Sunday, June 8, 2008

MBS: Dress Yourself

Help needed on the following pictures. PLEASE comment.

Can you see the white bridge at the upper righthand corner of this photo? I want to lighten the shadows so it is more obvious. I'm proud of myself that I "erased" a distracting cement bench.

I like this one pretty much like it is. I cropped it down a good bit so the rule of thirds are a little more obvious. Can you suggest any improvements? Maybe black and white? Desaturated?

I think these are my favorite EXCEPT that M seems just a tad blurry. I think I might have focused the fence and not her face. Also, the red leaf is COMPLETELY distracting in the color image. I tried to erase it, but any part of the aqua from her dress that I cloned wasn't quite the right color.

These pictures were taken at a local college, about 2 minutes from my house. Actually, it's the college from which I graduated. They were having a market Saturday morning. After visiting the vendors, M and I decided to do a little impromptu photo shoot. She was dressed TOO cute. She's becoming a little bit assertive about what she wants to wear. I made the dress, so I was thrilled when she wanted to wear it. She LOVES ponytails and wants two every day. The giraffe rain boots were her special touch to this outfit. It was just too cute to resist.

All of that to say, this is a place that is very accesible to use for a photo session. I love the white fence, the white bridge. The sun was a little bright, but it was 11:30 when we took these pictures. I might dress her up again this week and head over there early one morning.

Have any suggestions? Help me here...I'd LOVE some input. I really want to kick my pictures up a notch.

For other MBS, check out Mother May I?
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Megan said...


I LOVE these pics! Will you take some of our family there?

Maggie said...

Great shots - and you're right, she does look too cute! I can see a little bit of the blur on M, but only after you pointed it out.

Did you shoot in RAW or JPEG? If you are in JPEG then I am not sure that you can lighten the shadows on the bridge in the first shot. But I'm a total newbie to photoshop, so I'm sure someone else knows more than me!

Andi said...

I have no clue on the photography angle, except to say that I like the second and third shots the best. I typically like b&w shots the most, but for some reason, I prefer the color ones here. On the second shot, I think you have perfection. On the toddler note, I LOVE what she chose for herself to wear. Also, I went to that same college, and I have NO idea where these were taken- LOL! (Perhaps because I was on off-campus student...hee, hee.)
BTW, yes, lunch sounds me. I have a class to teach M-W until 12:30, but other than!

Arizaphale said...

I am the wrong one to ask about photos. I love the ones of her against the bridge and the red leaf actually doesn't worry me....don't worry though, Christina will probably have some good advice for you :-D

Tanya said...

You wanted input... :)

I didn't even notice the red leaf ;)
I don't know how to 'erase' things, so I'm no help with the white building.

Great shots.

Megan said...

here's my two cents (for what it's worth :):
1. if you have photoshop elements, you can use the dodge/burn tool to lighten up the bridge or possibly just lighten the shadows with the shadow/highlight tool.

2. with the cute b&w, play around with the contrast to make it pop a bit more. again, if you have PS, play around with levels and different ways to convert to b&w to see if you like the results better.

3. since you have this great location, try shooting in the evening; great golden light at that time and you don't have to worry about the harsh mid-afternoon sun.

very cute pics -- and subject :)! hope this helps!

Kara!!! said...

I think the photo with the fence is great - there is enough attention to both the subject and the background. :)

kim said...

I like the middle picture the best because you can see her rain boots peeking out from beneath the dress.

Have you tried using the dodge tool on your bridge in the first photo?

Colleen said...

I absolutely love the dress. It's just too pretty. And of course, the giraffe boots add just the right touch of fun!

I'm a bad one to ask about the editing stuff. I'm lucky to get cropped and lightened up a bit.

Jaimee said...

I love that last one in BW...excellent!

Never That Easy said...

I was going to suggest the dodge tool in Elements, but somebody beat me to it. Darn, as that's about all the help I could give you.

I will say that these are awesome pictures - I like the last one the best... the color shot over the B&W, only because of how gorgeous her dress is (I can't believe you made that! Crafty!)

Happy Monday.

susiej said...

SHe's brilliant... They crack me up, those boots... but still, she's brilliant.

Christina said...

My gosh, Nat, she is just too precious for words! Those boots are the cutest thing ever, and that dress is amazing!

Uh-oh, it seems I have a reputation. At least according to Arizaphale. LOL. I'll do my best.

These are fantastic. Really and truly. The location is great and I forsee a lot more pictures there - especially in the early morning/evening when light would be softer. I love both the second and the third pictures.

#1 - as others have said, try bringing the bridge out of hiding with the dodge tool, and lightening shadows.

#2- LOVE this one! I'd try adding a vingette and gaussian blur on a soft light layer to give it a dreamy look. Desaturation for a vintage-y feel would also be nice.

#3 - another winner! I love it in b&w. Again, a vingette (I use them a lot!) and up the contrast to make it pop a bit. I'd even like just a hint of sepia tone.

Hope this helps!

Golightly said...

Well, everyone covered any suggestions I would have made. So I will just second all the opinions at this point including that they are fantastic photos and the location is beautiful. Can't wait to see some shots in the golden hour.

Kyla said...

Oh, I love these! The fence photo is my favorite and I think I prefer it with color, red flower be darned. LOL. Beautiful!

Susie and Joe said...

those are beautiful pics nat. you are so good! i continue to be impressed! i really want to do a photo shoot soon and would love to go there!
thanks for feeding my husband last night! so appreciate that!
saw ashley m. on saturday and she told me she has "met you" through the blog!
hope you are having a good week!