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28/12/2014 - 5:05 PM

Zoe (Colour Version)

Zoe (Colour Version)Its quite good Robert. I also looked at the mono, and of the two, I am leaning towards the mono version.

With his, I would crop a lot of space off the left to place her eye on a third; I would adjust exposure to be a little brighter; the mono makes that coloured background disappear, so for me thats one of the benefits, - a different background would be nice.

That lens is bitingly sharp, and reveals every single blemish in her skin, so it would be worthwhile to try it wide open, with careful focusing on her near eye.
As it is, maybe be bit of softening.

Ive done mods in colour and mono if you like I can upload.


20/12/2014 - 3:51 PM

Contre Jour at Kinver Edge

Contre Jour at Kinver EdgeHi Richard.

I will asnwwer your quesions as I read them.

Quote: Originally shot in RAW(not my usual preference!) as I do struggle with the processing of RAW images.
They always seem so noisy, even when taken at low ISOs - I do know that RAW images enable more to be recovered from an original image.

I would like to know exactly what it is you struggle with? The RAW file IS the original image
, and since you are used to viewing a significantly altered and compressed JPEG, which already has Noise Reduction applied, the RAW image will look different; The views you see in LR are also very large, the file size is many times larger than the jpeg, so you are looking beyond the surface of a jpeg image. Its this ability that allows you to take decision yourself on how you want to process the actual original image. More noise may be there becuse NO noise reductio has been applied, - its your decision.

Quote: And, I do use aspects of Lightroom and PS5 to reduce noise, usually followed by the sharpening tool.

LR is where to reduce noise in a RAW image. Note the workflow, it runs vetically from top to bottom down the strip on the right; it also places sharpening BEFORE noise reduction. It also has the ability for you to examine 10% crops of small areas of the image, anywhere you want, to view exactly what the effect of sharpening and noise reduction is. You have complete control. You can view the 100% crops, see the image as it fits on the screen, lots of ways to compare before and after. By the way, Control Z undoes any change you make in LR, or CS.
So the ORDER is as its laid out in LR, - thats the workflow. Note, white balance is the first adjustment, as it affects all others that come after.

Quote: [Is there a magic formula, I wonder??]

No, no magic formula. The magic is clearly laid out in that strip, With practice, you may decide on a way that skips some steps, or changes the order.

Quote: Is there anything I could do 'in camera' in the first instance, perhaps??

. As far as a RAW file is concerned, no really, but the same applies as it does to every shot. So nothing special because you will use a RAW file.

General comments:
Your V1 could have been produced entirely in LR, in RAW, without saving as a JPEG until the very last step to output a JPEG for EPZ, PS would not be needed for any part of the process.

Why is this important? When you edit in RAW; or you edit in RAW and then save as a DNG or TIFF, subsequent editing is NON DESTRUCTIVE, meaning the image is not degraded. When editing a JPEG, every two times the image is saved, it loses detail though file compression. Even if youve made no changes. So, as an example, you could edit in RAW, or in TIFF or DNG for two weeks, and the image at the end would have lots NOT detail at all.

There are tools in LR that I would bet you have never seen. You can brighten or darken in tiny or large areas in very localised areas, you can blur localised areas. You can remove spots and blemishes, down to individual pixels; you can mask areas so adjustments are not applied. There are many capabilities it has that many people dont explore. All these for example are done with the Adjustment brush.

LR has a slew of B&W presets; Colour presets; styles, etc you can use.

Now, this shot. The exix -1 shows up in exif for me in my OPS, so maybe a site issue.

It also shows that the shot (V3) has had contrast set to + 23, and brightness set t a + value I cant remember.

So I opend t it Camera Raw, and removed the existing adjustments, Added +1, and set saturation to +8. I sharpened a small amount.

The result is in the first upload.

I then used CS5 to convert to mono, thats mod2.

Go to Adobe, and there are numerous tutorials on LR and RAW processing there. AS a guide, I would spend two minutes in an image in RAW; sometimes way more, but that the norm.

Hope this helps,


I'm not even caring about you...A great opportunity Marcos. That pose is really nice.

I think that at 1000mm, even with image stabilisation, the shutter speed was a little too slow. Though it is almost sharp in places, it can be sharper.

Turning the camera to a portrait mode would have allowed you to have more space above the head, - and a nice composition.

There is enough here to sharpen a little, and especially to tone down the bright highlights. This gives the image improved contrast.

I have uploaded a mod thats cropped as if it was portrait style.

Its a little sharper; highlights are toned down; exposure slightly reduced; and the eyes brightened. I enhanced existing catch-lights in the eyes.
View the mod large, as it will appear a little dark if you view the small size.

Hope this is helpful,


18/12/2014 - 4:33 PM

Mr. Bee digs Christmas

Mr. Bee digs ChristmasThe app doesnt need a camera, it lights up the screen.

Heres a link thats useful for Canon flash:


Thats a Stofen diffuser and it works fine.

16/12/2014 - 4:11 PM

A truth we can't unknow

A truth we can't unknowSo I spent 5 seconds looking for that plus. Then I figured out it was a plug!

Its all in there, - the good dramatic light; the nice model that has the look you need; the location; her pose; her expression. Thats all plus. Its an efective image, quite bleak.

After that its just some playing around.

I read your comment re mono, what programme and process are you using that youre not happy with?

Starting with the original image, it can have the black level improved by pulling in the left of the histogram. It can also have exposure increased a little, and the combination of the two = contrast.
With some sharpening, mod1 is the colour version, with a bit more colour, and is whats used for the mono conversions. I did crop a little from the top, and filled in the gap in the floor, bottom left, - though with a vignette applied its probably not necessary.

Mods 2 and 3 are done in CS6, which has a large amount of possibilities with mono, duo tones, tri-tones, etc. CS5 has the same. Mod2 is a straight mono conversion, with a medium contrast curve applied, plus the vignette. Mod 3 is a tri-toned version.

Depending on what you currently use, you may be able to improve the conversion process, so lets know.


16/12/2014 - 3:32 PM

Five Fingers Strand, Donegal

Five Fingers Strand, DonegalTheres an easier, and better way. Adding contrast will also increase brightness, ans the issue you want to address is actually exposure.

Again, back to the RAW filke, or, if you dont have it, open the JPEG with CS and ACR, or LR.

Reduce exposure by -1.2

Save as a new file name. You now have another version, with a sky thats exposed less; overlay this on the first image using the move tool while holding down shift (this aligns the images), use a layer mask, and paint the lower area in the mask with black to restore the brighter sea. Flatten and save.

Thats what the mod is Ive uploaded.

Hope it helps,


16/12/2014 - 1:58 PM

Salzburg at dawn

Salzburg at dawnHi.

Its a decent shot, and you have the basics right for a night shot.

So some tips that may help.

Use a lower ISO. No higher that ISO 200.

Disable VR when on a tripod.

The time of day seems right, - not too dark so you get some colour in the sky.

With a wide angle focal length, when you point the camera up or down, you exaggerate converging verticals. So with this pov, you are shooting down, so verticals al the edges of the frame will not be straight. This is ok once you expect it.

Try a wider focal length.

Manually focus about 1/3 the distance into the frame from where you are.

Try using Aperture priority, and f/9 as you did, and then use exposure compensation to either increase or decrease exposure (you will alter the exppsure time this way)

Shoot in RAW, and in post processing, try different white balance settings for different results.

I uploaded a quick modification of this one.

Hope this is helpful. Practice, experiment, take a lot of shots.


14/12/2014 - 10:17 PM

Black winged stilt

Black winged stiltA bit of fiddling Rob, but the basic approach, which accounts for most of the change is to open a levels or curves adjustment, and using the white dropper, click it on a piece of the grey near the ripples. Pick a piece thats mid grey with no dark tone in it. This will blow the entire image out to very bright, but it keeps most of the ripples. Using a layer mask, then paint black carefully over the bird and reflection to bring back the detail.


14/12/2014 - 8:28 PM

Black winged stilt

Black winged stiltThe white vignette around the grey doesnt work well. The basic shot is really good.

I did try a mono mod, take a look, but I would prefer to see the original, untouched shot if you still have it. Upload it as your own mod.

Let me know what you think of the mod.


14/12/2014 - 3:33 PM

Bubblemaker part 2

Bubblemaker part 2Definitely a nicer shot overall. Its nice to see the bubbles.

Its funny how people see images differently, - just reading Moiras comment, - I didnt see the balloons as a problem but I do notice that bright red shirt behind his head, which is almost in focus.

So, - its underexposed, and thats got to do with shooting into the light; you have to expopsure up to another stop. This also reduces the intensity of the blue cast.

The blue tone is caused by auto white balance. Setting it manually to the actual light will give a different result, - or, shoot in RAW and adjust in post processing.

I find the letters on the back of the shirt a bit of a distraction, its minor, and easily cloned out if you wish.

I would crop space from the left, excluding the guy on the edge of the image.

The mod has white balance; crop; exposure; letters closed out; s slight blur applied to the right hand area behind the bubble blower.

I think he might start asking for money for photographs!

Well done overall.


14/12/2014 - 2:39 PM

something funny

something funnyTry adjusting colour balance; move the cyan/red slider towards cyan a little, and the yellow/blue slider towards yellow a little bit more than the cyan.

Canon tend to favour red in skin tones, and the adjustment will make a difference. Just a little.

I like the light spots over her head, - christmas lights?


WISTFULLY BLU[moods on the mile]I would prefer an all b&w version thats a bit brighter.

You have this essentially in V2, where you also have added some filters or other tweaks. The V2 then becomes a like it or not opinion on these tweaks that are typically Ian.

I added a full mono version of V1. I like that sky a lot; I know the original was shot with exposure set for the sky, and it looks good. The mod has the people area brighter. Mod2 has a blue filter.


13/12/2014 - 2:44 PM

On the Bridge

On the BridgeNice model and pose. The tone is a little cool/blue for June.

It could look better cropped as suggested, or, as a portrait crop, which Ive tried. I can upload if mods are enabled.


11/12/2014 - 8:38 PM

of which and why

of which and whyI liked this one Ian in the other uploads too.

I wondered though why you have put it in the CG? Is there something specific you wanted feedback on?

I went back to your original upload of this exact image, and I think that one, which doesnt have a much post processing as this version, is a much better image overall.

I used to make the mod I uploaded.
You know the shutter speed is slow, but, in fact, if you hadnt used the -2/3, it would have been much slower, - so a hidden benefit. It really could have used a higher ISO with a faster shutter, but its still quite a decent image.

The original, - and I dont know how original the original is, works better for me as it renders the woman a little clearer, - theres some sort of smudging in this version; the noise looks better if its there than not quite there, - and the image can be made more graphic and dramatic quite easily.

I sharpened locally to get a bit more out of the woman, the hat and bag; set the black point, and increased exposure; then added a linear contrast curve. I would hang this on a wall.

Let me know how it looks to you.


11/12/2014 - 7:23 PM


TigerReally nice sot of a beautiful animal. I get a great sense of size with this, looking at those huge front paws.

Great to see a Tiger in its natural habitat too.

A difficult shot I think with the reflected light from white, to the mid tones and darker areas, so the exposure is a compromise, and its quite good overall.

I think that perhaps you can get a little more sharpness from this upload here, and with some minor tweaks on lifting shadows and toning down highlights, the end result is quite good I think.

Re your comment about using a high ISO for brighter images, - probably a language translation error, - you use higher ISO for poor light, as Im sure you know. With this shot, you could have obtained a good shot with lower ISO, which is what Pauls point is. ISO 400 would be possible with the VR lens I would think?

All in the mod.


Perched (Black Headed Gull / Larus ridibundus)Gulls often make good subjects, and they are overlooked a lot.

You would need to add some positive exposure compensation to get the main body of the gull exposed a little better; this is common when the subject is backlit, as the cameras metering will underexpose the darker areas.

Quick mod uploaded. The eye is brightened a lot, - photoshop, you likely wouldnt get this in camera, the overall shot would be too bright.


11/12/2014 - 2:22 PM


BELL GORGE  WESTERN AUSTRALIA.Ive noticed also that you are tending to overexpose. Its not you though, its the camera. I noticed that your 350d gave much better exposures.

I have read many articles about the 50D tending to overexpose, so its worthwhile trying a few small things to sort it out.

1. I suggest you rest the camera to defaults;

2. Rest/clear all custom functions.

3 After this, check the control function 4, section 5; make sure its set to zero.

Then take some more shots.

Upload and lest see if theres a difference.


11/12/2014 - 3:12 AM


FacesIts a nice shot.

You need to paint in tighter to the girls face; there is a lighter halo on the fron of the face, and also some areas over her head and behind. It can happen when painint in with black if the monitor you use is not as bright as it should be. To check, just use Photoshop to increase brightness of the image, and you will see the areas that have been accidentally missed.

I have uploaded mods with the black cleaned up, and mod2 is a different crop.

Hope this is helpful,


10/12/2014 - 12:43 PM

Play Group

Play GroupIt is a nice shot. The kids looking around at you really make it; eye contact from two of the boys who are very interested in what you are doing.

The assortment of different colours are attractive; the occasional bare foot visible.

When my eye wanders around, it attracted to that little girl in the white, mid front, - a nice pose and expression.

You can tweak it a bit, the cop maybe, get the centre line vertical, but its the light and composition that work well and make the shot.


Street Portrait of Jack BroadbentVery good Philip. Welcome to EPZ.

Mono suits this very well, ans the very shallow dof at 1.8 isolstes the guy well while keeping the important elemenst in focus.

Perhaps if its a little brighter, - not a a whole lot? Sharpen the face a little, - and if you like you can close out that sign on the wall.

Ive uploaded a mod with this done, scroll up and click the modification tab.

Enjoy the site