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03/04/2015 - 5:10 PM

Secured Chain tight

Secured Chain tightHi Paul.

Its a decent shot. The first thing that comes across is the colour, which to me is a pinkish tone, so I have to assume this is how you wanted it.

The diagonal composition is good; I wonder if the diagonal started to left and ended, lower right might appear better, just as its the way we read?

So Ive rotated the image in the mod, and tweaked lighting a little, the overall effect being brighter.

Take a look and see,


03/04/2015 - 4:46 PM

Portrait 2

Portrait 2Hi Ishan.

Its another god portrait. You have nice out of focus effect here too.

I wonder why theres that bright line by the front of his face, and back of his head? Was it in the original, or perhaps a result of processing?

There is indeed a colour cast, but its green, not yellow. To me it looks like the colour of the light may have been green is he was shaded by shrubs, trees, general green foliage.

That bright area is a distraction; it can be reduced, but if you cropped close on the right, you then only have the smaller bright area on the left to close carefully.

Ive done this in the mod, and reduced green using the colour balance tool, which does this my increasing the level of magenta.

Take a look and see what you think.

I assume this is shot in the same timeframe as the last shot, - but I will check.


03/04/2015 - 12:42 AM

An Cuilthionn light

An Cuilthionn lightThe clouds are simply glorious.

Very good shot overall.

I did upload a mod that contains much of what Nick mentioned; slightly warmer, colour sat increased in the lower area.

I also toned down highlights to get a bit more bite in the sky, - its a slight difference.

Then a sharpening.

Well done,


02/04/2015 - 11:39 PM


PortraitIshan, if youre on a laptop dont bother, - close to impossible to calibrate.

This is a very good shot. Detail is great, exposure looks very good, nice and sharp.

Its likely the white hair is light being reflected, - or hes starting to turn grey very young!

Graham has dealt nicely with the white spot on the left that is distracting, - you can clone over it easily. With bokeh, you can, and do get what are called specular highlights, bright spots; normally very desirable, but this is too large.


28/03/2015 - 2:01 PM


FUSION 71. Use the Merge to HDR function in CS6, and select the RAW images. You can select JPEGS also if you like. (If you want HDR, dont do Photomerge)

2. Use Photomatix on the resulting image. That image will be a 32 bit image, you may need to convert it to 16 bit for Photomatix

When you are happy, save it as a tiff. The use Mode to make it an 8 bit image, then save as a jpeg. Photomatix can have a wide range of possible outputs, so experiment and have a very light touch.

V1, use a layer and a mask to reduce yellow (either reduce colour, reduce yellow only, reduce brightness, - whatever works. and with the mask make sure the reduction is applied to the area you want.

This is the best looking result of this area you have done to date, no matter which version I look at. Why? I think mainly because you didnt try an overly long exposure; probably didnt use a filter.

When I opened it I was surprised you have an issue at all!

28/03/2015 - 1:48 PM

Dancing Macabre

Dancing MacabreIts well done Tony. As mentioned, you can do a lot with it if youre inclined.

The large background skull I agree is too prominent, - and really you could do without it entirely.

Ive uploaded a version, used a texture layer overlay.


26/03/2015 - 12:23 PM

Pipe, risk, pestle.

Pipe, risk, pestle.Youve done quite well. Theres a tiny light reflection in bowl, but its insignificant.

One way to do this that can help, - if using small items like this is to use a small light tent, - inexpensive at many camera shops.

The aperture is wide open, you would have very shallow dof. Doent seem to have caused a problem here other than the near dice is a little soft; but using something like 5.6 of f/8 would be better.

You can add black space T the top to make it appear less pano, jut by increasing the canvas vertically.

Ive done this in the mod, along with some sharpening, and reducing a slight blue colour tone.


25/03/2015 - 3:06 PM


JackrabbitIts a good nature record shot. Youve used spot metering well, - as you had some neutral colour to work with.

Most viewers, being in the UK would likely not have seen a Hare this colour. Sharpness looks good,

I would be inclined to have it with a touch more colour, and slightly warmer, with a white balance temp closer to 5500 that 4700, as it is here.

But that splitting hairs Grin


25/03/2015 - 11:46 AM

Her Eyes!

Her Eyes!Hi Ishan.

Hope college is going well for you.

Its likely as good as it can get with the equipment you use.

The clipped ear doesnt bother me, the whiskers a little bit, but the attention is on the expression and the eye.

Exposure is good, focus is good.

I would like to see blacks lifted a bit, - blacks i general are a little "blocked", but I dont think its anything youve done.

Contrast could be lowered to help with this too. Though the composition is fine, it could benefit with some space cropped from the left and added to the right.

Done in the mod. I have also reduced what I think is a slight green tint.

Well done,


23/03/2015 - 1:08 PM


DistractedHi Bill.

Nice to see you try something new, and this is a good start.

The focal length you used is close to ideal, approx 100mm.

Focus, with one focus point, on the near eye, - looks like you focused on the far eye?

The rules re shutter speed remain the same for a portrait, and this is the weakness with this, as the shutter is too slow at 0.3 second. Ideally around 1/100th for this to get it sharp, and avoid movement blur which is present in this one. Just a little, but best if theres none.

The setting would suggest there wasnt quite enough light available for a 1/100th at the widest aperture, and even using a high ISO.

Next opportunity you have, get a victim to sit close to a bright window, - not direct sun, but bright. Use the natural light as the source, focus on the eye closest to the camera; you can use 60mm to get a speed advantage, and make sure youre around 1/100th. With a male subject, a smaller aperture, such as f/8 can work well as it reveals more detail.

The mod does respond well to sharpening, suggesting that even at a very slow shutter, the movement was minimal; and also lifting exposure on his face. I think you kept brightness and highlights at bay in the background, but its oK to blow them to get a good facial exposure.


21/03/2015 - 1:56 PM

one careful owner

one careful ownerWelcome to EPZ Russell, and to the critique gallery.

For critique, we ask that you upload all your exif data so we can provide the best feedback; so if you have the information you can fill it in, or add it in a comment.

This was a miserable looking day, and youve caught that mood well. Hard to believe this wreck is being sold!

When you have a relatively bright background, the image can be a little underexposed, which is what we have here. Though underexposure does add to that sense of misery!

Best to compose the sot with the boat off centre if possible; more room in front is a good way to think about this type of shot.

I have uploaded a modification, scroll up and click the tab; its cropped to put the boat off centre, and the exposure is increased somewhat. See what you think, - theres also a little more height in the modified image.

Hope this helps,


20/03/2015 - 1:38 PM

Wine Strand, Co. Kerry

Wine Strand, Co. KerryYep. Set the green/magenta adjustment in RAW to -26. If you only have the jpeg, open it in camera raw and do the same.

Done in the mod, and also have adjusted for the relative darkness on the left. I set the layer mode to screen, then opacity to 40%, and applied a gradient to remove the brighter right side.


18/03/2015 - 6:52 PM

Yosemite Creek

Yosemite CreekSimply amazing. Moiras mentioned magical, and theres a sense of magic her. It must have been wonderful to stand there looking at the scene.

The images are well done.

I would tend to sharpen bot a bit more to bring out the cottonwoods,

I uploaded mods of colour and mono, - it suits mono very well, and your conversion works very well, but its also worth tweaking the colour a little, removing the flare.

Take a look and see what you think.


17/03/2015 - 7:12 PM

She is lady

She is ladyThis is a wonderful shot.

Quote: Q. 1 did I to much?
Q. 2 could I done more?
Q. 3 should I done h else.

No, always, there's no limit.

One of the positives of using auto, is that youve avoided a error thats common in some shots you take, - its not underexposed.

There are a few insignificant marks where you did remove obkects, and if you want to be rif of them, paint over tham at a low opacity using a similar colour to the background; thats what I did.

The white balance, being indoors, is too cool, - bit you knoew Id say that! a slightly warmer tone brings this to life.

Theres good detail here too. You used a very good lens, at a shutter speed that is WAY too slow, but since you held the camera solidly, and she didnt move, it works! To remove shutter speed as a possible issue, you would have had to use ISO 1200.

I did upload a mod according to the comments Ive made; its also cropped to a square format, with space removed from the left.

Take a look and see what you think.

I will also upload a mod using the original shortly, as some of that background stuff might work too.

Well done,


16/03/2015 - 3:39 PM

Three sentries

Three sentriesIts would be best to see the embedded exif data. - which is missiing from the jpeg.

can you let us know how this is being stripped, if you know? There are some version of Photoshop that can do this unless you specifically save the image in a particular way, using either the save for web option, and indicating to include exif, or in some cases avoiding the save for web.

lets know.


16/03/2015 - 2:46 PM

Face Panted Danika

Face Panted DanikaA lovely candid shot. She has gorgeous eyes.

Its nice the way it is. It can be tweaked if you wanted, and the existing mod by chappo is a good start.

I agree theres a bit of a magenta cast, and this is magnified in a way by the fact its a little underexposed. Using the fluorescent WB when using a flash will cause the colour cast issue. Best to use the flash wb.

You can also crop way tighter, making it a more personal image, and this also makes the most of her eyes.

Ive uploaded a mod to show what I mean.


15/03/2015 - 9:26 PM

Gateway to Blaskets

Gateway to BlasketsHow is the weather there in Kerry on this Mothers day!

Its a nice scene, and always a good idea to try b&w.

I agree with Keith, - start with a colour image. The use this to convert to mono, using any editing programme. You will have a lot more control over the final product. There are also special programmes that can convert colour to mono automatically, or with lots of control, - your choice.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, bottom left, theres a strip that goes from white to black in 16 steps; a good mono or b&w image will contain a range of these topnes, from black through to white, or very close.

The image has tones that are in the middle of that range as mentioned, - a range of greys, or mid-tones.

But its a start, and you have to start someplace.

lets know what software programme you use and we can give you more specific advise.

Mu version of this is different than Keiths, - so you have a lot of options.

In general, when you take a shot that contains the sky, the lower part will be underexposed. So I have brightened the lower area, made the darkest spots = black, and sharpened quite a bit. Its cropped a little to get the horizon on a third. The horizon is straightened, very slightly off, and Ive corrected the barrel distortion that makes the horizon curve upwards.

Take a look, and see what you think. Try converting some of your existing colour shots to mono for practice.


14/03/2015 - 2:26 PM


MireThe scene os gorgeous Nigel.

This is really down to opinions, rather than critique in a way, as your technique is excellent, composition really good.

The rock on the right in the mono is bright due entirely to how you process the colour to mono, quite simply. You can process it to leave the rock and its as inconspicuous in mono as in colour.

I notice that the detail in the foreground is not there, - likely due to the large mpixel sensor and reducing the size as mentioned in an earlier post. I can get a little more out of it, but its also possible there was some breeze induced small movements?

Anyway, thats my tuppence, and also two mods.

Its a different interpretation, - the foreground is brighter, used the sharpen tool on an empty layer at 18% for the foreground; mono is a very straight conversion using the CS6 converter set to auto.


13/03/2015 - 3:31 PM

Still Life of course!

Still Life of course!Ive uploaded a set of screen shots from my version of PS, - it may be a little different to what you have, but the basics will be identical.

Also added a couple of textures, and instructions included for each step in the screen shots.

Let me know if you have questions. Just try this and you will be hooked.

Its way easier than you think. At least it was for me.

Good luck!

Best Way To Sharpen Light On Right End Of CloudI would like to see all of your camera settings for the shot.

Whats the resolution of the original that you are enlarging? What PPI are you using for the printer? Is the printer capable of high resolution printing?

Its possible, and likely, that the end of the cloud will not sharpen as you need an edge to apply sharpening to, and it looks like a soft transition from the cloud to the sky, quite different from the other end which is back-lit.

It has to be sharp in the original so it can be sharpened in the print.

You can try using the sharpening tool, a little known tool thats in CS5. Its in the set of blur, smudge and sharpen; right click will show the tools. You apply it using a brush, and do it only where its needed. Its worth a try?