in the frame, it would be better if it wasn't included.

The child's head being cropped so severely allows the viewer's eye to roam over to the edges and then cast about for some reason for there to be all that undefined skin in the frame.

Now for the good parts; you're learning about DOF, and your B&W conversion is not too bad.

You should continue to work on composition, DOF, and post up more of your results.
I can appreciate everything you said and thank you for your feedback. Composition is definitely something I need to continue to work on. I've only been shooting since April and I'm slowly starting to see improvements.
Here is a simple suggestion:

When shooting, consider mostly the light and focus. Frame wide and crop later to find your ideal composition. It is a lot easier that way.
One of the most appealing parts of pictures of children is their essentially unused complexion.
Converting baby faces to be might be done successfully but, IMO, One loses lot of the appeal of the picture.

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