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16/06/2012 - 9:49 PM

Damselfly

DamselflyHi Matt, as long as you have the head (especially the eyes) really sharp, the tail is less important. Remember to postion the camera parallel to the subject as much as possible so as to limit the front-to-back extent of the subject. That will ensure maximum sharpness across the subject. Use a smallish aperture - f/11 - f/16. Try to use a tripod to avoid camera shake and to enable you to use lower ISO. High ISO does bring in some reduction in quality, though newer cameras are supposed to give good results even at high ISOs. Shoot in cooler temperatures (early morning!!) when the insect is less frisky. I would recommend manual focus to stop the lens hunting and concentrate on the head. Having said all that, this is cracking shot and an excellent early attempt. Rgds., Adam
24/05/2012 - 9:31 PM

A little piece of England

A little piece of EnglandI like this and see what attracted you. The lead-in line is excellent. I tend not to worry about the rule of thirds (or ROT as some call it...) as rules are made to be broken. I don't have a problem with the compostion here and would not crop off anything. But of course these are personal preferences. The other thing I noticed is that the foreground greens look rather "processed" and not entirely natural - though the stalks in the shade would indeed pick up the blue from the sky. However, I would urge you to get up quite a bit earlier and catch the really low angled light. Oh and make sure you fill in the forms for wispy clouds early in the morning to catch the dawn pinks Smile The plain blue sky doesn't add anything so well done for keeping it to a minimum.
24/05/2012 - 9:21 PM

On the Edge II

On the Edge IIAttractive shot indeed, the colours make it for me. But, I am torn between the sky and the water and the way that they occupy almost equal space in the frame. Did you mean the tension that this creates (at least for me...)? I would have preffered less water and more of the sky which shows more dynamism - but that's a very personal opinion.. I see that this had a 2 minute exposure at f/4 in broad daylight. This indicates the ubiquitous Big Stopper filter - is that right? Not criticising, just curious! Thanks, Adam
25/04/2010 - 3:51 PM

A candid view

A candid viewI really like this and see nothing to criticise. I am not a fan of sepia toning, usually preferring neutral and gently warm greys (bromide paper grey for those who remember the good old days…), but here it seems to work, even if it is a tad pinkish. All in all, an excellent image with strong lines, the person leaning in harmony with the … err wall?? … and good soft light giving an overall pleasantly glowing high-key effect. Rgds., Adam
04/04/2010 - 5:28 PM

Lamp Shadow

Lamp ShadowI am guessing here but I imagine that the light level was quite low given the length of the shadow. You probably need a small aperture to ensure depth of field, so the shutter speed would probably be quite long so a tripod becomes a must. All of that aside, this image hinges on the superb colour on the wall, the dynamic angle of view and the sun streaming through that lamp. All of this has been well seen and well captured. For my taste though the shaded patch of wall on the left is too dominant. I somehow doubt that you could have changed your viewpoint to reduce its area, so then you are into the realms of either 2-3 exposures and blending (as you shoot digital) or better still to use a graduated ND filter to tone down the bight part of the image to even out the contrast. I know this part of Lisbon, it’s a great location for travel photography!
13/09/2009 - 6:52 PM

Icon

IconIndeed a great photo and well done for capturing the light and ambiance that evening. Looking at it large, I prefer to crop off the very black lower part of the frame, which however does un-balance the composition a bit and it might gain by taking a sliver off the left hand side too... Have you tried a crop like that? Rgds., Adam
19/07/2009 - 6:18 PM

A stormy night in Mumbles

A stormy night in MumblesSuperb - the juxtaposition of blue and warm-toned colours is excellent. Two things to look out for: the bright light on the right of the frame needs to be cropped off, as it takes the eye right out of the picture. Secondly, a little more exposure would help, or at the very least more light on the foreground. You can probably improve things in software, but do look into investing in ND grad filters. Alternatively, take say 3 images at different exposures and blend them in Photoshop to capture detail in both highlight and shadow. Be careful not to overdo it though, the sky should be be brighter than the ground or water. There are far too many overdone HDR images which simply look artificial - which they are. Rgds., Adam
13/06/2009 - 10:36 PM

River Stour at Dedham

River Stour at DedhamI hate to say this but this shot could have been a lot better. Good points: this is a very pleasing composition with good reflections and satisfying colour palette. I like the play of light and shade throughout the fields and although the meander is a bit limited, it has a good dynamic to it. The clouds add good interest in the sky. So, what do I not like? For a start the sky has been heavily over-processed: it looks artificially dark and the darkening is especially noticeable around the tree tops – there is a distinct halo around each tree. Secondly, I am not sure what that brown object is on the left side, it looks like a large cardboard box. I would suggest to try and exclude it from the frame as it is very distracting. You can’t simply crop your image, it would need to be recomposed on location. A place worth revisiting and getting more shots in different light too. Regards, Adam
07/05/2009 - 7:47 PM

Shallow Depth

Shallow DepthKnowing how difficult it is to take shots like this, you have an excellent image - very eye-catching indeed! Since you have asked for critique.... the out-of-focus leg is rather distracting, probably more because it is very light coloured rather than because it is blurred. The lower foliage is a bit messy. But, as I say, I appreciate the difficulties you face and luck plays a part in micro-wildlife photography! What was your shooting distance from the butterfly (front of lens)? Rgds., Adam
28/04/2009 - 1:35 PM

a lonely tree

a lonely treeHi there,
I think that I see what attracted you, but to my eye it hasn’t quite come off. What I like is the tree itself, its “smaller brother” in the left background as well as the little shrub or grasses in the foreground. The sky is great too.

What doesn’t work so well is the sweep of the two tracks taking you out to opposite edges of the frame and even out of the picture altogether – though the triangular shape is perhaps what you wanted to capture? Also, the main tree is a bit too central for my liking.

I would suggest to try walking further over to your left, get closer and lower down so that the foreground shrub/grasses are a little stronger in the frame. Line them up perhaps to the right of the tree but try to keep the distant little tree in the left side of the frame too.

Alternatively, just home in on the single main tree and frame it against that great sky with your lens set at wide angle. And of course, if you can get there at either end of the day when the light is more directional, that can only help.

It’s easy for us to criticise someone else’s work and this is a very good attempt at a great vista. Lots to think about when taking pictures and all of us get it wrong at some time or other – or even lots of times – so just keep trying! Regards, Adam
Sunset from over City Hall, LondonHi Maxiboy,

Excellent shot - I particularly like the colour contrast and the way the two boats form a counterweight to the buildings on the left – creating a sort of chevron leading to the distant bridge. In other words, I don't think either of the two mods improves your shot in any way Wink
However, cropping off some of the bottom might help to reduce what is a rather large expanse of empty water. The alternative could be to enhance the reflection as in the first mod - but this is a minor point.
Very good urban landscape! Rgds., Adam
14/03/2009 - 9:52 PM

3 masts

3 mastsI wonder – could you have moved further along the fence to your right, while swinging your view to the left, and got three posts in? Perhaps you would need to step further back – or maybe it’s simply not possible to do this. Another idea is to try and “frame” the three masts between just two posts. I think that this image could work very well in the way you wanted, even with two posts, but you would need to choose a day with less action in the sky – which is almost an image in itself!
Rgds., Adam
19/01/2009 - 9:31 PM

Loch Quoich, Knoydart.

Loch Quoich, Knoydart.Tricky one this – it is a beautiful image of a superb scene and hats off to you for making the effort! But there could be some improvements….

I do agree with joolsb that there is too much white in the lower right hand corner – it distracts the viewer from the rest. Could you have moved forward to crop some out, or perhaps to the right to get some other foreground element in so as to break up this expanse? I assume that swinging the camera to the left would have risked flare or the view wasn’t so good.

I am quite happy with the light; I don’t think that drama is necessary for what is after all a very tranquil scene. I would give the sky perhaps only a third or half stop less, but not as much as a stop (this is all just to wind-up joolsb, I’m sure he won’t mind Wink as that would indeed over-dramatise the scene. But to my mind the lake is a shade under-exposed as are some of the mountain sides to the left.

An excellent effort all round though, an image to be proud of.
Rgds., Adam
31/12/2008 - 1:46 PM

Frosty morning walk

Frosty morning walkIndeed as the others have said this is a very appealing photo. A couple of thoughts if I may: I would prefer to have no people at all in the scene, you could perhaps clone out the three small figures left of centre.

Secondly, what about cropping off the left hand side so that the sunlit area is taken away. Gives it a more abstract feel, though that may not be to your taste.

Have a great 2009,
Rgds., Adam
26/11/2008 - 10:25 PM

Durdle Door

Durdle DoorGoodness I’ve never seen the tide so low here! A good attempt but I have to agree with Blackforce, though only partially: I think it would be good to avoid the fence posts altogether as they don’t add to the splendid view. Rather than going to the left – which would indeed have you hurtling into the briny – it may be possible to go forward a couple of steps and then lean over the fence. Then you have a choice: point the camera slightly to the left to crop off the people - but thereby also the more distant cliffs (Bathead & Squire). Alternatively, include the path as it snakes nicely back into the frame and helps to strengthen the composition. It’s already strong as it is. As to the skyline, well I like the image as you have it and if the sky was bland (which I suspect it was because of the flat light) then you did well to leave it out. Rgds., Adam