Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maximum Security

Nikon D700, 60mm macro lens at f8 and 1/125th, 
ISO 800, flash in softbox on camera left

This was one of my submissions for our August assignment of Monochrome But Not Black and White.  I had processed this image in both color and a neutral black and white (in Silver Efex) but when I thought about what I wanted to say with this shot, I found that the sepia toning was more dramatic and it allowed the skin tones of the father and baby to have more contrast and yet looked more natural and organic to me.  I tried to emphasize the difference in the texture of the rugged, hairy arms of the father and the smooth perfect skin of the baby by adding a high pass filter and masking it off the baby's skin.  The judges that night thought the baby should have been turned more horizontally, as a baby is often held in that position but the father was holding him vertically when I shot it and I just cropped out the father's face in the upper left.  This was the only shot I took of the baby being held this way and I like how alert and awake the baby is, while being so safe and secure in his father's arms.
Another suggestion I got was that the baby's feet and the father's hand cradling them were distracting and taking attention away from the main subject of the baby's face.  I tried that crop below and am interested if anyone prefers it to the full length of the image I submitted.  I have to admit that I am biased and one of my favorite parts of this shot is the way those tiny baby toes are being cupped so gently and how the light is hitting the toes just peeking out. 

I do like the crop, but it is a different image for me... I guess I feel that it does not tell the story that I wanted to tell.


  1. Cindi, you are more important than the judges. I would produce the image that felt right to you.

  2. I like the cropped image and it does place more emphasis on the baby's face. That being said, it doesn't convey the story you wanted to show. The full length shot does that for you.

    I think the judges need to quit placing what they want to see, ahead of what the photographer wanted us to see.

  3. Sis, I think this photo is AMAZING, and I definitely prefer the full length shot. Now I know I'm not a photographer and so maybe I'm not qualified to judge, but I AM a person who appreciates art so maybe that in itself qualifies me. =) I think it's gorgeous and touching! Nice job.

  4. I am happy with the full length version, I was just curious what others think of the suggested crop. I think Wayne commented on Honor's night --- It's a Mars vs Venus thing. All the women have told me they prefer the full length image and more men like the crop. Interesting! I think if the father had not been holding his son's toes like that I would not have composed the image that way and would have focused on the baby's face but I taken so many previous close ups of his face that I wanted a wider crop and the hand/toes grabbed me.