I finally had the opportunity to photograph my neighbors' six-month-old son! Isn't he a little blue-eyed heartbreaker?! It was my first shoot done in a quasi-studio set-up. I made lots of mistakes, but I think I also learned a few things. Below is information about the shoot. I'd appreciate everyone's feedback before I give the photos to the parents. Thanks!!!!
Setup: ottoman with blue sheet as backdrop about six feet from glass patio doors. Sliding door opened to let natural light in. Walls are painted yellow; Draped wall facing subject in white. Stood in front and to the sides of subject, sometimes outside, on the stairs.
Time: 5:00 p.m.; fading light.
Camera/Settings: Nikon D40, 35mm/1.8G lens; all shots between 1/200 and 1/400; started at f/3.5 and ended at f/2.5; Ugh! Didn't notice until today that ISO was 800. Had MAJOR problems with autofocus (low light/contrast? low battery?). Had to resort to manual focus for some shots.
1. Sorry for the large size on some of these. Not my favorite, but I loved the eye contact. I'm having an issue with red color cast in most of these. Any tips?
6. The red beanbag is causing major color cast on his face. I've reduced the red but think I need to play around some more.
8. Shot requested by parents. Dad's an engineer. I don't like the line the beanbag makes across the picture, but I love his expression.
DS: Tyler 4/19/06
I really like the dark blue background! I don't see the red color cast in any but number 6!
1. I think this one is my fav. Maybe try a closer crop b/c we can only see 1/2 of what he is holding.
2. His eyes are in the center. Remember the ROT. I struggle with it too, but this one just was too centered for me. Cute shot though!
3. This one just looks more like a snap to me b/c mom and dad aren't interacting and baby isn't looking at you.
4. cute! Love that smile!
5. just wish one of them was looking at the camera, or they were looking at each other.
6. try to crop the background out and just leave the beanbag. I think that would help also with the ROT.
7. just wish mom was leaning IN to him, not away from him IYKWIM.
8 . great eyes.
The only thing I can add other than that is to watch your ROT and to smooth out the wrinkles in PP. Great job! I am too scared to start studio!
Sadie- mommy to Ruthie & Randy
Thanks for your feedback, Sadie! I agree with the eye contact/interaction. Between the fussy autofocus and easily-distracted baby it was a little tough, but hopefully I'm learning.
Here's a recrop of #2. Does it look better? I wish I had more space to play with on the left and right of his limbs.
DS: Tyler 4/19/06
Good job on the set up. Sounds like a lot of thought went into it.
1. looks very soft. Is it the processing or is the focus off?
2. I like the newly edited crop better.
3. Eh, not sure about this one. If you could tell they were looking at the baby, it may be a better capture.
4. The foot chop is distracting. Maybe crop a bit tighter?
5. I know what you were going for, but without some sort of closer crop or some of dad's face it makes little connection.
6. I like this one, but his skin is looking a little too blue.
7. Sweet one of mom and baby.
8. I love this one, but not thrilled with the crop.
~ Jennifer ~ Check Out My Blog
Rylee Elizabeth & Tyler Ray
I cloned the background in the wrench picture so that the beanbag covers the backdrop. I like the composition a lot better but am not sure about the edit. Does the place where the hair and beanbag meet look too wonky? The hair was very soft, so it was hard to clone and make it look nature. I don't plan on printing the photo larger than 5x7. Thanks.
DS: Tyler 4/19/06
Great job on your first studio shoot. I think you already figured out why some of your pictures looked soft. With a very open aperture focus tends to get "iffy", in my case anyway. I try to stay with the lens sweet spot, typically 3.2 for most of my lens.
The way you shot #2, I feel like you are shooting up his nose. You need to get to eye level with your subject so that it would be more pleasing to look at.
-El mommy to B & A
Just chug-chug-chugging along.