These aren't bad for a point and shoot, but there are lots of compositional problems. Also, I really really wish you had ironed the backdrop. The wrinkles are very distracting.
1. Body angle looks akward. Watch out for limb chops...you've got two here, her fingers and her foot. I don't like the angle you're shooting from, wish you had been down lower. The composition is off...her eyes should be in the top left third crossection of the photo. The softening effect you're using is too strong and is making the photo look dull and gray.
2. Better, but it looks like there are blown bits on her sleeves. You've chopped her fingers again. There is something weird going on with her eyes in this one...one is smaller than the other. I'm not feeling the vignette, just too strong.
3. Again, that soft effect is making her appear dull and grey.
4. I really don't like the desaturated look of this and you've got a huge distracting limb chop.
5. Looks like you've blown bits of the shirt again. This one would probably be the best of the bunch if you took away the softening effect.
6. The color, clarity, focus and exposure are good in this one...but the composition is not very strong. She is completely centered which gives the eye nowhere to travel and wastes the space on the edges of the image.
I think the softening effect is just a touch outdated. We look for clarity in the image. I think you like that it is reducing the harshness created by your flash. I know you're really limited with your P&S, but when you get your new camera, really work to find natural light so you don't have that harsh light the flash gives.
Oh, and skin softening is different than an all over softening effect. Skin softening is great for reducing that harsh flash look, but it's important to keep the details (edges of the nose, mouth, hairline, etc..) sharp and clean.
For removing grain...there are a few free programs that are great at that. I use one called "Neat Image" and there's another that is called Noise Ninja...I think.
Here's a link to the Neat Image website. http://www.neatimage.com/
I totally understand being excited and forgetting composition, but with your current camera, it is the easiest thing for you to fix and work on. You're lucky that your first subject was a girl who is old enough to stay put..you should have had plenty of time to get the composition just right.
This is what CC is for, to bring your attention to the things that you can fix next time. Next time...slow down, take your time...get the shot just right. Composition is the hardest thing to fix in post processing. We can monkey with exposure, color, and even sharpness and clarity in photoshop, but it's REALLY hard to add fingers or get the pole out from behind your subjects head.
Last edited by AmberBella; 11-14-2009 at 12:33 PM.
Amber has given good advice. definitely run the last one through a noise reducing program. I use Noiseware, and there's a free version that does a great job. I agree that you don't want to add softness, especially to an older child. I think sometimes with babies, depending on the photo, you can add a dreamy feel, but it doesn't work so much here.
As far as the wrinkles, try throwing your backdrop in dryer with a wet towel for about 15 minutes to try to get those wrinkles out. Easier than ironing.
Gwen, Mommy to Andrew, Jordan, Natalie & Jack
My blog - all things family, photography and crafty
Hello. Just wanted to jump in to say Amber has given you great cc already, but I agree on the softening effect of the photos that you are using. Your pics in the second batch that you posted are more appealing to me. What a great opportunity to practice on someone other than your own kids!