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Thread: My foray into "people" photography

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    My foray into "people" photography

    Probably my first post in this forum. I have little experience with photographing people and am very intimidated by the prospect but I was determined to capture some photos of the family on this cruise vacation we took together.

    These shots are of my stepdaughter. Whether or not they are technically good, they are special to me because I am capturing her as a photographer. She has only in the last year or so been working on shooting in manual mode and has had no training but despite that has for many years taken some excellent photos with her DSLR, her P&S and her iPhone - whichever she had available. Maybe it's her beautiful spirit vs my cynical outlook or maybe it's a right brain/left brain thing but her artistry is something I feel is hard to teach and something I struggle with. Whatever - she is THE reason I bought a DSLR and she continues to inspire me.

    As for these photos: I tried to keep a distance from her, keeping in mind the position of the sun. I kept the camera in Aperture Priority and for the last 2 shots I went with a smaller aperture because I thought it best to keep the subject she was shooting in focus also. I know these aren't the type of shots that evoke emotion in others not connected to the subject so I don't have anything specific to ask about but welcome all comments.

    Thanks for indulging my sharing...

    My foray into "people" photography

    My foray into "people" photography

    My foray into "people" photography

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: My foray into "people" photography

    Hi Terri - I think those are great shots you have of your daughter. All 3 of them will make great keepsakes, but #2 is also quite 'technically' nice too. Great composition, and an all around good shot!

    I saw your other photos of the Gulf too, and wanted to tell you that I really liked them - I was just there last week. In Galveston, Texas, the whole family got to sail through the Gulf to the Caribbean. Your shots brought back good memories.

  3. #3

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    Re: My foray into "people" photography

    It's really easy to make photos of people, Terri. Just pretend they're foxes!

    I'm only half joking. In the first one, if it had been a fox in the shade with bright snow in the background, you would have handled it better because you're used to that situation. Here, your stepdaughter is in the shade and she has a bright background, which presents the same set of challenges. I lightened her and her shadow and darkened the bright water to bring those two extremes more into balance. I then added a slight vignette that you might not have noticed if I hadn't told you about it.

    My foray into "people" photography


    In the second photo, I used a tighter crop to strengthen the connection between the photographer and her subject. You underexposed it, which indicates to me that you forgot to look at the histogram. (If you had been photographing a fox, you would have remembered. So, you're excused. ) I brightened using the Curve and then tweaked the Levels to get the histogram and the image more to my liking. I also lightened the dark tones just a bit to minimize the contrast. I again applied a slight vignette, which you may not notice even though I have told you about it.

    My foray into "people" photography


    I didn't deal with your last photo because the composition doesn't work for me at all. Your stepdaughter is photographing the near bird but you also included the far bird. I don't understand that, so I'm sure you had something else in mind that I'm just not getting.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 30th January 2013 at 04:10 AM.

  4. #4
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: My foray into "people" photography

    Thank you Andrew. #2 is my favorite also.

    That's nice that your family also got to take a cruise. We had a great time, except for the outbreak of stomach flu that had both my husband and daughter confined to quarters for 2 days.

  5. #5
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: My foray into "people" photography

    Mike, I like your suggestions on both the photos and really appreciate the time you took to show the changes.

    It's interesting that you say the second image is underexposed. Below is the histogram from Aperture on the image which doesn't seem to show an underexposure. I wondered if running it through NeatImage for noise/sharpening changed the histogram but it did not. I do think on visual comparison, your brighter image is better but I'm confused about the histogram.

    My foray into "people" photography

    Oh, and I agree about #3. When I composed the shot, I was trying to include more of the environment and kind of liked the balance of the extra element. But on reviewing my post right after submitting it, I actually had the same thought you did. Too late! Lost sight of my "subject".

  6. #6

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    Re: My foray into "people" photography

    Glad to know that at least you didn't get sick.

    I can't explain that histogram. My software displays the histogram shown below and another software program displayed a similar histogram. More important, my histogram is what I would expect to see and yours isn't.

    My foray into "people" photography
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 30th January 2013 at 02:09 PM.

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