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Thread: child at play

  1. #1

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    child at play

    Please comment, i look forward to any advice...
    child at play

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    First off, I'm no people photographer. So the following is given not on the basis of being experienced in the field.

    The whole idea of the image is excellent: A young child happy and relaxed, obviously at ease and having fun. So the idea of creating images such as this doesn't need any improvement. The artistic vision is there.

    There are two features, I think, we could explore from the point of view of improving.

    Firstly, her face is fully in shade. Because of that I think it looks a bit flat. We have no light following on it to help sculpt it . One that maybe needed fill flash? Now the real portrait people can come in and tell us what's wrong with that analysis.

    Secondly - Those structures behind her head. I just think they shouldn't be there. And that's all about composition. You captured her in that wonderfully relaxed and happy moment. But if you'd be able to work the angles so that the happy and relaxed moment was happening when you had a clear, or better, background, that, I think, would have been much better. And that's just about practice, experience and having the time to plan, set up and get the shots you want.

    But hold onto the strengths of it. The other stuff is all just part of the learning curve.

  3. #3

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    Re: child at play

    Hi Fiona,
    --- waht Donald said.
    Plus I would crop to a different composition placing the head a little more to the left - see below (hope you don't mind me taking the liberty).
    Graham
    child at play

  4. #4
    CougarFool's Avatar
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    Fiona,
    Lovely, happy, high key image. I like it a lot. I also like the cropped version.

  5. #5

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    Re: child at play

    Thank you already for your kind comments, back to practicing to make sure i get more interesting effects with light. Thank you

  6. #6
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Hi Fiona,

    The others have covered off the main points. A tigher crop helps to bring the focus onto your subject however the structure behind her head gets a bit distracting. A fill flash or reflector would be helpful to highlight her face as it's underexposed. Alternatively, you could do some selective exposure editing (depending on the PP tools you're using) or you could increase the exposure of the whole photo and create a high key image while getting your subject's skin exposure right.

    What I do love about your photo is that it works as a black and white very well (at least in my opinion). The patterns in your subject's jumper suit a B&W image, without distracting too much from your subject.

  7. #7
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    Re: child at play

    I really don't know if it is my monitor but, her right hand appears sharper than her face...

  8. #8

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    Re: child at play

    Thank you all for the comments, really helpful. I am not using any pp so far, trying to capture great moments without editing to help my photography along until I get it right. Off to practice more, thank you.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    Thank you all for the comments, really helpful. I am not using any pp so far, trying to capture great moments without editing to help my photography along until I get it right. Off to practice more, thank you.
    I'd invite you to consider that position, Fiona. Maybe you didn't mean it as such, but it feels like you're telling yourself that you have to get it right in the camera and not rely on post-processing to help in the creation of the image.

    If that is the case, it might be based on the notion that, somehow, post-processing is cheating and only there to rescue your mistakes. You may feel that that post-processing is not an integral part of making an image.

    As I (taught by others on here) have said on here before, "Pressing the shutter is the end of the first part of making an image. The second part starts when you begin processing in the darkroom (if you're shooting film) or on computer (if you're shooting digitally)."

    So, yes, keep practicing until you are master/mistress of all that you do with the camera. But then go to your digital darkroom (post-processing software) to help you finish the image.

  10. #10

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    Re: child at play

    Hi Donald,

    You are right as i sometimes feel that using pp tools isn't necessary right now until my pictures are consistent. Should i not be so hard on myself to capture that perfect picture? If so what pp would you recommend purchasing, can anyone comment on using Lightroom or any others??

    Thank you

  11. #11
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    Hi Donald,

    You are right as i sometimes feel that using pp tools isn't necessary right now until my pictures are consistent. Should i not be so hard on myself to capture that perfect picture? If so what pp would you recommend purchasing, can anyone comment on using Lightroom or any others??
    Fiona

    I think you're right to drive yourself towards really getting to grips with the camera and producing the sort of images you want out of the camera. But don't tell yourself that what you need out of the camera has got to be the finished product. Because it isn't - not if you're wanting get serious about photography. From the camera you can get the well exposed, well composed image that you can then work on in post-processing to produce a stunning image.

    As for what PP software to purchase. Well, it's all about how ambitious are you and how deep is your pocket (or how big is your purse)?

    You need something to process your RAW files and then you need something to do all the finishing work. By far the most popular packages are those manufactured by Adobe. These are Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop. Photoshop is top-of-the-tree. And, of course, the price reflects this. But many, many people on here use Elements and that does all that they want or need. These packages also come with Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) included (that's what processes your RAW files). So you get the complete package.

    The you get the likes of Open Source software. This is free to download (but you are invited to make a donation to meet expenses). It doesn't have the same support systems as the Adobe packages and some people find it a much steeper learning curve. But, as I keep saying, if I managed to do it (which I did) then anyone can. The package I have is The GIMP.

    By the way, what camera are you using? Because with many of them you get the manufacturer's own post-processing package included. For example, with Canon DSLRs, you get Canon's DPP software included. It's a perfectly good tool and one that many people use as well. But it doesn't have all the tools and options that something like the GIMP or Photoshop have.

    Hopefully others will come on here and give you their advice and suggestions.
    Last edited by Donald; 24th February 2012 at 04:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
    Hi Donald,

    You are right as i sometimes feel that using pp tools isn't necessary right now until my pictures are consistent. Should i not be so hard on myself to capture that perfect picture? If so what pp would you recommend purchasing, can anyone comment on using Lightroom or any others??

    Thank you
    I'm one of those who don't some pockets, but ones that aren't as deep as I would like (either that or I've gone through the bottom!) I have both Photoshop Elements and Lightroom 3 and both Kerry and I gravitate towards using Lightroom. It's simple, intuitive, and organises your photos as well as allows them to do fairly sophisticated edits. There's also an extensive video tutorial library at the Adobe website.

    As Donald has mentioned (and I've learnt if from being on CiC), clicking the shutter is just one part of the taking the photo. I often capture an image with an vision of how I will process it later on to come up with the final capture.

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    By the way, what camera are you using?
    Hi Donald,

    The image above EXIF says Canon 7D

    Hi Fiona,

    I can't really add anything to what Donald (mainly) has already said.
    He is absolutely correct about the shutter clicking being only half the job done.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Donald,

    The image above EXIF says Canon 7D

    I can't really add anything to what Donald (mainly) has already said.
    He is absolutely correct about the shutter clicking being only half the job done.
    Mainly? You mean not totally?

    Sorry, should have checked EXIF. We've got another thread going on that subject at the moment. I should practice what I preach.

  15. #15

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    Re: child at play

    Hi Donald,

    I am using a Canon 7D which i really like. I have the DPP software it comes with which is good. In the coming weeks i will look into purchasing pp software which i have realised i should through this thread to make the images i want. Thank you all for all the tips. xx

  16. #16
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    Re: child at play

    The original photo seems underexposed to me. I love the expression so I had to take a few minutes to make some adjustments. A pretty large adjustment with curves, a hint of sharpening, and the goofy border stuff.

    child at play

  17. #17

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    Re: child at play

    Hi Brian,

    Yes my original photo was a snap shot of my daughter playing at the park going down a slide hence why i didnt use any reflectors to bring in more light. I like your edit looks good with more contrast. Lots of learning to do using pp. Thanks xx

  18. #18
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Thank you for posting

  19. #19
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    .... it feels like you're telling yourself that you have to get it right in the camera and not rely on post-processing to help in the creation of the image.

    If that is the case, it might be based on the notion that, somehow, post-processing is cheating and only there to rescue your mistakes. You may feel that that post-processing is not an integral part of making an image.

    ...."Pressing the shutter is the end of the first part of making an image. The second part starts when you begin processing in the darkroom ...."

    So, yes, keep practicing until you are master/mistress of all that you do with the camera. But then go to your digital darkroom (post-processing software) to help you finish the image.
    Donald,
    Ansel Adams would be proud of you!
    Well said!

  20. #20
    Marty's Avatar
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    Re: child at play

    Quote Originally Posted by speedneeder View Post
    The original photo seems underexposed to me. I love the expression so I had to take a few minutes to make some adjustments. A pretty large adjustment with curves, a hint of sharpening, and the goofy border stuff.

    child at play
    Brian,
    Very nice changes! Really brings some punch into the picture. Not sure I'd have been brave enough to hit it that hard with the curves but it sure works!. Thanks for sharing this.

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