Back Modifications (2)
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Mother and sons

By SamanthaDonPhotography
Camera Maker ~ Sony
Camera Model ~ Nex 3
F-stop ~ f/5.6
Exposure time ~ 1/100 sec.
IOS Speed ~ IOS-200
Exposure Speed ~ 0 step
Focal Length ~ 55mm
Maximum Aperture ~ 4.97
Metering Mode ~ Pattern
Flash Mode ~ No flash, compulsory
35mm focal length ~ 82

This was taken at the Sharon Temple Canada Day Concert 2013 in Sharon, Ontario. I had gone of on my own with my camera and was walking around the grounds taking a few shots when I say this woman and her two sons sit down on a near by bench. At first I didnt take much notice but when she place her arm around the two boys I thought it was such a tender moment I'd snap a quick pic. I just love the way my subjects seemed caught up in their own moment so I blurred out the back ground to try and make them appear more dis jointed from the rest of the goings ons.

Tags: Photography Event Photograph Candid 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.


banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3722 Canada
29 Apr 2014 3:06PM
Its quite a nice shot. I like how the Moms hand is on her Sons shoulder.

Not a lot to improve it as-is, - Ive softened the blur a little more, and lifted exposure a little where the seat is, but its a minor change.

At the time of shooting, I wonder if there was an opportunity to shoot from behind, and lower?

A reminder that you dont need to write in the exif if you leave it embedded in the jpeg, the site will display it if you click the More Exif Option on the upload page.

If you like tree and flower photography, the big event coming up in Toronto is the Sakura Cherry trees in High Park, - about second week in May to mid May.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I like what you did with the exposure because it actually shows the cool detail on the bench. I love those benches. The carvings are actually animals. I probably could of taken it from behind and lower down as you said but a lot of my photography is candid so I didn't want to disturb the subjects too much. However, I do feel your correct that the lower angle would of been better. Thanks for the tip about the Exif details I actually didn't know that but will keep it in mind from now on. I didn't realize there was event coming up so thank you so much for telling me. I'll have to see if I can get down to it. I live about a 45min drive away from downtown Toronto so not too far. Again thank you for taking the time to comment and for all your useful tips.

mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1740 United Kingdom
29 Apr 2014 8:35PM
This is attractive, it draws me in, makes me feel a part of the event. The key element for me is the mother's loving, protective gesture, and the fact that we have to imagine their faces. The image is intimate, personal, but very respectful of their private moment together.

The foreground group is the anchor for the composition, the solid, sharp base that gives structure to the sunlit haze beyond.. Because of that I would like to crop tighter. The dark back of the bench seems to make a neat baseline, with the taller adult figure strengthening the left side. Effectively going in closer adds to the impression that we are watching the same scene over their shoulders.

A couple of minor changes - I want to lift those shadows slightly and darken highlights, by just a few % each, nothing drastic. Photographing from shadows into light is particularly tricky, it's worth evening the light a little bit.

One other thing - I assumed on first opening this that the land was sloping, but looking at the hut on the left I can't help thinking that the image needs a slight clockwise rotation.

Modification to follow if I can get what I want.
dudler Plus
14 599 1145 England
29 Apr 2014 10:16PM
One of the things that is worth considering is that if you use "save for web" after editing, it strips out EXIF data. Plain "save as" is what you need.

Cropwise, I'd want to move a little to the left, as Willie suggests, and then included a fraction more space on the left of the picture. This would also separate the two children's heads a touch, and move the mother closer to them, if I haven't misread the relative positions. I'd also like leeway to correct for the slight tilt to the left you have here. The missing corner of the bench distracts me a fraction. Moira's crop is really good, in that it addresses both issues, and really makes the most of the togetherness: the closeness of the family is the biggest strength in the shot, and it is memorable.

Sneaking around unobtrusively is one of the skills of the candid photographer: and, if you don't do too much to attract attention, it's amazing what people don't notice! Many, many years ago, I astonished myself by taking a candid portrait from a distance of around five feet with a Zenith E - a very slow and noisy Russian SLR. Modern cameras like your Nex are amazingly good for this sort of thing, especially if they have a tilting screen.

One final point: a lot of togs put a logo onto their pictures. Can I suggest that this is ineffective for preventing theft (easy to clone out or crop out), but can really distract the eye. Fine for business cards and the like: not for display images, or anything that you sell.

Back to the heart of the matter: you recognised and captured a perfect moment.
Thank you both for your comments. I really like your mod mswoolybill. I like the tightness as you say. I guess i have to remember im pretty lucky as im well known around here so even if i had disturbed them i doubt it would of affected the shot much. You have all given valid points though and i will definitely keep them all in mind. my camera does make some noise not much but enough to annoy the cat when im trying to take her pic lol again thank you so much Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
10 1.1k 1740 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2014 10:10AM
I'm in much the same position, I photograph local events and I'm fairly well known locally so people know what I am doing and just let me get on with it. It helps if you don't interrupt people's enjoyment, stay unobtrusive and quiet. Being a woman also helps, I think!
I do agree. being a rather small harmless woman helps. most the time when i get caught people just laugh and sometimes pose for me lol were as men, no offence, people seem to see as more of a threat
paulbroad 10 123 1177 United Kingdom
1 May 2014 8:52AM
The problem, for me, is the background. Stronger lighting and. Confusing, sheds, people, putting flags and so on. The foreground group on the seat are great and they are the essence of the image. Crop the whole of the top bCkground off. Clone out the flags and the image, as a letterbox crop, becomes very strong.


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