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livnxxl Jan 29, 2006 5:10 PM

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Our friend's daughter at my son's 2nd birthday.

Hards80 Jan 29, 2006 5:50 PM

the composition isnt bad, she is placed nicely in the frame.. the exposure isnt too bad really..

i am not really a fan of messy eating shots of little kids.. maybe its because i havent gotten that far in my life, but its kind of gross..

for improvement i think i would have went with a tighter composition. got the table out of the shot and focused on the kid.. i might have also went black and white on this one.. it needs a bit of sharpening.. maybe 100% 1.0 radius 0 threshold..


livnxxl Jan 29, 2006 6:05 PM

Dustin, Thanks for the help. Funny I had it in B&W before posting and the wife liked it better in color. :mad:

julies517 Jan 29, 2006 6:41 PM

i don't think it's gross, LOL! i've seen a lot's a cute picture/snapshot. she resembles my daughter at that age, red hair/hazel eyes.

rjseeney Jan 29, 2006 7:10 PM

It's cute and a nice capture of a nice moment. Probably very little artistic value outside of the photographer. I've got more of these than I can count of my 3 kids.

livnxxl Jan 29, 2006 7:14 PM

Thanks for the replys, I was mostly looking for "Overall Exposure, Composition & Sharpening" rather than trying to post that "Me, too" kinda photograph. I don't want to clog these boards with stuff everyone has seen before. Although I do love the critique that you all give. I have had the camera for approx 1 month and I am JUST starting to figure things out.

Thanks again!


Hards80 Jan 29, 2006 7:28 PM

julies517 wrote:

i don't think it's gross, LOL! i've seen a lot's a cute picture/snapshot. she resembles my daughter at that age, red hair/hazel eyes.
lol, someday i am sure my views will change as well.. nothing too soon.. someday.. hehe

Aumma45 Jan 29, 2006 9:10 PM

In the same boat Dustin....:G Jaki

In search of Syd Jan 30, 2006 3:37 AM

It's a nice quality picture. In terms of overall exposure and sharpening - it's a little soft for my tastes. The composition and exposure seem fine to my untrained eye.

I have loads of kids and loads of messy eating shots. I think they're kinda cute for members of the family especilly parents and grandparents. Unless, though they have a different and original take on the subject, I find myself agreeing that these kind of shots do little to hold my interest. They're cute family phorographs.



peripatetic Jan 30, 2006 10:03 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I think this is just about as good as you can get under the circumstances.

It's a nice candid/snapshot, the exposure is good with no blown highlights, your use of flash has worked nicely with the skin tones very good. It looks like you used on-board flash because the lighting is a bit flat, but it's not a big problem.

The crop is a matter of choice, here it is clear that the child is at a party and the context helps explain the messy face.

I don't think this sort of picture (or most portraits for that matter) need a great deal of sharpening. This is one of the things I like about the Canon DSLRS; the Anti-Moire filter gives a "soft-focus" effect without losing resolution, so you can sharpen up if you need to, but for most faces you don't. You should however sharpen up the eyes even if you leave the rest of the face alone. Frankly it's impossible to say at this resolution whether you have the right amount of sharpening. Seems fine to me.

The audience is obviously only people who know the little girl. Nothing wrong with that, but as Syd has mentioned it holds relatively little interest for viewers whose heart doesn't jump when they see a photo of her.

Something to think about when taking pictures of little monsters:

Things that make candid/snapshots like this different from planned portraits:

1) You're not in control of the lighting.
2) You're not in control of the background, it's messy, full of different colours, oddly shaped objects, etc.
3) You're not always in full control of where YOU are. Sure you can move around, but often you'll be somewhat restricted.
4) You're not in control of what the subject is wearing. Combinations that look fine to the eye don't always look great on camera.
5) You need flash.

This is a nice shot, but it's a candid/snapshot, and if that's not what you're looking for you do have some options.

a) Black & white -> helps with mismatched colours.
b) Use a wider aperture on a faster lens to limit depth of field. This can be achieved fairly cheaply, Canon have a $70 50mm f1.8 lens, other manufacturers have similar. as well as helping with shallow DOF it also means you may not need flash at all.
c) Crop/frame more tightly if the context is not important and you're aiming to capture the expression rather than the scene.
d) Try to use a bounce flash with diffuser if you do need flash.
e) Try to be aware of background as much as possible, some opportunities for uncluttered backgrounds do present themselves even in chaotic environments.

Here's an example of a dinner time shot I took a while ago. Not better than yours, but trying to get closer to a "spontaneous portrait" at dinner time.

And simply by cropping and a BW conversion the picture can look quite different.

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