JMK - Need some CC

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Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977
JMK - Need some CC

I'm starting to get frustrated with myself again, and it's been a while since I've asked for CC, so I guess it's time.

These were taken inside, in front of our sliding glass doors. I had my speedlite attached, and bounced off of the window behind me.

So, first of all, here's one SOOC. It's a good indicator of what the others looked liked before I edited them. I'd love to get closer to them being good SOOC, so I'd really like some feedback on this one, because it's obviously dark.

This was the setting for all of them
Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture f/5.6
ISO Speed 400


And the edited version




Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3413

First off ... don't be too hard on yourself. You ARE getting there. Aside from being a little under exposed, that first shot has great focus and composition! And look at those catchlights! Did your light meter tell you it was under exposed? Did you check your histogram after taking a shot to see what the curve looked like?

It's dark. With your settings, I would say to open your aperture more, if you can. If that is not an option, drop your shutter speed a little. You can get away with slowing down to about 1/125 before motion blur should become an issue. If you don't want to risk the motion blur, you could bump up your iso a bit more. I know that noise becomes an issue for many of us (myself, for sure) but bumping to iso 500 shouldn't be too much different than 400 and you can always try some noiseware if it is.

With all of that said, I love your edits on these! They look clean and bright. You got GREAT LIGHT in both of their eyes and it really makes them shine.

#4 looks a little cool to me, but just a tad.

I hth and that you will feel more confident with each and every shot you take!


EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

Your SOOC as Gigi mentioned is underexposed. That is why it's nice to take pictures Raw so that you can make the exposure adjustment. On the light meter, I then to go 1 stop up. So instead of being at zero, go to +1 and see how your exposure is. Lighting is flat. You can tell from the catchlights, it is dead center in their eyes or at 12 o'clock. Flat lighting is not always bad. I think directional lighting gives the subject dimension. Instead of directly in front of the sliding door, try angling them at 45 degree or so. I am lost in lighitng too. I am trying to find it.

There was an exercise, I read on ILP about positioning your subject straight on the light source then start moving them ever 15 degrees and you can see how the light changes.

Hope this helps!

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

I think you're doing great Stephanie! Your focus is always so good--the images are just underexposed. You already got nice CC there. Personally I'd open your ap as much as you can. Do you have a 50mm? Try keeping your ap more wide open for portraits and see if that helps.

I just wanted to add that with the first shot--his eyes are dead center horizontally in the frame. And because of that, the way the bottom of the picture ends right at the end of his chin, it's just a bit of an awkward composition. Try to follow the rule of thirds, so with a tight portrait like that you'd want his eyes at the one-third line. HTH!

ELF331's picture
Joined: 06/22/08
Posts: 199

I think these are really good! I loved reading the CC, it's so helpful to see what you girls have to say!

cazzoom's picture
Joined: 06/22/02
Posts: 1315

I love those. I want to photograph eyes like that!!!!

Love them.


fudd8963's picture
Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 1630

You've got great CC already. I wanted to say that WOW, those eyes on both of your boys are BEAUTIFUL and you did a great job capturing them! I'm really bad with exposure, but I almost think the edited ones are a little too bright. But with that, I have VERY sensitive eyes (when I was only 23 my eye doc threatened that if they got worst I wouldn't be able to drive at night, so they are REALLY sensitive to the light). So I always have a tendicy to underexpose pics.

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

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the feedback! GiGi, I don't typically look at the histogram. What should it look like? I try to keep an eye on the light meter though. With my flash attached, will the camera know and compensate for it on the light meter? Or will it show that it's underexposed?

I'll have to try again and posisition them at more of an angle to the window. I had them slightly angled, but I, too, noticed that about the catchlights. I thought that the light was going to be more on the side of their eyes then it was. The next sunny day, I'm going to try it again at more of an angle. Too bad it's really cloudy today. I'm anxious to try again!

I'd like to know if everyone thinks they're a little bright on the edits. I always had a tendency to not brighten enough before, and was always told that, so I have been going brighter lately.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2352

I don't have much to say since, if I took these, I'd be breaking my own arm patting myself on the back! I think they're beautiful -- focus and eye contact are amazing -- and I guess getting exposure just right takes a lot of practice, but your edits are great.

EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

I think your edit is a tad bright. But as long as you are not clipping your highlights/shadows you're good. I would keep your CMKY/RGB level below 240, that's my preference.

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

I'm looking at these now on my calibrated monitor--they are a touch on the bright side. Your red channel isn't blown, but it's pretty close in the high 240s (blown is 255). I only opened #3 of Jackson though. Bright is good, but it can be tricky sometimes. I also see more yellow in Jackson in that picture, especially in the shadows.

I know I'm being picky, but since you asked I'd love to point you in the right direction! Smile

Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 485

I know how you feel, I think I take 2 steps forward 1 step back when it comes to exposure. I just can't get it right without the aid of post processing! You are taking some wonderful pictures, though! Just keep practicing! Those eyes...just AMAZING. You've nailed the focus, well done!

connorsmum's picture
Joined: 11/29/02
Posts: 1160

I think you will find that the SOOC isn't actually underexposed, or only a smidge, it's just that there seems to be a huge fad of making images super bright. Don't get me wrong, I tend to brighten my images of the kids too, but try to keep it below 245. Cute kids with amazing eyes!

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

Nothing to add because you've got some great CC already. Just wanted to say I seem some great improvement in your shots. Your focus is always so spot on. And GEORGOUS catchlights.