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My Boy

By Brian67  
My boy has special needs and birthmarks on 70% of his body, he is simply the joy in my life. I am specialising in photographing disabled & special needs families.

Tags: Family Boy Black and white Close-up and macro Son Special needs 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.


Sooty_1 6 1.5k 220 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 11:54PM
An interesting, and quite sympathetic treatment. Lessening the birthmarks by using black and white, they just look like freckles, and the unusual angle suggests lens distortions rather than anything else. An interesting crop too. I thought first off, that you should crop a bit tighter, but the shoulder is quite important in structuring this picture, so in retrospect, I would probably leave it as it is.

Only you can decide whether it's a good representation of him, but it's a picture I don't feel uncomfortable looking at ... he just looks deep in thought.

I can imagine it's quite hard not to take pictures that are "voyeuristic" with disabled subjects, but at the same time, making them look "normal" is almost denying their individuality, so showing their disabilities in a positive way is a real challenge. The very best of luck in your project.


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banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3529 Canada
28 Oct 2012 11:59PM
Welcome to Ephotozine Brian.

This is the Critique Gallery, or learning Zone, and we try to help improve your photography, and post processing.

This is a very caring and respectful shot, and shows sensitivity. The pose and downward look is so different, but it works.

Your settings suggest an aperture of f/1.6, and a shutter speed of 1/60, and doesnt mention any lighting. The speed is a little slow for handholding, but its worked, as the near eyelashes are quite sharp. Speed rule for hand-held (if you didnt use a tripod_ is 1/(focal length * crop factor) so for this, its 1/(85 * 1) or 1/100 as the next available higher speed. This would require a higher ISO.

The composition can look better if his eye is placed more to the left, on a third, and the empty space appears over to the right, but you may have a reason for composing as is.

I have uploaded a mod to show what I mean, - scroll up to the modifications tab. It appears that you have applied a slight green tone to this, - just keep in mind that applying a tone will reduce contrast, so Ive increased contrast a little also.

Hope this is helpful, and enjoy the site.


paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2012 5:04PM
An interesting composition and treatment. It does need your comment as at first sight things dont look quite right, but then your notes identify this shot as a sensitive and well treated subject.


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