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Photogenic Child

By lagomorphhunter
I'm not used to photographing people however saw this child at at Fete where I was helping out manning our Camera Club Stall (Lakenheath, England, UK), and couldn't help but take a quick picture. I'm not sure if I can do much with it to make it a stand out photo? As ever I'll attached a jpeg of the original photo for reference.

Tags: Child Portraits and people Lakenheath Camera Club Lakenheath Fete


banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4020 Canada
11 Aug 2019 4:54PM
Your modified version is an improvement.

I wonder again why youve used such very small aperture? F/5.6 would have been fine, allowing for lower ISO and faster shutter, which you would usually want when taking shots of kids and animals!

Ive loaded a mod with the kid off centre, and less yellow overall, and increased exposure.



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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.5k 2066 United Kingdom
11 Aug 2019 5:44PM
It's a delightful shot, and you have processed it discreetly and sympathetically.

To echo Willie's comment above - the shutter speed was perilously slow for an active child. You got away with it, but shutter speed is something that you really need to watch when photographing people (or any living creature!) I would be happier with 1/160 second here, ideally faster as it's a child, and the larger aperture would be fine. So cut back on ISO too.
pablophotographer 8 1.2k 351
11 Aug 2019 7:10PM

(there should be 14 questionmarks there)

I recall an interview of a photographer shooting nature and wildlife over jungle with the a Hasselblad 500c/m camera on ISO 100 FILM boarding on a helicopter during Sixties, Seventies, Eighties. The vibrations of the engine were felt like small earthquakes. How did he overcome these issues?

"I was shooting OPEN WIDE, when you shoot downwards the foliage doesn't matter"

At f/14 the way the grass behind the boy looks is totally irrelevant.

Shoot fast speeds, shoot with 400ISO for animals and children it does not bother. But allow some light to come hit the sensor or the film. The faster this happens the more the chances you have a sharp still image.

And do not let me start about the skin colour issues; but let me just say I find the original image portrays the boy's skin colour correctly.

dudler Plus
16 895 1504 England
12 Aug 2019 10:16AM
Spot metering seems a VERY odd chice for a grab shot... That may well be why the original seems a little underexposed.

It's a charming shot of the lad, and that's good. I wonder what a stand-out image is? Does it mean loads of processing, or simply capturing the perfect moment, at the perfect angle, and getting all the technicalities just so?

To a large extent, getting an outstanding picture is a matter of preparation, of anticipating action, and being in precisely the right place - or, for a grab shot, having your camera set so that it will cope well with most eventualities. For me, that's an 85mm lens on full frame, 200 ISO, and f/5.6 with Aperture priority set, and i adjust ISO and aperture if it's aprticularly dark.

Incidentally, the EXIF is showing you as using an 85mm f/3.5 lens, and I'm bemused by this. I didn't know anyone made such a lens... Please tell me more!
It's an afs-dx-micro-nikkor-85mm-f-3-5g-ed-vr

It's my go to lens. I just love it.
To explain (excuse?) some of the above, I think I had it on spot metering partly by habit (usually do bird photography) and partly as I was at the time experimenting with a flash outside and I wanted the background darker. I know that opens another big can of worms.. let's not go there today.
Let's say I experiment and see what works and does't work. This lad just happened to appear. Had I set the shot up I would probably (I hope) have set things up differently.
I really appreciate all the feedback, however blunt or direct it is, how am I going to learn otherwise? I do feel I have come a very, very long way from a few ago, but still have a huge amount to learn and practice.

paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
12 Aug 2019 9:06PM
Not a bad image at all as presented although I would crop a little tighter. You do understand how spot metering works I trust? it is generally not a good idea to use it on any auto setting unless you are sur the spot is on a tone approximating to 18% grey, and not many do.

I do a lot of bird photography and rarely consider spot metering. A white seagull will under expose, a black cormorant, over expose. Those are generalisations, I know. Lets see some of your birds.

dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 582 England
12 Aug 2019 9:15PM
Thank you for your feedback Lewis, it's good when there's a conversation going.

You've captured the moment well, despite the settings (sometimes the shot has to be grabbed or missed), but I do agree with John's suggestion of having the camera set up beforehand. I think if you were at the fete where spur of the moment things are quiote likely then having the camera set up in readiness should have been one of the first considerations. Easy to say in hindsight perhaps but it's what we all try to do.
Setting the camera to (the dreaded) P mode when you put it away so that it's 'in readiness' for those grab shots is worth considering. At leas the settings are then going to be more helpful.

But you ended up with a decent capture with no distractions - not always easy with a grab shot.
dudler Plus
16 895 1504 England
15 Aug 2019 9:54AM
Aahh - a macro lens (and one I hadn't come across). My always-on-the camera lens is usually an 85mm, but wider aperture...

Thank you for the extra information - it's always useful, and can avoid getting feedback on something you already know about!

Not at all bad, overall. I'll just suggest having that 'walking about' setting. Some cameras allow a couple of presets to suit your way of working, or ways you often use - I have two on my Sony bodies, for studio work and low light...

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