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Right, now that I've finally figured out my a*se from my elbow and how to upload an image to a forum thread instead of a photo comment thread ... ... I would be glad of some feedback on an image that I uploaded to the group's photos section. Basically - how could I have done it differently? Is the crop too severe? Could I have adjusted the tones/contrast better to produce a punchier/softer/more pleasing image.
Here's the original image:
And here's the B&W version that I did and uploaded:
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The contrast between right and left is quite high to be a balanced image. I would try a reflector off to the left to soften some of the shadow - but maybe dodging in the left side a bit to lighten the shadow.
Focus is good. The top one looks a bit tight, or not tight enough. I know there are recommendations in portrait photography about cutting off at knees and elbows, I wonder if there is similar advice regards animal's ears?
The bottom image is better IMO, the space in the bottom right is 'empty' and distracting, and maybe a bit more space to the left as you seem to have cut off the corner of the eye and its eyebrow.
I had a playaround, first in Lightroom then in Topaz B&W. I think I prefer the original to the crop. What do you think?
I too had a go at recropping less tightly in Picassa, i was thinking of rule of thirds.
Mikehit - that's really useful feedback about the left hand side being unbalanced ... I hadn't even noticed that. I also agree about the space on the right being a bit distracting, but as I'd cropped quite close on the left hand side, I think I was trying to balance it up a bit, but obviously in the wrong way! As you say, if I'd allowed a bit extra space on the left, and cropped so that the edge of the eye wasn't cut off it would definitely make it better. (I'm still getting to grips with dodging and burning, but will definitely give it a go - I doubt he'd sit still long enough to use a reflector.)
Malcolm and Jack ... excellent mods, thank you! At first I thought that your mod, Malcom, was too harsh, but the more I look at it the more it appeals to me. I like the tighter crop of your mod Jack, and the way you've processed it makes him look the way a mouse would probably see him, right before that "Oh no, cat ...!!" moment
I still think I prefer the cropped image (just cropped not quite so tightly, as Mike points out above) but thank you so much for having a go at redoing it. It's amazing how differently we all see things, and always educational to see how others would process an image.
It all goes to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat! (groan)
I like Stuart's crop but, looking at the original, one of the most striking features is the colour of the cat's eyes.
I know it's not strictly mono - but I wonder how a mono conversion leaving the single colour in the eyes would work?
I did think about that LefForum, but was trying to be strictly 'mono' and wasn't sure if leaving a slight hint of colour in the eyes would pass muster or not! Still, definitely another thing to try when I get round to reprocessing it.
I'm not so sure about the focus. The OOF nose seems like a bit of a distraction to me?
I know what you mean about the nose being a distraction, but at an aperture of f/1.8 it was an either/or decision! It's all a learning curve and I'm still discovering how to manipulate the 'exposure triangle' to suit the subject and getting the image I want
I know what you mean TanyaH. I like using my Nikkor 50mmF1.8 and this is something which happened me too. A wee bit wider on the aperture will reduce foreground blur.
I did try a wider aperture on a couple, but the light wasn't great and even with the ISO kicked up a bit it was still giving me quite low shutter speeds for hand holding (and lets just say I don't have a rock-steady hand holding technique at the best of times ... probably all the coffee!).
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