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lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 12:45 AM
hi guys and gals

i was trying out some new techniques at the studio but i didn't get the results i wanted so i decided to try and see if this would do any good in competition or since im starting the process for certification if this image would pass....

be gentle...she's my baby and be gentle with her mamma

i sized this the way the upload says at 400x400 and it looks ugly...so i hope you get the jist of how it is really supposed to look...it is cropped as a 20x10

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 12:57 AM
4 looks and no comments...come on now...somebody tell me something...

don't you know im impatient...i wish i could load it here the right way

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 01:10 AM
i size this one to 400x400 but it is a20x16

DianeDavis
06-01-2008, 01:51 AM
Beautiful baby, Lynette.

I'll let others comment on your other questions.

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 01:59 AM
Thanks Diane

Now that I looked at her...i softened her too much, even for my taste...im going to rework it without so much softening to her skin

PamSteinke
06-01-2008, 04:50 AM
I love the colors...love how her skin looks...and her eyes are so bright. I can't help much on the competition side of it, I can only tell you I love it. Best wishes!!

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 05:26 AM
the colors are different for me...my backgrounds are normally black and white...but i'm working to increase a studio line geared toward children up to a certain age and I want the images bright, different and colorful

Cindi_Delaney
06-01-2008, 06:01 AM
Hi Lynette- I think it just looks funny because you tried to turn a rectangle into a square.
Try only sizing the long side at 800 pixels. Maybe then we can see better.
By the way, she's absolutely adorable.

Heather_L._Smith
06-01-2008, 01:10 PM
i was trying out some new techniques at the studio but i didn't get the results i wanted so i decided to try and see if this would do any good in competition or since im starting the process for certification if this image would pass....

What techniques were you trying to do where you didn't get the results you wanted? If it's something you tried and it didn't come out the way you hoped for, why would you want to use it for certification or competition? I'm just looking for clarification on the feedback you're hoping for.

And just my own opinion and a little caution with using your own children as subjects... they're awesome and super handy when you need to try something new, but if you're going to post them and ask for feedback, be sure you are prepared to actually use that feedback. As photographers we get very very attached to images of our own children and it's hard for others to give constructive feedback when you preface it with a "be easy on me" comment. Which, to many readers means, "I'm posting this here, but only tell me the good things, because I'm not prepared to hear the bad stuff." Nobody wants to intentionally hurt your feelings, and feedback shouldn't be that at all. I use my kids for practice all the time, as I do with my hubby and any other unsuspecting relative... but you have to detach yourself from the person in the image if you want a true critique, otherwise people are just going to tell you it looks good (or maybe they won't say anything at all), and move on. I recently used an image for competition that was of my own child, I posted it here for some feedback, sent it to some friends for feedback, and never once told anyone (until after comp was over) that it was my own child, because I wanted real, honest feedback on the weaknesses of the image, not comments on how cute my baby was - because that wouldn't be helpful and wouldn't improve my skills in lighting and posing and storytelling. Again, I'm not saying that you shouldn't use your children, I'm just saying that if you're going to post them for critique, be sure you're ready for critique. I'm not saying you've done anything wrong... I think the part that threw me off was the "be easy on me" comment, because any time I read that, I instantly think that that person isn't really interested in honest feedback, they just want to know if it's cute. Again, nothing wrong with that, just need to know what you're looking for. I think this forum is the most respectful forum I've ever seen, and most people are willing to give feedback in an honest and tactful way, making it a pretty safe place to be.... but you've got to be willing to take the feedback... or let us know up front that it's just for our viewing pleasure and no critique is being asked for. :)

Don_Chick
06-01-2008, 01:35 PM
Beautiful Baby!!!!

I think it will work for certification.
For competition; however, I think you would be in the above average area.
The reason is that the brightest areas of the image are the hat and the shirt. These both pull your eye away from the center of interest her face and eyes specifically.

Nice image, beautiful baby!

P.S. Heather is right on, using your own children for anything (critique, competition, ect.) sets yourself up in a big way!

Lori_Luza
06-01-2008, 01:54 PM
I can't speak to competition, but I can politely (since I'm sure this is what you meant by "be kind") tell you what I like and don't.

*) I love the colors and the bright/cheery nature of the image
*) there is something white behind her left ear
*) I'd either show the whole neckline of the shirt or crop in a little tighter and cut it more intentionally.
*) I'd like to "move" the ends of the ribbon up onto the brim of the hat. The front one doesn't bother me much, but the one on her right really cuts the line of the hat.
*) While I LOVE the background, there are some other things I'd try with it. I'd see if it can be pulled taught so it lines up more square and stays the same distance from her. Then, I'd go the other direction and gather it as much as possible. I'd also move her forward more and strive for more depth of field to see if the background can go just a little out of focus. Also, I find the two "triangles" of navy blue by her right shoulder and the left side of her neck almost distracting. Also something about the left side and right side of the background doesn't line up.
*) are the whites of her eyes really that bright? If not, I'd dial the effect back just a teensy bit. If so, I might consider the tiniest work on them.
*) her skin is just WOW. Excellent job on lighting it.

It's a great image and one I'm sure you'll cherish for YEARS!

Good job!

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 04:58 PM
thanks for the input

lori...the white behind her ear is a kicker....i pulled her up far from the background, but it was still in focus...i was trying an over exposure technique that i've done before and got different ideas in a class recently...that's the part that I didn't get the results i wanted on.....


When I said be kind, it was really a joke that I think was taken toooooo seriously. I am a professional and yet, I know that i still make mistakes so that's why I put the image on here so that others can tell me what i can improve on and what I did correct. I use my daughter a lot because she is a easy model and she models without complaints...in classes before, the instructors would tell us about how they were upset because there child's image was not awarded...it's funny and true that we believe our little angels are a work of art....

i'm going to try again with this background, which is actually a shower curtain:) to see if i'm using a regular lighting setup, if i can get a better final product....sometimes it seems that Ijust can't get the look i want even though i have the vision, but when I put it together it doesn't come out that way. The information given has been very helpful, which is what I wanted and I am going to take it an rework it, but i love these colors and it will be a sample for me to hang ....:)

Competition wise, this is hard to do....can someone tell me what really makes a great competition print and I can work on those things....I'm planning to take the certification test in october and I don't want to proceed with that if my work still looks amateur, you know what I mean?

Thanks again,....

lynette_bradshaw
06-01-2008, 05:06 PM
i think the background is uneven because it is 2 curtains...i will take a look...i see the ribbon sticking out..didn't notice it before....

Keith_A_Howe
06-02-2008, 01:20 AM
Lynette
I want to assume that the distortion was the result of your trying to resize to the 400x400. I know you said be easy on you and Heather said it very well about using your own kids. . . But you ask for CC so here goes.
First she is a beautiful girl, mom has so much to be proud of! I would suggest that you could improve it by moving the main light to camera Right if you are photographing a hat like this. By lighting the way you did the brim blocks a lot of the light from her face and eyes, it also is lighting straight into her chest. If it were coming from camera right you would have lit her shoulder and let the chest area go into shadow making the white dress less important (as a side note for more mature wemen this will add dimension to their bodies and not flatten them out). It is really hard to tell with the distortion of the posted image but I think you have used too short of a lens which is making the hat appear even larger than it is. If the hat is truely waaayy too big then either use it in a situation like playing dressup or as a ultra close up that doesn't show much hat OR choose not to use it at all. As it is the hat draws too much attention away from this striking girl. As a general rule in portraiture, you want the main impact to be the face or faces with the clouthing and background to play the part of the supporting cast to get the statement that you are trying to portray. When you use a busy background with a simple outfit, you are telling the viewer that the background is a major element in the image which takes away from the face.
I hope I was not too harsh.
Keith

lynette_bradshaw
06-02-2008, 01:40 AM
Hi Keith.

I was using a 70-200 lens on this. in the studio im usually lighting from the left and I never move, habit i guess...this really turned out like this because I was trying another technigue that should have blown everything out but since it didn't i tried to salvage a good print....I see what you are saying about the hat and the lighting

i have never had anyone to explain to me the general rule of photography before and I hadn't looked at that way before...thanks for that...

as i stated in my previous post, when i said be gentle, it was a joke....i know that i will recieve constructive criticism on here that I can either use or ignore...and since i wanted help i posted so i could learn....my baby is a bonus:)

thanks for help and the things you pointed out to me, they helped a lot...hopefully next time I will do better when i do the next test images...

I really appreciate everyones help

Rick_Massarini
06-02-2008, 09:20 AM
I don't know if it's my computer system or what, but I see a grossly distorted image. The image is stretched vertically so badly that I cannot easily discern the facial structure of the subject. I'll hold off on making any comments until I can see the image as it should be viewed...

But I will make a personal comment - the Unwritten First rule of print comeptition is: (unless you have a VERY thick skin) - Never use your own children for print competition - you'll always be disappointed. Parents always LOVE their children, but judges are judging against a standard that has nothing to do with your relationship to your kids...). It's OK to do so, but be prepared to be disappointed by the comments, since "no one ever realizes just how beautiful our own children are". Print Competiton is a totally differerent animal.

When I can see the actual image without the distortion, I'll give you my opinion, but right now, the vertical looks about 2-3 times as tall as it should be... I'm looking at a vertical spaghetti person...

Heather_L._Smith
06-02-2008, 01:08 PM
I was using a 70-200 lens on this. in the studio im usually lighting from the left and I never move, habit i guess...this really turned out like this because I was trying another technigue that should have blown everything out but since it didn't i tried to salvage a good print....

Lynette... stupid question, but when you say 'blow out' the background, do you mean blow it out with light - like make it super highlighted, or do you mean make it a really shallow depth of field so it's really soft?



as i stated in my previous post, when i said be gentle, it was a joke....i know that i will recieve constructive criticism on here that I can either use or ignore...and since i wanted help i posted so i could learn....my baby is a bonus:)

And I hope my comments weren't taken the wrong way.... I've seen it go bad before, when someone uses their own child and says they want a critique, but really doesn't. It's so hard when email/typing doesn't have the same inflection or tone that actually TALKING to someone does! So, hope it didn't come across wrong. It was meant with the best of intentions.