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Thread: Mother and Son

  1. #1

    Mother and Son

    Hello,
    Being a new member on this web site and always looking to learn in life I look for a critique on this photo of a mother and child.
    Thank you
    Ciao
    Detlev

    Mother and Son

  2. #2

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    Re: Mother and Son

    Hi Detlev,
    Welcome to CiC.
    Well Nice lighting, to begin with..
    I am not an expert to give much Critique for this pic, but only thing I feel is that the mother's eye should have been looking somewhere else. May be towards the camera or her son...
    Just my 2 cents...

  3. #3

    Re: Mother and Son

    Thank you Sahil. I chose this one as I thought her face is one of trust, thought, to see where this goes. Will her son pull hard or just explore the ear ring. I thought it showed her and her son as the only ones there. Here is another one where she is the only subject.

    Mother and Son

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    That's a way to add suspense to a photo, baby fingers and pierced ears. Nice shots.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    They are nice shots; I like the exposure and composition in both.

    I know what Sahil means about the mother's eyes in #1 and normally I would agree without hesitation, but to me, it sort of fits with the "am I about to get hurt?" thinking process.

    In #2, while she is undoubtedly a very attractive woman with nice skin, the glancing angle of the light on the far cheek isn't possibly something to repeat, at least, not without taking steps to soften/blur things a little.

    I am not sure if focus is very slightly off, or whether it is just that globally applied sharpening has enhanced the skin, lips, teeth and even clothing detail, far more than the eyes.

    In summary, on #2; I'd suggest an overall a lesser amount of overall sharpening (the radius is fine) and perhaps concentrate a little more on the eyes. Also, maybe a tiny bit less saturation? (compare her skin to #1, which looks more natural)

    Hope that helps,

  6. #6

    Re: Mother and Son

    Thank you Dave.
    I agree and I did forget the light on the right, slightly behind her. My problem was I didn't know how to rectify it in post processing. I should have rectified it at the shoot.
    I am glad that I joined this site as both comments, from you and Sahil, allow me to see things from different angles.
    Thanks to both of you.
    Ciao
    Detlev

  7. #7
    speedneeder's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    I think #1 is great. The image is compelling to me somehow, she appears genuinely nice. The lighting and focus on her eyes are also excellent.

    #2 is good as well - though strictly as an opinion, I would prefer more light on the right side of her face in this type of 'formal' portrait. I would like to see both of her eyes Is that a bare light on her right side behind her?

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    Quote Originally Posted by detlev View Post
    My problem was I didn't know how to rectify it in post processing. I should have rectified it at the shoot.
    It would be tricky; and not something I have ever done, I suspect there might be a way to improve it. I think it would need more than a simple blur - and even if you tried that, it would have to be very small amount or it would be too obvious and worse than what is wrong now.

    Quote Originally Posted by detlev View Post
    I should have rectified it at the shoot.
    Ah, yes, but I bet we all say that
    Something to learn from (for me too)

    Cheers,

  9. #9

    Re: Mother and Son

    I agree Brian. I just finished the group photo and promptly forgot two things, the light on the right and to use a reflector. I was wondering if this could be rectified with software. But then one never stops learning. Thank you for commenting Brian.

  10. #10

    Re: Mother and Son

    Thank you again Dave. As I am no expert on PhotoShop I will keep on trying with mistakes like this, otherwise I really should do it right in the first place.

  11. #11
    paulwilbur's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    Why is she looking a some other that her son?

  12. #12
    paulwilbur's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    Left eye is very dark....

  13. #13
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    Re: Mother and Son

    Skin texture performance

  14. #14
    Think's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    nice

  15. #15
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    Re: Mother and Son

    It is hard to critique an image of such a lovely lady!

    However, IMO, the second image would look better if her head had been turned to her right just a bit!

    Mother and Son

    That way, there would have been some more light on her left cheek and her left eye would not have been in shadow...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 26th February 2017 at 06:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    Hi Detlev - I've been out and about a lot over the past 10 days so missed this posting.

    On a macro view, I like what you are trying to do, but I don't think the details area coming together properly. I hope you don't find my comments too harsh...

    I think you have made a good start, but both images have serious compositional issues. The first one cannot be corrected and the second one will need a lot of PP work and even so, there is a compositional issue that might not make it worth while. I also wonder about your lighting - it looks rather hard and harsh for shooting a woman and child. What lights did you use and what light modifiers did you use and how far were they set back from your subject and at what height did you set them up?

    Unfortunately, the file metadata is missing.

    Image 1 - you have some very awkward looking crops in the shot. I don't love the crop on the woman's head and the boy's head. The really serious issue in my view are the "unexplained" arms that come in. Both of the boys arms come in from nowhere and show no sign of being attached to him. The camera right arm is hidden by his head and the camera left one just pops in from nowhere. The viewer can't tell it they belong to the boy or perhaps two other children who are out of sight, other than the arms that are showing. A more open shot with the arms linked to the boy would definitely make for a stronger composition.

    The hot spots on the woman's face, especially the one near her nostril and the camera right eye are distracting. Less so are her camera left ear, the lips and the chain on her neck. I think her camera left ear needs to be burned down a bit. On the other side of the face, I would definitely dodge the shadow areas of the boys arm and the woman's ear and camera right side of her face.


    Image 2 - I agree with Dave - there is a focus issue. When shooting studio shots with a simple background, there is no reason to shoot at such a narrow DOF; f/8 to f/11 are fine for these types of shots. Focus on the eye closest to the camera - it has to be tack sharp, and that is not the case here. Her camera left ear is noticeably soft, and usually that would not be a problem if the eye(s) are sharp.

    What I don't think is working for you is the harsh lighting. Woman (and children) tend to require a fairly soft lighting ratio. I tend to stick to somewhere around 2:1.

    Om the camera right side of her face, you have a combination of very harsh shadows and some really bright hot spots. Fixing those in PP is going to take a lot of dodging and burning. I suspect that the hot spots are likely blown out and recovery is not going to be as simple as dodging them down.

    The biggest issue I see is the camera right eye. I think that with the direction that she is looking and the position of your camera means that the nose is blocking that little corner of the white of her eye. You need that to be visible to provide some separation of the iris and her face, and it doesn't look like it is there. I think this is a posing issue (also in image 1) where you need to get your model to position her eyes in such a way so that the whites and iris are more balanced.

    Just as a more general comment on both shots, your lighting is too hot and too harsh for this subject matter,

  17. #17
    bje07's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    You can save it but it will not as good as with previous tips
    In Photoshop, select with a blurred contour the zone you want to improve, add a level layer and play with mid cursor

    Mother and Son
    Last edited by bje07; 26th February 2017 at 08:27 PM.

  18. #18
    Dave A's Avatar
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    Re: Mother and Son

    I actually really like the first image a lot. My one little concern is the reflection under her nose, but can be easily removed.

    Dave

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