Back Modifications (7)
Views: 213 (12 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Clumber Meadow

By MarkT  
My daughter at Clumber Park, Notts.

I converted it to b/w with the gradient map and then added a blue tone to the image.



Tags: Field Black and white Clumber park Daughter Portraits and people

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


pmorgan 11 217 13 England
19 Jun 2008 11:00AM
One to be very proud of Mark. Pretty girl, very well captured, as only a father could!


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Guillaume 11 119 2 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 11:01AM
She is a cutie. Very well captured and the mono treatment works very well. The image is sharp and well composed and your daughter has a nice/natural pose. So, all good as far as I am concerned.
dmhuynh72 10 44 3 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 11:06AM
just a beautiful image. good use DOF, and very nice mono tones
lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
19 Jun 2008 11:08AM
Great expression and well composed. Minor point - you could try to clone out the bit of grass on the right side of her face. See my mod
DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
19 Jun 2008 11:09AM
She's a very pretty little girl Mark and the pose is nice and natural looking, complemented as it is by the off-centre composition and nicely blurred background.

The BW conversion looks pretty good to me with a full range of tones ... maybe a little bright on her right knee though. Lol but I can't detect any hint of blue so your toning must be extremely subtle.

My only niggle about the shot is all of the grass stems and seed-heads in front of the girl. Tolerable over her body, but I'd be very tempted to remove the brighter seed heads in front of her hair, right side of face.

Edit: John's mod is what I was thinking of .... but maybe remove a little further down that bright stem too.
19 Jun 2008 11:20AM
Nice very nice Smile Smiling eyes
KangaGal 10 66 Australia
19 Jun 2008 11:27AM
It looks a lovely photo of a dear little girl - very natural.
MarkT 13 119 2 England
19 Jun 2008 11:28AM
Thanks John for the mod, it does need to be cloned out as Dave as mentioned as well. Dave yes I agree with the burn-out areaís on Hollyís clothes, I will try and sort that out before I load it on to my website. The blue filter was set to about 15% Dave, but it was done on my naff work monitor though.

Thanks for your time folks.

jken 12 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 12:39PM
Lovely shot Mark, like the conversion.

MarkT 13 119 2 England
19 Jun 2008 1:04PM
Thanks John.

graceland 13 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 2:44PM
It is First of all a lovely picture Well done

Second - i would like to see in Colour

Done a Mod

No expert at it just experimenting
MarkT 13 119 2 England
19 Jun 2008 3:09PM
Thanks for the Mods John, Holly will like the last one Smile

graceland 13 2.5k 2 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 3:35PM

Quote:Thanks for the Mods John, Holly will like the last one Smile


Um I,m Robin No Matter !!

Glad she will like the Betty one ( :
fentiger Plus
17 918 24 England
19 Jun 2008 3:46PM
To my eye there is little wrong with this lovely portrait of your daughter. I have done a mod just lightening the shadows on the face a little and applying just a bit of selective sharpening to the face. Finally applied the blue toning which wasn't apparent on my monitor.

POOCHIE 12 21 6 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 4:34PM
I like this shot just as it is, your daughters beautiful and this a lovely shot seen as recorded, of which I'm sure your very proud.

glyndwr 11 66 10 Wales
19 Jun 2008 4:41PM
Brilliant natural pose Mark, very pretty young girl.
I didn't notice the grass so much near her face until I read about so it doesn't bother me.
To be really fussy which I think is what you want, the left eye in particular a little dark and needs a bit of cloning to hide what looks like an out of focus feather (you know what I mean ) growing from her head.
I hope this helps.

LesF 11 182 9
19 Jun 2008 4:57PM
Good conversion Mark and an excellent shot

Les F
19 Jun 2008 5:12PM
Its priceless as it is.
Ian_Sweet 12 92 1 England
19 Jun 2008 7:02PM
Great shot mate, and a very pretty daughter also.


MarkT 13 119 2 England
19 Jun 2008 7:54PM
Thanks for the mod Robert, appreciate your time.

Thanks for the advice folks and the kind comments about my daughter who gets her good looks from her mother btw Wink

zarquon 10 47 55 England
19 Jun 2008 9:15PM
Wow! A lot of mods here. A fine testimony to a beautiful girl in an idyllic setting. I like this treatment, where the soft plant life provides a context for the subject. I feel that there is probably too much of that soft background context although in one sense, it can be difficult to discern where it should start and end.

One has to look quite hard for the blue toning and i have my doubts about how useful it is, in the sense of is it providing any additional role, to this simple composition. This is an RGB image, rather than a monochrome image that has been given a duotone treatment... which may have made for a toning treatment that was more well defined.

The presentation of children's images with heavy black bars worries me a little. It can often appear heavy-handed (albeit unintentionally) and almost funereal in its application. I would usually favour a 2 pixel grey sight line around most images because it is just noticeable and provides a boundary to stop the eye leaving the image frame. It also lets the observer decide what to make of the image.

If this were my image I would lose the heavy black bars, which add nothing to your composition, other than the possibility of the image being a memorial. Such a vital and happy child deserves a presentation more in keeping with young hope, in my opinion.

This is a subject that could have used some additional light on the face to lift some of the heavy shadows under your daughter's chin and especially her face, which (on her right side) is rather dark. Using a digital colour meter I was able to measure the white of the eye that is most visible as 46 ~ 59 (white is 255) and the hidden eye at 9 ~ 14. This equates to tonal values equating to the 2nd and the 4th shadow tones from the right, on the grey scale at the foot of the page.

Fill flash at 3/4 of an f stop under your metered exposure would have assisted in preserving that which can properly be called highlight detail. The exposure is off in the sense of the burnt out highlights on the knees and the visible 'T' shirt sleeve. Incident exposure meters are very good at resolving this exposure problem. In the absence of fill flash, your daughter could have tilted her head upwards, enough to light her face more, and she would have displayed more full catch-lights.

The histogram displayed some clipping of the highlight and the shadow detail that fits with the burnt highlights and overly dark facial features. (see histogram mod) I have cropped the image to help the observer see the main subject more easily - I removed the competitive highlight of the grass on the hair to the left of your daughter's angelic face - lightened the image and changed the contrast, with the inevitable highlight destruction.

A raw image would be far more amenable to highlight recovery techniques than this low resolution jpeg image. I also added a blue tone to the image after turning it into a grey-scale image. You may not like what I have done here and you may disagree with the points I have raised. (see mod)

Your portfolio contains some excellent images and although the subject matter is undeniably worthwhile, the technical execution does not reach the standard that you can so obviously reach. Without a visceral connection to the person depicted, it is difficult for the impartial observer to derive the same degree of joy from the image. I do hope you will revisit this delightful child and this type of scene.

dazzaman 11 631 England
19 Jun 2008 10:32PM
well what can i say after that!
excellent work mark.
culturedcanvas 12 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2008 8:48AM
Let me throw a few pointers your way here Mark ... Wink

Don't worry about the burned highlights in shots like this .. it really isn't necessary! The facial areas is a little dark and spot metering correctly woudl have given you a better exposure ... im assuming this was on a walkabout so you probably had no other kit with you however a reflector would have bounced enough light back into the face and let you control its positioning too ... you may have been able to control the highlights better under those circumstances. I do think we need to get out of the habit of being concerned about blown highlights in shots tho ... ok for landscape work it matters but in a lot of other areas of photography burnt highlights can actually make a shot!

The conversion appears reasonably well done tho i might have made slightly more of the tones on the grass and reduced the contrast on your daughter a touch.

The outfit is clean and simple which counts in chlid photography but the real niggle for me is the positioning and pose .... she actually looks like shes squatting to wee a bit in this one ... i dont know if its the pose as much as the environment around her .. i.e longish grass ... the grass does therefore become a distraction in this case as its neither long enough to give you a lo9t of OOF foreground and equally theres too much of it and its too high to be 'just there'.

Moving your model around a bit and thinking about your own positioning and the models position in relation to the light will help you get better shots. Test out the effects of shooting into the sun and also with the sun behind you .. do you want a dreamy look etc and then work from there .... oh i like bare feet too in these situations if you can include them in the shot ...

MarkT 13 119 2 England
20 Jun 2008 9:43AM
Wow what a critique Z and thanks for your honest opinions. I did have my flash with me but I wanted to practice with just natural light. Dan, because my main area of photography is landscape photography I have got it my head - over exposure is a definite no. Iíve heard KeithH mention it can be ok in the right type of shot so itís interesting you agree with that too. The one area where I have definitely failed in is the area around Hollyís eyes which is too dark like you have mentioned Dan and Z. Dan, well spotted about the pose she was in one of her moods and she didnít want her photos taken, so I had to bribe her to get her to pose, thatís why she looks as though she is squatting lol. I need to approach all the different areas of photography like I do with my landscapes Ė with a very critical eye, especially when it involves my beautifully little model Ė thanks everyone Smile


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