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Old Mar 26, 2005, 7:37 AM   #1
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What can I inprove in this portrait?
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Old Mar 26, 2005, 11:25 AM   #2
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I feel you did a great, sharp capture ... she has gorgeous eyes!
I have become very discouraged lately as I see the interaction on several forums get hostile and far off track in terms of comment and reaction to comment on posted images.
Having said that, I have a couple of comments (in the context of portraits). The first is a long established tradition of going for either a full face view ot 2/3rds view .. I won't amplify for now since you may know this and chose this particular pose. Second, I do not know how much (or little) you cropped the shot, but I feel it is very tight ... she could use a bit more room. Often, when this done for s specfic effect, the cropping is much more severe (portions of top and back of head removed) which clarifies photog's intent to emphasize facial features.
Your description provides some context for this shot, otherwise it is lacking context for outsiders.
I repeat, delightful subject!
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Old Mar 26, 2005, 12:50 PM   #3
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Since you ask how this portrait can be improved, I'll first address your question then I'll share what you could have done while taking the picture.

The lighting and expression on her face is excellent! With a few minor touch-ups the eyes become the center of interest with facial expression becoming a supporting element. Her dark hair frames her face nicely and help keep the viewer on the facial area of the frame. You've placed her eyes on the top 3rd of the frame which is also quite effective.

In portraiture, we generally want men and children to be sharp and women to be a bit softer. Children have smoother skin without the character lines that us older folks have. Here, your subject has a couple areas of flakiness around the eye, mouth and nose so I've softened it a tad to render a more pleasing skin texture.

Permanent and temporary skin blemishes such as scratches or moles will stand out more in a photograph. It is up to you to decide if it should be removed or softened. Blemishes will require some type of touch-up though. Here, I've completely removed the blemish on her cheek because it appears to be temporary. There were a few other unknowns in her hair that I removed. The unknowns looked like lint.

I've toned down the brightness of the neckline of her top that is visible in the bottom right of the frame. The brightness is a an unnecessary distraction.

Without getting too in depth here, I'll say that I think the overall impact would have been nicer if you had more of a 2/3 facial view. A 2/3 facial view is when you capture the full front of the face and one side.

I love tight crops as you have here, but this one seems a bit awkward. If this is a crop from the original, possibly you can get just a tad more below the chin in the frame.

Tom makes a good point about putting this into context. Generally, when someone is looking away from the lens, we need some type of clue to what captures their attention. The lack of context here doesn't bother me, but is certainly something you should keep in mind.

I hope this will be helpful.

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Old Mar 26, 2005, 3:21 PM   #4
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Thanks you for your comments. I will keep on my mind.
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Old Apr 11, 2005, 6:50 PM   #5
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Hello belibeli,

There is the rule of thirds and now the rule of 2/3s.


Belibeli, you have captured an incredible moment of joy in the life of your child.

Many years from now, when she goes away to college or even later perhaps when she marries, you could include this photo and some of your other excellent photos in a portfolio of love for your child.

That is what truly shows. The light of life in the eyes of your child as captured by and motivated by the love of her poppa.

You have an innate talent to capture moments. Please, celebrate this, belibeli :-)

If I may respectfully suggest a caption for your photo, it would be this...


P.S.Your photoreminds of the photos of a very young Jacqueline Bouvier, later to become world famous as Jaqueline Kennedy.

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Old Apr 11, 2005, 7:24 PM   #6
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And all this time I've been using the 1/4 and 3/4 rule. When did it change to thirds? :-)

Ditto what Digcamfan says. I would have tried to get the other eye within the focus range and mod the picas Rodney did. Without a doubt, the photo is a keeper and you have been blessed with a beutiful child.
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Old Apr 12, 2005, 7:16 AM   #7
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The "Rule of Thirds" and the "2/3 view" that Rodney is referring to are two different things.

Using the "Rule of Thirds," you try to compose the photo so that major elements occupy thirds of theframe, whether vertically or horizontally; Iuse this a lot when Ishoot at the lake--the top third might be sky, middle third water, lower third beach, or maybe sky and land at top, water between and in the left 2/3, then more land at the bottom and right third. Bend that"rule" as you see fit.

Rodney is referring to the angle at which you view the model's face. Imagine a compass over the model's head, with 0 degrees being the direction she's facing. If you stand at the 330 degree mark, you're looking at her 30 degrees from straight on and 60 degrees from side-on--or two-thirds straight on.
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Old Apr 12, 2005, 7:28 AM   #8
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It is a lovely photo. As for improvements the only things I would change is facial blemishes removed and perhaps I like to see more of her neck/chest instead of the crop under her chin. You have a wonderful subject there:-)
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