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By Dyanna
What should have been the best approach for a child portrait. It was just an snapshot, but is the light disturbing or the shadows are too obvious? What is the advice in this case.

Tags: 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.


9 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2012 11:06PM
there isnt anything wrong with the shadows at all, they are quite interesting and the light on the face is even and the skin tones well exposed.

i think that the composition is a little cramped and some space could have been useful and left the face looking less compressed.

using the lens wide open was a good choice because this is the best way to throw the background out of focus, but it also difficut to control the limited depth of field that a wide aperature provides. here i think the focusing is slightly behind the face and more on the knitted hat. maybe the camera was a little too close to the subject for the lens to manage focus on the eyes

compositionally id be looking to place the subject in a position with less clutter in the background but given that wasnt possible, a slight move up and to the right may have lost those bright highlights at the back of the head.


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banehawi Plus
13 1.7k 3807 Canada
5 Apr 2012 12:49AM
Adding my 2 pennies worth.

The child needs to be looking at you; the crop should place one eye on a third ideally; use ONE focus point rather than the default multiple, and place it on the nearest eye (to the camera); use the lowest possible ISO the conditions will allow, - There was no need to use ISO 800 for this, - you had enough light to use ISO 200 and still get a good shot.

Its tricky with a very shallow dof, and wide aperture as Phil mentions, but try stopping down one or twp stops, - f/5.6 would work well here.

And before you upload:

Re sizing is a process that goes like this:

Resize image: Image>Image size> set pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest side to what the site allows; then during the save as process, you will adjust the quality slider to get the right file size, then save.

Next: Open the new image. Check for sharpness at 100%. It will very likely need to be sharpened. You can use whatever method you prefer; here is a reliable method you can use:

Filter>sharpen>unsharp mask; set Radius = 0.8; set threshold = 3; now slide the Amount slider all the way to the right, which oversharpens the shot; then slide it slowly back to the left until it doesnt look soft, and doesnt look too sharp. You can view your image and turn Preview on and off to see how youre doing. When your happy, press OK, then SAVE. Now upload.

This will ensure a sharp image here on the site.

Looking through your portfolio Dyana, I notice there are two features you have never used for critique: there a new "Like" icon beside a comment; and theres the small "Nominate for Constructive Critique" link at the bottom of every comment. The Critique Team approves or denies submissions, and members can accrue points. When you provide constructive feedback, you can also start collecting points, which can mean you are improving to the point where you can see how to improve other members shots. If ypu like a comment, you just click the icon; and for comments you feel help you improve you photography, or assist with post processing, click the link.

Ive loaded a cropped and sharpened mod.

Hope this helps,


5 Apr 2012 4:00AM
So cute,lovely one.
paulbroad Plus
10 123 1216 United Kingdom
5 Apr 2012 5:31PM
There is nothing wrong with the basic image at all other than the face is not sharp, and that looks like a focus problem. Your EXIF tells a strange story. Why ISO800 - you really did not need that - ISO200, f5.6 to gain a little depth of field, critical focusing and a matching shutter speed.

You must get images sharp in the correct place. It is a basic requirement of image making in almost every case.

Hi. Thanks for all the advice. I'm glad I got such good ones. I don't know why it so out of focus. On my camera at a first look , it looked good, but when I downloaded the picture, I saw a problem. But still wanted to know if the framing was good. I still have to work on the stability when I hold the camera. About the ISO, I didn't check what configuration I had. I forgot that I setted such a high ISO, it wasn't intentionally.

I just started to take pictures on a manual mode and it's a little bit difficult until I accomodate with the settings I have to make.

Thanks you all about the constructive critiques. Hope that in the future I'll get better and better pictures.

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