Back Modifications (5)
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lost in thoughts

By tomelse
As my photography is mostly of the kids and places we visit on holidays and days out. I would like some help on how i can improve on my portrait shots of the kids and also landscape. Again i have put this up for critique and welcome any comments.
This shot of my son was taken in Clermont in Florida in 2017. I had tried to get a picture of him when he was unaware that i was taking one so he resisted the temptation to pull a stupid face.
It was taken with my iphone as that was all i had on me. I'm pretty sure this is the unedited version.

thanks in advance

Tags: Florida Son Portraits and people clermont

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18 Feb 2019 12:31PM
Hi Thomas

Portraiture isn't a strong area for me, and other Team members will probably give more specifically targeted advice, but I have one or two general thoughts.
I'd definitely suggest cropping out some of the sky, as it feels like he's sitting too low in the frame, an effect that's mildly exacerbated by having the lower part of his legs chopped off. Might have been better to go for a framing that was just from the waist up. Other than that I don't see any technical problems... the exposure's fine, and the strength and direction of the light look perfect for the subject.
He's a nice looking kid, and the picture's really all about his lost-in-a-dream expression... which you've caught beautifully... so I think it might be worth capitalizing on that and cropping for a head and shoulders style portrait. I'll upload a mod as illustration. See what you think.


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tomelse 14 66 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2019 2:24PM
Thanks for the kind comments Alan, i do like the modification it also gets rid of the annoying chains from the swing.
Robert51 11 7 99 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2019 2:37PM
Nice shot and one tip that may help is to take a step back and include all limbs. You can always crop later...

Hope the mod gives an idea about bring more light onto the face.
18 Feb 2019 2:59PM
I don't know what software you use,Thomas, but maybe you could try cloning out the chains? A slow and painstaking job, but certainly possible. The chains on the left can simply be cropped out. Second mod.
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4124 Canada
18 Feb 2019 3:07PM
With the iPhone, when you tap the screen using the camera, a box appears where youve tapped, - in this case presumably the face.

Sliding you finger upwards on the screen increases exposure (the opposite decreases exposure) showing the effect on the screen. When the subject, one like this which is dark due to underexposure is brighter, click the shot.

If you havent seen this before on the camera app, give it a try.

As an alternate, you can tap the flash and set it to ON so it fires no matter what the light is, this would fill in the darker shadows.


18 Feb 2019 3:48PM
Different opinions here regarding exposure,Thomas, so it would help to have your view. Perhaps you prefer it with the shadows lifted?
tomelse 14 66 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2019 5:34PM
Wow thanks Alan and Willie. If Iím honest I didnít know you could do that with the iPhone so thatís 1 thing learned, personally I was really happy with the shot as it caught a time on a hectic busy holiday when Archie was having a quiet moment while waiting for some food as his sister played in the sand and myself and his mum and grandparents were enjoying the weather over a cold one. Then i saw it with the shadows lifted and enjoy the shot even more so. Thanks for that 👍🏻
18 Feb 2019 5:39PM
Fair enough.
capto Plus
8 6.2k 18 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2019 7:07PM
A lovely natural portrait. The quick mod is just my take on what I would do if it were mine.
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1646 England
19 Feb 2019 11:19AM
Capturing the moment is more important than anything else, and you did that really well.

You have advice on making more of an iPhone: I'll just say that if I ever have a family crest, the Latin motto will be Semper Portat Camera - always carry a camera (and I do). Especially for portraits, the chance to use a longer lens (most mobiles are fitted with wideangle optics) is invaluable. In particular, it allows yo uto blur backgrounds more, as well as getting in closer without getting too near physically.

One other thing that doesn't come naturally to those for whom an iPhone is part of their hand: prints. Get some prints of this lovely image done, and give them to every loving relative. Do it this week.Files go astray, and children grow up fast.

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