I struggled with these (CC)

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Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
I struggled with these (CC)

I'm not one for really taking pictures indoors, but with the weather so cold, it's been the only choice I've had lately. So I'm trying to find the best posisition that I can in the family room in front of the sliding doors. And I'm working with make-shift backgrounds and stands. I've just been using an folding clothes drying rack with a blanket draped over it. I should probably try a sheet sometime to see how it works out.

Anyway, I normally just take headshots of the boys when I'm indoors taking photos. Well, I've been wanting to get some photos of Jackson sitting in the Tonka truck that Carson got for Christmas. So I decided to go for it the other day. I didn't have a lot of room to work with, so I was having a hard time getting what I wanted.

I don't exactly want to share these, but here's what I got. I figure that I won't be able to get better if I don't share! So I'd really like some feedback on these.

Exposure 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture f/5.0
Focal Length 55 mm
ISO Speed 800

Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 55 mm
ISO Speed 800

I don't even feel like sharing the only one I got that has the entire truck, but I will. The focus fell on the background, and the lighting looks weird. I was really having a hard time figuring out where to bounce my speedlite so I wouldn't get shadows when holding it in portrait.

Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/4.5
Focal Length 34 mm
ISO Speed 800

All in all, I feel like it was a fail. I think I needed to move him a little more away from the background, but I just didn't have the room to. I didn't spend much time on PP. I think I just brightened them slightly. I think that when the weather gets nicer, I'll move this outside and give it another try. I feel so much more in my element when I'm outdoors.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2392

He's so cute in the truck! What a fun idea! The eye contact is fantastic and the exposure and lighting look good to me, though I struggle a lot with those things so am not exactly a good authority.

I think the only thing I'd say is that a sheet might work better as a backdrop. The blanket actually looks a bit like carpet to me or something -- just a bit too textured or something, and I keep looking at it rather than Jackson and the truck. Also, I was wondering what you'd think about trying the same shot with him in a different coloured shirt? Just thinking that the yellow shirt with the yellow truck is neat in that it matches, but a different colour shirt might help visually. A red shirt maybe, or blue? Something to provide contrast between him and the truck and make them both stand out? (Again, total novice here, so if that's a bad idea perhaps someone else will chime in!)

mlark1128's picture
Joined: 05/09/07
Posts: 742

The first one there is definitely my favorite--I actually like it better that the whole truck isn't in the picture, b/c then we focus on HIM and not the truck, but the truck is still a cute prop if that makes sense. And his expression is cute there too. Wink

I'm on my work laptop so I won't comment on color/brightness, but I wanted to say that if you can't move him farther from the backdrop, can you open up your aperture some more? shooting at f/5 and above is going to make it harder for you to blur the background. What's the widest your lens will open? If I'm just shooting one kid I rarely close up beyond f/2.2.

You're not failing!!!!! Smile

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3450

I think Tracy has already hit upon some good points. but again, I want to tell you that I think you're being much too hard on yourself.

You got EYE CONTACT ... with a TODDLER! who manages THAT?!?! Focus looks really good on them all. I'm seeing a yellow cast, but I'm at work and everything looks yellow here, so take that w/ a grain of salt.

More distance between him and the background would help a lot to tone down that texture. If you don't have room to separate him from the background, can you open up your aperture more? That can have a similar effect. Also, increasing YOUR distance from your subject can help with that.

I actually like the yellow shirt with the yellow truck, but yellow can be a lot of trouble with color casts. Perhaps if you had a different color - more neutral - background it might help with the effect.

Keep posting. It'll help. And the good news is, you are not far off.

Hang in there!


Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I opened it up my AP as wide as it would go with each shot. I so want a new lens! I just have my kit lens (18-55mm) and my 55-250mm, which just doesn't work in the house unless I'm doing closeups.

Totally get what you're saying about the blanket being too textured. I'm going to have to see about using/getting something else. Of course, by that time I'll be back outside lol!