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Little Bridesmaid

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Even if I did have a strong point in photography, it most certainly wouldn't be portraits, so I'm asking you all to help me get the best I can from this image please. I know the background is a little cluttered, I've left it there for you to possibly crop it to whatever you think is required Smile
Also any top tips/rules of thumb on using flash would be greatly appreciated for next time.
Thank you very much in advance for your time

Camera:Canon EOS-1DS Mark II
Lens:24.0-70.0 mm
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:29 Jul 2011 - 12:50 PM
Focal Length:50mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/2.8
Shutter Speed:1/250sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:On, Fired
Title:Little Bridesmaid
Username:ComfortablyNumb ComfortablyNumb
Uploaded:7 Aug 2011 - 1:20 AM
Tags:Flash / lighting, General, Portraits / people
VS Mode Rating 102 (100% won)
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
rambler Plus Member 7482 forum postsrambler vcard England14 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2011 - 1:59 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I'm not sure there is anything to criticise here. the lighting is spot on. The background is is a little bit intrusive but without lots of painstaking work you are stuck with it. Better next time to ask the subject to move to an area where there are no distractions. If I were to do any work on this it would be to darken the area behind the white rose, just to differentiate it from the background.

The young girls expression is key in this shot, she is almost smiling yet she is not connecting with you. Did you say anything to her or did you just take the shot. A few complimentary words as you work can make all the difference.

As for cropping, you would loose her wonderful hair. I suppose a little lightening of the shadow under her chin would help reduce the results of using flash.

all in all a very competent portrait in my eyes.


Last Modified By rambler at 7 Aug 2011 - 2:00 AM

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banehawi Critique Team 111241 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada3254 Constructive Critique Points
7 Aug 2011 - 4:29 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

For me this is flat, and judging by the background available light I see, its possible you intended to use fill flash; however, as you are using Manual mode, your flash would use full power unless you also manually dialed in some exposure compensation. The ETTL system worked well to avoid overexposure, though it would be better if it wasnt there.
Franks suggestion re bounce flash is always a good approach, as long as the bounce surface is not very far away, and is preferably white. You can also combine a diffuser with flash.

The composition is very good, with her eyes placed on thirds, and you have the all important eye contact.

The background is not terribly intrusive, though you could try to darken it as in the mod. AS she has some wisps of hair across the background, you may need to sacrifice a few as its very difficult not to darlken individual hairs also.

White balance appears to lean a little towards yellow, and a correction with colour balance, biasing towards Red and Blue corrects this. Best to shoot in RAW and use the raw converter to check and adjust colour temp.

The flower on her head is of course quite overexposed, and the top of her hair is extremely bright, and along with the shadow under the chin leading me to think that perhaps you did use bounce (?), but this is recoverable using the highlight tool in CS4, or by using a layer and mask, multiply mode, adjust opacity, and apply to the flower only.

The mod I have loaded has the background darkened; I have adjusted colour balance; I underexposed her face overall compared to the original, with the left side slightly darker that the right.

I am including a link to a vey good article on Canon flash, and behavious in various modes which for me is a mandatory read:


I hope you find this helpful,



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Invaluable comments and critque, mods are exceptional and just shows how far I've got to go in PP aswell.
I've bookmarked that link and will probably be going back to it time and time again.
Many thanks Smile

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