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Girl on a playground

Discussion in 'People' started by Kevin Scott, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. This is a shot that took place during my first paid job. It was a 13 member family reunion. This is one of the grandkids and I had asked the mother if she would allow me to take some shots of her primarily for me to use for advertising and on my website. The shoot took place in a school so for these shots we went outside and it was taken on the "playground".

    My primary interest in portrait photography is high school senior portraits. My intention was for this shot to illustrate a location style shot.

    I'm not sure if I like this or not. Don't know if there are too many distractions. I've played around with vignettes, etc but just can't decide if it's usable or if I should have her come back to take more shots (which I'll probably do anyway to get some formal shots as well).

    What would you have done differently? What can I do in the future to improve this kind of shot? Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2005
  2. PixelPete

    PixelPete Guest

    Hi Kevin,a lovely shot of a pretty girl! I see what your saying about the distractions but at the same time you'd be limited with what you could use as a background at a school playground I think.This girl would look great on the steps of a college entrance with a hint of the college in the background.It would represent her age more acurately.Im not sure its possible to take a bad picture of a pretty girl though? Yes the photo is usable IMHO and Congrats on the paid job!
  3. I think that this shot would be very appealing to girls looking for a photographer for a senior portrait. I like it. I would definitely use her for more of your sample photos. She is so pretty and you did a great job capturing that beauty.
  4. Smart man Kevin, I too would have asked to take her picture. Very nice image and as Terri said, it would make a great senior photo.
  5. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hi Kev,

    I am also learning how to shoot portraiture better, Papa Tony would recommend using a liquify tool in Filter and click once (maybe twice) in her right eye which is a bit closed as compared with her left.

    With regard to the location, I like to shoot in a forest preserve setting if there is a wooden bridge over water shooting from a low vantage point upward. The location options are endless, I stopped by the local Helix store and paged through a posing book and got plenty of ideas on how and where to pose models.
  6. Surprise! I was expecting a picture of a toddler. We're all somebody's grandkid, but I don't think that's the best descriptor for this knock-out of a model :Love:.

    Capital idea, even if you didn't need any.

    The youthful primary colors are fine, but the bars enclose the subject, and the strong diagonals drag my eye out of the center of the frame. Placing her in front of the slide would have allowed you to use narrow DOF to blur the structure, so that it would complement rather than compete. Jmho.
  7. Not very good critiquing poses and technique but bring this girl back she is drop dead gorgeous
  8. RForshey

    RForshey Guest

    Hello Kevin, I will offer some advice, but only because you asked! First, distraction caused by the blue in the backround could have been minimized by opening the lens up a bit more. For portraits, the best starting point is F5.6. The railing "cutting" into her arm and chest on the right side detracts quite a bit. Taking it from the angle to where the railing was on either side would have "framed" her more.

    On the positives, great lighting, and an excellent shot! Great job..
  9. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005
    Hi Kevin

    I think it is a great shot of a beautiful young lady.

    Love the colours but do tend to agree that the bars, (but for me, only those infront of her) are a distraction.

    I have removed one and rebuilt her shoulder etc to let you see the effect without.

    It can be done much better if you really wanted to keep the shot but it gives an idea.

    You can hide if further with a vignette/blur etc and I think that might resolve the issue raised about the bars.

    Otherwise - still a lovely photo.

    All the best


    My adjustment to illustrate

  10. Great feedback everyone! Much thanks for that! Hopefully I'll get another chance to shoot with her. Both she and her mom are willing to do more. I think she's just so pretty and was hoping there might be a way to salvage this shot. Thanks Ray for the ideas of cloning out the bars.

    This shot was taken at f5.6 & 1/100 with the 85/f1.4. We only had about 20 minutes outside, it was miserably hot and she was having great difficulty with the brightness of the sun, hence the squinty eyes. I originally had moved more in front of her but that background was even more distracting. Since it was an elementary school, the playground was the only thing there (it used to be a KMart, believe it or not, so only concrete parking lot as an alternative). I like the idea of the steps/college shot. Location shooting provides so many alternatives.

    Thanks again for the feedback. I'll still need to decide if it's worth trying to salvage. Maybe with some Photoshop magic it could make an interesting portrait. Just don't want to put it on the website if it sucks! :wink:
  11. Two or three foldable reflectors could help the lighting situation and the squinting. These are available with different reflectors on each side. The fold with a twistr and store in a very portable round pouch. A basic set might consist of gold, silver, white, black, translucent. For example have someone hold the translucent over her to soften the light. Use the silver to bounce a little fill light in from below. Good lighting helps reduce background pblms also. And with reflectors you can see the light modification before you shoot (unlike flash) and less Photshop work is required.
  12. RayGuselli


    Oct 18, 2005
    Hi Kevin

    Forgot to say,if you look closely, I opened her right eye a little.

    However, for me without any processing, it looks great.

    Don't lose it - it is a keeper imo.

    All the best

  13. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Are there any other grandkids like this one? Does she like candy?
  14. Here's an approach.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  15. Hi Muril,
    Actually, I do have a 5-in-1 reflector and used it that day. My intent was to diffuse the sun by using the translucent one. We tried it but still was too bright out for the girl. We ended up moving to the other side of the apparatus and I used slight fill flash instead. Thanks for the comments.
  16. Thanks Ray! I'm not sure how I feel about the eye opening thing. I played around with the liquify filter but wasn't overly excited about the results. May just need more practise. Thanks for the encouraging words!

    Ken-You're funny!! Actually, she has an older sister. Maybe I should post her/their shots?:wink:

    Frank-Now that's an idea that I hadn't thought about. That might have potential. Thanks for taking the time to ponder and demonstrate! :smile:
  17. DanWhite


    Jul 10, 2005
    Lansdale PA
  18. Thanks Dan! I recognize the name from dpreview and have seen many of his postings. I also have his website bookmarked as I like his style. Thanks for stopping by!
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