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17/04/2014 - 9:30 AM

Butterfly, Again!

Butterfly, Again!Hi Ishan, I think that the processing means that this has become a photograph of the flower with a butterfly on it. Looking at your original I think that you could tone down the flower so that this becomes a butterfly photo. When there is a very bright colour in an image our eyes are drawn straight to it as the eye/brain tends to concentrate on the dominant aspect of what it's perceiving. Try putting your hand in front of your screen so that the flower is masked and suddenly the spotted body of the butterfly becomes much more obvious. The background here is absolutely perfect for making the colours of the main subject stand out, it's just that you have accentuated the dominant colour and so taken the viewers attention away from your principal subject.
You seem also to have masked the head with one of the petals, so I do hope that you have more versions with the whole butterfly.
Keep working on it, you are getting there.
Alan
28/02/2014 - 8:19 AM

Spitfire at Duxford

Spitfire at DuxfordA fine shot, but I would be tempted to take the F-15(?) out. It's not distinct enough to contrast with the prop driven aircraft, so it has become a bit of a distraction.
Alan
Alan
25/11/2013 - 8:49 AM

The long walk

The long walkBoth are good records of the location. If you want to call a photo something like "The long walk" you need to make the walker a little more prominent. I prefer v2 and I have uploaded a mod. The bottom part of the image doesn't add much - you get a sense of the desolation from the upper village. The lower village is too small to add to the images and the hill to the left lacks a focal point. To deal with that I cropped it and put an S-shaped curve in to boost contrast. Keep working at it, the more you do and the more you study other photographers' work the better you'll find your images becoming.
Alan
25/09/2013 - 8:51 AM

Shipwreck 3

Shipwreck 3Very interesting and good composition. For the mono to work you will really have to work on the sky. There is some texture in the colour version that you need to bring out, otherwise that area is too lank.
Alan
30/11/2012 - 8:29 AM

Weiskugel / Pala Bianca

Weiskugel / Pala BiancaHi, Brian is right, there are exposure problems, but I see that you set the camera up to under-expose by 2/3 of a stop. That's your main problem.
Time for some basics. A camera meter tries to create an exposure which on average matches a mid tone - the 18% grey card. Ignore that technicality, basically it will make white grey, or black grey if left to its own devices. So to get white as white you need to over-expose, and not under-expose as you have done.
Ok, leave that to one side. Modern meters are very good, the manufacturers have built in a lot of examples and it will nearly always get them right. So in all these cases I would let the camera do the metering on one shot and then experiment. Once you have bought your memory card you can repeat photos in tricky situations and keep the ones that are best. If in doubt shoot in RAW and bracket around the camera's suggested exposure.
Next it is whether to shoot in RAW or not. If you shoot in RAW you can play with the exposure to get detail without the snow going grey. Have a look at this shot from the Aiguille du Midi. I shot in RAW to make sure I could manage white balance and bring in the highlights without losing detail in the snow.
You can have detail and whiteness, the trick is to balance the whiteness of snow with the detail we see at the time of taking. It's a diffcult trick, but it can be done.
Hope this helps,
Alan
26/09/2012 - 8:48 AM

Fairy Falls

Fairy FallsA fine shot, though I would have used a less intense ND grad. At 10mm and f16 the line between the dark and light areas is too obvious. The shot is taken in RAW so you could easily have burnt in the clouds more selectively.
Alan
20/05/2012 - 12:53 PM

Another Rainbow

Another RainbowA nice capture, though a tad soft. You shouldn't be afraid to give a bird a bit more room in the frame. By the look of it this is a big crop. Giving the bird a bit more from would, it's true, reduce it's size in the image but at the same time it would appear to be sharper. The key is where has the subject got to go? At the moment it looks like it's in a box and looks a bit cramped. Keep trying, we're all learning.
Alan
10/02/2012 - 8:48 AM

Tornado

TornadoHi Gary and welcome to the site. First of all it's a bold first upload as there are some fantastic fast jet images on here, and it's a good start.

I like Willie's modification it gives you exposure and the detail you need on the aircraft. But I'll add my there ha'pence worth too.

Exposure: the plane is about 2/3 stop under exposed and maybe 1 stop. You are using shutter priority so you can dial in +2/3 stop (Refer to page 101 of your instruction manual). Take a few shots and if you think you need to go to one stop do that.)
Shutter speed: 1/30 is too slow - your EXIF shows you were using 1/320 which is more like it. Make sure on the 100-400 that the IS mode is correctly set - mode 2 is best as this only compensates for vertical movement when you're panning
Processing: you're shooting in JPEG so it will be harder to correct the contrast range than if you were to use RAW. When you are processing a RAW image it is possible to bring back some (but not all) highlights so you shouldn't be too concerned about over exposing the clouds in order to get the aircraft properly exposed. The mantra that sharpening is the last thing you do applies to re-sized photos too. oOu are not using Save for Web as the EXIF is still available so here are alternative workflow for you to try in PS/PS Elements.
a) Process the basic file -> resize ->sharpen by applying unsharp mask -> upload.
b) Process the basic file -> resize ->copy the background layer ->(working on the background copy) filter -> other ->High Pass -> Adjust the slider to between 0-5 and 1 so that edges are visible in the greyed out image -> click OK -> in the Layers Palette click the drop down list headed "Normal" -> select Overlay and the image will re-appear -> go to Layers and select "Flatten Image" -> upload.
Both methods work but I prefer the High Pass filter method as I find it more controllable.

All the best,
Alan
06/01/2012 - 8:23 AM

A study in Yellow

A study in YellowHI Steven, I really like architectural shots like this which challenge the viewer. I'd like to see another version where you've stepped to the left a little or you crop the right, because at the moment the strong curved vertical cuts the image in two so the top right is somewhat disconnected. Another angle might not work, but I think it's worth the try.
Alan
05/01/2012 - 8:55 AM

Rhino in my garden!

Rhino in my garden!A nice shot Kathryn, though I might have darkened the wall slightly. You don't need to sharpen every time, but if you do then only do it after you have resized. Use unsharp mask for this as the last thing you do. If you are using Photoshop or Elements, an alternative is to use the High Pass Filter, which I find more subtle than unsharp mask.
You can do this as follows. Duplicate the background layer. Go to Filters >Other. Select High Pass. Your screen will go grey and a slider appears. Adjust the slider until the edges of features become just obvious through the grey. Click OK. In the drop down above the layers window select Overlay. The layer now becomes transparent, main features become sharper but you shouldn't find you have the issue you describe. Now flatten the image and upload it.
Alan
29/11/2011 - 9:01 AM

Venice

VeniceIt's an excellent night shot, but it's a shame you cut off the top of the tower.
Alan
16/07/2011 - 6:24 AM

Lakes and mountains

Lakes and mountainsA fine shot. Just as a matter of information. What you see through polarising sunglasses and a polarising filter won't be the same necessarily. When you fit a filter and you turn it to get maximum effect in the sky the filter is at a different angle to that for sunglasses. They are set at the angle that reduces reflections off shiny surfaces which is a different angle from the one that darkens skies and reduces haze. Also you need to be aware that polarisers work best when the sun is to one side of you. Looking at your shadows it would have been effective. Good polarisers are not cheap and as Banehawi has said you'll need for each lens diameter. Also for wide angles you'll need to be cautious about vignetting. Polarisers can be quite deep and often cause intrusive vignettes.
ALan
03/04/2011 - 3:14 PM

War Memorial

War MemorialHi, this is a good first attempt, but it's neither a shot of the memorial nor of the sky. If you want to get the idea of space around the memorial you'll need to use a wider angle lens. What you've used is a fairly long lens even at its shortest focal length. I would suggest maybe about 30mm to give more sense of where the memorial is placed and also to show more of the sky and that lovely cloud.
Alan
22/02/2011 - 10:00 AM

Curious Frog

Curious FrogA nice shot, but not quite sharp on the frog. The rim of the glass just in front of it is where the camera has focussed. I would take it again with only the centre focus point active. Focus on the eye and then re-compose will greatly improve things.
Alan
23/01/2011 - 1:02 PM

Hawker Hurricane

Hawker HurricaneA nice try, but the shutter speed is too low at that focal length so there's camera shake. You need to be using about 1 over the focal length you are using or 1/1500s in this case to get acceptable sharpness. Looking at your EXIF you could have used ISO200 and an aperture of f11 to give you roughly 1/600 for your shutter speed. In addition lenses are at their best at between f8 and f11 so you're not gaining anything with f20; in effect you are trading sharpness for depth of field and at the distance you are shooting to an aircraft depth of field is not so important as sharpness. I hope this helps,
Alan
23/01/2011 - 12:41 PM

Annoyed

AnnoyedHi, a nice shot and it reminds me of one I took on a walk in the Kruger area in South Africa. That time too our guide moved us on quite quickly when a young bull had had enough of us. I think you could improve this with a tweak in levels and vibrancy as the contrast looks a little low.
Alan
01/01/2011 - 11:56 AM

Scalebur

ScaleburForget Marmite, which I hate, I like both of these. The mono is dramatic with excellent contrast and differential light. The colour has a beautiful mellow feel to it.
Alan
18/11/2010 - 3:30 PM

Chard

ChardI like this a lot, but I think you could improve it. The picture is about the light coming through the leaf and creating the contrast and the bright patterns and silhouettes of the veins. That leaf to the left is too dark, so I suggest cropping to lose that.

Cheers,

Alan
07/01/2010 - 11:17 AM

Sand, Sea & Snow

Sand, Sea & SnowA well caught scene, and well done to start uploading. I could think of a few things to do to improve it. I think if you cropped about a third of the left and top, so that the start of the snow on the beech is close to the edge. If you crop the featureless sky to the same extent would still leave you with a good impression of the conditions and would give the forlorn figure much more prominence. Try it at home to see what I mean.

All the best,

Alan
24/05/2008 - 11:37 AM

Sunset Over Arran 3

Sunset Over Arran 3OK here we go. First i like this one from the point of view of mood. I would have tried a version with a faster shutter speed to freeze the sea. Sometimes that works too.
I know you were trying for a milky sea, but the most effective shots like that seem to be done in winter or when the sun has gone down even further. Like me you seem to be a little impatient - a family trait. I would have waited another 15 minutes or half an hour when more light has gone from the sky and from the scene too, but the contrast between sky and sea would have been a lot lower too. Three stops on the grad should be the most you need.
Use the camera without filters as a light meter to compare foreground and background exposure. When the difference between the two comes down to three stops (or 2 is even better) then recompose with the filters and you'll get the chance for much longer exposures.
The sky colour is your other concern as the red may decline, but in the right situations the colour will change sometimes in remarkable ways.
I know your tripod won't go any lower, but you have a bean bag so use that to get the camera right down to ground level. take a bin bag with you to lie on.

Above all else keep trying. Go and play with your new toy too, but watch the 10-20 mm with the filter holder, something that wide will vignette very easily.

Himself