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Old Mar 14, 2005, 8:43 AM   #1
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Hubby thinks I should remove the halo in the background, any other Ideas to improve this photo welcome.


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Old Mar 14, 2005, 9:31 AM   #2
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Candid shots like this are rarely effective because the photographer has never dedicated any time to developing his compositional skills. The most effective candids are those where the photographer has put some thought and planning into getting the shot.

The reason your hubby finds the background halo a distraction is because you've poorly captured 2 center's of interest. By that I mean you have two center's of interest on opposite ends of the frame and the viewer eyes must bounce from one to the other to make sense of it. While bouncing from one to the other, the background halo is a disturbance. If the faces were closer together, this would not happen.

Removal of the background halo will eliminate one disturbance, but then you'll have the whites and bright face of the background person that will step in and take it's place. :-)

Rodney
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 9:41 AM   #3
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Rodney's right regarding composition, but I just want to add that I think there's a lot of really great stuff in this photo. You were so lucky with the lighting, and it's well exposed considering how much white there is. DOF is great, and from this vantage point, it looks like both subjects are clearly in focus. So technically, it's quite sound.

I like the photo for the drama it demonstrate. Look at the girl's expression-- is it wonder over the sparkler, disbelief that someone is taking her picture, or annoyance over her mother's insistance not to let her take the sparkler by herself? And then you've got mother -- who is an angel herself! She's looking off the frame, involved in another conversation or greeting with some unknown person, yet she still has her hand on the sparkler, making sure the younger angel is not going astray. The perfect expression of the guardian angel/child relationship. Sure there are distractions and imperfections, but that's the nature of the candid.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 10:58 AM   #4
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After looking at this a second time, I'm curious if this is a crop of a wider shot. If so, I'd like to see the wider version.

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Old Mar 14, 2005, 3:00 PM   #5
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It's a nice candid as is, however...

The little girls face and eye is cut by the wand and I find it quite unsettling. There's nothing really of interest in the background. So that leaves mommy, but her left arm is doing weird stuff, so I fancy a crop.

And she's beautiful to me, simply stunning, with a spontaneity that is very seldom achieved in a posed picture.

You could blur the background chap with the red face a bit if you fancied it.
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 3:58 PM   #6
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RodneyBlair wrote:
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After looking at this a second time, I'm curious if this is a crop of a wider shot. If so, I'd like to see the wider version.

Rodney

no crop, framed like this through the lens
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 4:39 PM   #7
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Rodney, is it possible for a photographer to get a decent candid shot with a P&S camera when he has < 0.2 seconds from when he thinks about taking a shot to actually having the data being written to the memory card?
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 6:04 PM   #8
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pianoplayer88key wrote:
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Rodney, is it possible for a photographer to get a decent candid shot with a P&S camera when he has < 0.2 seconds from when he thinks about taking a shot to actually having the data being written to the memory card?
It isn't likely that the photographer can focus and press the shutter release in .2 seconds so for that reason, the answer is no. If he anticipates the shot and plans accordingly by pre focusing and metering, then he can do it.

A few years ago I began working on my family history and I've acquired hundreds of old photographs. Most are candid shots, but the compositions are quite good which puzzled me for quite some time. Only recently, after interviews with many of the family elders, did I begin to understand why. I'll list a few reasons below.

1. Film was considered a luxury item for most families so they made ever effort to get it right and not have wasted film. I understand during WWII, film was rationed in the US.

2. Fixed focal lengths encouraged the photographer to move about to find the best angle and distance because of the lack of a zoom lens.

3. No on camera flash so all images are taken in natural lighting.

4. No color film so they quickly developed an eye of how contrast affects a scene.

It is my understanding that this forum is provided for us to share our techniques and obtain critiques of our work to help us improve our photographic abilities. Yes, we can take better candids, but not without putting some thought into it. I suspect that is why most camera operating manuals come with tips and instructions to take better pictures.

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Old Mar 15, 2005, 3:43 AM   #9
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I like the composition, and the subjects are adorable. Definitely worth taking some time to work this one out. I agree the second halo should go, and also think the reflective background in the upper left corner should be muted some. This would help focus attention on subjects. It could also allow you to crank down the saturation a bit. It looks to me to be too red and too saturated.

I started playing and tried moving the halo over the little girl, but probably should have just removed it.

brian
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:30 AM   #10
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I liked the saturation as that was how the lighting really was, this was at our Christmas parade in town, 7pm on a balmy summer evening, the sun was on the way down and gave off a golden hue. I do think removal of the second halo is a good Idea.
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