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Thread: Candid shot

  1. #1
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Jim Manning

    Candid shot

    This is a candid shot of my daughter I took. It looks like a studio shot, but actually, I removed the background and dropped in a fake one to set the photo. I like how it turned out.

    Candid shot

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: Candid shot

    Jim,

    I generally not a portrait guy, so take this for what it is worth....

    To me it looks like you did a lot of smoothing and softening on her skin - to my eyes, it looks like just a tad too much (if not, your daughter has some really blemish-free skin!).

    Second, the exposure on the skin on her forehead seems just a bit too high for me - it tends to draw my eyes there, and seems distracting - I'd rather be drawn to her eyes (even if they are closed). The same goes for her left hand.

    And speaking of her left hand, there is a dark spot of some sort on her index finger on her left hand - I'd clone that out.

    And lastly, while I am impressed with the background replacement (I doubt I would be able to do such a thing), I feel where it meets her right shoulder just seems a bit blurred together. I don't know if it is the color of her shirt or the shape of the fabric of her shirt on her shoulder or what, but it just seems a bit odd to me.

    Regardless of those things, this is still a really nice shot! Great work!

    - Bill

  3. #3
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Re: Candid shot

    Bill,

    Thank you so much for your analysis. Photos are subjective, so even if you aren't a portrait person, the feedback is nonetheless valuable. The softening is from noise reduction. I didn't take the photo with the intent of achieving this end, so I was experimenting with higher ISO settings. I had really cranked the NR in Lightroom for this. I hate noise and try to rid it in my photos. So, that's why she looks so soft. Thanks for pointing out the spot on her hand, I never noticed that. For her left shoulder, there is a bit of an optical illusion, much of that spot is actually the cloth on her head flowing around her. There was no wind movement, but I believe I shot this while she was in the middle of putting it on. I do agree that her forhead and hand do have a bit of an unusual glow. That may have been the preset I used.

    Metadata: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwmanning/8140110532/meta/

  4. #4
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: Candid shot

    Hi Jim,

    While I agree with some of the comments Bill has made regarding the technical components of this photo, I am drawn to keep looking at it.

    I think your clever use of colour has made this a warm and inviting type of shot. Well done.

  5. #5
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Re: Candid shot

    Thank you so much, Soozie!

  6. #6
    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Candid shot

    Hi Jim,

    Very nice shot of Lovely Daughter.

    I found it interesting that you said you were experimenting with higher ISO values. I took a peek at your provided EXIF link and saw the ISO at 400. I guess I never really considered this a particularly high value. While I don’t know anything about Lightroom, I know that in ACR if one gets overly aggressive with the NR things start to turn to plastic! And I’m not saying your shot looks “plastic” by any stretch. Just musing out loud I guess.

    What would you think if I suggested a little crop off the top bringing her head and eyes further into the upper third. This without knowing whether you are trying to maintain a specific aspect of course. I tried it at 4:5 and also with your original aspect.

    Anyway, just a Theory Jim!

  7. #7

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    Re: Candid shot

    Quote Originally Posted by binsurf View Post
    Bill,

    Thank you so much for your analysis. Photos are subjective, so even if you aren't a portrait person, the feedback is nonetheless valuable. The softening is from noise reduction. I didn't take the photo with the intent of achieving this end, so I was experimenting with higher ISO settings. I had really cranked the NR in Lightroom for this. I hate noise and try to rid it in my photos. So, that's why she looks so soft.
    (...)

    Metadata: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwmanning/8140110532/meta/
    But why do you need (any) noise reduction at this scale (or even at 100 %)?

    I'm also using an Alpha 330, and (but that's my opinion/impression) I don't see any objectionable noise in shots @ 400 ISO, provided they are not under-exposed. But I do find that excessive noise reduction gives a very unpleasant softness/flatness and loses the fine detail that determines texture. I rather go with selective sharpening in cases where there is too much noise (as sharpening brings out the noise).
    Last edited by revi; 5th November 2012 at 07:45 AM.

  8. #8
    binsurf's Avatar
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    Re: Candid shot

    There wasn't a great deal of light, so the grain was more pronounced than you would expect. Normally, as you know, 400 isn't too bad on the 330, except in lower light than usual. The softness is also furthered by the preset I used on the image.

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