Part 2: Continuing Education

Exploring photography with Lizzie, my new camera, and a speed light with a soft box.

Meet Elizabeth, my youngest daughter and most willing model. I still like this portrait a lot. I really love her eyes! However, I do see where improvements could have been made. First, I have her body facing the softbox. This is causing the light to strike her shoulder and chest making them brighter than her face. This causes your eye to bounce between her eyes and her shoulder. Another way that I could have solved this problem is to have blocked the light from falling onto her shoulder with a piece of mat board. Second, I would not center her in the frame. The composition could be improved by placing her on the right side with her eye on the third.

Exploring photography with Lizzie, my new camera, and a speed light with a soft box.

The next portrait needs all the help it can get! Everything from above applies here as well. I have both compositional and lighting issues. What do you guys think about her head being so tight in the top right corner? Her eyes really do have no where to look do they? Any other suggestions?

5 Replies to “Part 2: Continuing Education”

  1. Your daughter is lovely, Ellen. And the picture is as well. I agree – her shoulder is distracting. I wish the scarf had covered it, because I really like the combination of the scarf with the background you chose and how they enhance the soft light on her face. Beautiful patch of Rembrandt light on her cheek, btw. The good news is that it would be really easy to fix in photoshop – just make her shoulder black to match the rest of her shirt. I think you could also crop the picture, it feels a little too centered. Maybe take off the excess background on the left, have her face on the edge of the frame? Break some rules!

    As far as the second shot, I don’t mind her head in the corner, I like the overall pose but maybe you could crop the bottom 1/4 of the frame to lift the focus more toward to her face. ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will definitely try your suggestions in Photoshop! I can hardly wait to learn how to use it. Your advice means a lot to me. I would have never thought of bringing her closer to the left side, wow!


  2. The one thing I want to point out between the two images posted above is the feeling. In the first, it’s a portrait. In the second, you have captured a true moment, and have done it quite well. All this image needs is a slight crop off the bottom just below the bust line just under the sleeve on her camera right arm. I honestly feel you have a winner here, and I don’t feel the head is too high once that slight crop is made! Great job!


    1. Daniel, thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it. When I learn Photoshop I will do that. The color seems a bit off to me? Maybe you could show me what you would do with it in Photoshop?


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