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New to DSLR

This is a discussion on New to DSLR within the Critiques forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; I have been out of the SLR shooting for a while and an very excited about the whole new world ...

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    Stroke is offline Junior Member
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    Default New to DSLR

    I have been out of the SLR shooting for a while and an very excited about the whole new world of D SLR. The opportunity to try things with instant feedback blows me away. I thought I would post a pic to see what people think.
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    Hi Stroke and welcome to the forum!

    i quite like this shot and lighting the child's face from the "toy" is very creative.

    A couple of things would have made this shot even better imo
    - The eyes. 99% of the time (unless you are going for a specific effect) The eyes (or eye closest to the camera) should always be tack sharp. Here the eye is quite sharp but not tack.
    - Distractions - Everything in the frame needs to be there for a reason (or should be there for a reason). The background is slightly cluttered here (different coloured objects and walls behind the child's head) and the blanket is also a bit of a distraction.
    - I might also choose to clone out her foot now that you are going digital

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    I also love the lighting here and agree with Marko on that and also the comment about the eye. Your focus appears to have hit the blanket behind her instead. It's close though so the photo is definitely a keeper.

    Like SLR, DSLR is also about the processing in many cases. Very few photos can't be improved with some processing and this is where your biggest learning curve will be. Your SLR knowledge will have you screaming along in terms of taking the photos in no time, but working in the 'digital darkroom' is another thing.

    I find the white balance here a bit yellow and personally would have adjusted that to reduce that cast.

    I like the composition but feel it needs more space above her head. Not much perhaps ... but a little.

    I'm not bothered by any distractions, as I look at this as an environmental portrait, and therefore what we see is supposed to be there in my mind. Taking away those distractions would make this more of a setup shot ... more studio.
    Having said that though, a small adjustment I might have made would be to continue the black area above her head right across to the left, above the couch to eliminate that bright area.

    In the end though ... I think this is a lovely shot of a sweet little girl being good and amusing herself in her home. Nice work.
    I agree with Marko that the foot could have been taken out as well.

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    Overall quite lovely. I like the lighting in the hair, it reminds me of a PreRaphaelite painting. I don't mind the crop, the near eye is right on the intersection of thirds so makes it well placed I believe. The mantra you will hear a lot is focus on the eyes!

    *edit* Welcome to the forum! Hope you enjoy your time here!

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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the great feedback. Its great to be able to post pictures for professional Critique. The last time I got constructive feedback was Grade 12 photography.

    I should have mentioned that this shot is 100% untouched and uncropped. Just a quick Candid shot.

    Thanks again.

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    Just looking at your Exif data there ... ( Hey Bambi ... he/she's using a Nikon D5000 ) and I see you went for f1.8 at ISO 1000 and shutter 1/30th.

    At 1/30th (even at a focal length of 35mm) getting a sharp image is difficult with a human. Even breathing will show movement at that speed. We usually reccomend around the 1/60th or so to reduce that chance.

    I'd try selecting a higher f-stop (maybe f5.6) would have helped get more of the girl in focus by virtue of a deeper DOF. A higher shutter to catch her sharp. With luck this will darken the background far more and produce more shadow on her but leave that high key lighting on her face and hand to create a more dramtic shot. I think.

    That ISO of 1000 looks impressive here too. None of us have picked any noise as a result.

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    kat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Aussie View Post
    I'd try selecting a higher f-stop (maybe f5.6) would have helped get more of the girl in focus by virtue of a deeper DOF. A higher shutter to catch her sharp. With luck this will darken the background far more and produce more shadow on her but leave that high key lighting on her face and hand to create a more dramtic shot. I think..

    If he/she went for a f5.6, wouldn't the shutter be slower? (depending if you were manual or not). ISO 1000 with the f1.8 and shutter speed makes me thing it was really dark?

    Am I wrong to be thinking this? Would a flash maybe had to be in use or tripod?
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    Yeh I didn't word that well. I was talking about two different settings for two different shots ... not both at the same time.

    But I think a faster shutter speed might have created nicer shadows and still left that great lighting on the face.

    A tripod may mean slower shutter but it's likely the girls movement would have been picked up anyhow. Flash would have destroyed the lighting from the toy but an off camera flash could have been used to enhance that lighting perhaps.

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