X-Mas Card Pic....1st C&C

benny420

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Been lurking on here for a bit and just created my account a week ago, these are the 1st couple pics I've ever posted.

I'm attempting to create a good X-Mas Card with a few pics of my 18 month old daughter.....I've been shooting for about 1 year now but am definitely a n00b, especially when it comes to shooting a pic in such low light like I just did tonight. I'm posting these pics just as I shot them without any edits/crops as I am hoping you guys can give me some pointers on how to correct them? I have Aperture 3 and access to CS5, tho I'm really not really familar with editing photos.....I'm hoping for a good result as I've got the wife constantly complaining that I should do them with a point&shoot as she hates me having to adjust the settings and thinks there is nothing to photography other than pressing a button.....drives me nuts, so I want to show her what can be accomplished!! Hopefully....

These were all shot hand-held on a 7D with a Canon 50mm 1.4 with no flash and in RAW format (Is there anyway to post a RAW file that could really be edited??).....I've got a 430 exII that I can remote trigger but like I said I'm a n00b with lighting and didnt want to listen to the wife complain about me playing around with it (I took a couple real quick shots of the layout of my office, which is where these were taken, in hopes someone could point me in the right direction in terms of where to place the flash?? Anyone interested??)

Also curious if anyone has any good recommendations for books or vids on potrait photog as this is what I shoot the most and I need to improve my technique?

Settings: ISO 3200 f/2.2 1/30sec AWB

IMG_0479 by BennyHogan, on Flickr

Settings: ISO 3200 f/2.2 1/25sec AWB

IMG_0482 by BennyHogan, on Flickr

Settings: ISO 5000 f/2.2 1/40sec Tungsten WB

IMG_0542 by BennyHogan, on Flickr

First Pic I took before firing a shot of my daughter just messin around:
Settings: ISO 640 f/2.0 1/80sec AWB

Mini X-Mas Tree w/ Bokeh from Real X-Mas Tree by BennyHogan, on Flickr

Was hoping to bokeh out the tree a whole more in the photos of my daugther, but due to the constraints of the 50mm on a crop factor and the layout of my house I couldn't do it.....


Thanks in advance for any edits and constructive comments.....really hoping to improve my skills over this next year so next years card is a lot better!!
 
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oldmacman

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It will be difficult to shoot a child using 1/25 and 1/30th SS. Most kids won't sit still long enough for you to get a sharp pic. There have been many flash threads over the past few days. I would try using a flash and adjusting the shutter speed to expose for the desired level of ambient light exposure in the background.
 

UnderThePink

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Wow, I really like #1. Very nice, and very cute daughter =) I was experimenting earlier with my camera and the christmas tree/lights etc. and they all came out terrible =P I'm also curious as to how you got her SO clear in these pictures using those SS....I'm really new at this, so maybe I just missed something....
 
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benny420

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It will be difficult to shoot a child using 1/25 and 1/30th SS. Most kids won't sit still long enough for you to get a sharp pic. There have been many flash threads over the past few days. I would try using a flash and adjusting the shutter speed to expose for the desired level of ambient light exposure in the background.
I agree that shutter speeds that low are crazy with kids, so I had the 7D firing off a ton of frames hoping to catch her still for a bit.....didn't want to bring in a bunch of noise up-ing the ISO to 5000 or 6400.
Feel these seem pretty sharp, but not tack sharp.
I've got some pics of where I shot these that I could post if anyone has good ideas as to where to put my flash?? Or maybe if I should buy some sort of diffuser for it?? Right now, I'm just bouncing it off my white ceilings in my office (have white walls too, but don't really no how to mess around with light just yet)
 
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benny420

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Wow, I really like #1. Very nice, and very cute daughter =) I was experimenting earlier with my camera and the christmas tree/lights etc. and they all came out terrible =P I'm also curious as to how you got her SO clear in these pictures using those SS....I'm really new at this, so maybe I just missed something....

Thanks, really appreciate the compliment for it being my first C&C.....I just set my 7D to high speed continous and was snapping away (not like the paparazzi, but a burst of 3 quick shots or so......didn't want to deal with a bunch of wasted shots cuz my wife was watching over the whole process and bitchin about how many were blurred as we went thru them)
 

chito beach

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The tree is either too much in focus or not enough, I love the book shot, Id move her several feet away from the tree to increase the bokah, and set her on a stool rather than the chair
 

Karri

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I like #2 the best and think you have done a great job figuring out how to show all you did. I have been working with my daughter and the Christmas tree this week and have nothing to show for it!!! I like the concept of #3 but it almost looks like to me that it could be two different pictures layered together and not quite as natural.

Look forward to seeing more!
 
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benny420

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I like #2 the best and think you have done a great job figuring out how to show all you did. I have been working with my daughter and the Christmas tree this week and have nothing to show for it!!! I like the concept of #3 but it almost looks like to me that it could be two different pictures layered together and not quite as natural.

Look forward to seeing more!

Thanks for the compliment, no layering in #3 whatsoever.....only thing different from the other 2 is that I changed the white balance from auto to tungsten to see what effect it would have (thanks for reminding me tho, gonna change the description so future viewers know what I did!!)
 
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benny420

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Anyone have any suggestions on edits??

Thanks in advance
 
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benny420

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Should I maybe post these in the advanced section as I haven't received many suggestions on how to clean them up??
 

LokiZ

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My vote also goes toward image 3 with the book. It has nice comp for a Christmas card. I agree with chito beach on the shot setup.
 
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benny420

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Welp, my daughter unfortunately is ill so I won't be able to set up any more shots before these go out tomorrow.......any ideas on crops??

Gonna mail out all the pics and was thinking about making an iPhoto card with them but don't know if the quality of the print is that good?
 

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