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hey guys, is this one as good as I think it is?

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by jff1625, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    hey guys, is this one as good as I think it is?
    The obvious response is: "well how good do you think it is?"
    I like it a lot but I may be kinda biased seeing as I made the subject, and I made the photo with using favourite toy...

    486475_10151043589778664_258081281_n.
    E-PM1, P20.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    jff... I think it's an awesome image, colors, composition, repetitive patterns, expression... No goofy kid smirks either. :thumbup:
     
  3. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    It is a good photo, and I'm glad you're aware of bias due to your connection to the subject! Nice light and colors. If you don't mind one small point of critique - his hand is cut off by the frame. (Of course, it's hard to control the movements of small kids and shifting your position may have ruined the rest of the composition).
     
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Very good shot for one made with an amateur model, and he is amateur, isn't he? After all, he's boasting that he's a "little rookie" on the front of his shirt. :)

    Joking aside, it is a very good shot, period. Even if you get a pile of better shots over the next few years this will still be a very good shot. Most definitely a keeper.

    As for your bias, it shows in the shot. It's hard to make this sort of shot without that sort of bias so hang on to it, and don't apologise for it. It looks like you did well there too :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    215
    Jul 23, 2012
    uk
    it is good.:smile:
     
  6. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Great Shot.. I love the colors as well!
     
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like it. The rich colors offset the white and I like the texture of the play sand at the intervals.

    * Copping of the hand. The placement of the shoulders and the direction of your child's gaze is leading the eyes towards that part of the frame. The crop of the hand abruptly stops the line.

    * There is limited catch lights and the main source of diffused lighting is directly above and little behind. This darkens and flattens the lighting on the face. In these situations sometimes a little bit of fill flash... For simplicity, allow TTL flash but pull it back 3 stops or more. What this does is give a tiny bit of depth to the face and hopefully have not too much fall on the background. More importantly, it adds that all important catch light or twinkle in the eyes that adds depth to those cute large marble pupils. With digital today, flash has kinda lost its prominence in use.... don't be afraid to learn it via experimentation and use it to your advantage.

    * The line connecting the eyes is slightly below the top thirds... I would crop a tiny bit off the top of the frame to bring the subject a little higher in the composition.

    On the flip side... Being a father myself knows that many of these photos are the spur of the moment. For that, I think its a good capture. Most importantly, you enjoying your time with your child.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    A very fine shot, definitely one to cherish!
     
  9. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    - (minus) 1.. it's a great shot.. are you Mr. Critical? wow.. maybe you should open a Portrait Photo Shop and show us what you can do.. LOL <smile>
     
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mr. Doug,

    Do me a favor and put me back on your ignore list.. thank you.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I had you on my ignore list.. somehow it didn't work properly.. :rofl:
     
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    • Like Like x 1
  13. The OP asked for some critique and got some useful advice. Plase let's not railroad the thread.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Yes, the shot is great!

    I love the color contrast, texture, and expression on the kid (it's priceless, as they say)!

    From a critical perspective, I do agree with every comment that usayit made in his earlier post. One more thing that I want to add is that the focus seems a tiny bit off from the eyes (maybe it's just my computer screen playing tricks on my eyes, or tiny movement by the kid, which is quite common also).

    Having said that, being a father myself, and always chasing after my 3-year-old trying to capture "the Shot", I know how difficult it is to capture a technically perfect shot with kids as the subject. By the time you get the perfect composition, the kid is long gone, or lost that priceless expression already...

    So, anyway, I think it is a great shot, and you should be proud of it... :2thumbs:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Seems like we should stick to critiquing the OPs photo and not other peoples' critiques.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    It is a good shot imo, and certainly as good as you think it is. Keep that in mind when shooting your child(ren). The shots need to speak to you, not be technically perfect regarding composition or exposure or focus or anything else.

    A shot of your child that is special to you for whatever reason can have numerous technical errors and still be way better than a "perfect" shot that captures posed boredom.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I got the impression the OP wasn't asking for us all to tell him all the things we could find 'wrong' with the image, we would have done differently, nor mention what could have been done to make the image better... there is NO end to what everyone would have done differently. I think he was really enjoying the image and really just wanted to share it as a proud Dad.

    I could be wrong in his intent, but as an image made from the standpoint of a Dad capturing an image of his active son, in the spur of the moment, I think it was far more successful than the majority of parent's snapshots of their kids that are proudly displayed here. I'll say again, jff... I think you've got a wonderful image of your son that you should be proud of and leave it at that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    There is very good juxtaposition between the boy's hair and the red background so isolation is optimized. The blue in the upper right hand corner is too intense so it draws my eyes and keeps them there. It should be cropped out.

    Because of the awkward angle, the boy's right appendage appears to be remarkably smaller than his left.

    I have a professional rule that when I include appendages in a portrait, I include the entire arm and hand; otherwise it looks like a stump such as the boy's left arm. In this scenario, I would make it a "Casesar bust" portrait.

    He has such a colorful expression that you should not allow any of the criticisms that any of us make nudge you into altering the image.

    What matters is that you have captured an image that makes you happy to view an hour, day, month, or thirty years from now when your boy has a son of his own. Be proud.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    Wow! Two whole pages of comments for my little photo - thanks guys!
    I appreciate the critical comments just as much as the positive, so Usayit and MrDoug, please shake hands and make up. I'm never going to get any better if nobody tells me what I'm doing wrong, altho I realise that I didn't mention this in the original post.

    My meta-comments:
    * regarding the amputated hand - there's no way I'll get a chance for a reshoot so in the circumstances I'm fine with it chopped off like that. I considered cropping it but if I did that I'd lose some of the beautiful background colours. I think the facial expression kinda makes up for it. I also think the fact that he's looking that way and reaching that way implies that he's moving that way too, and that if I had have clicked the shot half a second later he wouldn't have been in frame at all, and this in turn suggests how ephemeral these kind of moments are - he'll never again be that small and cute in exactly that pose and lighting, etc, etc. But maybe that's just making up excuses after the fact, and a bit too pretentious for what is really just a family snap.

    * catchlight/flash - good idea, I'm gonna try that out, thanks! I was wondering if I'd ever find a use for the cute little flash that came with my E-PM1, now that I have my Pany 20mm f1.7.

    * blue in top right - It doesn't bother me personally but I do see what you mean. I wouldn't crop it out, as I said above, but I guess I could selectively tone it down in post. (this is SOOC-JPEG, FYI, TYVM)

    * focus - yeah it's a bit off. You can see in the sand in the bottom left that the plane of focus is a bit in front of his face. It's about in line with his left elbow. Oh well, it's still sharper than the sharpest shot I ever got out of my wifes little point-n-shoot.

    * eyes / thirds - hmm, i dunno, they're basically on the line, if a little below. On the line is in, as Mr McEnroe used to say. If I ever get around to post-processing it I'll consider chopping a tiny bit off the top.


    Thanks again everybody!
    -Jeff
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    The reason I started using the PL25/1.4 instead of the 20/1.7 is because the 20/1.7 focuses to slowly, resulting in a lot of missed-focus shots on my kid. With the PL25, I get a lot more in-focus shots, but in such a tight environment as your shot, I definitely miss the FOV of the 20/1.7. I sure which Panasonic would come up with an updated version of the 20/1.7, which focuses faster and more silently, or if someone would come up with a 17mm lens with AF and faster aperture...