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#5358

What a cutie, I bet she can be a handful! Here are your photos with some minor editing:
DSC_2444-1_zps96be82ce_.jpg
DSC_2437-1_zpsbfad2922_.jpg

I like them both.  I like …82ce.jpg better though.  It may have flatter lighting but the expression is priceless.   Focus is off, but only just.  When there is almost no depth of field, accurate focus can be challenging.  If you back up a little, you will get more depth of field, you can crop to get closer again.  If you use a smaller aperture, you will get more depth of field, but you may need to increase ISO a bit to retain shutter speed.  With either method, more hair is apt to be in focus so the look will be different.  You could try using a different focus point, placing it on the near eye and shooting without recomposing.  There are lots of strategies for setting focus.  With almost everything in photography, experimentation and practice are your friends.

There are tools like a Spyder or Colormunki for profiling your monitor.  Without those you are at the mercy of the monitor’s manufacturer.  Some monitors are pretty accurate out of the box, others not so much.  Lightroom and I don’t get along as well as we could so I don’t use it.  I use both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.  Adobe Camera Raw comes with all three and it can do some amazing things too.  I think Lightroom has the feature but if not you could open the file in ACR to see the eyedropper, and placing the eyedropper over part of the photo, it will tell you the values for R, G & B.  If the dropper is over pure white, grey or black, all three numbers should be the same.  All zeros is black, all 255 is white, as the number gets smaller the shade is darker grey.   You can see relatively how much red, green or blue is in a colour at any place on your image by moving the dropper there.

It is your art.  If you want it to be warm, or cool, and you set it to make yourself happy, that is a good thing.  If it just happens, that is not as good.  Happy accidents usually are hard to repeat, unless you are very observant and can work out the components.

While I think of it… if you want to play with reflectors but don’t like the prices at your local camera store, you can get white foam-core from the local art supply store, which is stiff and easy to position.  It works pretty well and at a couple of dollars a sheet, it is a lot less expensive than most reflectors.  The art store usually has some mat black sheets as well which are great as flags for blocking light.  White plastic table cloths have been used effectively as scrims too, typically you want the cheapest, thinnest you can find.

According to Nikon, your D70 has Commander Mode, so if you have an external Nikon speedlight, you can take it off the camera and can still fire it.  Details here: http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11938/~/how-to-use-the-built-in-speedlight-in-commander-mode-to-control-remote.

Being able to fire the flash off camera gives you much opportunity for creative lighting.  If friends have Nikon speedlights you might want to borrow theirs as well since you can control more than one at a time.  The catch is the sensor on the speedlight has to be able to see the light from your pop-up flash.  With most models, you can control if your pop-up flash adds light to the scene or just sends semaphore to the remote flash.

Keep on keeping on… you’re doing fine.