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Troubled girl

By david1810
2nd upload.

I attended a 1 year old birthday party and thought I would try and get some photos. It was somewhat differcult with all the kids wanting to play in strong sunlight. I changed my metering to centre weighted and hoped I could fix the overexposure in the processing. Is this the right thing to do?

I am not sure how to attach the exif info using Lightroom 4 (I am not using Photoshop as yet) If anyone can help it would be great.

My shot settings were ISO 400, 96mm, f/5.6 1/500sec

Thanks again to all of you who commented on my previous upload


Tags: General 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
14 1.8k 3890 Canada
1 Aug 2012 1:28AM
What a cute girl.

I have uploaded some mods, take a look at them, then review the critique so you have a sense of what Im refering to.

1. Your exif data did upload, and is attached to the image. Lightroom 4 does this, earlier version did remove some data, so nothing to do.

2. The exif shows you used SPOT metering, and not centre weighted. CW is the one with the spot in the middle, AND a ring around it.

Spot metering can work under some ciscumstances, but you need to be careful, and you often have to make adjustments to the setttings.

You have here a girl who is BACKLIT, - the light is behind her. Her face is underexposed. In circumstances like this, theres one simple solution, - force your flash up, and it will provide the light needed to expose her face. When you are in Av mode, this is called fill flash, and it would have given you a result similar to the mods. No need to change your metering mode, - leave it set to evaluative, - OR, make sure you know which icon is the one for centre weighted.

The resulting underexposure has caused issues with over saturation, and white balance, making her fave very red, which is also corrected in the mods.

Lightroom has an adjustment brush, - set the exposure to +2/3 and adjust the brush size to fit her face ([ for smaller, ] for larger) and paint her face to brighten it. You can adjust colour balance to increase cyan and yellow.

Apart from that, its nicely sharp and well focused. It would have been better if she was looking at you or the lens, but its difficult with kids.

Hope this helps,



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I really like how you caught her expression! It's so telling and full of emotion. Great shot!
I do wish her a smile though Wink.

tonyguitar 6 65 37 Canada
1 Aug 2012 3:35AM
That red flushed look suggests she has teething discomfort but it was probably some little trauma or other.

I wonder how many carefully read Willie's insights. I find his advice really helpful and it adds a lot to enjoying ePzine. TG
david1810 6 1 Australia
1 Aug 2012 4:59AM
Thanks Willie

I can totally see what you are saying. I have just started using lightroom and have a bit of a problem with fine tuning the adjustments. Seeing your mods is a great help. I wil practice on some of the other photos I took. And I will try the fill flash option next time.

Really appreciate your time and advice.

Thanks again

NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
1 Aug 2012 8:39AM
A rather emotive and somewhat painful expression which can only be made by a child and captured so perfectly.

Regards Nathan
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
2 Aug 2012 1:02AM
I was going to say most of what Willie said, so I won't repeat it.

Poor girl looks like she's about to cry, and she appears to be looking over your head. It is hard to capture kids, especially young ones, by you have to get them interested. Not by shoving a lens in their face, but by engaging them in conversation, funny noises, faces etc. the pics will come, but animation in kids' faces comes and goes fleetingly, so shoot lots and be ready.
Using the flash will help, as you can freeze movement and generally use a smaller aperture. Just dial the flash down a stop or two (on flash compensation, not exposure compensation) for natural fill-flash shots.
The over redness in this case looks to have been exacerbated by her pink coat, as it's worse on the lower surfaces of the girl's face. Again, flash will help overcome this sort of reflected colour.

david1810 6 1 Australia
2 Aug 2012 10:35PM

thank you all for your comments, very much appreciated. I find this a great way to learn and get motivated to improve my images.

thanks again


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