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alistairfarrugia's Gallery Comments

alistairfarrugia > alistairfarrugia Recent Activity > alistairfarrugia's Gallery Comments
Lemon Bookmark! by alistairfarrugia

Lemon Bookmark!

Thanks again Colleen! Stub197, once you get an empty fish tank, it's irresistible!

By: alistairfarrugia

The Strawberry (1) by alistairfarrugia

The Strawberry (1)

Thanks Colleen. I'm experimenting with high-speed stuff at the moment. Smile

By: alistairfarrugia

Locked Doors (1) by alistairfarrugia

Locked Doors (1)

Moira - I'm a little bit surprised you didn't recommend a BW conversion here. I guess the colours add a lot here, right? What do you think?

By: alistairfarrugia

Step-by-step, we learn... by alistairfarrugia

Step-by-step, we learn...

Thanks. Smile It's been a while since the last time I visited the site. Need to find more time again!!

By: alistairfarrugia

S M I L E by Philpot

S M I L E

Do those tripods support that gear reliably? Interesting shot btw. Wink

By: Philpot

Amanah ku by ipoenkgraphic

Amanah ku

Another great shot.

By: ipoenkgraphic

Sebuah Persahabatan by ipoenkgraphic

Sebuah Persahabatan

Glad my vote brought you up to 30. Fantastic work here. Was this scene constructed from multiple shots or did it actually manifest itself in front of you "as is"? To what extent is this a photo in the traditional sense, or a digital construction? I'm curious, as it's really well-made and regardless of how this was arrived to, it's a superb piece of work. Well done! Smile

By: ipoenkgraphic

Dwejra's Coast (Gozo) by Carl86

Dwejra's Coast (Gozo)

Carl, this is a great place for long-exposures. Nice one here.

However, with these, make sure you check colour balance in post-processing as the ND filters tend to introduce a colour-cast in the image. In this one it seems that there is a purplish-colour overall that I think detracts a bit from the image.

Keep it up xbin!

Alistair

By: Carl86

relaxing by gkey

relaxing

A simple landscape that has interesting shapes and textures. Well done.

That said, I think the mod improves on the image, as it also places the protruding rocky area in a more "pleasing" position in the image. In the original image, I think it was a bit too central. Generally, and in particular for landscape shots like these, it is more advisable to use the "rule of thirds" in your composition. Having had a quick look at your portfolio, I am under the impression that you either prefer not to adopt this guide, or else you might be unaware of it.

For the sake of clarifications, the "rule" is, in truth, a guideline that suggests that when composing an image, one would generally end up with a more pleasing image if subjects of interest are "placed" on a third intersection point in the image. This is done by "dividing the image" into nine equal segments by mentally drawing two vertical lines and two horizontal lines across the image, equally spaced. Where the lines intersect would be more ideal places to "position" your subject. For instance, in portraiture eyes are generally placed on a third-intersection point. Same goes with landscapes, whereby it is generally a foreground subject that occupies a third-intersection point. So on and so forth. There are a number of tutorials, even on EPZ, on how to use this guideline, as well as when NOT to use it.

One final comment, is it my eyes or is the mod slightly less saturated than the original image? I think you can even go slightly lower and get a pleasing image, though the more saturated version also shows more vibrancy and warmth, something that I like as well.

Hope I helped,

Alistair

By: gkey

The Wasp by alistairfarrugia

The Wasp

Agreed Nathan, this was handheld and looking down. Need to improve in that dimension! Thanks.

By: alistairfarrugia

Grand Harbour Views - Malta by alistairfarrugia

Grand Harbour Views - Malta

Thanks for the comments. And Carl, thanks for the heads up about the identification of the place. It is indeed Gardjola Gardens, Senglea, not Fort Saint Angelo as I first listed down.

By: alistairfarrugia

SmartCity Malta by alistairfarrugia

SmartCity Malta

Willie: to be clear on this one I was processing this to end up with a mono-shot. Finished processing it and saved as a mono-file. Then, I wanted to save a colour variant as well, but didn't re-process for that one. I simply switched off the B/W layer and ended up with the colour image as above. I think that's why it looks a bit off. Plus if I remember well this was indeed in-camera HDR to begin with. Wink

By: alistairfarrugia

In His Element by alistairfarrugia

In His Element

Thanks Pamela, interesting points raised and a good mod. My only gripe about the mod is that maybe his face is a bit too close to the topmost edge now. Otherwise I like it. In particular, I'm impressed by how the bottom part of the front-wheel still seems to retain a good shape despite the stretch/transformation applied on it. I would probably not have picked up the change if you hadn't mentioned the added canvas at the bottom.

Correct me if I'm wrong, was your focus more on bringing the chair to the fore, as opposed to the workman?

Thanks!!

Alistair

By: alistairfarrugia

Vole by trevorjones100

Vole

A cute fellow and a good shot, despite the limitation you've raised. In situations like these it's often hard to get a clear view unless you either move around or somehow attract the vole to move somewhere a bit more free from foliage. Both have their implications of course. Sometimes waiting and waiting yields to nothing anyway, plus not everyone possesses the ultimate virtue of patience!! On the other hand, trying to make it move towards a more promising position might actually make things worse and make it flee!

In such circumstances, it's often best to make do with what we have and in that respect I think you did a good thing of capturing this regardless of the foliage. It seems to me that focusing was correct as the subject's eye is quite sharp in comparison with the blurred foliage.

Given the absence of any EXIF data, we can only speculate on other aspects, like whether or not this was taken at maximum aperture, what shutter speed was used and at what ISO was the shot exposed. More feedback would be possible in terms of technical consideration if such data was provided.

Finally, as a matter of composition, I think I would tend to crop a bit tighter here, possibly allowing for more space on the right than on the left and position the vole's eye close to a third-intersection point, or even closer to the mid-point using the "golden ratio". This is all "typical" composition critique, but I think it adds value here. I'll upload a modification to show this. What this does, in my opinion, is reduce the ratio of foliage-to-vole and give more prominence to the vole itself as opposed to his "hidden" position amongst the greenery. I also added a bit of rotation to make the vole look "up" as opposed to down. The rotation "straightened" out the bottom part of the vole and made it parallel to the photo-edge.

Hope this helps!

Alistair

By: trevorjones100

Wheat by dusfim

Wheat

Bongu Mario!

I have a mod for you too, I considered changing the direction here to make this a bit more "positive", simply by flipping it horizontally. I think a line that goes left-to-right, upwards portrays a slightly more positive mood than one that goes downwards left-to-right, at least in the Western hemisphere. Given that spring and lively greenery is typically associated with life and good stuff, I think a "positive" mood would suit the image better.

Otherwise, I like this, it's simple and well executed! Keep them coming.

Alistair

By: dusfim

Bench - Abstract by alistairfarrugia

Bench - Abstract

TanyaH, there is indeed a slight tilt, the top part shows it the most, but even after straightening along that top line it transpires that the wood is a bit curved towards the middle part. Straightening it on any of the vertical lines would induce a tilt somewhere else given that this is a bit imperfect in its construction. However, I did have a go at it again and came up with three more variants Wink One is a recreation of V1, edited slightly for a bit more balanced presentation. The others are square crops, one in colour, one in b/w.

A

By: alistairfarrugia

Black Horses by bara

Black Horses

You get my UA for this, great shot!!

If I may though, I think this could have worked just as well without the cloned in shrub(s). Though they help to "frame" the horse I think a wide expanse of landscape would just be fine here as well. It would be interesting to know why these were added from your end. Thanks and well done once again. Stunning work.

By: bara

Message in a bottle by kuipje

Message in a bottle

Hi there. I visited the Keukenhof a few weeks ago whilst on holiday in Amsterdam. It is indeed a wonderful place and a photographer's paradise. I haven't yet edited the images I took, but I will sure be uploading images of my own later on in the coming weeks. I fully recall this area, where there were several exhibits similar to this one. Well worth taking pictures of.

On to the critique. I agree with the point you raised, in hindsight taking a step back would have probably showed more of the venue and the bottle in its entirety, giving a more "complete" record of the subject being photographed.

In terms of the composition, however, I think you could also have a keeper if you tried isolating the centre portion of this image, retaining the glass edges, and opting for a more "abstract" presentation, possibly in a square or horizontal 4x3 format. I can't mod from here (at work) but I might give this a go tonight and upload a mod. In my mod, I think I'll position the red-most flower on a third and give it a bit more prominence.

A final comment re: your settings. You were on aperture priority and your camera gave you a shutter speed of 1/30th, addressing the 1/3rd positive exposure compensation as well. Theoretically, this shouldn't induce motion blur given your lens' image stabiliser, but given your focal length I would have probably opted for a slightly faster ISO to go for a less "risky" shutter speed of 1/60th or 1/120th. This would minimise the risk of shake-induced blurring, at a very minimal increase in Noise levels. The 1100D should give relatively noise-free images up to ISO 400, and even ISO 800 results are very usable in my opinion. When shooting indoors with the 600D (very comparable image-quality wise), I always rack up the ISO to around 400 - 800 (depending on light levels), as I prefer working with faster speeds to avoid unnecessary blurring through shake.

By: kuipje

General by ashwyn030

General

Hi there, I see you're still relatively new to ePZ and your uploads have so far been only in the Critique Gallery. When you upload to the CG, it implies you want tips to improve your work, and we (the Critique Team) are glad to provide such tips. There are however two preliminary issues that you have to keep in mind to get the most out of this gallery.

1) Indicate what kind of feedback you want - where do you want to improve? What difficulties did you find, are these of a technical nature or more in terms of composition/mood? The description accompanying images in the critique gallery should ideally be accompanied with your concerns or desired effect so that others can comment accordingly and answer any questions you put forward.

2) Your EXIF is missing here, and I see this was also the case with another of your uploads. It would help if you add the data as sometimes images have noticeable issues that stem from wrong settings. Without the EXIF data, it wouldn't allow the person offering to critique to properly discern the source of the issue. So upload EXIF if you can, thanks. Smile

With those two provisos out of the way, allow me to comment in a general way on this. I think you have created an image with a nostalgic/calming mood here, and the overall orange toning gives this warmth. I do however wish to have seen a bit more from the person's faces, as I would be able to connect with the subjects better. As it is, there's very little "emotion" perceptible to me, and much of what I take from the image is down to my perception of the scene only. This makes this a bit more abstract than what maybe you had in mind for it. Correct me if I'm wrong, though - what "moment" did you wish to capture? Father/son bonding? Reflection-time? Contrast in characters?

What I like in the image is the way the diagonals direct the viewer's attention right towards the faces of the man and child. That helps make this more pleasing to watch. You also seem to have obtained a good exposure here, with very little (if any) / negligible clipping in highlight areas (ex. on shirt) and good detail in the shadows, (ex. hair, beard). Also, despite the monochrome approach, there is good enough contrast, although I think you can actually push this upwards ever so slightly to make the man's face pop a bit more from the ground underneath. You could possibly burn the ground-areas a bit whilst slightly dodging the faces. Don't overdo this though as it would ruin the image instead of help.

Pending any further queries from your end, this is where I'll end my critique. Feel free to ask further questions and I'm sure we can revert with answers! Keep them coming and thanks for your participation in the Critique Gallery!

Alistair

By: ashwyn030

chef by Bernabedellamattia

chef

I agree with dudler - would have pointed out the top left corner myself as well if it wasn't pointed out earlier. This is a minor quibble though in an otherwise very good image. Critique doesn't always have to be about finding what's wrong and in this case it's a pleasure to comment on what works.

I feel that this works well and I like the way the lighting on the chef's face makes his look a very assertive one - good choice of lighting approach there, or a serendipitous result? Either way, it works fantastically well to convey a sense of pride and satisfaction by the chef, a sort of conviction that his work is of good quality.

If I really had to be picky, I'd say that maybe a bit more careful composition would have put the eyes and/or the plate on a third-intersection point to give them both more prominence, but as I said the image still works well regardless of this. In fact, the high-vantage point, and the eyes of the chef looking straight to the viewer are immediately effective at drawing us in irrespective of their placement.

Keep them coming!

Alistair

By: Bernabedellamattia

Springtime bluebells in the woods by cathsnap

Springtime bluebells in the woods

Willie anticipated me, the +1 compensation would indeed have made this worse. I think my tendency would have been to actually go for an underexposure compensation here, to keep the image a bit darker and achieve better saturation and realism in the colours. I think it would have been more representative of how you were seeing the scene with your eyes as well. For instance, there are areas in the image that are completely blown out, like the edge of the branch and the girl's shoes and parts of her clothes.

That said, I think the image holds a certain charm regardless, although a crop would help - I'd agree with Willie there again and in fact I like his mod better.

If you had an opportunity for a second shot of the girl, I would have shifted more towards the right and crouched, shooting upwards to compose with the girl against the tree and the flowers showing slightly more prominently given the lower viewpoint. The position would also help you achieve a bit more contrast as it seems it would have put the source of light (the sun) towards your right hand side, as opposed to almost directly in front of you. It seems in this shot it was coming from your front-right direction. I think this didn't help as it contributes to lowering contrast for you and clipping some areas as explained above.

Finally, you ask about the overcast sky and exposing for it and this baffles me a bit - why would you want that when your subject is NOT the sky but the girl in this beautiful environment? My tip is to focus on what your subject is and the mood you want to create, and then focus your artistic effort on those elements. You didn't need the sky to be perfectly exposed here - it wasn't the subject. This kind of scene would have probably required an HDR approach to fully record the full range of colours, given the very bright sky and the substantial detail to be recorded in the shadow areas (ex. under flowers and tree trunk). However, HDR here would have been impracticable as the girl is clearly moving, and properly getting multiple exposures required for an HDR image would have been impossible.

Hope this helps!

Alistair

By: cathsnap

Frigate Unicorn by billmyl

Frigate Unicorn

Hi there. What kind of critique are you after for this image? Did you encounter any difficulties in taking this, or do you wish help with particular aspects of this image? It is helpful if, in the description, you include a bit more information in terms of what kind of criticism you're after, so that it helps the Critique Team and other members to offer insights that address your concerns or queries.

In the absence of any of that, I have to comment on the one thing that immediately struck me. It is also ironic that it is the only technical issue you made reference to in your image. Sharpening. I think in this case, you have most probably used it too an extent that is excessive. I also have a feeling that this was applied across the entire image, as opposed to judiciously in areas that needed it and would have benefited the most.

When sharpening an image, I tend to make a selection around the main subject, or critical areas of the subject, and then only apply a sharpening effect over that area. This helps that area, or that selection, to stand out more when compared to the background. An image doesn't have to be sharp all-over the frame as it tends to detract attention away from the subject. A blurred background or slight blur in the background is often desirable as it isolates the subject and gives it prominence.

I think if you go back to the original (RAW) file, export it with minimal sharpening, and then apply sharpening selectively in Photoshop/(or your editor), you would end up with a better image overall.

Should you wish help in any other area, feel free to ask questions in your reply and I'm sure you'll get more feedback.

I hope this helped,

Alistair

By: billmyl

Round the Bend by alistairfarrugia

Round the Bend

Tanya, I agree with your critique and appreciate it. That's a very valid point you made. Thanks. Smile

By: alistairfarrugia

Take In the View (2) by alistairfarrugia

Take In the View (2)

yes Colleen, thank you very much. I appreciate it greatly.

In terms of this one vs the earlier one, I think this is a bit "simpler" in its approach, the other one is more inviting, right? But I wanted to put it out there to see what others think as well. Smile

By: alistairfarrugia

Take In the View by alistairfarrugia

Take In the View

Thanks all for the positive comments and the guest editor award. Much appreciated.

By: alistairfarrugia

Mdina's Skyline by alistairfarrugia

Mdina's Skyline

Thanks to you both, glad it was appreciated.

By: alistairfarrugia

Windswept by Trevhas

Windswept

Superb work. Well done!

By: Trevhas

New York Empire State Building. by Nigwel

New York Empire State Building.

Modification Uploaded, for your consideration. I do agree with Paul here - don't be harsh on your work, rather try to find potential in it and see what you can do to bring out something better out of shots that you at first deem not good enough. You can be surprised at times! Wink

I feel this can work in black/white too, becoming more about the shapes and contrasts. I possibly overdid the burning/dodging here but it helps to create even more contrast in the final result. I've also adjusted the tilt and cropped off a bit to position the left-most building in such a way to have its outer edge fall exactly on the first vertical in the rule of thirds. The white space on the right then falls on the second vertical, almost equally splitting the image in three different segments, with each segment having elements of interest in it. Hope you like!

Alistair

By: Nigwel