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Family portrait

Discussion in 'People' started by cincyMAT, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. I took this photograph as a favor to my neighbors. they wanted a "vacation" look to the portrait and decided not to wear shoes. I know the little guy is out of focus (believe me I tried), what else do you see about the picture that needs improvement. I really want to be good at family shots so your help is appreciated.

  2. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Shooting data?

    Before commenting extensively, I'd like to see some shooting data. I do like the shot, except for the little piece of bridge, which is a distraction, since it's not really serving any purpose in the shot.
  3. Steve,

    Here's the shooting data:

    Nikon D2X
    Focal Length: 45mm
    Optimize Image:
    Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB)
    Long Exposure NR: Off
    High ISO NR: Off
    2005/07/10 19:19:53.0
    Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
    White Balance: Auto -2
    Tone Comp.: Normal
    RAW (12-bit)
    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
    AF Mode: AF-S
    Hue Adjustment: +3°
    Image Size: Large (4288 x 2848)
    1/180 sec - F/4.5
    Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached
    Saturation: Normal
    Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
    Sharpening: None
    Lens: VR 24-120mm F/3.5-5.6 G
    Sensitivity: ISO 100
  4. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Well, Matt, about the only thing I see is that you shot @f4.5, and if you wanted to be sure you got that little wiggle worm in focus, you could've stopped down more to say f7 or 8, which is is the sweet spot of that lens anyway. You'd need to increase your ISO to 200 or even 250, to keep up your shutter speed, which is good.
    did you see all my Polish farewell party shots? They were all done in ISO 400. They're clean as a whistle.
  5. Todd_D1x


    Feb 23, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Hi Mark. The lighting in the shot is good and soft, I like that. I am pleased to see you had them choose the same color outfits ( less distracting that way). the posing is good but next time think about raising the dad just a bit higher and organize the family in a triangle formation just so the eye flows easier throught the photo. Not a big triangle but in that fashion. This way you will be able to bring everyone closer together. I would also like to see more of the bridge instead of just a piece of it, but I am not aware of what your background looked like to the left of the family. Otherwise it is a great shot, we all need practice and with that you should do quite well with the rest of your portraits to come, thanks for sharing and I hope I helped.


  6. I really like the shot...they all look great in it. The only thing I would do is smoosh them together a bit more in a couple of places. The dad's right arm showing through and the background under the older boy's right shoulder are a bit distracting. Easier said than done, I know! The photo definitely says "vacation," and I'll bet the family is thrilled with it!
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    The look the little redhead is giving the camera is priceless.

    As it might be too late to go back, perhaps you could clone out the bridge with more grass?
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    I noticed that little redhead too!

    After going back and looking again noticed that great look she's giving the camera. Also noticed the father's right arm, which wasn't so attractive where it was.
  9. Thanks for the time taken to review this photo. I appreciate all of your inputs. I'm finding family photos challenging when younger children are involved. In this situation, out of all the photos taken with this pose this was the only one where the little boy and the little red head were both looking towards the camera at the same time. The very next snap (about a second later) the little red head had her skirt over her head!

    Next time I work on:

    Tightening up the group to help conceal arms etc.
    Keep extraneous items out of the shot
    Higher shutter speeds
    Better group symmetry.

    Thanks again,
  10. gilbert


    May 6, 2005
    So. CA
    I agree with what the previous posters critiqued on. Also, it may be the jpeg compression, but it seems to me that the grass is more in focus than the family is. Without seeing the full-res photo, it's hard to tell for sure. Overall, I think it is a nice photo and you achieved the casual vacation look you were looking for.
  11. tweber


    Feb 12, 2005
    St. Louis
    I think the feedback you've received is quite good, especially the part about raising the Dad up slightly. One thing I do in this situation is move to different angles as I'm shooting, just to get a slightly different perspective. For example, moving to the right and taking the fence out of the picture or slightly to the left to include more of it. I'm often surprised at the angle that looks the best when I see the proofs on my monitor.

    With that said, I totally understand the challenges of getting all the kids at the right moment. You did a fabulous job with this shot. It's clean, definitely vacation and with a nice casual feel. The expressions are really very good.

    Nice job.

  12. Very well done Mark!! :D  :D  :D 
  13. Thank you for posting this photo. I am trying to learn about portrait photography as well and I am interested in reading all of your replies. I think it is a really nice effort. I bet the family will be pleased with it.
  14. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
    Mat Great family shot, The only a couple things I would have done differently.

    add a little fill to open up the faces a little.
    Move mom and dad via a head tilt tward each other a little more.

    Nice shot!

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