View Full Version : Nathan's First Snow
Dec-18-2009, 02:17 PM
C&C Appreciated. I'm looking to improve my portrait ability, especially with him. Snow is tricky!
Dec-18-2009, 02:20 PM
Looks like he is infatuated by it!
Since there isn't much going on in the rest of the frame, you might want to come in more on him and mom (?). My color sense on really young kids is horrible. I tend to think this shot is a bit cool (blue) but I'll defer to others with much more portrait skills.
Dec-18-2009, 07:37 PM
I agree with Andrew that you can get in much tighter. My biggest problem when I started trying my hand at portraits was not getting tight enough. Get it so close that it seems uncomfortable and see what the portraits look like. I'll bet you like them. Don't be afraid to go for a shallow depth of field just be sure that the focus on the nearest eye is tack sharp. Also, position him so that you get some big catch lights in his eyes.
It is tricky to meter the snow. Your camera meter will want to make it 18% gray and not pure white and, as a result, it will take your overall exposure down a stop or so. You can fix it in post processing or set your exposure compensation. The color is a little blue (cool) but that may be because you were shooting under clouds or shadow. For me, it is a subjective decision whether to artificially change the white balance to make it warmer or cooler. Most of the time, I like the picture to reflect the light the way that I saw it. But, with portraits, I have found that I like to add a little warmth in post processing. Photoshop will allow you to apply warming filters and, if you shoot in RAW, your converter should allow you to change the lighting when you open the picture. For this shot, if you have the ability to modify it in post processing, I would punch up the exposure by +.67 to +1 stop and try changing the light balance to cloudy or shade to see what that looks like.
He is a cute little guy with beautiful blue eyes, you will get some great pictures of him.
Dec-20-2009, 02:03 PM
I agree with what's said above, this shot could be a little tighter. Or maybe you could go a little wider, possible portrait oriented, and get more of them? Were you standing on something? or are you just *that* much taller? :lol3 try a slightly lower position, it might also help getting more of your wife's face :thumb
[...] it will take your overall exposure down a stop or so. You can fix it in post processing or set your exposure compensation. [...]Well, you can fix it in post, but I strongly disagree with shooting to fix exposure in post. PLEASE Use exposure compensation in camera or manual control to get the exposure right in-camera. Upping the exposure in post usually produces horrible results.
If you are not familiar with it yet, try to get a working understanding of the histogram. It will help you :thumb
Dec-24-2009, 03:39 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys! I want to interact with some of it to think it through a bit more.
Re:exposure. I metered off his face and still pushed it up a bit with EV to get the bright white snow. On both of my monitors (neither calibrated) the snow is 1/4 stop from blown out so I didn't want to take it any higher. Is this my (bad) monitor playing tricks on me? I don't have the histogram in front of me but I'm remembering it being pushed pretty far right.
Re: color temperature. I tried to go for accurate skin colors which, on my monitor at least, I got. He's a pale boy. But, pale boy in pale snow might be a little too blue. I'll try to err on the side of warmth and see what I get. Is there something to be said for having a bit cooler WB when the picture is of snow to convey the coldness?
Re: composition. You caught me ivar! I was on the porch because it was still snowing pretty hard and I didn't have the right gear on the camera to keep it dry. I think for some future shots I figure it out and laid down on the porch for shooting but for this one I was definitely standing up. It seems that's a clear disadvantage when shooting portraits as it creates a rather unnatural perspective.
Re: crop. I would like to come tighter, as there's too much dead space on the left, but if I do I'll either have to change the aspect ratio of the picture (which I really hate to do) or I'll have to crop out part of my wife - which I also think is a bad plan. Any suggestions? I'm guessing the best suggestion is to compose it better from the outset!
Thanks again for the feedback. We're doing his Christmas presents this morning because the grandparents are here so I'll try some lower, tighter, warmer shots.
Dec-24-2009, 05:27 AM
:agree with previous answers.....
Good capture...made me smile this morning!
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