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Thread: My parents

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Medellín, Colombia, South Americ
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    Real Name
    Catalina

    My parents

    I wanted to use natural ligth but a soft light, so I waited until it was 5pm.
    I took a photography on the garden of their condo, but this background competes with the foreground.
    I presented this photo at the academy of photography (yurupary)
    They told me that I should put the camera at the level of their eyes and not taking the picture from above.
    I want to take a new series of photographs of my parents. They are84 and 80 years old. Still my mother asks me to try not to emphasize in her wrinkles. (!!!!)
    Can this be done?
    Can you tell me if I can use again this location and how can I take a better advantage of it?This photo was taken with a Nikon D40
    objetivo: 18-55mm F/3.5 5-6g
    Distancia focal 31 mm
    Modo de enfoque AF_A
    Modo de zona de af:Punto único

    Exposición:
    Diafragma f/4,5
    Velocidad de obturación 1/60
    Modo de exposición: Manual
    Sensibilidad ISO: ISO 200

    Now, What should I do now?
    Use the same location or not?
    Chose a different hour of the day? So it is less dark?
    Tell them to "dress up" for the photo? (one of the critics was that the clothes didn't look good on them)
    Any way thanks in advance for your advise.
    Cordially,
    Catalina
    My parents
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th August 2012 at 01:19 PM. Reason: made pic bigger and inline

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Medellín, Colombia, South Americ
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    Real Name
    Catalina

    Re: My parents

    Thank you Dave,
    Cordially,
    Catalina

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
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    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: My parents

    Hi Catalina,

    I have fixed the image link for you (I removed the "_th" bit, which gave the bigger image and converted the "url" tags to be "img"), so you weren't far off.

    I am not a people shooter, but I have seen and learnt a lot here at CiC, so I'll make a few suggestions and pretend I know what I'm talking about

    Yes, you can use this location again, however I would suggest you have them sit a little more to camera right (their left), so you can miss that nearest tree on left above.

    I fear that if you shoot lower (level with their eyes), it may bring other distractions, or even a bright sky, into shot above them, which would be worse (in my opinion).

    I suggest you get further back to shoot (if you can) and use a longer focal length, keep the aperture as wide as possible, to minimise Depth of Field (as you have already I note). This will also help produce a less 'looking down' angle too.

    You have a nice soft light, it is true, but probably 1/3 stop more exposure would be OK.

    Clothes choice is tricky, especially you telling Mum and Dad what to wear - remember when it was the other way round
    Your Dad's shirt has obvious shrunk a bit and doesn't fit as well as it should, so that might be something to look at improving.
    The colour red attracts the eye, so your Mum's skirt, if it remains visible in the next shot, would be better in a less bold colour.
    The fact that both are basically wearing white 'at the top' is good, it helps fill shadows on the neck.

    I think that's enough from me, I can think of more, but I don't want to overload you with too much to think/worry about and besides, others may chip in with those ideas anyaway.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
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    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: My parents

    Catalina.

    I brightened the image a bit and added some contrast. I think that this helps separate your parents from the background. I also cropped out some of the background which tended to attract my attention away from your parents.

    My parents

    Two things which bother me a bit with this image are:

    Your father and mother are loking in opposite directions. Your mother seems interested in the image and your father doesn't...

    You cropped off a bit of your fathers hands. I generally would rather see an entire body part included or the entire part cropped rather than a crop in the middle of a body part.

    "(one of the critics was that the clothes didn't look good on them)" I think that your mother's clothes look just fine. However, your father's shirt seems a bit too tight and the buttons are pulling - this is made evident by the stripes of the shirt. I have that same problem as I am growing older and no longer wear that type of shirt...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th August 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
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    Re: My parents

    You asked if it's possible not to emphasize the wrinkles that come in the 8th decade of our lives. You've done that very well by using soft light. As an example, a strong light from the side would emphasize the wrinkles.

    A couple of thoughts about the background: If this scene is merely a convenient place to photograph your parents in soft light, Dave's suggestion is great about using a longer lens (70 - 85 mm would be ideal in my mind) and an aperture and distance from the subject that blurs the background. However, if the garden area is perhaps an area that your parents cherish, you might want to consider using it to make an environmental portrait. You could position them in chairs close to the foliage so it becomes an integral part of the image rather than a background. In that situation, you might want to blur the background no more than a small amount, perhaps not at all.

    Tip: As you're setting up the image and taking test shots, be prepared for the possibility that your parents provide the most charming image when they are relaxed and waiting for you to "get ready." If they think you are taking only test shots, that's when you may get the best image.

    My last comment has to do with where your parents are looking and how they are interacting with each other. If you want to emphasize their relationship, you could have them looking at each other. Even when both of them are looking at the camera, they could be interacting with each other. As an example, if your father had simply placed his hand on your mother's leg, doing so would have conveyed mutual affection, as opposed to the current pose in which she is physically reaching out to him but not vice versa. It's probably not a good idea to plan for only one of them to be looking at the camera, as that can often convey that the person not looking at the camera is disinterested.

    Dave, when I gain weight, I sure do hope people think my clothes have shrunk, as you so kindly put it.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 7th August 2012 at 02:26 PM.

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