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30/05/2015 - 1:45 AM

Mexico. Waiting for the bus

Mexico. Waiting for the busIts a nice shot overall. Lo0ts of colour and texture, and the womans position and pose work well.

Its underexposed by at least 1 stop, though you have tried using shadows, black, white and highlight sliders to compensate; you are better to use the exposure slider, which is what I have done in the mod.

The woman herself needs an increase in exposure separately, as to expose correctly for her would overexpose the bright wall.

Mod loaded.

Have you read up on the approach called ETTR, - expose to the right? It means adding positive comp as a general rule, and its based on the RAW files ability to recover bright detail, and it exposes dark tones a lot better.

29/05/2015 - 5:36 PM

Battle Weary Tommy

Battle Weary TommyIf we could just see a little of the stem of the pipe...

29/05/2015 - 2:22 PM

Coming Home

Coming HomeIts a nice shot that works because of the dog, - it has to stay! It becomes a story rather than an ordinary landscape.

The shot was taken into the sun, so you have some underexposure in the areas of the shot that are not sky; using the highlight slider set to -100 solved the clouds exposure, but it also will darken the entire image.

I would crop out the partial gate on the left, just to contain the shot, and increase exposure, reduce contrast on the lower, land part of the shot.

When this is done, green becomes a little too luminous, to de saturating the yellow channel a bit makes it look more natural.

Thats all done in the mod. Composition is nicely done, and the dog is welcoming us into the shot.


28/05/2015 - 1:19 PM

The saiolr.

The saiolr.This is really good Mario.

Thats background works very well with this shot, and the base shot is well exposed, with nice catch-lights in the eyes.

Just a very small clean up needed I think at the back of his neck, near the collar, - done in the mod.


27/05/2015 - 4:10 PM


DiagonalsAt the time of taking the shot, apart fro using a lower ISO, I would suggest you decide if you want to prioritise the sky, or the bulk of the buildings, which are quite a bit darker.

If I assume you want the buildings, I would add a +2/3 to +1 exposure compensation.

In processing, - apart from removing the cable which is quite simple, Ive made a couple of changes to the RAW adjustments that were in the exif.

I reset all the changes, so where whites were say +15, I set to -15, using ACR. With that done, I increased exposure by 0.95; and increased colour temp, - +15 and +2; this is largely a shade shot, so a higher temp will work better.

I lifted shadows and blacks a little, then open it in CS6.

I slightly darkened the upper area only, using curves, a layer mask and a grad filter. With exposure increased, noise was a little more visible, so a slight NR and sharpening. Added a small amount of colour sat.

Cable removal was a combination of the patch tool in content aware, strict mode, which worked well in the sky and on the left, and some close, careful cloning on the right.

Filled in a sliver of white bottom right from a rotation. Its a nice shot with the angles of the windows and the buildings.

I think it look decent, - how about you? Is this what you were looking for?


26/05/2015 - 9:10 PM

The Moon

The MoonIve never tried astro-photography, so I cant comment on the technique.

I assume you have a way to attach the camera to a Barlowe?

My initial thought is that its quite good, but that the shutter speed is a bit slow, which contributes to the softness. Unless the scope is a tracking model, motor drive.

Then, when editing the image, the lower half or so responded well to sharpening, while the brighter, upper area didnt; so perhaps this is less about shutter speed ( as you know, the Moon is moving) and more about depth, which is a function also of the scope.

Its still worth trying a faster shutter as you experiment, along with a higher ISO, - not too high as the camera may not perform well.

The mod also has contrast increased, which makes the darks darker, and the upper canvas increased in size. It looks quite decent I think.


Saturday evening. The dweller of Santa Brigida. Gran Canaria.This is nice. Good mood shos in the shot.

A little underexposed with the -0.7, and a small amount of lens distortion in the verticals, - not a lot.

A little more space under his boots would be good too.

Mod is brighter, verticals straight (distortion from pointing camera downwards), slight crop and messing around at the bottom due to distortiotion correction, which moves the virtual camera position upwards a little.

Nice to see a shot that exposed nicely, and also something different.


26/05/2015 - 3:34 PM


Shearwater.Youve tried to include elements of many landscape shots here.

I think youves used the foreground stump as a point of foreground interest; you used a good aperture setting, and a long exposure.

You used an IS lens, - did you turn off IS if this was on a tripod or other solid support (I assume it was); if not, do it the next time.

Overall, there is something that jars a little. The stump isnt working as a lead-in, but as a barrier, but theres more. The colours seem odd, and the sharpness is very high, - too high I think. Thats mainly due to post processing, so I dont know how different this is to your original.

The exif indicates that white balance was set by you, and it also indicates its as-shot, which is confusing.

But, its a good start, - and of course your monitor may be very different to mine. I would advise that you throttle back the post processing a bit for a more natural look

I uploaded 2 mods, both have sharpness way down, foreground a little brighter, and mod 2 is cropped much as Mike has already done.


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.