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Going to the next level

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Joltinjess, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    I took this picture of my daughter the other day. For me this is a good photo. It is leaps and bounds above what I used to do. I got her in the shade, used some fill flash, and had all the camera settings the way I needed them to be for me to take a good photo. My question is, what can I do to make shots like this better? I'm not looking to buy a bunch of new gear but I was thinking maybe a 3:1 reflector or a radio trigger could be in the budget if it would make a big difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    As she gets older, faster glass (with accurate autofocus) will come in handy. The 45mm 1.8 fits that bill. You'll isolate your subjects a lot easier with it. If glass is not what you're looking for, then some remote triggers are fun to play with some inexpensive flashes. I use two FL-36's with V5 Duos to light up a space (along with my new FL-600r.
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  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Have you considered a gel in front of that flash to balance the temperature of the two light sources?

    I think its a good photo.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    I got an orange gel with a flash bender I got but I'm not sure how to use it.
  5. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    I like the photo. Using a gel is a good suggestion. You say that you aren't sure about using gels, so here's a link for you:


    If you want to get radio triggers and get your flash off the camera, think about reading the entire lighting 101 section on that site. strobist is a great resource for learning how to use small flashes for lighting your photography.

    The 45mm lens is another good suggestion. Since I got mine, it has been on one of m cameras almost constantly.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    First off, "better" is a subjective thing. You ask that question here and you'll get what WE think is "better", and that has a lot to do to our personal bias and experience levels, also what gear we already own.

    The more appropriate question is to ask yourself, what do YOU not like or think can be done better in the image?

    That will give you a firmer ground to decide which direction you want to take future images.

    For me, image creation is a multi-faceted process. First is the image capture at the camera level, which may or may not include reflectors, shoot through items and off camera flash. Then we have a whole other level of processing in post production.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. jamesgehrt

    jamesgehrt Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2014
    Easthampton, Massachusetts
    James Gehrt
    I think this is a sweet image. It captures her emotion. I would concentrate more on capturing who she is as she gets older. My kids now forget about the camera after following them for 12 and 9 years. Try to capture those subtle moments that may go unnoticed. It is sometimes luck, sometimes persistence, along with a healthy dose of skill in knowing your gear and technique. Look at the eyes and the catch lights in them. That little sparkle can sometimes make all the difference. I also like to look for the details. Her hands on a favorite toy, the motion of life, or the quiet times. A range of emotions will help the viewer connect with the subject. I also look at images from the history of photography and see what I gravitate toward. Basically shoot a lot and experiment, fail, learn and grow. Just like they do. :smile:

    Here is a link to mostly pictures of my kids over the years. Mostly natural light.

    good luck and have fun
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    I can't really put my finger on what I mean by "better". I think that's the problem. The unbalanced colour is a perfect example, I didn't even see it until it was pointed out. In this case using a flash gel would have made for a "better" photo. I like a lot of the shots I take but sometimes when I look at other peoples photos they seem to have that WOW factor.
  9. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    It's all very subjective, but if I were looking to take a photo like this and find ways for it to be "better," then I would not consider buying gear - I'd look at some elements of the photo itself and the post-processing.

    Things I note:

    - The predominant colours of deep green, pink, and blue conflict way more than they compliment. As is my personal portraiture preference, I'd do this in B&W to negate that.

    - The bright, rosy cheeks make the yellowish nose colouring stand out. Not sure if that's her natural shading or something specific to your lighting setup but it's not what you want in portraiture. Again, B&W rescues this.

    - It's a very busy, leafy background and her dress is also busy and leafy, sort of a pattern-camouflage. Some adjustments to contrast will let you make her really bright and sparkly and the background darker and less distracting so she stands out rather than blends in.

    - I would pose it bit differently. The huge bright splotch on the left behind her head unbalances things a little. I'd make sure the head is either surrounded by the bright splotch or surrounded by the dark background.

    - Rule of thirds is the most over-recommended tip, but in portraiture it's almost always valid. Moving her a little to the side instead of dead centre would reduce the mug-shot framing. (Alternatively, use different cropping).

    I'd go something like this:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Totally free! :tongue:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Joltinjess

    Joltinjess Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Port Moody, BC
    Thank you everyone. These tips are exactly what I was looking for! Keep them coming if you can see anything else.
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Personally, I kinda like the color version.... and I generally BW biased. The kids rose cheeks and colored dress gives a jovial feel.

    I do however feel that the contrast slider was used a.tiny bit too heavily and as I already pointed out balancing the two light sources with a gel filter would help. I think I would have also preferred a different crop. Either tighter on the face or step back and frame the entire child.

    I know sometimes it's all candid with children but the highlights in the background could have been placed differently.
    • Like Like x 1
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