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28/11/2010 - 4:56 PM

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl EarringHi Micheal, you've captured a beautiful warm glow in the skin tones camera left, which I think would work well with a tad more shadow on the near side of the subjects face - a personal choice maybe.
I also think that this would look a lot better for me with a plain darkish bg that also echoed the glow in the subjects skin
14/11/2010 - 10:15 PM

Jen

JenLovely portrait, and as has been mentioned, you've got the connection with her eyes.
I would have thought that F8 should be fine for head shots, but F10 looks just fine Smile
I like your composition also, even though the subject is looking straightforward - the offset works.
The eyes need to be sharp which aids the connection, and I think they were a tad on the soft side, hence I did some light localised sharpening, both to the irises and lashes.
Brunettes with brown eyes and pale skin are quite challenging in getting the balance right in terms of exposure, and although the skin tones could have taken a bit more light, it's quite possible that the eyes would have still been on the under-exposed side, meaning some post-production to make the irises/eye-whites bright.
You can do this at the RAW stage, where you convert one RAW image for skin-tones, and convert one RAW image for correctly exposed eyes. You then blend the 2 in PS for correctly exposed skin and eyes. Worth it for a good image.
Final thought would be a hair-light camera right just to add some separation from the dark bg.
17/09/2010 - 8:47 PM

Daniel Thorndike

Daniel ThorndikeHi Ray - great shot - I like the exposure as it is, and though the bg is slightly distacting, I have done a mod with a plain gradient bg.
I have also extended the canvas to the right, space to look into and all that.
24/08/2010 - 7:25 PM

Briony

BrionyGreat pose and expression by the model, but I agree that the bg has some distracting elements in it.
To get over this issue, look for a bg that is clear of any distractions -eg go to a park or somewhere that has space for your subject to stand in front of.
If you're using flash, you can also try setting the aperture as wide open as it will go(ie F2.8, F4, F5.6 etc), which will darkken the bg, whilst the flash illuminates the subject, and these apertures will also blur the bg more.
You can also use a white or brick wall as this is also not distracting the viewer from the subject, who is there to be looked at.
Hope this helps.
Another tip is to set the subject/model off to one side of the frame as this creates a better composition.
20/08/2010 - 6:03 PM

Daring

DaringCaught my eye at thumb size, and I like the image.
It's a shame that the sky is quite bland looking, as a darker moodier sky would set the rest of the image off better (IMO).
12/07/2010 - 11:08 PM

I'm Watching You

I'm Watching YouYou see Sylvia, it's good to get out of your comfort zone now and then : )
This is a wonderful portrait, with nice even lighting and such a great capture of innocence and unknowing.
Maybe for composition's sake crop away a bit on the left of the frame to take the subject off centre.
You'll be using a flash gun next ; )
25/06/2010 - 2:04 PM

Cheeky!

Cheeky!Those shadows are light and subtle Jon, and give her face some depth, and you've captured a great look here.
I reckon that a snooted hair light from camera right, would enhance the shot though, by creating some depth between the white bg and her hair. Just a thought, and a great series you've got going here Jon.
15/06/2010 - 10:18 AM

My first attempt

My first attemptA good first attempt Buffy, and more importantly, well done for getting out of your comfort zone Smile
Something worth trying, now you have this image, is to place it as a layer on top of the original, and then adjust the transparency of the layer, so that the original starts showing through. You can then start accentuating parts of the original, together with parts of the painted look.
01/06/2010 - 9:21 PM

Friendly Cat

Friendly CatThis is a nicely composed shot Carole, well focused, showing the fine whiskers.
A tip to use when possible, is to try to get a subject like this(cat ot dog etc), into a place where the background is distant, as it will not leave anything in the image to distract from the subject.
Hope this helps, and keep snappin' : )
03/04/2010 - 5:48 PM

Clock tower

Clock towerHi John, nice shot taken from an interesting angle, and as has been mentioned, some good sky interest with the clouds. The image looks great in mono also.
In my mod, I have added more contrast/shadow to the RH elevation, to add some more interest.
If it is of any help, when I sharpen after re-sizing for web, I generally find the the un-sharp mask tool(USM) works well, when set at around 70-0.7-0 for the respective settings, top to bottom.
Also worth mentioning, this same tool(USM), is great for dreating contrast in architectre, when set between 20-20-0 and 40-40-0.
It needs to be experimented with, but worth it.
Hope this helps.
21/01/2010 - 5:42 PM

'Arris 'Awk

'Arris 'AwkHi Jeff - nice set of shots you got here, and as you found out, not just a point'n'shoot ; )
Even for static bird shots like these, for hand-held work, start with a s/speed at 1/500 or more. Always focus on the eye, and if it's sunny or bright, always underexpose the shot by 1-2/3rds of a stop. You can always adjust this in PS, but it will stop the beak from getting overexposed, which is often the case.
Also, if possible, take your shots at eye level, as this always looks better than a shot looking down onto a bird, so fine as this one.
Happy shooting.
21/01/2010 - 2:18 PM

Who?

Who?Just a thought, but maybe a thin grey cloth over the soft box would lessen the reflection.
Also try to fit a deflector inside the softbox to deflect the main beam of light out and onto the reflected surface of the softbox, instead of straight through the front fabric (I dont know if this is fitted already, as part of the softbox - I would like to know either way, as I'm thinking of getting one for my flashgun).
Song Thrush (Turdus Philomelos)Much as I like the light and the pose you've captured in this shot Sylvia, I'm thinking that the main focus is on the body and wing(nearest), which hes left the eye and surrounding plumage lacking very slightly in detail.
Very nicely composed and presented, and better than any thrush shots I have - which is none.
Vote is for a well captured pose and nice lighting.
13/01/2010 - 10:48 PM

NZ Church

NZ ChurchHi Nat, I was drawn to this as it, as a church, is so different from traditional churches in the UK. The gate and the pathway act as a great lead into the image, and there is plenty of interest, both in the architectre and the garden/graveyard.
I did notice that the image was not straight, so I rotated slightly to correct this.
The sky had also lost detail, as so often happens, when the shot was exposed for the church, so I have brought back some cloud detail to enhance the image overall. When you have a bright sky, it often means you need to take 2 shots; one exposed for the sky detail, and one exposed for the ground/land detail. These can then be merged during editing, to create one image, correctly exposed throughout.
I finished my mods by adding some contrast with a broad-edged sharpen.
21/12/2009 - 3:12 PM

The Poser

The PoserGreat capture Sylvia, which Richard has enhance in his modified version. You have the light(given your settings) to open the aperture up to F8, drop the s/speed to 1/640, and up the iso to 250 for the same meter reading. If the light is there, it would be worth experimenting for more detail.


Quote: In this particular shot I did very little sharpening in the PS RAW editor and left it at that.

It is essential to resharpen after resizing for upload to epz, in order to maintain the detail and sharpness in your image, as the as the resizing soften the image considerably, especially on fine detail such as plumage.
30/11/2009 - 8:41 PM

Moonlight Serenade

Moonlight SerenadeThis is a great composite Steve, and well composed.
My immediate observation is the reflection in the eye of the owl, whilst looking away from the obvious light source - a minor point, but worth considering.
My other thought is that if the owl is well focused and detailed(as it is), the moon might look more natural if it was slightly out of focus.
I am distracted too much by the detail in the moon surface, and feel that should be more secondary interest.
30/11/2009 - 8:29 PM

Bald Eagle Dive

Bald Eagle DiveHi Jonah,
although you got a sharp capture here, you've lost detail and light in the plumage. This is because your camera has 'decided' to expose the shot for the light in the sky.
For future info, if you're shooting a subject against a bright sky, use shutter priority, and set to about 1/1000. This will expose for the detail in the subject - ie the plumage colour/detail, whilst still being fast enough to get a sharp capture. You may lose the strong blue colour of the sky, but the sunject detail and colour are the main priority.
22/11/2009 - 4:38 PM

Chaffinch

ChaffinchHi Jane, I have to echo the above comments, but this type of photoshop work is worth persevering at. One tip I think will help in blending the subject into the background, is to zoom in to about 400% image size, and then use the blur tool set at 5 pix, and blur the edge of the subject, and/or anything else that has a hard edge that is focused.
You have captured some nice detail in the subject, so no worries there.
May be worth setting up a perch beside a feeder, away from leaves etc, in order to isolate the bird(s) for photography, giving an uncluttered/distactive background.
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)Hi Sylvia, these shots are good considering the distance you took them from.
I bet you're cursing yourself for not having the 500 to hand : )
The feedback you have above is great, the only other observation I see that could make a difference, is you can set your s/speed to 1/1000, drop this to 1/640ish, and take the aperture to F8. If there is enough light on the subject, near or far, this will give you more detail throughout the subject.
22/10/2009 - 10:19 AM

Fall

FallHi Christine,
you've captured the fall/autumn colours beautifully here, creating a nice framing for the tower.
The sky looks okay, but as the tower is obstructing the horizon, I think you could aford to go from blue fading to a lighter blue, rather than white.
In my mod, I have saturated the entire image to a low degree, and the blue sky moreso.
I also adjusted the contrast and did some sharpening on the tower, to bring out the architectural features.