Back Modifications (1)
Views: 145 (85 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By Philo  
Another from our summer holiday in Turkey. Lit with off-camera flash, at full power, and shoot through brolly. Megan loves it so I have done an 18" x 12" print for her.
The object here was to balance flash against the bright sunset. I wonder if the flash would have been better to her left though?
Any other comments and mods welcome.

Tags: Beach Sea Turkey Brolly Off-camera Kusadasi Megan Portraits and people Flash and lighting Sunset and Sunrise

Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

PortraitPro 17 SITEWIDE 50% off sale + EXTRA 15% OFF code EPZR18
This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


strokebloke 9 493 17 England
6 Dec 2012 7:21PM
No comment upon the photo Phil. There are others much better qualified than I, in that respect.

My comment is, that it seems no time at all since you were having to work hard to persuade Megan to be photographed at all.
And now, she seems to have become progressively much more relaxed about the whole procedure.
So well done to you, for nurturing her into a more confident frame of mind.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

p12owe 5 101 2 United Kingdom
6 Dec 2012 7:39PM
I should say that I do not comment as an expert portrait photographer, only on what I see in the image.
Firstly, I think you have achieved an excellent result given the outdoor situation and very strong back lighting. Megan's left hand side is perhaps a little dark and this might of been improved with a slight repositioning of the flash or use of a reflector.
The only other small point, is that a slight softening of the pose may have improved the shot. From photographing my own teenage daughter, I find there is point somewhere between enthusiastic posing for the camera and "I'm bored with this now" It is at this point that you often find the most natural shot. Perhaps try a few different poses first, or simply get her to look back towards you at the last minute. This is a very small point though and after all is said, this is a shot that any photographer would be pleased to have taken.
Philo 7 99 83 England
6 Dec 2012 9:17PM
Thanks Jack, yes she has definitely got better but she has to be in the right mood. To be fair she was great on holiday and I came back with plenty of keepers.
Philo 7 99 83 England
6 Dec 2012 9:30PM
Peter, you don't need to be an expert to pass comment and judging by your portfolio you know what you are doing.
I only had one light stand, my wife, so no opportunity for a reflector. Having said that I quite like the shadows, I just think lighting from the opposite direction may have worked better.
I agree about the pose but she just does her thing. Prior to this I had her jumping up and down; basically having fun to try and warm her up.

PS A belated welcome to epz, I hope you enjoy it and continue to contribute to the critique gallery.
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3850 Canada
6 Dec 2012 9:46PM
I can see what you mean Phil. But IMO I think you would not have made a big difference, - just change the side of Megans face that had more shade.

Placing the light less angular and closer to in front would likely make a noticeable change?

When I downloaded the shot, and isolated Megan, I found that shes underexposed, so perhaps adding a + something to the flash was also an option? It looks like maybe + 2/3 at a guess.

One more tiny issue, - the horizon, - its perfectly level, but bowed downwards in the middle, so a tine bit of barrel distortion that can be corrected.

Ive uploaded a mod with exposure on Megan only increased, lens correction (very slight), and my usual attempt at colour balance.

Like the pose and smile, - age appropriate as they say. Refreshing to see kids not acting like 25 year old models.

Hope it works for you.


Philo 7 99 83 England
6 Dec 2012 10:41PM
Interesting, Willie, I didn't think she was underexposed but your mod has made me rethink. Good point about the barrel distortion too.
Getting my wife to hold the brolly and flash was an achievement, but asking her to move as well would be a step too far. My kids christened her the Wally with the Brolly after this and strangely enough she refused to help againWink

Thanks as always.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3850 Canada
7 Dec 2012 4:32AM
Now thats funny, - sounds like she, and all of you have a good sense of humour!

Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
7 Dec 2012 6:27PM
I think yes, slightly better if the light was on the other side, but as Willie says, not so far round to the side. Her pose is a little front-on, and having both feet together pointing at you is a little awkward. I would suggest her front leg being the bent one, with her back foot turned outwards. Tiny things, but hard to do without turning a teen pose into a glamour one.

The balance isn't bad, but again, slightly have to remember outdoors there is no light bounced around by walls, therefore nothing containing any excess light from the flash, so these shots are frequently underexposed a bit.

Last thing, it isn't barrel distortion. It is distortion, but if anything it's pincushion as the horizon is above half way and the horizon bows down, not up. More likely to be complex distortion as the lens is corrected for different things at different parts of the zoom range and you are somewhere near the middle of the range.

Philo 7 99 83 England
7 Dec 2012 9:32PM
Some good points on the pose, Nick. With respect to exposure I am not sure what I could have done other than remove the brolly or bring the flash closer, but I am fairly sure it was only just out of the shot. I was at max shutter speed (okay technically I could have gone to 1/200s but sometimes get black bands) which meant I needed f/11 to hold the sky and flash was on full power.
I would be interested to know if there any tricks to help in these situations or do I just need more power.

banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3850 Canada
7 Dec 2012 11:31PM
Yep, pincushion Nick, I actually used the pincushion tool and then called it barrel! Phil, when you say the flash was on full power, does that mean you used the flash exposure compensation on the flash unit and set to max? You can get maybe +3 stops.

Philo 7 99 83 England
8 Dec 2012 7:31AM
Willie, flash power was set in manual to 1/1 so full power. I wonder if turning the pop up flash to full power may have introduced some fill light. I will have to try that out.
paulbroad 10 123 1234 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2012 8:17PM
Nice image, but I, too, think just a touch under. A diffused flash would have given more power and a similar effect to a brolly. You must have your family trained, I would never have been allowed to take a brolly flash set up on a foreign holiday. Basic kit only and that at a minimum. My better half said holiday or photography, not both!

Whilst the shot is nice, it may be a touch over posed for me and I woul angle the body to the camera a touch rather than full on.

Philo 7 99 83 England
8 Dec 2012 10:29PM
Yes Paul, the pose could be better by angling her to the camera. I smuggled the flash and brolly on holidayWink


Sooty_1 7 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
9 Dec 2012 8:11PM
Phil, the shutter speed is less important with flash, but the aperture is. Outdoors, you're looking at a stop more flash needed to counteract the light "not contained". I think you could have afforded more exposure by opening the aperture a little and keeping the shutter speed at 1/160. That would have lightened the background as well, but you could have brought that back down again later. Moving the light is the obvious answer, and it wouldn't need to be much closer, only a couple of feet at most.

Also, if the light was more frontal, the effect would be lessened as the shadows wouldn't be quite so deep. A bit of on-camera flash would certainly help, used as a fill in, just to lighten the face.

Good job Megan is becoming quite a model!

Philo 7 99 83 England
9 Dec 2012 9:33PM
I wasn't sure about your suggestion, Nick, so I had a play with the original file to see what happened if I increased exposure by 1 stop. I expected the sky to be blown but it was still recoverable and obviously left her better exposed. Something to remember!
I think I will show Megan the comments about her modelling, it may just encourage her to do more.

Thanks again,

Richsr 10 91 223 England
11 Dec 2012 3:50PM
Got some good feedback here Phil. well worth posting
regards Richard

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.