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Thread: Portrait of a Boy

  1. #1

    Default Portrait of a Boy




    I decided to post this up after getting a mixed reaction to this photo of my son.

    I am interested to get opinions on this:

    1. Technically what are the strong and weak points of this photo.

    2. Composition and 'moment captured'. How could this have been improved.

    3. This was taken by a window in the early evening. the sun was fairly harsh and bright and somewhat filtered by the window. It was a 2 minute quick pose and shoot before heading out for the day. I pressed the shutter when i saw the VERY rare smile from a boy who usually just makes silly faces when i try to photograph him. I probably would have dialed up the shutter speed if i had another chance (to prevent the blown nose and temple)

    4. I personally chose this photo as i liked the smile and lively eyes - this combination of the child's expression alone i think makes the picture worthwhile, despite the technical weakness. What do you think?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Hi rijac, personally I like the photo. Your son looks relax and smile naturally. Exposure is also just nice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    very handsome boy

    i feel most of his face is still too much in shadow for a front profile portrait, and his left side is blown out IMO.

    i guess can't help much due to circumstances, great effort there to snatch a rare moment
    Last edited by elavan; 18th February 2010 at 07:38 PM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    thanks for the comments. i was told this is overexposed and lacks detail.. how could it be improved, assuming there was time to do a proper pose?

    i am thinking a reflector on the left of the camera and maybe his face facing the window slightly?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Hi rijac

    Personally I loved the way this photo is presented. I'm not a very technical person so I can't say much about the lighting and exposure. As long as the photo looks pleasing, I'm not so critical about the technical stuff. Anyways, I don't feel that it is overexposed.

    And I also like the fact that you did not position your son "dead-center", if not it will be a very "passport photo" feel.

    Just my 2 cents, hope you don't mind.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by rijac View Post
    thanks for the comments. i was told this is overexposed and lacks detail.. how could it be improved, assuming there was time to do a proper pose?

    i am thinking a reflector on the left of the camera and maybe his face facing the window slightly?
    Hello, rijac.
    Yes, I agree with you. This positioning as you described would certainly make your already nice portrait more interesting.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    thanks for the great feedback. much appreciated.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by rijac View Post
    thanks for the comments. i was told this is overexposed and lacks detail.. how could it be improved, assuming there was time to do a proper pose?

    i am thinking a reflector on the left of the camera and maybe his face facing the window slightly?
    is this original pic? it's hard to comment if it is overexposed without looking at original pic?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by pokiemon View Post
    is this original pic? it's hard to comment if it is overexposed without looking at original pic?
    you mean to original before any processing?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by rijac View Post
    you mean to original before any processing?
    yep before any processing.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    ok. here is straight from cam with resizing only.




  12. #12

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    1. doesn't look over-exposed in fact i think it is under-exposed.
    2. i do not know what they mean by lacks detail cos the details are all there.

    how to improve?
    the light appears to be coming from behind the boy (his 7 o'clock). it kinda bugs me that the eyes to be underexposed (but that's just me). so there are 2 options:
    1. risk losing the moment by asking him to reposition (or turn his face 15 degrees to his left) for better lighting or;
    2. capture the moment by using flash (which you can either bounce off ceiling or direct).

  13. #13

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    let me ask you this.... is the processed photo better than the original?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by rijac View Post
    let me ask you this.... is the processed photo better than the original?
    generally yes in terms of cropping.

    however, on increasing the levels, some details on the left side of the face were lost.

    may i suggest this:
    to control the overall exposure, perhaps you can increase the levels by half of what you have done originally and dodge the right side of the face instead.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    ok, thanks. i will give it a try. appreciated.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Quote Originally Posted by rijac View Post
    ok. here is straight from cam with resizing only.



    based on this pic...
    If u're using raw....(I seldom deal with jpeg...so I won't be of much help), it's totally savable.

    Increase fill to recover the details in dark and shadow areas
    Use recovery to pull back the highlights
    Adjust the brightness accordingly to ur desired midtone
    Adjust curves to ur liking (there might be a tendency for u to blow out ur highlights again as in ur current BW...if so, u could either adjust via curves again or recovery)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Nice composition bro if you crop more better........
    Msz

  18. #18

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    The shadows seems a bit hard on one side. That is because of the direction of the light flowing in. If the subject is facing a bit more at an tilted angle towards the right, the shadow casted would be on one natural, one side very nicely lit and one side in the shadow.

    anyway, it's a good try

    Cheers!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Seriously, I'm not disturbed by the shadow on his right. In fact, I think this is good enough with the only exception of overexposure on his left. It's a relaxed shot, and I don't think there's really a need to go for a studio-styled, balanced lighting on the face, unless that is really what you want to achieve with strobes, reflectors etc. Most kids don't quite like flashes, and it's more fun shooting them in ambient light.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Portrait of a Boy

    Nice capture. Generally nothing wrong with it.

    MHO :

    1. Right side is a bit blown. I think it might be the increase in highlight and contrast when pp in b/w that caused this as the colored version does not have as much of a problem. No big deal for me actually. Perhaps you can dodge the burn the areas you want instead.

    2. Too much of face in shadow, resulting in a more 'moody' look. This is a smiling kid shot after all. Light coming in at 45deg to the face might be better. Else use a fill flash (which can be bounced from the wall behind or to the left) or a reflector on the left.

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