Back Modifications (2)
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Little Bridesmaid

By ComfortablyNumb  
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

Tags: General Portraits and people Flash and lighting

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

Comments


rambler Plus
8 721 14 England
7 Aug 2011 1:59AM
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.

Ken.

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banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3556 Canada
7 Aug 2011 4:29PM
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:

http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/


I hope you find this helpful,



regards


Willie
7 Aug 2011 5:56PM
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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