Back Modifications (4)
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My little man

By vicky1972  
Tried a shot just using the natural light through the window, would you go b&w or leave it, Grin

Tags: 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.


31 Oct 2012 7:16PM
Stunning, adorable portrait...


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Philip_H 6 1 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2012 7:19PM

surfinsurveyor 10 697 1 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2012 7:30PM
Just had my thoughts confirmed - downloaded and tried some B&W variations - the colour version is stunning! I would leave it as it is, the colours and tones work brilliantly and those blue eyes are amazing. (Excuse me while I go and take a break from my wifes cooing! TongueGrin)

Seriously though - a wonderful portrait which I'm sure will look fantastic framed and on your wall. GrinGrin

31 Oct 2012 7:46PM
what a lovely capture
marktc Plus
7 101 15 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2012 7:54PM
Its a terrific portrait Vicky, I have a 6 month old son and I am just sooooo bad at portraits... Very envious of your skill.
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
31 Oct 2012 8:35PM
Welcome to Ephotozine Vikki.

This is of course a lovely shot. Some more shot details, such as camera model, lens would help, as would your set up; is this a studio set up, (looks like it) and if so, how youve set you lighting etc. This is all for us to help you in thie Critique Gallery, or learning Zone as many of us call it.

As a new member, you likely dont know that when you upload an image to the web, you need to assign a colour profile to it, and always sRGB. If you are using Photoshop to re size the image, its an option you can add. or use the save for web option. The reason for this is that many browsers, Explorer, Safari and others will interpret the colours incorrectly by making assumptions in the absence os a colour profile. As an example, viewing this with Explorer will show the skin as a vibrant reddish colour, and the colour of the eys will be very exaggerated, deep and bright blue. So different viewers will see this fifferently. Firefox, with a colour management option set is the only browser that shows this image as its meant to be seen.

So, next time, remember the colour profile. The childs pose and expressions are really nice. The lighting is good. The image is sharp.

The composition, ideally wiuld be better if the baby was more to the right, less central, but the large hat, and his closeness to the left edge prevent and cropping to achieve this.

Dont rule out mono either, but take care how you convert. Its useful for us to know which image software you use. Photoshop elements has the channel mixer, the best way to convert, and Photoshop CS versions has a built in B&W converter which is good.

We have a modification tab above, and if you scroll up and click it, you will see mods. Some of them will have the option to view large, as mine do, and Ive uploaded both a colour, and a duotoned mono with a diffuse glow applied which softens the image a little. I think its quite nice. The colour version has little different except the white balance and skin tone. When you use a lighting set up, shoot in RAW, and place a grey card in the first shot. When processing the RAW files, click the grey to set colour balance, and apply this to all the shits takne in the same light. It can make a big difference. In this shot, the skin tends to habe more yellow that it should, - and of course you might have dont this deliberately using a gold reflector, or a tone in post processing. if thats the case, tell us that in the description so we wont correct it.

Finally, you have the ability to both click the like button if you like the comments. And, if you feel the feedback is constructive, you can click the "Nominate as..." link below the comment on the right. Sunmissions are approved by the Critique team to ensure they are constructive, and no person has the ability to approve their own feedback.

Most of all, enjoy the site. Take from it what will make you a better photographer, even if you are a casual shooter,


31 Oct 2012 9:45PM
Thankyou everone for your comments means so much and Willie Thankyou so much lots to take in about uploading not sure i understand about the assign a colour profile Sad i have photoshop cs5 so manybe something is there. This photo was taken with a Sony A37 lens 18-55, this was just a shot i took with a blanket on my sofa and the sunlight coming through the window on the side hes facing, no likes or flash just natural light, this is a new camera so i was testing how high the iso would go without causing alot of noise. I will try RAW just scares me a little as it sounds alot of work and alot of editing, but i will give it a go. Your help has been great and i hope i can find my feet here.

Vicky. xx
banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3892 Canada
31 Oct 2012 9:52PM
Go to Edit>Assign Profile or Convert to profile if theres a different one present than sRGB, Easy.

I meant more to the left above, just noticed my error.

RAW is quite easy really, one you get used to it, and its your one and only chance to control almost every aspect of your shot, without any destruction of the original file. Exposure, highlights, shadows, clarity, colour, vibrance, contrast, white balance, sharpness, noise, the list goes on.

Your lighting worked well. Its especially good as you have catch lights in the baby's eyes, which made me think studio. The Sony shows zero noise at 800, Im sure it can go a lot higher.

Heres a preview of the camera, if you check later, there may be a full reviw with high ISO samples:

Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2012 10:00PM
It's a great shot, lighting and pose are perfect. Personally I'm not sure about the hat, but if you like it, then that's what matters.

Colour is better than black and white here, because you would lose the lovely blue eyes and the subtle skin tones. Maybe a slight increase in exposure to lighten the throw, but not much (maybe half a stop), and the light background is bouncing lots of light around into the shadows, which is good.

RAW isn't complex when you try it, in fact many of the processes you use in Photoshop can be done in the RAW converter before you open it in PS, it just looks different. There are plenty of tutorials online to get you started.

31 Oct 2012 10:20PM
Right i found that in edit and it seem to be set at working RGB: sRGB does that sound right. I can resize and sharpen for the web if thats any help, should we upload the normal file size. I will defo try Raw i must be dumb the same colour as my hair but what do you mean about the grey card, do i take a photo of the grey card first. SORRY Smile you help is great.

Could his eyes get any blue-er? I prefer colour in this case.
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2012 12:07AM
A grey card is a technique for metering. The camera wants the scene to average out to mid-grey, so when confronted by a white scene, it will underexpose and try to make it mid-toned. The picture will then be too dark. Similarly, with very dark scenes, it will overexpose to again try to make it mid-toned, and will be too light.

If you have a grey card, you take a meter reading of the card in the same light as the subject, then use those settings regardless of what the meter tells you with the subject in place. That way, the exposure will be accurate. You don't need a grey card, just something of a mid-tone, so sunlit grass, concrete, back of your hand if you have dark skin etc. colour is not important, just darkness (or lightness).
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
1 Nov 2012 9:20AM
Welcome to epz Vikki and a superb initial upload. Willie has said most of what you need to know as a new member so just to this pic.

I agree with Willie about the positioning of the baby and the eyes in particular. He like me guessed that you wished to include all of the hat in your frame so perhaps the answer was to add to the right rather than crop the left.

Other than that this is a delightful image and full of appeal. even the baby'd hand is in a good position so a model in the making I would say.

Enjoy EPZ

wenzu78 6 7 Malta
1 Nov 2012 7:38PM
I like it Vikki .. well done.

Am also looking for the perfect lighting and perfect moment to take a couple portrait snaps of my little 10 month kid.

Looking forward to more nice stuff from you.


NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2012 6:19PM
i just had a grandson Howie and i was eager to take pics like this when he was around 2 to 3 months. in fact i bought a blue hat too and he has similar blue eyes.

now my guess is it would work quite well in a sensitively converted mono but for me, you would lose the beautiful tone of his eyes and complementary colour in the hat. you did a great job with the background thinking it through carefully with the limited depth and lack of clutter and the inward facing pose. you could have gone with a wider aperature if it was available on your lens and thrown the bg out even further

im not sure you could have done much better here i think its beautiful.
on my monitor the skin tones are nice and the expose right on. on my uncalibrated work screen its less good. as Willie says it could be your need to allocate srgb colour space for web use. if you save to web on photoshop it will do this for you.

if being over picky which im not, the canvas could be extended slightly on the left.

lovely stuff
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 7:54AM
This is very nice. There is little to say to improve. It does smack of the commercial baby picture, but that doesn't detract from your excellent result. If you use a grey card for metering, make sure it has 18% reflectivity. Any old grey card will not do, there are many shades of grey.

Try RAW by all means, it is the best route. BUT, would the result be better than this. I doubt it very much indeed. For me, RAW is for short run and special shots when you are willing to take the time to process. If your camera has RAW + best JPG shooting, try that. 95% of the time the JPG image will be more than good enough and, RAW processing must be mastered to get the best from it.

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 8:05AM
Oh, and stay with colour. There seems to be an obsession with mono for everything. I had 30 ears using mono most of the time and, whilst mono has it's place, so much looks better in natural real colour. This does.

Alda 5 70 30 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2013 12:24AM
Vikki, you need to resize the image to 1000 pixels on the longest size before you upload it here (resize it, close it, open it again and then sharpen it), otherwise the site will resize it for you and the results aren't always pleasing Tongue

Look forward to seeing some photos of your other two little angels on here as well GrinGrin x

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