Friday, March 19, 2010

Constructive Feedback Friday!

I Heart Faces will not be having Fix-It Friday this week. It will be Constructive Feedback Friday...a time when beginner photographers can enter a photo to receive feedback on it. I'm so excited because I definitely qualify as a beginner! LOL

I took a bunch of photos this day and had problems with them all.  They were dark and not in focus totally...but he was cute and the setting was gorgeous!  I really appreciate any help I can get with how I could have taken this pic better and how I should edit to make it usable.


My attempts at fixing this:

I used PSE6 to edit this photo.
Shutter speed: 1/200
shutter priority
ISO 400
focal length: 30mm

 I don't know if this is allowed, but if anyone would like to edit this photo and post a link to your edit...please feel free! I could learn a lot from that.
Edited to add a few more fixes that I worked on today and to say that I have already learned so much from this!  Thanks to all of you who are stopping by!
New color edit...still off though.

And a chocolately black and white.  Do you think this is too high contrast?


  1. Actually you edited it pretty well! If you're familiar with masking I'd try to saturate the sky. As for advice on taking this picture so it looks better SOOC I'd recommend using polarizing filter.

  2. I agree with the previous comment.. I also think you could mask out a bit of the brightening that you did on the photo on the background of the trees and sky... You loose a lot of the richness in the deep green colors.. Perhaps a higher apeture something like a f6.3 could also have given you a little more bokeh.. this could also assist with affecting your lighting..

  3. Not a whole lot you can do with the sky is a white sky. I've always learned that when the sky is this way, to leave as much of it out of the photo as possible. So if you were posing him, I would have him lying on his stomach and focus more on the ground rather than the sky. I think your fix is pretty good too. You brightening him well. I would add a bit of warmth to his skin tone. On the first fix, I feel the grass is a bit too green to be realistic, but I like his coloring better there.

  4. Another trick some photographers use is to keep a file of interesting sky photos - just sky, nothing else - and then replace the sky on photos like this where you have to overexpose the sky to expose the subject properly. had a tutorial about that semi-recently - it was probably in the last month or so. :)

  5. I might get blasted for it, but I'm going to say you could have used the flash. Sometimes when it is so bright outside the flash helps to soften the shadows on the face.

  6. I would also suggest that when you are taking photos outside in bright sunlight that you drop that ISO to 100 or no more than 200.

    It is an adorable photo! I may play with editing it a bit later this morning as I'll be sad to not have a Fix It Friday image. LOL

    From the Heart of Texas

  7. Actually, Linn - i agree with you. Flash is not a bad idea outside at all! I would suggest a speedlight rather than the on-camera flash but try the on camera and see if it helps! [I've never used my on camera flash. Ever. So i don't know how it will work.] The flash will help with blown skies too.

    I think you might have had better luck with a wider ap to let in more light. Also, how are you metering? Because it looks like the camera metered for the light behind the subject.

    You did a good job in post, bringing more light on his sweet little face. I would be careful about that neon grass though :O) The second edit is better.

    If the sky really bothers you, you can edit that in Photoshop - not sure how to do it in Elements though.

  8. I am just going to second some of the suggestions you already got.

    ISO - no greater than 200 when shooting in direct sunlight.

    Using a filter.

    Also, try using a light bounce (you know the large white circle you see photographers holding) and bounce the sunlight back to his face to avoid shadows.

    The more you do pre-photoshop the less chance of overprocessing or creating noise you have.

  9. I'm not at all qualified to give my advice, as I'm a beginner myself. But I do want to say that the photo itself is fantastic!! :)

  10. Great shot! I'm your newest follower!! I participated too. Here's mine...

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  12. I personally LOVE the B&W edit and no, not too much contrast for my liking. I think you did a great job of recovering this picture. One thing ~ I notice you took the photo is sutter priority mode. I would always use aperture priority mode when taking portrait type shots and keep the aperture nice and high, depending on how much of that grass you want to keep in focus. I love the composition of the picture though. I wonder how much yummy sparkly green bokeh you might have got with a high aperture shot!? Personally, because the distance IS all in focus, this is why I prefer the BW ~ it gives a great look to the image, almost urban retro, but not quite!! :)

  13. I played around with your photo a bit. I'd love to edit it if you want to send me a full res copy. It is such a cute picture!

    I have a few suggestions for you. The first is that I would have shot this with a much lower aperture. I'm not sure what camera or lens you are using, but I would have tried to shoot this as wide open as you could. If you did that you would have been able to lower your ISO to around 200 while still keeping the shutter speed high enough to get a nice sharp photo.

    Also, I usually meter off my subject. In this situation it is almost impossible to get your subject and the sky properly exposed, so I would go with the subject. One good way to do this is to get up close to the subject and fill the frame with his face. Get your meter reading and then back up to where you want to take the photo and use the settings that you got when you metered up close. This will definitely blow out the sky, but it will give you a properly exposed cute little boy :-)

    Hope that helps!

  14. Thank you so much, everyone! I have a whole set of photos from this day and I wish I had taken them better. Honestly, I didn't know what I had done wrong but your suggestions give me some ideas.
    Frogmum...I think I was using shutter priority mode because most of my pics of Miles are blurry because he's always in constant motion. But I will try aperture priority more.

    Kerry...I would be unbelievably honored if you wanted to edit any photo of mine! I'm a huge fan and your work blows me away. I have your blog saved because I have a new granddaughter on the way and I need to learn how to take newborn pics (yours are gorgeous!). How shall I get you a full size version of this pic?

  15. I'm no pro or anything but I really love this photo. I struggle all the time with composition so I really appreciate a well composed one when I see it.
    I chime in with everyone else on shooting with the most wide open apeture possible here. My eye would have been happier with a blurred background.
    I don't know if this will work well with your blown out sky or not but here is a cool tip I found:
    It may make the sky look to fakey but it may be worth a try.
    I really enjoy the black and white edit you did. Really nice work, Candace! : )

  16. Great link, Teresa! I don't think I can do that in PSE but it was still really interesting!

  17. I think the edits you did are awesome!!

  18. Hi Candace,

    I was wondering if you would mind sending me an email at iheartfaces (at) hotmail (dot) com. I'd like to ask you a quick question. :)

    co-founder of I Heart Faces

  19. My favorite is the chocolately black and white one. I love this picture. I think it is gorgeous! Wow. Your son is so cute: )