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Just a couple of kids enjoying themselves.

By TXS  
I captured this image of these two you young boys enjoying themselves at festival celebrating Samoan Independence Day. It was one of those shots that jumps right out at you so I had to take it. The camera was set on aperture priority (f6.3), I had the lens zoomed to 40mm (I was really close) I didnít have to do much editing just a little bit of cropping and a small adjustment to the saturation and brightness.

Tags: Portrait Boys Freinds 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.


paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
9 Jun 2016 7:55AM
The content is great, but you did have to do some editing I fear. You are under exposed and it needs brightening up. Minus 2/3 stop was not needed. It's also not terribly sharp and I suspect some camera movement at 1/80 sec. Sharpening tools do not work well with camera movement blur.


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dudler Plus
14 709 1360 England
9 Jun 2016 11:29AM
This is very definitely underexposed, as Paul says.

Focus is a bit iffy, too: with active subjects, having a margin for error on aperture and shutter speed is desirable, even if you have to wind hte ISO right up.

And if you have a smaller lens, either fixed focal lenght or a standard zoom, it may prove more weildy for this kind of shot.

Some digital rescue is possible, but it's always better to get most things spot on in camera...
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3901 Canada
9 Jun 2016 12:45PM
Its all been said above. Its a cute image though, added a mod.

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2026 United Kingdom
9 Jun 2016 7:34PM
Great expressions, Terry, and I love the big wink from the lad on the left. Nice catchlights in the eyes, too.

For me, those thumbs-up hands are an important part of the overall picture and I would have liked to see the whole of the hands inside your frame. You say that you cropped from the original, and I wonder if there was more of the hands showing in the original.

Failing that, because the hands are incomplete, I would crop to remove them, leaving the winking and smiling to capture the viewer's attention.
I would also consider a crop to the bottom, to remove the other part hand centre bottom.

There wasn't much you could do about the material in the background, but you might want to consider cloning out the beads and the neckline (?) from the top.

TXS Plus
2 6 New Zealand
10 Jun 2016 4:56AM
Many thanks to all my critics your comments were most useful.

I take your point about the shot being a little dark, I have always thought that camera always produces photoís a little over exposed so I have got into the habit of using the cameraís exposure compensation control to fix this. But since most of you seem to agree that the picture is too dark, I think I should reconsider this practice.
I also think Pamela is right about the way I cropped the hands however I didnít think anyone would notice it. Unfortunately I missed that when I took the shot and I only cropped the left side of the picture; the right side was all that I got.

Thanks again for your critiques.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
10 Jun 2016 7:41PM
How are you determining the brightness or otherwise of the image? On the camera screen or on acomputer/laptop/tablet? It is possible your screen is set too bright, but if you learn about the exposure historam feature, GOOGLE it, you will better understand exposure.

Having said that, I have 3 EOS bodies, and I have them all set for minus 1/3 stop compensation for normal shooting.

TXS Plus
2 6 New Zealand
11 Jun 2016 5:14AM
Hi Paul

I donít usually pay a lot attention the histogram on the cameraís LCD screen while shooting, there just isnít time. I do sometimes use the histogram in Photoshop when editing but now I realise that I could benefit from using this feature on my camera more often. However I always have the cameraís highlight alert switched-on to warn me of any exposure problems.

The problem that I often have at this time of year is with the New Zealand mid-winter sun which sits low over the northern horizon for most of the day. This leads to many of my images having high contrast and blown out highlights not to mention lens flare and colours that look over saturated. Most of my shots seem to benefit from a little Photoshop manipulation.

The photo that you have that reviewed was taken on one of those bright winter days. The two boys were standing in the doorway to a community hall, with bright sunlight coming from the right of the picture and light of a much lower intensity (about four stops) of coming from the hall interior on the left. I can now see that a better exposure would have produced a better image and I am thinking that perhaps it would have been a better image if I had used my flash.

Thank you for your comments you are making me think about my photography in new and different ways.


dudler Plus
14 709 1360 England
11 Jun 2016 10:34AM
Terry -

Sounds just like winter in England! (Unsurprinsingly, really...)

It's always best to get as much right in camera as you can: people like me who still, occasionally, shoot colour slide film are used to one chance with exposure: if it's wrong, it's wrong. Digital is far more forgiving, but why maye work for yourself?

The histogram is the key to optimum exposure: but if you look at it for the first shot, adjust to get thigns right, and then leave it alone, that works well, and doesn't take much time. When you are shooting with a contrasting background (dark behind a brighter subject, in this case), it can be a good idea to use manual exposure, as otherwise changing composition can alter exposure, although the right exposure for hte faces would be the same...

To reduce flare, make sure hte lens is clean and always, always, always use a lens hood. Controversially, I'd also suggest not using any filter - this won't help, and can degrade images. The lens hood protects the lens from physical damage at least as wel las a skylight filter. (Others will disagree!)

Contrast? Shoot RAW and learn how to finesse the highlights and shadows in converting to JPG. However, this shot suffers from low contrast, not high, and there's no easy cure for that except processing after the event.

In other words, fix what you can when shooting, and process to tweak what you can't control.

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