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Keep Shooting! Photography Assignments (04 Feb 2013)
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-your granddaughter looks a little soft, maybe a different focus point or smaller aperture for a longer depth of field
-I would like to see a slightly different composition, I would have shifted the image more to the left, the bush takes too much away from the main focus of the image.
-lastly would be to tone down some of the highlights in the background, they're just a little distracting to me.
I like the composition, the subjects, and the colors, however your highlights have blown out, and I'm sure that is because of the camera being in Automatic mode, it didn't do a great job evaluating the scene. Also with your camera in Automatic mode, the aperture it picked did not create a depth of field large enough to keep both subjects completely in focus.
Playing in manual, you'll learn how great you can isolate your subjects and make them pop out of the back ground. As well and giving you full creative control over the photo. Keep trying at it, you'll get it.
I don't want to come off as an exposure or Guru or Nazi, just stating what I think could have made it better. It still is a really good photo, and I'm sure anyone would love to have it delivered to them.
I just see that you have a knack for composition, and once you get the hang of the creative control over your camera, you'll be taking really great shots. Again my subjective version of great... But, you really do have an awesome camera, and the 70-200 even f4 is a really good lens. You have the tools available to take shots I only dream of, lol.
D800 w/grip, D700 w/grip,V1,14-24mm F/2.8, 24-70mm F/2.8, 70-200mm F/2.8, 200-400mm F/4, 105mm,F/2.8,35mm F/1.4,35mm F/1.8, 85mm F/1.4,1.7x Tele
For me, the first thing that hits me when viewing your image is compositional. My eye immediately was drawn to the beautiful pink flowers and then to the girls. Now a Japanese viewer would see the girls first because they read from right to left but as a western viewer, my first attention was to the elements in the photograph and not the subjects. I think when evaluating a comp (I think you did pretty well because I realize how fast a shoot goes) we need to first decide on our subject and make sure everything lends itself to accentuating them and not competing with them. Another thought in this vein is that the girls outfits compete with the background and it could be improved if against this beautiful, busy background, they were wearing clothing with no patterns and colors that were complimented by the scenery.
Technically, others have already stated the benefits of controlling the entire image with Manual mode vs. Auto mode so I won't touch on that.
For me, the girls are a bit too far to the right of the shot. Perhaps you had to crop something out on the right but I think this also lends more attention to the pink flowers in the foreground.
If you crop tighter and make sure none of the crop lands at a joint, you'll be fine. I think that would solve the issue with the girl's hand.
For me, blown out highlights are not that much of an issue all the time. In this image, they don't bother me although I don't like that the camera made that decision instead of the photographer.
Lastly, a 5-in-1 reflector would have been great to fill in the the girls' faces.
Can't wait to see your images shot in Manual, great work!
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