Because I have to start somewhere....

Started Oct 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
jbf Veteran Member • Posts: 3,547
Re: Because I have to start somewhere....

It's possible to save this photo.  However, unless the girl is important to you and this is the only photo you have of her, I'd say that it would be much more efficient timewise to take another photo.

You already put some effort into editing the photo.  To me, the background is still very distracting in your edit.  You really need to extract the girl and replace the background.  That's the part that makes the edit difficult... extracting her while maintaining the detail in her hair.  It's definitely doable, but it's not easy to do effectively and that's not the only issue with the photo.  Another problem is that there isn't much light on her eyes.  You already attempted to fix that in your edited version.  People instantly notice unnatural looking eyes in photos so you need to be careful when working on them.  It's easy to end up with demonic eyes.  That's not the case in your edit, but even without seeing the original it would have been obvious to me that you messed around with the eyes.

Another issue is her expression.  I don't think it's bad.  I like seeing different aspects of people's personalities, and this photo does show some personality.  However, when you crop the photo it becomes a portrait and this isn't the most engaging expression for a portrait of a child.  As I said before, if this is your only picture of her then it's worth making an effort to fix it.  Also, if this expression is particularly meaningful to you then it might be worth taking some time to work on it more.  If this is just an experiment, then the main lesson to take away is to find good light and try to isolate the subject or find a background that enhances the subject before pressing the shutter.  It's usually very difficult to fix a photo that was composed like this one in post processing.

Another thing I noticed is that the edited version looks significantly oversaturated, plus the image quality isn't great.  Maybe ISO 800 is pushing the limits as far as noise goes on your camera.  When you crop out a small section of a photo the noise becomes much more of a factor.

If this is just an exercise to get some feedback then hopefully my comments will help.  If this is a photo that you really want to save, I recommend posting it to the Retouching forum.  They should be able to do some great things with it.


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