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MOD ADDED. Played around a bit with this, turned to b/w to retain attention only on the ducks and capture the movement better, the colours are secondary here and the message gets across regardless of the presence of colour.
Hmm I have mixed feelings about this. The subject is interesting but both the mono and the colour variant look like they are oversharpened, and it seems like there was some HDR treatment involved here, or wasn't it the case?
I'll check my other images of this beast and try find one that has more space on the RHS.
Paul's right, the image doesn't look sharp at all. Was this sharpened after it was resized for the web?
I like these, both mono and colour work fine for me. I think I prefer the mood in the colour version though, kind of fits more in my eyes.
An interesting subject here. I have some critique though for your consideration.
My UA goes to Lily... When my reaction is "WOW", it means it's a UA from me. And this had that effect on me. It's simple, effective and technically flawless in my opinion. There's detail in the highlights and the shadows, the lighting looks fine and the background creates enough contrast to make this more than just an image of a flower. Well taken and composed Willie, no wonder you're a source of knowledge to many on the site. Work like this shows where your critique comes from!
I like the idea here. My only suggestion would be to try to include the whole of the third leaf next time (top one, darkest leaf).
This is nicely composed and presented, and the square crop fits very well.
V1 and V2 are the best, V3 seems to be slightly out of focus, with the foreground rock being a bit sharper than the bird's beak/eye area. Also, bokeh isn't as smooth as one would wish it to be, but that has nothing to do with your skill as such, it's a question of lens characteristics I guess.
Thanks Nathan, Moira. I was indeed very low, belly-flat on the ground for a change. I find myself in this position more and more often lately. Layla's doing wonders at home, turned us all into big babies, what with all the baby talk and coo-cooing that's going on around her! hehe
It seems opinion is divided on the background, and I admit I'm torn about it myself as well. On the one hand I see it as a bit of a distraction, behind very similar in colour and very detailed for a background purpose, but at the same time it fits in with the theme being presented here.
Dear all, thanks for the nice comments! She's indeed a playful character and I love how this image captures that. The background could have been better but you have to make do with wherever they decide to strike their cute poses... at present, I'm utilising a lot of my free time crouched or belly-flat on the ground taking pictures of her!
Well spotted here - nice picture. Allow me some critique however.
Great work Chris, as ever!
An interesting shot here Nathan. I have some critique though...
Thanks all for the nice comments, appreciated. I'll upload a heavily modified version later (technically it's already uploaded, but it's not in Gallery yet), with the version doing away with some of the elements in the above image to make it more minimalistic. Would love your views on that one once I submit it to Gallery! Thanks.
I like this, but I think this called for a creative touch and some artistic licence. If you want, I modified this picture and would love to share the result with you to see what you think of it. Essentially, I copped off from the middle and joined the top part of the image (boat, horizon and sky) with the foreground area. This resulted in a 16:9ish image ratio, rather than your current ratio, and I think the composition looks better. It's digitally manipulated, but in my opinion it looks better this way. Would love to see whether you agree or not.
Interesting use of colour popping here, I like that. It's well executed with no spots missed, well done.
Thanks for the comments, I prefer the mono version myself too, as the textures did indeed come out better, plus there's a much more moody atmosphere to the image than in the colour variant.
Have to agree with John - look at the exam as a means to an end and you'll be fine. Keep learning, keep asking for help and comments and you'll keep on improving. But remember, the ultimate criticism comes from you - make sure you like the work you're doing and if that's there, then you keep on shooting and enjoying this wonderful hobby.