This is brilliant Alannah.
I feel that it could only be improved with more depth of field, just enough so that the outline of his nose is and the upper part of his eyelid is all in focus.
Maybe try F13/14 to get all his nose etc in focus when so close up next time to see if it works, you know what its like with macro, the closer you get the shallower the DOF. But having the eye in focus and the gentle fall off in focus still works nicely. The other way you could do this but get more of him in focus would be to back off slightly and get more of him in the frame, then crop it in photoshop, but then you would end up with a smaller image.
Its very nicely lit, what lighting did you use?
Still a 98% out of 100 from me.
Great composition, details and colours too
Thanks so much for the critique Angi,
I did want to use about F13, but you know what the light is like at the moment, very dark and dull, and I don't like using flash on them really, so I just had to work with the light I had.
I used these lights - [link] I can't really afford any proper lights at the moment, but these seem to work fairly well I might try buying a higher watt bulb for them to try and get at least f8
Thanks again Angi
I know what you mean regarding flash, I prefer to bounce the flash rather than fire it directly at them.
Another soloution in the reduced lighting could be to increase your ISO - I forgot to look what you had it set at
Yet anothersoloution to help increase your light could be using a reflector, you can buy 5 in one reflectors on ebay quite cheap, but I sometimes use a piece of A4 card covered in foil for small subjects, but it can be difficult getting it propped in just the right position, a small beanbag can help, or an extra hand
I have the ISO on 400 in this shot, once I hit 800 the noise becomes obvious though, and the quality instantly lowered..
Hmmm, would a reflector be much help though? I have the tent set up in front of a glass door, with one light each side of the tent. I only really have light problems in winter though that's the thing. Otherwise I might consider investing in a flash or more expensive lighting.
Would you have the reflector in the tent then or what?
Yeah, I find the same with the 450D the noise is noticable at 800ISO, annoying really.
The reflector would only help inside the tent, it would not increase light enormously though, but have a play with a piece of foil on something in the house, or even on someones face where lighting is only good from one side and you will see quite a difference. You will need to play around with positioning and angles though.
Mind you if you were using a light tent that should have reflected some light anyway. How about losing the light tent, using your lights with a white diffuser cover and using a reflector.
I find the reflectors very useful for reducing shadows. I know a few people use small reflectors or foil to photograph mushrooms out in the woods, no additional lighting or anything, but just that extra little bit from the reflector helps to get magical lighting.
Not all Flashes are expensive. I use Yongnuo flashes which are incredibly cheap and I have found to be reliable too
Hmm, maybe i'll try build some mini reflectors I can place in the tent. I kinda need the tent thought otherwise Zack&Zee will just run off lol. They've already discovered they can climb onto my camera sometimes! Naughty little monsters
Might be worth trying higher ISO settings to get the smaller apertures in similar conditions, and see how you feel about that tradeoff?
ISO at 400 is okay, but once I hit 800 it becomes noticeable and quality is lowered. One reason I want a new camera body
I don't think the 450D is that bad myself, I use it to 1600 and even wish it had a 3200 setting
Is it only noise? Or the reduced dynamic range also a problem too? Noise can be controlled by noise reduction software or if you go raw, a good converter will handle it nicely. But either way yes it does start to cost fine detail when pixel peeping. Dynamic range is harder and to me leads to dull looking images however much you process after.
I use RAW now, but the noise thing in there only seems to work on colour noise..
Things seem to look a lot less sharp with high ISO too which I don't like.
The detail loss at high ISO I don't think will ever really be overcome short of a revolution in imaging techniques. I go for "good enough" not pixel perfect every time.
Definitely noise is a problem, colour noise is the easy one to process. You can get rid of remaining grain but usually that just makes everything look blurry. So the fine grain from a good converter is often preferable.