Portrait of a Boy


rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#1



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?
 

sl005073

New Member
Dec 6, 2009
56
0
0
#2
Hi rijac, personally I like the photo. Your son looks relax and smile naturally. Exposure is also just nice.
 

elavan

New Member
Sep 19, 2009
590
0
0
AMK
#3
very handsome boy :lovegrin:

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 :thumbsup:
 

Last edited:

rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#4
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?
 

Jan 10, 2006
24
0
0
#5
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. :embrass:
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
7,048
0
36
Life revolves arOnd East Coast
#6
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.
 

rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#7
thanks for the great feedback. much appreciated.
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
2,039
0
0
#8
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?
 

rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#11
ok. here is straight from cam with resizing only.



 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
2,039
0
0
#12
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).
 

rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#13
let me ask you this.... is the processed photo better than the original?
 

pokiemon

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2005
2,039
0
0
#14
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.
 

rijac

New Member
Mar 27, 2007
276
0
0
48
#15
ok, thanks. i will give it a try. appreciated.
 

#16
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)
 

#18
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!
 

LifeInMacro

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2008
605
0
16
Singapore
#19
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.
 

pinholecam

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
10,977
112
63
#20
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.
 

Top Bottom