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25/05/2015 - 4:24 PM

Pitch Black Queen

Pitch Black QueenThats the way to do it Lee. Content aware "fill" can work best on a large file, - but you may also need some cloning, and yu could also darken the extra bits. Theres also contenet aware "scale" that drags the image wider, so you have two options.

Embankment of the Verbania. Lago-MaggioreYou dont seem to change your approach in any way based on lots and lots of feedback!

You are killing detail in your shots. Blacks are blocked, you use too many filters, you expose only for one spectrum of light, and no amount of adjusting for white balance can correct the very negative effects of the filters. Goof filters used properly, and not stacked, can work very well.

Mono is the best option as it covers up the colour performance and limited tonal range.

Try something different!

21/05/2015 - 9:47 PM

The Trumpeter

The TrumpeterVery nice exposure and colour, well done

Some very minor edges that can be cleaned up. Ive identified them with small arrows in the mod, easier than trying to describe.

Best exposure yet I think.


20/05/2015 - 12:35 PM

Bordered Blossom

Bordered BlossomNice image.

Its back-lit with the sun illuminating the back of the upper left petals.

This largely determines what the exposure will be, which will mainly exposure for that bright area and leave the rest underexposed.

This is desirable for some in this type of shot; for others, a burst of fill flash, or a positive exposure compensation works better, as youve done.

The conversation about compensation one way or the other depends on whether you shoot in RAW or JPEG.
For JPEG, some negative exposure can protect from blown highlights; however RAW should have a positive compensation, and more like a +1. This is because the amount of information in RAW is a lot more than JPEG, and you can manage BOTH highlights and shadows, BUT the shadows will have a lot less noise.

Either way, a warmer white balance improves the shot.

20/05/2015 - 12:35 AM

The Farmer.

The Farmer.This is one of the best as far as the bascis hot is concerned mario.

Theres excellent detail in the mans face, and that unusual hat; I think that has a lot to do with the use of a faster shutter speed relative to focal length.

You have nothing to learn technically. What you will get with feedback is opinions of how the image looks based on personal preferences, and youre not likely to learn a lot from that.

For me, as before, a little too dark, and in this case, overly red, and I have uploaded a mod showing how I would see it on my screen.

I would like to know more about the hat, and whay story lies behind it. Was it a traditional hat for farmers, and why is is so large?

Well done

19/05/2015 - 5:04 PM


ContemplationIt is nice, posed or not.

The inclusion of the windows has been discussed re overall appearance and composition; what their inclusion also causes when shooting though, is a 2/3 stop underexposure, which combined with what you applied is a full stop under..

This in turn will make noise performance worse, as the darker areas are not exposed as they should be.

It looks good with this tweaked also, though the darker overall tone may be preferred by many.


19/05/2015 - 1:00 AM

François Ponsot

François PonsotIts a it underexposed, - best to use a positive exposure comp. The mod is +1.3, so with the -0.66, thats and overall +0.66


18/05/2015 - 2:13 PM

Down among the Bluebells

Down among the BluebellsV1 work nice, and the LB shot is just beginning to show its potential.

Some tips that may or may not help.

Closer will be better than further away for a soft blurred effect in general. But you want further away to get the front blur, so a longer focal length will help.

Use Live View to focus with pinpoint accuracy. If you have never used it before, you may be amazed.

The lens used in the other shots is a Sigma 70 - 300mm 2:1 macro; the longer focal length available will help with blurring if it can also be closer to the subject than a "normal" long lens, which I assume it can. This lens seems to also be relatively much sharper in the middle that the edges at longer focal lengths, which likely helps, - but thats a guess.

The LB will not produce the effect you are after, though it will produce many great effects; Moira is right re its use, and you can find loads of help on the LB web site.

17/05/2015 - 7:35 PM

The Land Lord.

The Land Lord.The background is excellent Mario. You are doing this better than most now I think.

The man seems underexposed, and perhaps looks better with more exposure, and a white balance thats a touch warmer, while saturation is lowered.

I think you need to be careful with spot metering, - that might be causing the underexposure, especially when combined with that -2/3? if it was exposed further, your shutter would be slower, which can be fine if its a VR or OS lens.

Cropping from the right does look better as Paul suggested.


17/05/2015 - 1:57 PM

Pier Bellagio. Lago Como

Pier Bellagio. Lago ComoNice scene. F/20 would put the lens into an area where its not quite as good as it can be, - it will be less sharp. Its not a visible issue here, unless you took two identical images, one at f/20, and one at f/11 to compare.

In terms of depth of field, with a 20mm focal length, and say focusing 40 feet out from the camera, f/20 dof starts 2 feet from the lens, f/11 starts 3.5 feet away, both to infinity, so the gain in lens performance is well worth using the larger aperture.

Nice light.

16/05/2015 - 1:07 PM

Lighting attempt

Lighting attemptHi Sarah.

You seem to be doing a lot right with this, including drinking the wine!

There will be some of the other regulars with a lot more lighting experience that I have who will comment also, so I will give some feedback on what I see, and what you have described.

You are using two flashes, with the one on the camera right set to higher power than the one on the left. With the objects so close together, I wonder if the brighter flash isnt also affecting the pewter jug? Perhaps try a sinle flash with the jug alone, and get it lit without reflections..

There appears from the image, to be not quite the diffusion of light I would have expected inside a light tent. Have you tried also adding a diffuser to the flashes, like tissue paper, etc. or dome diffusion paper on the sides of the tent where the light enters?

The black(?) background is also illuminated quite a bit, not being actually black, suggesting that light is not contained well, or that the background is very close to the lit areas, or its not non reflective material.

If you want to look at post processing to improve the image, I would start with making that background entirely black. I did this in the mod by clicking the back curves dropper (or levels) close to the pewter jug, on an area that appeared to be lightest. You can identify the lightest area using a threshold layer, or holding down ALT when you click the black dropper.

The hot spots on the jug, are a little blown, and they look better toned down, or covered over with some low opacity cloning, but overall, the jug looks quite good.

Done in the mod, and its also rotated a little to level.


Lake Mergozzo - satellite Lago MaggioreAnother nce scene.

Im with the comments so far.

Tilting the camera up a little more would have decreased the dark bottom, increased the sky, and placed the lake horizon on a third, - done in the mod.

As before, the filters add a lot of magenta, which Ive removed. The decrease in magenta makes is appear less blue, but still blue enough.

Underexposed a bit.


14/05/2015 - 2:56 PM

Roque Bentayga_Gran Canaria

Roque Bentayga_Gran CanariaAnother nice scene. And as with others, one that would benefit from the use of auto bracketing.

I would suggest a little more light on the village at the bottom?

Perhaps a portrait orientation of the camera could have included more at the bottom?

Mod uploaded


Aiguille du Midi (3842 m). On the way to Mont Blanc.Very impressive sight Alexander/jerry.

As with previous shots. I looked at your raw data and adjustments to get a feel for what this looked like out of the camera' I do this by cancelling all your adjustments, so for example when you have shadow set to +93, and blacks set to +93, I set them to - 93, etc.

What I see from this is the original shot was underexposed quite a bit. You have also tried to correct this by working on blacks, white and highlights, whereas, I think you would have been best to increase exposure; I used a +1.25 in the mods.

The colour temp shows quite warm, though there is a considerable amount of magenta/purple visible, which I corrected; mod1 and mod2 have different corrections, with mod2 being warmer, with even less magenta.

One question, - did you use a filter, and if so, what type?

In the mods, I corrected the lens distortion in one, but not in the other to compare; personally, I prefer the uncorrected version as the converging verticals add to the sense of height and scale for me.

Take a look and see what you think.

Well done


12/05/2015 - 2:59 PM

Maddy in the pool

Maddy in the poolGood timing.

You need to add +0.5, rather than apply a negative 0.4 for exposure; set white balance to sunny; sharpen more.

You want the whitest water to be blown a little, this makes it sparkle and looks very good.


12/05/2015 - 12:25 PM

His Highness

His HighnessThis is really well done Mario.

The replacement of the background is near perfect, - theres a couple of small areas in the feathers that still have the old background I think, but its hardly noticeable.

The exposure for his face, the tone, all look very good.

The vignette works well as you have that brighter area behind him that works to separate him from the background; it big enough not to be mistaken for a halo.

Well done.


04/05/2015 - 1:20 AM


AnticipationThis is really nice. Its certainly anticipation, waiting, maybe hoping.

I like that hint of something inside at the far side; the anonymous naked child outside. Her expression, staring inot the distance.

You are fortunate to be able to take these shots.

I would suggest some minor tweaks, as dont in the mod. cropped a small slice from the right and added the same amount to the left, simply to move her forward a little more; applied local sharpening to her face to give it a little more definition; slightly warmer colour balance.

Well done,


03/05/2015 - 4:50 PM


BrokenIts quite nice broken I think.

It is a tad blue, - but I think that base and background are blue?

You mention the image looks sharper on your monitor than it does here. I think you are comparing the original shot to the uploaded version?

One reason, and a likely one, is that during re sizing, if you do re size yourself, you are not including a sharpening step.

So the process would be re-size to 1000 pix (the ppi doesn matter); then save-as a new file name, using the Maximum file size/quality (dont worry about file size, bigger is better); then, and this is important, open the new file, check and adjust sharpness, save and only then upload.

If you are allowing EPZ to re size, you need to make sure the image is quite sharp, as EPZ may not sharpen enough.

I downloaded it, and the actual dandelion looks better if you reduce blue; the rest still looks blue, so it works.

The background also works better darker, and a crop off the right looks very good.

If you can enable mods, I will upload it.


03/05/2015 - 4:44 PM

made up

made upIts a good shot Matt. Shows off the make up well.

Look at levels, and try dragging the right slider in a bit, it will increase exposure by maybe +1/3 and it looks quite good. I cropped space from the top too, took it to 940 pix high which places her eyes nicely.


03/05/2015 - 4:32 PM

Controlled by their mistakes

Controlled by their mistakesI like it. I think youve achieved your objective.

The tilt of the wall behind, and the lean of the tree give it a nice off-kilter look, even though Miriam is not leaning.

I looked closely at it and made some small tweaks that might help.

The mod is a little darker, done by making black = black.

I lightened her eyes using the shadow tool, and made some tiny catch lights, - I think it connects her to the camera a bit more.

A little sharpening and its done, See what you think.