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03/02/2015 - 12:31 PM

Inch Strand, Co. Kerry

Inch Strand, Co. KerryJust a suggestion in the mod. Ive added a very small amount of space at the bottom, and used a 16 X 9 crop.

Inch has looked like this when I was there in the summer too!

02/02/2015 - 6:45 PM

The Studio

The StudioA piece of black velvet, or velvet like material work a treat as a background.

Well done with these.

What are you using for this background here, - is it a piece of white paper?

IF you intend to do more of these, a Light Tent will really help, - I dont think small ones are very expensive.

We have a member, Cattyal, that used to do some great stuff with these figures; here a link to one, if you browse you can find lots.



02/02/2015 - 6:33 PM

Spread your wings

Spread your wingsHow you are focusing is the question. So along with ther advice above:

You have to manually focus, not autofocus with images like this.

Thats my guess, - you didnt manually focus. And I would use a faster shutter just in case, using ISO 200. For the absolute best results, use a remote release so youre not touching the camera, and, if you are completely paranoid about sharpness, use the mirror lock-up function; this puts the mirror up before you take the shot, so that theres no chance of the vibration of the mirror movement will affect the image.

And a Happy 2015 to you both.


01/02/2015 - 2:05 PM

East Twice Brewed

East Twice BrewedI would darken the sky as suggested by Alan. very little else.

Uploaded a mod. The white balance is exactly correct. Its not surprising to see that viewers expect blue as its what we are all so used to when AWB removes warm colours.


31/01/2015 - 2:12 PM

Dark Side

Dark SideIts rreally good Karl. Do remove the hood, but not 100% for me, - leave a hint to prevent the face from floating in the darkness.

You will get opinions on processing and cropping, as its technically excellent.

So Ive added my two. Yours is harsh and graphic, and a good implementation of that style; I went for much softer in every way, with a less central crop, eyes on thirds, and two versions, the second being tri-toned.

Personally, and I know Moira does use Silver FX, I find that theres nothing you cant do with Lr, or Photoshop and time. My experience with the software when I used it was that it was a lot more complicated that either LR or Photoshop unless you stuck with the standard, boilerplate output.

Well done


30/01/2015 - 5:58 PM

an American Bullfrog

an American BullfrogUse the whitish area beneath his "chin" as a reference for white balance Timothy, you will get a much better result.

Apply sharpening fairly aggressively too, - works well to make those water drops sparkle.

Ive tried both approaches in a mod to test before suggesting.


30/01/2015 - 5:29 PM

Four Pears

Four PearsSometomes less is more Eileen.

Ive tried a three pear verision. Odd numbers for some reason can work better than even numbers.

Youve done well with all the versions.

I will try a mod also with a different background for fun. I like spending hours at the computer!


30/01/2015 - 12:48 PM


AdrianaAlmost there Robert. A little underexposed, a touch too red, and shiny make-up. If mods are on Ive had a go at one.

I wonder how you set white balance, - what it was set to?


29/01/2015 - 2:57 PM

All in BLUE

All in BLUEUnfortunately Ray, you had the white balance on the camera set to Cool White Flourescent which is whats caused the problem. An unfortunate mistake I would think.

The easy way to get them closer to correct is to use Elements, and use the option, Open in Camera Raw; this will open JPEGs; then in the white balance section, click the drop-down menu where you see as-shot, auto, and custom, and simply click auto. Done.

Thats all you need, If you want to make other adjustments at the same time, you can do so.

I uploaded a mod of V1, where this si the ONLY adjustment I made.

Hope this helps,


29/01/2015 - 2:47 PM

Up the Reds.

Up the Reds.Its a good result with the technique you used.

better with feet as Ian mentioned, but you learn with practice.

The colours are over-saturated, and appear almost florescent on my screen, so the mod just has colour desaturated. Over saturated colours affect detail and clarity also.

Heres a technique you can try if you like the next time; it what most pros would use I think.

Set you cameras autofocus mode to AI Servo; set the mode to shutter priority, set the speed (depending on the lens) to 1/1000, which will account to the 300mm end. Set the ISO as youve done, - if you find the shots are underexposed, increase ISO.

AI Servo allows you to track the players as the camera continuously maintains focus, with the shutter half pressed, so the focus should be good when you decide to take the shot. You can till leave the camera on continuous exposures.


28/01/2015 - 9:18 PM

Run aground

Run agroundThis has run very far aground I think!

Its always worth a try, HDR. It certainly does need sharpening one way or the other.

There is an audience for VERY HDR, and is can sell well in small markets with rural, small town scenes; not unlike those Christmas card that have glitter on them, etc; and theres an audience that believe if it even looks like its HDR, its not HDR done right. HDR can be done very subtly, and its mostly suited to scnes that have a range of very dark to very bright; the inside of a cathedral with stained glass is one that comes to mind.

So, personal taste. I sharpened it in the mod, and may have made it a little less HDR, - not intentionally, just by adjusting contrast.

It could work too as a 16 X 9 perhaps, as those cacti provide loads of foreground interest, even with the pool.


28/01/2015 - 8:47 PM

Kacie 3

Kacie 3The questions:

The pull out card is usually used for placing catch-lights in eyes when the ambient light is good.

You can, rather than use +5, which is implemented in the camera by slowing the shutter down, increase ISO, but it would have to be close to ISO 1000. The risk is noise, the potential benefit is that you can have better control of thew overall exposure by closing or opening the aperture.

Since you have essentially two main issues, light, and space, you have to make some decisions.

Think about natural, window light, - good diffuse light that has no direct sun; Then have the model sit, and use a longer focal length, concentrating on a head and bust shot. The chances are you will discover way more creative poses, and better results. So think about NOT moving back, but moving in closer with a 50mm focal length for example.

I did take many liberties with the mod, as you can see. I did make the lower hand and arm smaller; I evened out the exposure so its about the same all over, rather than bright and a lot less bright; Its rotated, - its an entirely different look of course, but you see it also can work if shes not lying down!. It also shows that when lying down, her face is pulled towards the floor, or, pushed by a cushion, it clear when its rotated.

Just some ideas.


28/01/2015 - 7:58 PM

Wroclaw Church Poland

Wroclaw Church PolandThis is really very good. You have a wide tonal range so success I think.

I would make a miniscule adjustment and decrease mid-tone contrast, and sharpen the lower part of the church as in the mod.

Well done.


28/01/2015 - 4:22 PM


JellyfishWelcome to EPZ and the critique gallery.

A difficult shot to take at the best of times , - youve done quite well.

I seems somewhat underexposed to me, so a little brighter might make the jelly pop a little more. Especially if the brightness is concentrated on the fish rather than the background.

Colours are quite spectacular.

I have uploaded a mod, scroll up and click the tab, and view large.

I live in Toronto, and havent been to the Aquarium yet, Ive been to a few Ripleys in the US though.

Hope this helps,


28/01/2015 - 3:28 PM


PoinsettiaHi Ishan. Ive missed you in the CG! I didnt know you had been injured, hope you have a speedy recovery. Bone pain is not nice, and does get better with time.

In general, you are underexposed when I look at the originals; a slower speed was certainly needed to increase brightness.

So Aphids are very small; its quite a challenge to capture them. They are also usually green on green to make things more complicated. You used 7mm, so zoomed in a bit, and perhaps you have to zoom more to get those tint insects larger in the frame?

As it it, you have a nice shot of the centre of the flower. V1 works well, and the cut off leaves in other version make no difference to me.

I have a version of the closer shot with increased exposure and some sharpening I uploaded using the original. Check the LCD after each shot to monitor exposure, so you know if you need more, or less exposure and you can adjust and take the shot again.

I prefer your crop in V1 to the 10 X 8 I used in mod1, so I also loaded a 7 X 5 that closer to your original.


27/01/2015 - 8:17 PM

White on Black

White on BlackLooking at the RAW adjustments, something you might try.

Set all the adjusters back to zero (blacks, shadows, white, etc)

Set the green/magenta tint to +12

Set exposure to +0.9

Set sharpening amount to 23.

See what you think.

A very nice arrangement.

Try Av as your shooting mode, and then use the exposure comp adjustment to get the exposure you want, checking the LCD in histogram mode after each exposure. Easier than M.


27/01/2015 - 2:07 PM

Mel Reflection

Mel ReflectionWelcome to the critique gallery Rob.

This is very good. Nicely exposed, good detail, sharp, and a nice pose.

Im guessing you shot in portrait mode to get all the reflection in; landscape of course is another option where you would get her arms in also. But this works.

Ive never seen a reflection shot done using granite, and I notice it gives a slightly mottled appearance; some areas are more reflective that others. Unique I think. Using a sheet of black plexi-glass will give a cleaner reflection if you want to experiment.

Some small suggestions that Ive included in the mod, - scroll up and click the modifications tab to see it.

Crop space from the bottom so her eye is placed on a third; it breaks the symmetry a little, but can look better; theres a strong light reflection in her left eye, - you can reduce that a little with some minor cloning; get blacks to be black closer to her head to improve contrast; reduce highlights slightly on her face.

Some of the adjustments I made removed what seems to be a very slight tone, rather than pure mono, so the mod has a small amount of sepia in it to compensate.

Good work,


26/01/2015 - 3:01 PM

Howth sunrise

Howth sunriseDefinitely not a binner. And way past sunrise too!

I like it. It does have a purple tone, maybe caused by the filter. and the strong Sun does overpower the shadows. But, with the colour cast tweaked, and shadows lifted just enough to see the shoreline, its quite nice. The sun flare is something I like.

I added two mods, the second is a 16 X 9 crop which I prefer. What do you think?

Since you had the tripod and the remote, you maybe have a number of different exposures of this exact scene that you can blend into a wider dynamic range image?


25/01/2015 - 6:30 PM

Noble Sanctuary

Noble SanctuaryIts a nice detailed shot Nigel.

Bottom heavy for me, but this could be seen as an advantage as suggested above; but for me it doesnt work well, as I see it as a piece of architecture.

I would do some post processing on the lower, ans also on that tree. I like Alans idea of removing it completely; my mods remove it partially.

You have a number of different ways to look at this with the comments and the mods. Technically its very good. The branches provide a nice frame, but the tree trunk is all in or all out.

The mono is exceptionally dark and brooding, - mod 2 is a little lighter.

Good work,


23/01/2015 - 7:54 PM


BleakThe bleak works because its really bleak.

Two mods, one duo-toned, - see what you think, and as always, view large.

All the original versions are way too blue for me. The WB of 5750 with no green magenta correction doesnt not jive with the overcast conditions.