Going to the next level

Joltinjess

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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.
 

DoofClenas

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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.
 

usayit

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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.
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.
 

jziegler

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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:

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101-using-gels-to-correct.html

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.
 
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I took this picture of my daughter the other day. For me this is a good photo....My question is, what can I do to make shots like this better?
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.
 

jamesgehrt

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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
 

Joltinjess

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Port Moody, BC
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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.
 

edmsnap

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Dec 20, 2011
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461
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
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.
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:
 

usayit

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Some call it the arm pit of NYC.
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.
 
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