Friday, April 10, 2009

Constructive Feedback Friday

I was so excited to see that I Heart Faces was offering a Constructive Feedback Friday because I am starting to get really frustrated with myself and some of my pics I have recently shot. I feel some just don't come out as good as other people's photos I have seen and I am just so envious of their great shots.
Here is my entry for criticism. It is from a maternity shoot with my sister-in-law.
Thanks in advance for your help and advice....
The Before....
The After...

(Canon Rebel XT, f/1.8, 1/40 sec., ISO-400, Metering Mode:Partial, 50mm, Exposure Bias:0 step)


  1. lol this is such a lesson in humility! I think your picture is wonderful! I have NO idea how to improve it. Gulp.

    I think these experts are going to have a tough time! ~but *hopefully* not cause they are experts afterall :)

    God bless-

  2. Very fun image! And having a good base image is key! With your camera settings, I would be inclined to increase the ISO so the shutter speed could be faster. I do take pictures at 1/40 too, but the recommendation is to not go below 1/60 handheld...the human body is just not that steady. I like the shallow depth of field for what you were attempting. Also, the light source is shining on her left side, resulting in strong highlights and definite shadows. The blown out left arm is distracting. If you turned your sister in law so she was facing the light and it was directly behind you, I think the result might be more even. I like the choice of B&W, particularly as it highlights the B&W of the ultrasound print, but your tones are very grey, without strong contrast. You could use the burn tool on her pants to darken them and raise the contrast on the entire picture to add more pop. Good luck!

  3. Okay, here's an amateur trying to give advice to a pro. :) My only concern with the picture is the overexposed arm. I think the photo idea is genius and I love how the B&W really brought attention to the ultrasound picture.

  4. I really like the b/w conversion. I would play with the curves little more because it looks a little muddy to me. The arm is distracting, but I don't think there is anything you can do about it during the post processing. Great image.

  5. A couple quick notes. Firstly, this is two different pictures. On the bottom picture, I would probably crop out her pants. To make the ultrasound picture "pop" a little more, you could have had her hold it a little further out from her belly, which would have the effect of making the picture "sharper" and the belly "blurrier". I wholehearted second Julie's lighting suggestions.

  6. Absolutely nothing helpful I could tell you since you are obviously far superior to me at photography! I love the idea AND execution of this photo! I do agree that the lit arm is distracting, and I actually like the color version better. I'd keep the closer crop AND the color! Love this shot!

  7. I think it's a great starter image :). I like the idea behind the photo. The ultrasound picture over the baby bump.

    What if you put your right shoulder on the window then turn your body so the window is slightly behind you. Then position her so she's facing the window (with her side to you to reveal the baby bump), then hold her right arm out toward you with the ultrasound picture. Does that make sense? You would mainly be getting more light on her. If you are worried about the background, move furniture or whatever you need to do to de-clutter it.

    Her arm is blown in the sooc shot which is unfortunate. Keep an eye on your histogram in camera next time. Any time you see it start to climb the right hand side, that means something is blown in your shot.

    I'll be the odd person out and say I do like your b/w conversion. The purple shirt looks great in b/w.

    I hope that helps!

  8. Oh My Goodness.....I am loving all the criticism...I am learning so much...Thank You, Thank you, Thank You...............

  9. This is a really nice shot. I am so not good in giving constructive please bear with me.

    I love it how you converted into B&W. I think you might want to crop in more--so the ultrasound is the "subject" of this photo. Although, you might have to be careful not to crop out the mommy completely--because that was the whole point.

    Anyway, and I would play around more with levels, shadows, and the contrast. I it'll be really nice if you get to "bring out" the ultrasound image more.

    Hope that helps!!

  10. Thanks for the comment on my blog! To answer your question, I have a Nikon D60 with kit lens. I will tell you that I have just started seeing more clarity in my photos only recently (you can check my daughter's blog for proof!) I'm learning that light is everything!! Its so important for good focus and clarity. Also, since I've been shooting in complete manual mode, my photos have looked better. Hope this helps some but truly, I'm just a beginner.

    I really like your creative idea with the sonogram pic and baby bump. I'll have to remember that!

    Melinda B

  11. All of my thoughts have pretty much already been covered here...

    My first thought was that I wished the subject had been facing the source of light so that the light would have been even (many people have already addressed this.)

    My second thought was what Susan mentioned...if she had held the photo out a bit, it would have blurred her more (but she still would have been visible) and even more focus would have been put on the ultrasound pic. This is such a dramatic look!

    I'm so jealous that you have a preggo lady to photograph. :) I'm thinking about "stalking" a lady at church to see if she'll let me practice with her. What a fun photo shoot this must have been!

    co-founder of I ♥ Faces