Please CC this! :)

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Please CC this! :)

Postby lukesmommy » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:08 pm

I'm a total newb and don't know much about anything regarding my camera (which I've had for almost a year) but I recently got a new lens (50mm 1.8 ) and I love the pictures so much better. I can only imagine once I learn my camera and lighting... I'll actually get better! :wink:

So, here are two pictures I've taken (they're very similar) recently and just want your honest CC. You won't hurt my feelings because I'm learning and know that I'm at the bottom right now, lol!

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I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me to work on my focus, huh? I feel like the tree is in focus and Luke is *almost* in focus.

ETA 2 more pictures:

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Postby blue-eden » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:28 am

I'm a little afraid to CC now :oops:

What do you want CC on? everything from composition to white balance?
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Postby lukesmommy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:03 am

Yes, everything! :) lol

Seriously you won't hurt my feelings :)
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Postby lukesmommy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:14 am

Fwiw- These aren't edited at all, just straight from my camera. They also weren't well thought out locations, just snapshots while we were outside :)
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Postby blue-eden » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:29 am

LOL OK!

I can tell you one thing off the bat. That first image, with him in the tree? See how the light is falling on his face? THAT is perfection. That is the kind of light you want.
Flat light just fills the whole face, and makes for no subtle shadows. See how his face looks contoured and interesting, with shape? Flat light leaves no shadows or shape on the face. THAT light you have right there, with him angled just away from the light so it falls nicely on his face is what you want to get!
See the pretty catchlights in his eyes? They are not just black holes, you can see the pretty blue colour. Wonderful!

He's a bit underexposed there, which is odd since you shot at such a high iso. But I think if you had shot it a little wider open ( you shot at F4), maybe F2.8, it would have been a perfect shot!

The composition is really nice. Not directly centered, so it follows the Rule Of Thirds (ROT).
Good natural smile.

The colour is off (he looks a bit red and orange) but that is an easy fix.

The third has pretty good light too! He's underexposed again, and as you said, the focus is off. Looks like it fell on his sweater. How are you choosing your focus? Are you shooting in manual and choosing your own focus points? You shot this one at 3.5, which is open enough to blur the background, but can make focusing hard to hit. Just takes practice! :)

Colour is off again, he's red. Again, easy fix. I like how you put him against the grass NOT the sky. The brightest spot in any image should be your subject's face, because the eye is drawn to the area that is brightest. A bright sky behind your subject's head detracts from him.

The fourth is cute, but see how he's looking out to the left? Our eye travels from left to right so the left is "out of the frame". You want him looking INTO the frame, towards the right, as our eye flows.
Also, it doesn't really look nice to see the bottoms of feet, but with kids it's hard not to! The chair is cute, but I'm not connected to him because he's looking at something else, not engaging with me (the viewer). I feel left out. *sniff*

These are GREAT starter shots!
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Postby lukesmommy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:55 pm

blue-eden wrote:LOL OK!

I can tell you one thing off the bat. That first image, with him in the tree? See how the light is falling on his face? THAT is perfection. That is the kind of light you want.
Flat light just fills the whole face, and makes for no subtle shadows. See how his face looks contoured and interesting, with shape? Flat light leaves no shadows or shape on the face. THAT light you have right there, with him angled just away from the light so it falls nicely on his face is what you want to get!
See the pretty catchlights in his eyes? They are not just black holes, you can see the pretty blue colour. Wonderful!

He's a bit underexposed there, which is odd since you shot at such a high iso. But I think if you had shot it a little wider open ( you shot at F4), maybe F2.8, it would have been a perfect shot!

The composition is really nice. Not directly centered, so it follows the Rule Of Thirds (ROT).
Good natural smile.

The colour is off (he looks a bit red and orange) but that is an easy fix.

The third has pretty good light too! He's underexposed again, and as you said, the focus is off. Looks like it fell on his sweater. How are you choosing your focus? Are you shooting in manual and choosing your own focus points? You shot this one at 3.5, which is open enough to blur the background, but can make focusing hard to hit. Just takes practice! :)

Colour is off again, he's red. Again, easy fix. I like how you put him against the grass NOT the sky. The brightest spot in any image should be your subject's face, because the eye is drawn to the area that is brightest. A bright sky behind your subject's head detracts from him.

The fourth is cute, but see how he's looking out to the left? Our eye travels from left to right so the left is "out of the frame". You want him looking INTO the frame, towards the right, as our eye flows.
Also, it doesn't really look nice to see the bottoms of feet, but with kids it's hard not to! The chair is cute, but I'm not connected to him because he's looking at something else, not engaging with me (the viewer). I feel left out. *sniff*

These are GREAT starter shots!


First off, thanks for saying they're great starter shots!! That's a huge compliment! :)

Thanks for all the great advice! I've been wanting to post here for a long time but I just don't have the confidence in them but you've made me feel better about them. I have a LONG way to go but I'll get there.

I see what you're talking about with his color and underexposure. When you say "that's an easy fix" do you mean with editing or how I take the photo? I used to have CS3 on my mac but just had to do a re-install of the whole system and haven't reinstalled it again. I need to learn it first I suppose... :wink:

I'm using auto focus which I hate doing but I've tried doing the manual focus and I'm not too good. I'm going to keep practicing though. Do you suggest practicing on still objects before tackling good focus on a 2 year old? Haha!!

So, when you said that the subject's face should be the brightest object in the picture... would this be a bad placement for him in pictures? (again, just random snapshots when we were playing in the driveway) Does the gravel make him look too blue and washed out?

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And with this one, there is some sky in the shot but his face is backed by green - if I nailed the camera/editing part of it...would the placement be okay?

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Sorry for so many questions :oops: :oops:

I'm going to start a 6wk beginners course this winter which I'm sure will help since it's hands on (and that's how I learn) but I just wanted to get a head start :wink:

Loanchick - Thanks!!! I think he's pretty cute too :hb:
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Postby blue-eden » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:13 pm

Ooh I RARELY shoot manual focus. When people say "shoot in manual" what they mean is to take it off auto mode in camera (not the focus mode, but the program mode) and set your own aperture, shutter speed and iso. For small children, auto focus is pretty much a must!!! LOL!

For colour, it's a simple white balance fix in photoshop. Just adjust the colour sliders (magenta/green, cyan/red and yellow/blue). I shoot all my images outdoors on "cloudy" white balance and eyeball it in Lightroom.

With your second set of pics, he's seriously blue (too cool white balance, needs more warming). that's just a white balance problem, and is easily fixed with the sliders.
In the last image, imo, it would be better to have his head all against the green. Mostly because the horizon "cuts" his head, kwim?

Nice job not chopping limbs and using the ROT.
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Postby Kylie » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:59 pm

I don't think I can add any CC that Blue hasn't covered but just wanted to say that I love the second picture in the OP. He's adorable.
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Postby blessedmommy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:12 pm

These are fantastic beginner shots! You have done a great job keeping the backgrounds clutter free which I still always forget to do:oops:. Great DOF too! I agree with Blue about them being underexposed and WB being off but that would take you seconds to fix in photoshop!

As far as being underexposed, do you shot in manual?

Do these look dark on your computer? If these don't look dark your screen brightness might be turned up too far.

Don't be afraid to share, you are doing a great job and you have got the eye for this!

Also, I never manual focus, all my photos would be blurry if I did :lol:
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Postby victoria_1024 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:40 pm

These are great beginner shots! I wish my beginner shots looked that good, haha. I really like #2 in your first post. The 3rd one down his skin is too red, almost like he was facing a setting sun or something.

In your second post, the WB is off in the first two so he looks blue, but that is an easy fix as Blue explained. The color on the 3rd one looks about perfect.

You are off to a good start!
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Postby coastieschick » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:03 am

Ummmm, I love the second tree one, the chair and the one in front of the field. I'm just starting out too though so no CC from me, but I think they're super cute!!!
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Postby AmandaP » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:49 am

Ditto Blue, all great CC. I think hes ADORABLE and youre doing a fine job caturing him.
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Postby Jlyn » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:14 am

I'm not the greatest at editing yet, so I'll just share the parts that (I think I) do know a tiny bit about.

Regarding auto focusing and manual focusing, quite right that you probably would never switch to manual focusing (eg. turning the ring on the lens by hand). But you may want to look in your manual and see how to use individual "focus points" through the lens. That way, for example, you can make the "focus of the focus" be right on the child's eyeball, which will make sure he is more in focus than, say, the tree branch, rather than vice versa. Does that make sense?

I like the tree one a lot. Great work with framing! Framing is one of the basic composition elements you can use.... so great job! The one improvement that stands out to me in that one would be to make sure the focus falls right on him versus the tree. But I love the shot!

I also like the one with the countryside behind him. Be careful to watch your backgrounds and try not to make anything in the background... horizon lines etc. run "into" the sides of his heads. Sometimes it's unavoidable, but other times it just takes a change of angle so that the whole head (for example) is against the blue sky or the green ground, etc.
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