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A face in the dark...

By Dibyajit
This snap was taken in the candle light by increasing the shutter speed. Later I edited by deepening the colour a bit...

Tags: Architecture Specialist and abstract

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


pablophotographer 6 936 334
1 Aug 2012 4:08PM
Hi. I have seen this picture from last night and I am sorry that no-one has commented it yet. There is lots to be said technically and aesthetically.

Technically I think you have made your life difficult, I suspect it was thrilling whist waiting 15 seconds to have the picture but it seems you need to understand how ISO, timing, and aperture work and affect each other. ISO 80 would be great for a very, very bright day when you take pictures outside and there is no cloud or subject throwing a heavy shadow on the item you want to photograph. As ISo increases a picture can be taken faster. For this picture without knowing how capable your camera is to combat colour "noise" (pixels of picture different from the colour of the item you are trying to take a picture of) I would say you could have used ISO 400 or ISO 200,
Aperture, is the space that the blades of the lens open. The more they open, the more light comes in the sensor or the film to have the picture recorded. Your camera has an aperture f/3.5 (the smaller the number the wider it opens) but you have opted to shoot with f/7.1 which is a much smaller opening, making your waiting to record the picture longer). Waiting long can influence the stability of the camera, and produce shaken, not clear images. Should the flame of the candle move because a blow of wind, your picture would have looked much more different. I suspect you had it on a tripod or on a stable surface.
Timing is affected by the other two parameters mentioned above. Probably after setting ISO and aperture the camera calculated it would need 15 seconds to record the picture. If you had set the camera to all manual, any picture taken after 1,2,3,4 seconds would look black anything after that brighter and brighter until 15 seconds, and you see it. If you had set the time to 40 seconds the corner that looks yellow from the flame would be much brighter as well as all of the picture.
Lighting is another important, thing you have to be careful with. Too much information there to tell you, please read about such topics in techniques part of ephotozine.

From an aesthetics point of view.. all I can say is that taste is personal. Some may like a picture more than some others. You can't please everyone but yourself.

I know this is an experimental picture so I would applaud your patience and your decision to shoot it. Still life is a good point to practice your skills. Try this sculpture for portrait pictures and play with lighting also. See what it happens if you have a second candle from the other side or if you move the candle closer or more away from the statue.

Preparation is also important. I have regretted taking pictures failing to notice, o.k. I can blame my poor vision, little details. What's that thing that casts some shadow on the top right side above the head? did you see it before you take the picture? Could you remove it?

Try to make your photography and life simple and easy. All the best to you. I hope the day that your pictures will look extraordinary comes soon, if not, keep reading and experimenting and keep notes of what do you do for the pictures you are taking.

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NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 4:26PM
well i will keep it short because a lots been said.

if it were me, id have lit the face from the front so as the facial area had detail and sharpness and the back of the head had light fall off and less sharpness.

what you have done is the reverse so that the shadows on the wall merge with the face instead of falling to the rear of he head.

then the colour is a bit excessive for me and id have given a little more space at the top, a bit less on the base and a little more to the left side.

but then id have arranged the heads looking the opposite direction because i dont know why it just reads better, flip it and see for your self.

as it is you could do the crop and extend the canvas to do the bulk odf what i said but you obviously cant rearrange the lighting now.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3881 Canada
1 Aug 2012 5:20PM
Take a look at this link for some helpful advice:


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