My Son: thoughts on composition etc?

Started May 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
apaflo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
Re: My Son: thoughts on composition etc?

Overambitious wrote:

I really like shooting in natural light but am on a steep learning curve with my photography. Two areas I'm working on most at the moment is composition (this photo is cropped according to what I thought was pleasing) and shooting using PP to process RAW photos. Any thoughts on these aspects would be great! Thanks.

That is a GREAT shot!

Technically you've almost, but not quite, nailed it. Edit it with something where you can look at an histogram while working. The highlights on a person's face should be at values of about 230 to 250. Most portraits are best in the lower half of that, but some BW images are better a little higher. You lose the ability to see detail at anything above about 245 (and that is true for computer monitor displays and prints too). Your image has no highlights anywhere near that. If you increase brightness and contrast together, to get the highlights up at about 250 but keep contrast high enough that the blacks are still down below 20 or so, that image will have more pop.

Artistic composition is a judgment call, and yours is as good as mine or the next guy's. I thought that would look a lot better with a 4:5 aspect ratio, mostly because much of the bottom area doesn't need to be there. What I ended up with was a crop where the hand in the lower right is just above a diagonal line between the corners, and the center rung of the ladder is vertically centered. It puts the little guy's face about 1/3 across horizontally (and unfortunately it is a little lower vertically than would be best, perhaps).

That's what I liked, but ten other people might like it edited ten other ways, and we would all be "right". So what you like, or what you believe your specific audience will like, is really what is important.

Whatever, that is just an exceedingly nice image. (Just be very careful when you show that to the boy's mother, because she is going to get emotional!)

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