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Day Dreaming

By relph1975
This is my youngest son Jacob on a recent trip out to the woods.

AV Mode / f1.8 / 50mm / ISO 100 / 1/180s

Tags: Black and white Portraits and people

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debu 10 India
26 Nov 2014 10:58AM
So cute!

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mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2165 United Kingdom
26 Nov 2014 12:48PM
Hi, good to see you back here. This is so beautiful! The child wrapped up in his warm coat and in his own world of the imagination. Everything is new, everything is a discovery at this age. And small children take their pleasures so seriously. That's what this conveys for me.

Shallow depth of field gives him privacy for his own thoughts, the camera doesn't analyse or intrude. That's important. You have focused perfectly on the bright, enquiring eye. It's not necessary or necessarily desirable, to use that lens at its maximum aperture, you'll get better image quality from around F3.5. But it has worked here (except for one quibble which I'll come to in a minute). In particular there's that cool, luminous quality in the skin.

Two suggestions: first of all I downloaded this to try a closer crop, to cut out space behind his ear. That side of the frame is dominated by out of focus furry trim on his hood - to my eye it doesn't add anything, it dilutes the interest and complicates the simplicity. So that's a simple modification.

My one regret here is the light detail on the edge of the wooden rail just behind his nose. I think it's his hand, and you couldn't ask him to move it and pose, that would entirely destroy the image. But I think that actually less shallow depth of field would make it less distracting visually, because it would be recognisably a part of him and his interest, rather than a pale blur. Anyway as it's so blurred I've tried to clone / paint it out.

If it is indeed his hand, I suspect that F5.6 or F8 would, in this instance, have given a better balanced image.

Oh and b&w is absolutely perfect here. I don't want to even imagine colour in his coat, in the background.

A couple of mods to follow...

Modifications to come.
26 Nov 2014 3:23PM
The hand has been bugging me since I uploaded it, not sure why I didn't notice it in the edit so I am going to try and clone it out. I will also try the crop as suggested. Thanks for the feedback.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2165 United Kingdom
26 Nov 2014 5:22PM
It happens all the time. We look at what we want to see in our images and it's very easy to overlook the rest. Until you spot the problem, and then it suddenly dominates the frame!
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
26 Nov 2014 8:28PM
I cannot understand your composition. The face and quality are really excellent, but everything is in the right side of the frame? Not in balance at all.OK , crop the left, but ideally the head needs to be towards the left with a crop up the ear and space in front.

dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1598 England
26 Nov 2014 10:07PM
When shallow depth of field works as perfectly as this, it's like overtaking up a hill in a car that is massively powerful. You just soar away, and need to take care not to end up doing an utterly illegal speed over the brow of the hill.

Sorry: my driving habits intrude.

But it's euphoric when the focus is so precise, so right, and so excellent!

Nothing else to add to Moira's wise words and lovely mods.
27 Nov 2014 12:32PM
Paul, portrait photography, just shooting people in general isn't my thing but I'm trying more to take photos of my kids. My comp was supposed to draw you to his face but I have taken on board yours and other comments regarding the dead space. I have cropped this at home last night and cloned out the hand.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
27 Nov 2014 4:05PM
I can only say as I see it. It is superb in quality, but I don't like the composition due to wasting half the frame in effect and it thus not resting well on the eye. (My eye) However, everyone has an opinion and the bottom line is that you do what satisfies you.

mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2165 United Kingdom
28 Nov 2014 9:46AM
Whether people 'get' images with the subject looking out of the frame or not is one of the big divides that I see on the site. For me such images are slightly unsettling (good!), thought and imagination-provoking (good!), they ask questions. What's beyond the confines of the frame? What is the child looking at that is so much more interesting than us/the camera?

Subject looking into frame = settled, comforting, all's well with the world, this is my own little corner of it and I'm safe here. There's nothing else of interest going on around here.

That's an entirely different consideration to space behind heads. It can work, generally I think it's more likely to be wasted space.

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