Technical: Nikon D90, 1/50 sec, ISO 200, f3.5, focal length 18mm, flash
This is well exposed with the fill flash compensating for the bright background on the porch. The composition is tight. Portraits where the subjects are close to one another are more appealing than if the children were widely spaced. The 18mm focal length gives some distortion with the objects closer (face then torso then feet) becoming progressively smaller. In tight quarters in a room, one may have to accept some distortion. But you should at least be thinking about it. In full face shots, if you move in close, the nose will be unnaturally large compared to the rest of the face. That sort of over the top distortion is used to make the viewer uncomfortable and would be good in the remake of a monster movie or for Halloween.
In my demented mind, I received this email from Susan this morning. (11/16/11) That would be three days before I scheduled this post to publish. How did she know how to read my mind. Then, I remembered that she and my wife are dear friends. And if my wife can read my mind, then ….
You have been sent 1 picture. “Your comments on your Blog made lots of sense. Thanks! I really like this photo but wish that I could have lit little Matilda’s face better. I did use flash and the roof window light helped to cast a more natural light than is usually seen inside. Did not crop legs ’cause it’s part of the ‘story’.” Susan
I replied to Susan:
The point of criticism is constructive. Your pictures are really good. It’s just that as you try to improve, there are things to keep in mind. So if there’s a little voice that says, change this or move that way, you will have a better picture. Your pictures are generally so good as too make me proud that my small suggestions had such a nice outcome in your work. Above all, I’m very happy that you keep trying to refine your skill. And, I am honored that you consider me a source of information (the point of this blog).
Oh, and the picture. If we could remember everything, it might be different. But, kids are in their own world and we are just there to watch. You kept within the parameters of what they allowed. Posing is nice but it is manipulative and may ruin a precious moment. The faces looking in different directions is a photojournalist style as opposed to formal portrait. Some people prefer one style over another. It’s about choice. And the legs, of course, and the slight wide angle distortion is perfectly acceptable. But if you are aware of it, maybe you want or don’t want it. Again, it’s a choice.