Cogito ergo sum
by: © Kurt Seljeseth
8.4
Overall
Rating
9
General
impression
10
Subject
of photo
9
Composition
& Perspective
7
Use of camera,
exposure
& speed
8
Depth
of field
9
Color &
Lighting
7
Focus
General
impression
Greetings Kurt, This is definitely an improvement over your photo that I reviewed previously. Since the subject is clearly so dear and near to your heart, I suggest you spear no effort in making some great images of this lovely baby. You will be both happy about it many years from now. Since you already show a good handling of the basics, the next step is delving head-on into lighting. It may not be a matter of "life and death", but it certainly is a matter of "light and depth"!
9/10
Subject
of photo
The subject and the moment are great!
10/10
Composition
& perspective
The background is nicely out of the way and does not compete for visual attention with the center of interest. The separation of the foreground from the background could be better though. Since the DOF is already the best you can get out of this lens, there are two more things you can try: 1. increase the distance between the foreground and the background, while maintaining the same short distance between the camera and the baby 2. artificially create a bigger separation in Photoshop, to get an even more three-dimensional look The tight crop is good and serves the subject well.
9/10
Use of camera,
exposure
& speed
1/40sec at f/1.4 tells me that for a 50mm lens you are close to camera shake. If your ISO setting is already high, it's time to bump up the lighting level. A first good try could be hanging some big white bed sheets on the walls, to use them as home made reflectors. For more radical means of improving the lighting, contact me by email and I will be glad to discuss details.
7/10
Depth
of field
Even though your lens can do f/1.4 this is not the sweet spot for the lens. Try a smaller aperture combined with a bigger distance of FG to BG and some appropriate blurring in Photoshop.
8/10
Color &
Lighting
The choice of monochrome is very good. It supports the "Cogito ergo sum" idea and the subject of love and tenderness. The lighting however, could definitely stand improvement.
9/10
Focus
Everything looks good, except for the position of the catch lights. You need to watch the relative position of the eyes and the main light in the space.
7/10
Description
[1/40sec at f/1.4] This is a color photo post processed into b/w in LR. I took it as I noticed she had reached the stage where she had begun to wander off in thought - th  see all >
[1/40sec at f/1.4] This is a color photo post processed into b/w in LR. I took it as I noticed she had reached the stage where she had begun to wander off in thought - thinking; ergo the title.
Technical Details

Nikon D80

Lens: Prime: Fixed focal l
ISO: 200
Flash: None
Reviewed by GuruShots Pro
Joseph Siroker
20+ Years
United States
Artistic
8 Jobs
How to improve your photo
1.
Patiently maneuver your camera position to achieve the following goals: 1. Increased distance between FG and BG, while maintaining the shortest working distance between camera and baby, i.e. shoot when the baby is most away from the background and you are the closest to the baby. 2. Baby's eyes look directly into the lens. You can use sounds, toys, props, other people, anything that is handy at the moment to achieve this goal. 3. The baby's head, the main light in the room, and your camera are positioned relative to each other such that you get great catch-lights. Good luck with being very patient and trying many times, because these three together are a demanding bunch of constraints!
2.
To get into lighting in a fun and instructive way, you cannot beat: http://strobist.blogspot.com/ The current lighting bible is: Light Science and Magic 4/e [Kindle Edition] If you email me and express your interest in learning lighting, I will be delighted to help free of charge.
3.
In the olden days you shot a picture that you liked. In the digital world, you don't shoot what you like; you shoot what Photoshop likes, and only after you get done screwing around with Photoshop (or Lightroom, Aperture, etc.) you might like or not the result. The point is that at the moment of capture you should have some idea of what you are going to do in Post-processing, so that you can do the shot keeping this in mind. Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that you are using LR but not PS. If that is so, you are missing out only on the most powerful thing on Earth after God. Sometimes I look at the sky and think that God is a beginner in PS, because you can surely make a better sky in PS. The point of this suggestion is delve head-on into Photoshop as well. Photography is easy ... unless we do it right!
Get your photos reviewed by this GuruShots Pro
Joseph Siroker
Experience: 20+ Years
I do not photograph what I see; I photograph what I imagine. I want viewers to be thinking and feeling beyond seeing, because what is essential is invisible to the eye. We look with the eyes, but we see with the brain. My goal is to make the invisible visible. Photography is easy; - unless ...
Specialty:
Artistic
Location:
United States
Jobs: 8 Jobs
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