Back Modifications (4)
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By RebeccaR
I have already uploaded this, but re uploading for critique please.
Natural light, I added grain in post.

Tags: Portrait Black and white Children photography Child portrait


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1740 England
15 Nov 2018 11:05AM
It would be really useful to know what you wanted to achieve, and whether you feel you succeeded.

Low light and wide aperture: I would tend to shoot with a good deal more light, if I had the choice (and this looks like a set-up shot, so I would imagine it was possible).

I love shooting with lenses wide open, and I know (from trying one out that I did not buy, because of the cost) that a Sigma Art 35mm is sharp into the corners at maximum aperture. The problem with most cameras is getting the focus precise enough. Therefore, if I didn't need the differential focus, I'd stop down to f/4 or f/5.6, and raise the light level accordingly. It just makes shooting simpler and reduces the technical challenges. With a camera as modern as yours, another real option is to whack the ISO high to give the headroom you need on aperture (and thus focus), and let the high ISO noise be the grain.

Does the grain you added in processing cover a lack of sharpness (always a good dodge if things aren't absolutely pin sharp)? This comes to the question of what you wanted to do - is your ideal a fully-toned, pinsharp image, or light and airy, or dark and maybe a bit threatening? All are possible. At this stage, seeing the unprocessed version becomes interesting, and very helpful from my point of view.

Where did you meter from? Using spot, you could use the clothing, or the skin - and in either case, you'd then need to adjust exposure to place the metered are in the highlights instead of midtones. There's a whole volume of stuff on metering and modes - I would have used Aperture priority, a little positive exposure compensation, maybe. And then checked the histogram and the general look before a second exposure. I might then have set the camera to Manual, using the settings I'd established.

But it all depends on yoru intentions, really... They would define the technique and settings to a considerable extent.
15 Nov 2018 11:16AM
Thank you, I wanted a dark and moody photo. I added grain, for a more vintage feel.
This was the one and only shot I had to work with. (My daughter, after one click of the camera, she didn't want anymore - so this was my test shot)

In regards to light - I wanted it as soft as possible. Natural light to the right of her coming through a window, with the blinds drawn (it was too harsh with them open) And one curtain drawn, just to get more directional light where I wanted it to hit on her face.

Do you think I should have added more light?
15 Nov 2018 11:17AM
I metered from her skin, on the highlights. (Right cheek)
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1740 England
15 Nov 2018 11:20AM
Did you then compensate for the light tone?

And the original remains to the point. I've done a couple of mods, and also revised my original comment a bit, in terms of a grab shot and using higher ISO in the first place - saves errors in focus, and gives digital noise...

It's really helpful to know that this was the only shot - so you couldn't prepare much more...
15 Nov 2018 11:28AM
I can upload the SOOC later when I am by my computer, so you can see what I have done.

I will be doing some more of this style today, so I will try at f4 and a higher ISO.

Love the modifications. Thank you.
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4176 Canada
15 Nov 2018 12:39PM
Look forward to the original.

Ive also uploaded a mod, - some brighter area and a diffuse glow, cropped.

The ART lens may be sharper than you may actually want at f/1.4!

dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1740 England
15 Nov 2018 12:52PM
The issue is going to be getting the focus accurate at f/1.4 with anything but a CSC, I suspect...

But f/4 will work nicely, and the original will be welcome - as will the new work!
Robert51 12 7 108 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2018 2:58PM
Love the whole idea and the image itself.

The mod is just both a black and a white layer with a "Hard Mix" blend with the fill taken down to about 15-20%. Hope you like it...
( Yes that is hard mix blend - the one no one uses.)

paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2018 4:15PM
I rather think that what you have actually done is good, although I think I would have been using a dark sepia to really set the feel of an old image, because that's is what it looks like.

Purely subjectively, I'm not too keen. What is it trying to say? It doesn't look dark and moody to me, just like a competent studio 3/4 length shot of a child. What would be it's purpose? hardly for the parents to hang on the wall.

So, Good technique, not sure about the appeal visually or mentally.

pablophotographer 9 1.7k 389
15 Nov 2018 5:15PM
Hi, you know my opinion already. I like it.

And I think I can understand it. It looks like being an exercise on recreating a bygone era. Dudler's tinted mod reminds me of pictures recorded on wet plates.

Other than that I would not change it at all - unless you find an antique toy bear.

15 Nov 2018 5:33PM
I had an antique lantern that I actually wanted her to hold, but as I said further up, after one click of my camera she didn't want to take anymore.

(Paul, this is my daughter and I haven't decided if I will be printing it yet, but this was purely for practice for me)
This was done in my home - no studio set up, just a plain wall and window light, with blindes drawn, for softer light. I originally had bigger plans, I wanted an old type feel to the photo and I wish i could have gotten her to hold the lantern to, to add to it.
Thanks for the modifications guys. I love them.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2293 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2018 10:16PM
John has critiqued pretty comprehensively. I like this a lot, I would just add that the main issue that leapt out of me is the light halo down her left (right to us) side. It looks to me as though you have done some burning on the background and it lacks subtlety.

I shall wait for the original to become available, I think there are various cropping and toning possibilities.

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