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Good evening Ladies

By markst33    
Practising my off camera flash techniques with my latest model, Senor Alejandro. Gave him this hat and took some shots of him as he played around with it.

I had to put the hat on him about 20 times and rush back to position to take the shot but most of the time he took the hat of forwards so it shielded his face, then at last he took it off sideways and I got this.

I love this one. The position of the hat and the way he has his hand made me think that he was tipping his hat in an old fashioned mannerly way like in a western.

The flash and umbrella are set at the same height as him and pretty much parallel to him to his left hand side about 18-24 ins away set on quarter power.

Tags: Happy Tip Hat Boy Baby Cowboy Greeting Stetson Portraits and people Flash and lighting Sombrero

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


Daisymaye Plus
8 23 10 Canada
22 Dec 2012 1:44PM
Awww....very cute........Sandy

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pablophotographer 5 678 269
22 Dec 2012 3:26PM

I don't know if Mr. Alejandro enjoys teasing you but the picture taken is worth the hassle. He does remind me of Benny Hill for some reason, I think he was a success with the ladies.... Smile
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3531 Canada
22 Dec 2012 3:40PM
Hi Mark.

This definitely has the cute factor, and it does look like hes tipping his hat.

A question about lighting. You used a flash to his left, - assume its a Nikon flash. Best not to have it in the same plane as he is, but at 45 degrees towards the camera position.

Did you use the on camera flash also to light him from the front, this would be known as a fill light? Interested to know how you got light in front.

With flash and a controlled setting, why not use a lower ISO, - I believe your camera starts at ISO 200, and then increase flash power? Best to use the lowest possible ISO. This may also allow you to move the flash away a little; too close can lose the diffusion effect of the umbrella as the light has had little space to spread.

Im not certain that white balance is right, - at least his face appears quite red, and might also be over saturated? Shoot in RAW for full control over white balance.

The background is not white all across, - it can be fixed in Photoshop, and may look better.

I have uploaded a mod with the background sorted out; Ive altered the colour balance and saturation; and cropped so its not as wide. Best to place his eye higher next time, - move back if you have the room.

Last point, and its a sticky one unless the child is yours, - clean t-shirt is best.

Hope this is of some help,


paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2012 10:37PM
Very nice indeed, but, like Willie, cannot understand your choice of ISO. Lowest possible is always best. 200 here with a Nikon. Otherwise I like it a lot. Brolly flash suites well and lighting ideally placed to light under hat I would think. Buy yourself a radio trigger, cheap on E-bay and saves a lot of running about.

markst33 7 57 1 Ireland
23 Dec 2012 11:53AM
Hi folks,

fiirstly thank yo all for the comments and critiques. To answer some questions. Regarding the ISO of 640. This was a mistake on my part as earlier on I had been shooting cakes in our staff canteen which the staff had baked and sold for charity. The lighting was not great so I ha it set to 640 for that and forgot to set it back. Tongue

The lightting set up was 45 degrees to Alejandros left but at the same height as he was himself. I did not use fill in flash. Regarding the T shirt, It was a last min decision to photograph him as I was getting him ready for bed. I was conscious of that and cloned out some of the dirt. Grin

Once again thank you all.

Mark S.

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