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21/04/2014 - 7:39 PM

Dandelion's world

Dandelion's worldThese are really good macros.

A simple suggestion, done in the mods, if you look closely behind at the background, its dark, but a bit mottled, and not quite black. The mods simply have the black as close to black as possible, Thats it.

If you have access to levels in Photoshop, pick up the left (black) dropper and click it as close as possible to the Dandelion where its close to black, but not grey or white. Done and dusted.


19/04/2014 - 3:01 PM

Ploughed field

Ploughed fieldBack to the fields. Those Rape fields are always an attraction.

I can see where Mike is coming fom. I think however that removing the upper part looks odd, like its been decapitated.

Perhaps try to crop from the bottom, - theres lost of ploughed field there? It reduced the amount of image as suggested, but leaves the scene. Its a panot style crop also.

Even the ploughed area alone can make a pic.

I will upload some mods, - just all subjective opinions. The original shot is a good one, and I would leve the pylons as they are.

Rape fields are more impressive when shot closer, either get physically closer, or have a longer lens to have more of the frame filled with the great colour. Further away you dont see that individual plants, and the yellow blends like a brush stroke. You will have many more opportunities.


THE RIVERTHAT JUST KEEPS GIVINGThe scene is lovely, the exposure is great. I wont even mention that white balance though.

Mod loaded to correct that thing I wont mention. What was it anyway?

16/04/2014 - 5:11 PM

Snakeshead Fritillary

Snakeshead FritillaryThe minimum shutter speed for that lens Kate for hand holding, at a distance of say 10 feet or more, with a subject thats not moving, is 1/100th. You used 1/10th so way too slow, and this is responsible for the blurred shot. (remember the way to calculate minimum speed is 1/focal length at 35mm; so 1/(60 X 1.6) = 1/100th)

With a subject that is likely to move, like this, (assuming its not fast moving), you would need much faster, and when closer, faster still.

This would likely need 1/400th, at F/5.6, and around ISO 1000. Noise might be a problem, but noisy and sharp beats clean and blurred every time.

So the suggestion to use Tv, or shutter priority is good, and if manual, prioritize shutter speed. Sports mode is not reliable, though its a step in the right direction. This mode will open the aperture full, use only ISO 400, and use whatever shutter speed this results in. It wont know your focal length, or take distance to subject, wind, etc into account.

Hope this is helpful.


14/04/2014 - 5:08 PM

One headlight

One headlightLets see if we can learn from each other with this.

Nice find, I cant really make out the F- truck type, looks like a 6, but theres no models with that number. I would guess the '50s.

Some questions for you. What was the reason you didnt include the entire front, - was there something blocking the right?

Why did you want a long, 3.2 second exposure? You chose f/29 just to get a long exposure I am guessing?

The exif above indicates you chose Cloudy WB, but the file says it was on AWB at the time of shooting. It looks like AWB, as it overly blue, a common AWB failure when theres a lot of red in the scene.

Ive uploaded a mod also, - white balance corrected to be actually cloudy, sharpening, contrast.

The reason that f/29 is not a good idea (though is will give a very deep depth of field, way off to infinity) is due to a physical limitation with small apertures. Its called Diffraction, and heres a link to some info: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/diffraction.htm.

Your lens is reasonably sharp between f/5.6 and f/11, - I would not stop down lower than f/11 in general.

At f/11 and 55mm, the depth of field, - the range of apparent sharpness would by approx 21 feet, 6 feet in front of where to focused to 15 feet behind, - lots of room for the truck.

I see you use Picassa, which is quite limited. GIMP is free and a lot more versatile, but Photoshop if the default standar for post processing. You may pick up a used copy of Elements quite cheaply.

I will check back to see if you have responded.


14/04/2014 - 12:37 PM

Millenium Bridge.

Millenium Bridge.Heres a start. Adobe has a number of tutorials on this, - I noticed in the exif that you use Lightroom 5.4.

http://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/upright-automatic-perspective-correction.h... You can search on Adobe for more tutorials.

On this shot, I used Photoshop CS6, and its lens correction tools.

What I see is that there is a horizontal slope evident on St Pauls, while the verticals are right on.

Its useful to know what that happens first; its because the left side of your camera is closer to the building than the right side of the camera, so the camera is not perfectly square with the building. It just has to be a small amount, and its hard to get it right unless you watch it very closely in the viewfinder. So the correction I applied is called a Horizontal correction. You will rarely ever even notice it excpet for architectural scenes with long horizontal lines like here.

I uploaded the mod, and no leveling was done, - just that one lens correction. Hers a Photoshop link also: http://blog.photoshopcreative.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-correct-the-perspective-in-...


13/04/2014 - 2:44 AM

A Clockwork Polly

A Clockwork PollyI have added a mod similar to Johns with the hair removed.

I would also suggest that the contrast is a touch too high, and it may look better less harsh, which also makes it look less sharp. I imagine you were going for edgy, but its still worth trying something different.

take a look and see what you think

Nice work.

11/04/2014 - 7:11 PM

60007 Sir Nigel Gresley

60007 Sir Nigel GresleyThanks for the EXIF information so far. Need also to have the lens and focal length is you can Shirley. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume the 18-55 kit lens, probably near 55mm.

Lets take a look at it.

Mode is sports. You need to beware of sports mode, as you would assume that sports mode would give you a fast shutter speed, - so the idea was solid. But look at the shutter speed, - 1/60th! This isnt fast by any means, unless you have a 10mm wide lens, where it would be medium, but not fast. (if the lens is 55mm, you need minimum 1/80th)

So, though the cameras logic will look for a fast speed, it will be limited to the what its allowed to do by what you have set the ISO to, AND it will not know the focal length of your lens, so it wont take a long lens for example into account at all. I wish modern camera would do this automatically, but they dont. If you didnt set the ISO to 400, but had it on auto, this camera limits auto to ISO 400

So the result is as fast as it could, which is way too slow. More modern cameras, when on Auto ISO will move up way higher. The solution, given the light, perhaps the lens if it cant open further (which I suspect), is for you to use ISO 1600. It will likely be quite noisy, but better sharpness.

About the Auto-focus mode. Most people use the mode called One Shot in Canon terms. There is also a mode called AI Servo. Use this for shots like these, get the focus point (use one, not nine) on the train as its a little further back by half pressing the shutter, track it by moving the camera, and press when you have the shot you want.

Hope this helps. If theres anything you dont quite understand, lets us know.


11/04/2014 - 5:05 PM

wide open

wide openIts way underexposed Steve, - loaded mod. Make sure you get the exposure indicator in the middle when using manual.


11/04/2014 - 4:15 PM

Megan in Catsuit

Megan in CatsuitIts a good shot, natural. She seems confident when she off to dance too.

A few small thinks for me, - might not at all be what you or Megan would prefer. The central pose, - off centre, more height and crop the lower, leaving the arms.

I read what Richard said too and incorporated some of this into the shot.

A little work on the eyes less catchlights, - just seems to work a little better.

Good work to both of you. You need to call her your model now!


11/04/2014 - 2:55 PM

Symmetrical Staircase

Symmetrical StaircaseIts a good record shot Bill.

I think is is largely the light that has the contrast low, - but if you look at the lower areas, theres decent contrast where shadows are darker. The shadows higher up are weak, indicating I think that the light was a little watered down; most of the light in the shot is coming from light reflected back from the building, naturally (!) but this type if building, and this type of stone is notorious for revealing any detail in the stonework. Its flat, and the colour doesnt help.

So you did well. Theres some things in post processing that can help, but to a limited extent. The mono may be a good choice.

So symmetry. Its fine. there somewhat of a contradiction here too as when you look at the top edge, its sloping down; the bottomstep is sloping up (its crooked!), and the centre steps are level. What causes this is that the lpane the camera is at is not parallel exactly yo the front of the building, and the side of the building that just that tiny bit closer to the lens will appear closer (the left). Very tricky to get right. And when this is looked at closely using lens correction software, theres also a slight pin-cushion distortion that bends the horizontals downwards in the middle. Slight, but its there. I have corrected bot, - the image has not been rotated at all, and to see the effect of the pincushion effect, just switch between my mod the the one beside it, - its jumps out.

These really are very fine points that would not usually be noticeable, but when taking the shot, move the lens so that you can see the effect of it not being parallel on the sides, and find the place where its even.

Sharpening I did very selectively; some areas are not sharpened, some are more that others; the carved stone over the door, as an example, required the most sharpening.

For my own information, and so I can do some research on the lens, which model are you using?


11/04/2014 - 1:10 PM

Hareshaw Linn 3

Hareshaw Linn 3A very nice location Nigel.

Its the pool thats the star of the show for me. Its really attractive, and not often seen in shots like this. There a gorgeous sheen on the water there.

Looking at V1, theres clear evidence of burning on the sky area which for me is a spoiler. V1 and V2, having worked on the original for mods, are both much too bright IMO.

The versions remove a slight tone that was there in the original that may be better preserved, very slightly warm.

I am tempted to remove that area of sky entirely, - it draws the eye, and is featureless.

I think how youve approached the shot is fine; perhaps it would have been an idea to take three bracketed shots to merge in PP.

So using the original, and breaking the shot into three distinct area, pool, middle and waterfall, treating all of the differently, I have uploaded 3 mods.


09/04/2014 - 10:20 PM

A stream runs through it..

A stream runs through it..Thanks for getting back Fred.

The scene overall is a touch bright, and I was looking at Kates comment on ISO to understand the exposure. The bottom is well exposed, lighter than one would expect unless EC was used, or PP work

ISO 500 was needed to allow you to use f/16, and wouldnt cause the image to be a little bright, as the metering will handle this by using the appropriate shutter speed. You have an exceptionally balanced exposure typical of exposure bracketing, EC, or PP work, and its not PP.

Although its not indicated in the exif data above, did you use Exposure Compensation, a positive compensation? Or is this a result of bracketing?


09/04/2014 - 6:05 PM

Another Lovely

Another LovelyIf it leans to the left, then it was that way when you took it!. Its not at all easy to get a shot very straight without being very careful, and lining up one side of a vertical in the subject, with either the side of the frame in the viewfinder, or something similar.

I thought that lean was to add a dimension of spookiness to it!

One thing that will contribute also to that sense of leaning, and its very visible here, is that you are using a wide angle lens, at 18mm. The effect a wide lens has when close to a tall structure like this is that the verticals, edges, sides, will all converge, coming closer together as the structure rises. This is because you have to tilt the camera to get the shot, and the more you tilt, the more the distortion. To get the shot so its at least symmetrical, you need to get the centre line of the building straight, and even thou the side will converge, it will look better.

This is part of the downside, and also the fun, of a wide angle lens. Architectural photographers, whose images must be straight and square, use special lenses for this called tilt-shift lenses, and the screen in the camera viewfinder has a grid pattern to assist. You screen doesn have this. So take more time, check its vertical at least in the centre (use the bricks in this **** for example)

I will load a straighter mod.

08/04/2014 - 8:18 PM


abandonedNice to see a different pov.

For me, yes, the vignette is too heavy, but more so, its not necessary at all.

The image appears very much over-saturated, with the sky being quite an unnatural colour. Looking at the shot settings, the time of day is probably not the best time for this shot, - light coming fom a side at a low angle would work better.

The saturation can be due to the Landscape Picture Style you used, - it does exaggerate colours for landscape shots, but that not what you want here; just use the standard picture style for better results, and you can tweak afterwards also. But you may well like it.

Compare it to the mod which has colour sat way down. The trees behind the house look like they belong to a different shot, they are quite flat, lacking contrast, and that may also be time of day related.

So shoot after 4pm or before 10AM - use standard picture style, and see what the difference is.

I will upload a fake night shot too along with mod1.


08/04/2014 - 3:36 PM

Sugar and Spice

Sugar and SpiceHi Peter.

I see youve been practicing with this type of shot looking at your recent uploads.

This is a type of still life photography. You are right when you say a photographer makes an image, rather than takes one, and whats meant by that also includes using light, composition, mood, timing to create something that is appealing. Its not necessarily that one actually builds an image, BUT, as I mentioned, still life is one area where this is exactly what you do.

Lets start with how the image looks as far as exposure is concerned. To me, its underexposed. One clue is that Polo Mint, - it should be white, so some issue with exposure and white balance. Did you use a tripod? How is it lit? All of the previous sweet shots are underexposed also. Whats common in your settings and approach?

Look at the depth of field, - the area thats in focus, which affects the extent to which the sweets are sharp from front to back. Its very narrow, and doesnt encompass all of the sweets. That can be fine if you want only a small part of the sweets to be in focus.

Composition and content, - what is striking is that ref background; its overpowering the shot. Red is a colour that really attracts the eye (not just bulls!), and using someting white, or black would work better to focus the eye on the subject. Its very different, the collection of sweets and the pepper, but using something liie sewwts can give you a wide range of options, depending on how they are arranged.

So, I have uploaded one mod that shows the image with exposure increased, and the Polo is closer to white; and a second mod where Ive indicated the extent of the depth of field. Its reads such that the bottom line is closer to the camera, the upper line further away. You can see its very narrow.
How do you address these two issue when shooting? First, I see you have used spot metering; until you become very familiar with spot, and which spot you need to meter from, stay with the basic metering mode. (Did you also use spot for the previous shots?) Basic/standard metering will work for most situations. A spot reading will often need to be corrected.
Next, the aperture is what determines the depth of field. and it is also dependent on the focal length of the lens; for this shot, using f/11 would provide greater depth, as would moving the camera a little further away from the subjects. Or, if you wanted a sifter shot with less in focus, use f/2.8 if its available.

Take a look at the mods. Try a different background, use the standard metering mode and a smaller aperture (bigger number). Use a tripod, - you dont say if you have done that here, but if you use a tripod, you dont need ISO 800, and you can work with a slower shutter speed.

Hope this gives you something to consider for the next shot.
07/04/2014 - 11:17 PM

The Raindrop

The RaindropTry this for lots of information Kate.


This is also a shot where spot metering, with the spot on that end bud would be a better approach for exposing for that bright area.


07/04/2014 - 9:03 PM

In Samuel Johnson's house

In Samuel Johnson's houseTry a circular polarizer Jasmine. It may not completely eliminate these reflections, but will reduce their effect. To see the sort of difference it will make, put on a pair of polarized sunglasses when looking at a scene like this. The circular polarizer has the advantage that you can rotate the filter for maximum effect.

The other, more obvious fix is to change position, - but thats not always going to work either.



07/04/2014 - 7:35 PM

No Love

No LoveI can see the attraction with this. It looks sad, slightly spooky. No love now, but at one time Im sure there was, and a story behind it.

This type of structure, with that wooden siding, the added on bits that are at a tilt, make great subjects. it is a pity you cant get a better point of view for a shot.

Its tagged as b&w, but its got a fair bit of colour still in it, and I think fully mono would work.

Youve used a strong vignette, - perhaps a little too strong, as its darkened areas of snow that should be brighter. I wonder if you were trying to get a sense of the lost and spooky you could imagine with this scene.

I added two mods, - first just a touch brighter, and the second, which I prefer, is a duo-tone shot that perhaps sets the mood.

I wonder if a moon-lit might shot would be possible sometime!

Hope this helps, or at least you can see some more potential with a mono tone or duo tone. Photoshop has a number of duo-tone presets that can be used.


07/04/2014 - 2:21 PM

shopkeeper 15 (stone sculptor)

shopkeeper 15 (stone sculptor)I like this image also. A nice man at work image, hes engrossed in what hes doing.

I like the technical stuff included, the lathe, the cutting and shaping tool on the wall, the various diameter drive wheels and the belts, the `blank`pieces of stone. Looks like a soapstone perhaps. Very interesting.

The EXIF doesnt have any aperture included for some reason, and the lens max aperture is incorrect. This happens when a manual lens is attached, but Im sure this was not the case.

A bright environment with that wall behind, and as with shots that have a bright light source behind the subject, use a positive exposure compensation to account for the camera automatically stopping down. This will brighten the subject.

I have brightened the shot overall in the mod, - with the rotation needed; the crop has some more of the left included as an alternate crop just since I was interested in including the tools of the trade, - but both work.