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How can i improve this picture ?

Please advise how this picture can be improved overall and also what all i could do in photoshop to achieve the same.

 Image not available or id is incorrect.   



Canon 450D
Edited: 03/27/2010, 05:02:01 AM

Make it larger...

ahh.. just kidding and could not resist... but no one can see it - as it is so small..


too much empty space on the left side, so you can crop that out.

crop a little off the top as well.

Hard to tell but is she close to the back wall and casting a shadow on it?

That would not be ideal. Not a very interesting bg - but hard to say..?

Stand her away from the backdrop next time to have more separation.

Does her hair have allot of strays which makes it messy?

Ideally would want a subtle backlight or rim light to set her off.

It seems the lighting is all from the front right now?

She looks happy though.

Maybe post the image again larger and I bet some portrait experts will probably give you additional or better guidance.


Posted: 03/27/2010, 08:01:35 AM
Agreed, the picture is very small :)

I linked it to the thumbnail from the rejected section, which i guess is not a good idea. Have now uploaded to picasa and linking from there:-

   Image not available or id is incorrect.   

Canon 450D
Edited: 03/27/2010, 12:13:34 PM
What do you want to do with the picture? Tweak it so it's accepted by DT? Make a print for the mother?

I would make suggestions but for me it would depend on what I was going to do with it.
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 03/27/2010, 13:03:52 PM

Originally posted by Wisconsinart:
Quoted Message: What do you want to do with the picture? Tweak it so it's accepted by DT? Make a print for the mother?

I would make suggestions but for me it would depend on what I was going to do with it.

Well, yes i would like to tweak it so it is acceptable to DT. But, that is not the sole objective. I would like to learn how i could have made this a better shot.



Canon 450D
Posted: 03/27/2010, 14:14:35 PM
I can't speak for DT but the shadow behind the subject is something that gets a lot of images rejected. If it were me, I probably would have cropped the image so there was no blank space to the left of the subject. I also would have used a different color background. A cheap backdrop is a plain, white bed sheet. Put more distance between the subject and backdrop so the background will be out of focus. I don't have professional lighting equipment so if you're in the same boat, have the subject sit facing toward a window; natural light can work well for photographing people. Sit the subject at different angles to see how the shadows work across the face.

With that said, portrait images generally do not sell well as stock. Concept and action images have greater chances of selling. Feeding the baby, changing diapers, playing with toys, a learning activity, those types of images will stand out from generic baby pictures.

You gotta love the eyes on that one, though. :-)
Nikon D800, D100, Canon G15
Posted: 03/27/2010, 14:29:10 PM
Let me try to help, I am not really a people photographer so I will just give my feelings looking at the image.

Her skin color is similar to the background so the suggestion of a subtle extra light at the back to separate her would be good also because there is a shadow there, alternatively she could be further apart from the background.

The flash light is too harsh on her, thats why it casts such a strong shadow and makes reflexion on the nose and lips. you could use an umbrella, a soft box or bounce it, it would help increasing the volume.

The catch light on hers eyes is good, the smile is great, the messy hair IMHO is funny.

The extra space maybe you dont need, the picture could be portrait oriented, but in stock sometimes thats a good thing (live space for writing something), so, you never know.

You could add a little bit more of the body IMHO, I dont like much the cutted flowers, but thats only a detail, and she looks a bit squeezed to the bottom.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Edited: 03/27/2010, 14:36:06 PM
+1 on bringing the subject away from wall.

Grater angle to this flash. Add another flash for fill. maybe third for hair/rim.

And lot's of googling: strobist, lighting tutorials and maybe a book from Joe McNally
Posted: 03/28/2010, 13:04:05 PM
Joe Mcnally is a good reading,
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Posted: 03/28/2010, 21:45:10 PM
Thanks all for the helpful feedback. Let me try all that you have suggested, will post back the results.
Canon 450D
Posted: 03/29/2010, 09:27:25 AM

Originally posted by Afagundes:
Quoted Message: Joe Mcnally is a good reading,

Do you mean 'The Moment it Clicks'?
Canon 450D
Posted: 03/30/2010, 11:28:21 AM
You can improve lighting, as it looks too direct flash- snapshotlike, and most of all the eye reflections. In the future, it may be a good idea to avoid direct flash, if you intend to use the images commercially. You can process the image quite well with several software and fix the eye reflection as well as brighten the overall levels.
580EX,Mamiya Universal, Intel Q6600 ws, Thinkpad T61 mobile ...
Posted: 03/30/2010, 15:47:00 PM
The moment it clicks is a very nice reading, I think he has others too.

Also, check the strobist site, its very insightful.
f/4L Canon EF 70-300mm IS/USM f/4-5.6 Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM/Macro ...
Edited: 03/31/2010, 06:34:05 AM
I don't think you can get this image accepted - the lighting (esp. shadow) is not great. The color is too matching as was said. Just reshoot in a better light.
Posted: 04/01/2010, 10:48:44 AM
You can't. Just shoot it again with a better background. As composition you can add some balloons to background. Or leave it blank for a designer.
18-55 mm IS USM Canon 24-105 IS L Canon 100 mm 2.8 Macro Canon ...
Posted: 04/08/2010, 08:55:54 AM