Back Modifications (3)
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My little pony

By xtremedan
My 2 year old son's first time on a beach donkey.
iso 400

Tags: Beach Boy Black and white Son Pony Donkey Portraits and people

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CathR 15 151 564 United Kingdom
14 Jan 2011 12:14PM
Welcome to EPZ Daniel. Thanks for uploading your pic and giving us you camera settings. Looks like you are one of the few who have read the guidelines!

It's a charming shot which works well in b and w. I may be wildly wrong but it has the mood of an out of season shot which is the best time to be at the seaside. I love your son's expression - he's hanging on tight there, perhaps not 100% sure about the whole thing.

The max aperture has given you a nice diffuse background but with sufficient detail for us to know we are at the seaside. I like the slightly underexposed feel to the shot which gives it a certain mood but may be his face could be just a tad lighter. I have uploaded a mod for you where a did a levels adjustment applied just to the face area with a layer mask.

It might make a better composition to have your son less in the centre and a bit more to the right. You can do this by focus locking - focus on your son, press the shutter half way only and then move the camera to the left, so your son is over to the right more and press the shutter all the way. This might have enabled you to get more of the donkey in.

With your camera settings there is no need to use anything like 1/4000 which will freeze the motion of very fast moving objects. A slower shutter speed (1/500 is plenty enough unless the donkeys are suddenly going to take off across the sands) will enable you to get the ISO down. 400 is not all that high where quality will suffer greatly but still I think it's best to use 100 where you can. A bit smaller aperture would give you more depth of field for getting the donkey sharp in front as well.

It's a lovely shot though.

I hope you enjoy the site and best wishes

blondspice 11 7 United States
14 Jan 2011 2:31PM
WELCOME to EPZ. I AM A newbie too. Not yet a month.

Beautiful mono portrait with a great title. It looks clear, unposed, excellently placed and very lovely shot.

14 Jan 2011 2:50PM
I like this shot. It is about the boy riding on the beach, and the capture is great. Very nice work. Jamm
banehawi Plus
17 2.6k 4281 Canada
14 Jan 2011 3:15PM
Welcome to EPZ Daniel.

This is a very nice first shot. Youve done well with what look like poor lighting conditions. The child's expression appears a mixture of terror and excitement which is well captured.

Youve loaded this for critique to learn, and its a good place to learn.

Youe done well to load all the shot settings, but we would also need to know the focal length, and as its a mono conversion, - how you converted it. There are many ways to do this, some better than others. Also, the camera mode, - Aperture priority, Shutter Priority, Auto, etc.

Back to the shot. It can look better if your son is placed on a third, i.e 1/3 the way in from the right, and 1/3 from the bottom, and I have cropped into this format in the mod.

The light and contrast is a little dull, so brightening his face, sharpening a little and increasing contrast very slightly give the shot a boost.

I laced him lower in the frame by adding some space to the top, - you add canvas size and fill it in with the background, which in this case is easy since its grey sky.

Ive loaded a second mod with a slightly aged look you might like.

Last tip, - in critiques, you can mark feedback as constructive by clicking the link under the comment, but please reserve this for comment that are constructive. A comment such as "great shot" would not qualify for example.

I hope you enjoy your time with us, and learn, and look forward to seeing more of you work,


xtremedan 11 6 England
14 Jan 2011 5:22PM
Thank you for your comments. I think I can learn so much from you all. I love the second modification, funny how I didn't see how dull the pic was until you brightened it up for me.
The b+w conversion was a simple desaturation in Photoshop.
The focal length was 110mm. I took a whole series of shots from different distances, this one was about 5m away. Most of the shots I took were of him laughing, screaming and smiling. I was lucky to catch this expression as it was only there for a moment. Very moody I think.
Regards Dan
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2011 10:42AM
This is a decent family shot. Mono is OK but i wonder why you went for it - I feel people often use mono because it seems fashionable and I would stay with colour for most family stuff.

I have that lens and it is very good, it is even better at f8. Depth of field didn't need to be tight here, so i would have gone for f7.1 or f8 on aperture priority and this would still have given you 1/1000.

ISO400 should be plenty good enough with a modern DSLR such as yours - Whilst 100 is best, I would always, if in doubt go to 200 or 400 to guarantee a fast shutter speed. At 110mm (176mm) you could get away with 1/500 depending to what degree you trust the IS - I have mixed feelings sometimes.

However, guaranteeing a fast shutter speed is always best with an unsupported long lens. Just brighten this a bit and you have a very nice image.


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