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4  Comments - NLCC #5- Finding the light

I am so glad that I am not the only one that puts the kids on the table to take photos!
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This is a great example of finding the light. She has great catchlights and lovely light across her face. I see what Molly and Anne mean about the distortion. Thanks for explaing that
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It is really lovely picture of your dd - very natural!

Rebecca - I'm so glad you posted! I was beginning to think that this assignment was too hard/too weird for everyone, LOL.
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The distortion is the first thing I noticed, too. Yup, that's a trade-off when you're dealing some of these tight places. But you can minimize it, sometimes. In this scenario, you could have put her further back on the table so that she wasn't quite so close to you. Of course, the light drops off if she's further back. Tricky, I know.
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I'm going to disagree slightly with Molly here (a rarity!) about placing her in the patch of light. What happens if you do that is that the light comes too strongly from directly below her, and causes what Paul calls &quot;monster lighting.&quot; I think one of my examples showed that very thing (I had to clone out the shadows that were created on the tops of DD's cheeks b/c of the light from below.)
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What you might could have done is to move the table so that it's closer to the window, and then have her sit almost up against the wall, so that the light was almost more sidelighting (which creates pretty shadows). You also help yourself out with the settings by moving the table closer to the light (which would allow you to get better exposure, and maybe lower your ISO).
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South-facing windows cause those patches of light on the floor. They're tantalizing because they're so bright, but they cause problems. I recently shot a 9-month old, and realized later that a similar patch of light had caused bad color casts on one side of his face throughout the shoot. Next time I'll put down a matte finish black cloth (such as velvet, which soaks up the light) to keep the light from reflecting so strongly on the shiny wood floor (which creates yellow casts).
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I would also re-crop it so that the negative space falls on the other side of her face, so it doesn't look like she's about to lean out of the frame.
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But I agree with you - it's a great shot because of her wonderful smile!
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Anne

I think your use of light is great. <img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/smile.gif'> I agree that it's a bit underexposed, and since your SS was 1/200 if you want to shoot there again, I think you would have the latitude to up your exposure a bit without worrying about ISO.
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The first thing that struck me, though, was the distortion of her head, which comes from the fact that you were in such close quarters and used a wide angle. You said that she was sitting on the table. I might be inclined to sit her body sort of in the sunbeam on the floor, but with her head in the shade. So if she sits sort of on the back edge of the patch of light, due to the angle of light, even though her torso would be in direct sun, her head would be higher. I think that would give you a bit more length to work with space wise, and allow for a longer focal length, thus giving you a more flattering shot of her.
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Also, there are still some fairly strong color casts due to the yellow walls. That's the nature of shooting in small spaces, though, so you just have to really work with it in post.
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All in all, though, I think this is a great job and I'm so happy that you were able to find an unexpected spot for some shots! <img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/smile.gif'>

LOL! I just noticed...in the pull back shot of the table, you can see her foot! She was playing under the table with our cat. <img border='0' src='/graphics/mbicons/smilies_v2/smile.gif'>


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