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14/09/2011 - 10:11 PM

Grazing at the waters edge

Grazing at the waters edgeThanks for uploading the colour version Oliver. The conversion to mono is highly dependant on the quality of the original colour shot.

Ive uploaded 2 mods, - one is the colour version I have modified, and the second is a mono conversion Ive done using the new colour version.

First the colour shot. Its overexposed for the most part, with the sky, and especially the water and the foreground sheep being especially over exposed. Make a habit of looking at your shot in the LCD using the histogram view. This will allow you to re take the shot if the exposure doesnt look right. In a mixed scene like this, the camera takes a guess, tries to get both the bright and dark areas exposed, and sometimes ers on too bright or too dark. If you look at the histogram for this, its shows the fraph at the right is going off the scale, indicating overexposure of at least some areas in the shot. The Canon can also make the overexposed areas flash on and off in the LCD if you set it up to do so.
So Ive essentally reduced exposure by using a layer multiply at about 50%, and removeing the darkening effect from the trees, which look fine. You need to be familiar with layers and masks, and if your not, check out the techniques section of the site for tutorials.

Mono shot. Once the colour is exposed right, I used channels like you did, but also used a layer and mask approach to have the sky a little more dramatic that the foreground. Theres a lot of nice detail in the sky thats worth enhancing.

Take a look at the mods and see if they are of assistance, and make sense. Both are also sharpened a little, - you need to check your re sized image for sharpness, - save the new smaller file, open it, check sharpness and adjust as required, then save, then upload.


14/09/2011 - 9:46 PM

Bright and blooming.

Bright and blooming.No issue with cloning, and no evidence of cloning that I can see. Cloning is copying one area over another. If you have the original shot, untouched, you can upload it as a mod so we can see before and after.

What method and software are you using for sharpening?

Assuming its Photoshop and Unsharp mask, heres some reliable settings:

Threshold = 3

Radius = 0.8

Slide the amount pointer all the way right, to 500%, and you will set the image over sharpened; then slide it back slowly to the left until it look "right", - that it, there are no halos around edges.

Theres is a strong co relation between sharpening and contrast also, as sharpening increases contrast, - so too much sharpening will also cause too much contrast.

Its difficult to take shots with a lot of light reflecting from water unless you use a circular polarizer on your lens. This acts just like polarized sunglasses, and reduces the glare, intensifies colour.

With a situation as above, try to get in closer, and shoot from a position that provides the minimum amount of glare and reflection.

See if you have the original and post it as a mod.

Hope this helps,


14/09/2011 - 9:33 PM

water jet

water jetDidnt notice the spot metering, - i would imagine this may have been an error? Use the default average metering for most shots I should think.

14/09/2011 - 8:23 PM

water jet

water jetYour shot settings look fine, however the image has quite a strong red cast for some reason.

Ive corrected it in a mod so you can see the difference, - and sharpened also. Perhaps you have something set up in the camera that giving this result, - some sort of picture style? Or maybe theres something in post processing thats causing it. Could perhaps be a white balance setting you selected other than auto?

If you are shooting in JPEG, check your settings.


14/09/2011 - 8:01 PM

Fledgling Tit

Fledgling TitTheres a load of noise visible in this image Tim, and since your camera handles noise at ISO 400 quite well, I have to assume that this is a very tight crop from a larger image?

The shot itself is good, and looks better with some noise reduction applied, - I used Noise Ninja. Its also worthwhile to lift the shadow detail in the eye and enhance the catch light thats there, - I did it using the shadow tool in CS4, and a soft white 2 pixel brush.

Ive loaded a mod with all of the above, and cropped to an 8 X 10 format, to lower the bird and shift it left a little.

Hope this is helpful,


13/09/2011 - 10:28 PM

Black Dog Beach Aberdeen.

Black Dog Beach Aberdeen.I misread this at first and spent some time looking for a black dog!

So theres a pattern beginning to form with your shots, - and this one conforms to the low contrast, rather flat camp. So I have to wonder what setting you are using, - and by that, - assuming you shoot JPEG, - what "picture style", to use Canon speak you are selecting. There is very likely a Landscape style you could select that would boost contrast, and colour, and look a little warm.

If you are shooting RAW, the you have some work to do when converting to correct contrast and colour.

I would be interested to know which you use, and what style or mode (it will be in a menu, not on a dial) you use if JPEG. A mode called "Faithful" or similar can look rather dull.

Take a look at the mod, - again ONLY contrast and sharpening. I did straighten a little, - looked a bit off, but since the bay is curved I may be wrong.

And remember to check your re sized image for sharpness before you upload!


13/09/2011 - 9:01 PM

Cloud over Bennachie.

Cloud over Bennachie.Quite a unique shot, - looks like smoke signals!

I would have chosen black as the border colour for this, - the deep red doesnt suit imo.

The shot itself, - I would think cropping to place the peak and cloud to the left, on a third is worth doing; theres a lot of very nice purple heater colour and detail in the foreground that can be brought out by lifting the exposure or shadows in this area.

Ive done al of the above in a mod, and sharpened.

I wonder if you are checking your re sized images before you upload, for sharpness? Just open the new smaller file image, check sharpness, adjust as needed, then upload.


13/09/2011 - 8:19 PM

Round bales & Bennachie.

Round bales & Bennachie.The shot overall lacks contrast, - which is generally what "dull" and "flat" refer to. Your shot settings are fine, so the reason usually for this is the quality of the light at the time your shot was taken. Good contrast is the result of strong, dark shadows, which you will find in the early morning, or late evening. This time also provides a warmer light that really suites this type of shot. Its easy of course to compensate for this to a large extent with post processing, - and in mod1 Ive simply increased contrast, sharpened a little, and cropped to place the "primary" bale closer to a third, making a 10 X 8 format.

Mod2 is the same with a warm tone, and colours enhanced with saturation.

However,. - you will likely notice that many of the best "bales" shots are shot along the bale line, taking advantage of the converging lines of cut hay in the ground. I you had the oportunity at this location to move more to the right, shooting more along the bales, with the Sun lower to provide those shadows and lines, this would lift this picture immensely.

Hope you find this helpful, landscape photography is an art in itself,


13/09/2011 - 4:09 PM

level crossing

level crossingNot a bad effort for a through the window shot.

The train has a slight tint, and underexposure due to the bright sky and the window, - and Ive corrected both in the mod, along with a slight sharpening. And removed flies!


13/09/2011 - 1:54 AM


NatalieI like it too Jacques, - its a nice high ket portrait, - very different from your usual style.

Not a lot of suggestions, - just a few. I would suggest allowing just a tiny bit more detail in the hair and eyes and mouth; I would reduce detail in her chin; and I would sharpen a little more. Also, - think about a square crop, as in mod2 which focuses attention on her face?


13/09/2011 - 1:37 AM



Two likely reasons. You have not assigned the sRGB colour space to the image, - your left it with Adobe RGB; and if you use Internet Explorer to view the uploaded images, - its will read the colours incorrectly.

heres a link to check your browser:


The actual conversion of the colour space should be done in Photoshop as part of the upload for web process; and the PPI should be set to 72, before you re size. Then after saving for web, - open the new image, check for sharpness, and apply as needed. re sizing can cause loss of detail due to file compression.

The image exposure looks good, - though to be honest I would have used f/8 and a faster speed, than f/18. You risked loss of sharpness, - and having to sit extremely still for 0.6 seconds!

OK, - so I modified you original shot, V3. You arbitrarily set the white balance, - and we often do this, BUT you are way better off calibrating it especially when shooting RAW. Using the white piece of paper, - set in on the chair in the same light, take a shot of it in RAW and AWB, - you may need to manual focus, - and then proceed with your session. When you process the RAW files, open the white shot first, select the white balance tool, click it on the *****, and take a look at the white balance settings. Apply these to all shots taken in the same light.

Ive obviously cropped as you did; applied quite a bit of sharpening; and the main change is in the colour tone. I have no idea what the real colour of the wall behind you is, but the technique I use suggests its more yellow than white?

heres a link to the technique:


Hope this helps, - and if it doesnt answer your question, and you still have a problem, - let us know or send me a PM.


12/09/2011 - 5:54 PM

young drummer

young drummerA nice shot overall BG, however I agree with Franks advice above. Check your histogram on your LCD display after shooting to know right away if the shot is exposed properly so you can adjust and shoot again.

The shooting MODE is not included in the exif data, - so dont know if you used Aperture or Shutter priority, or auto, - it would be good to know this. Also let us know which lens you used, - the make and model.

And remember to check your re sized image before you upload. Open it, check sharpness, and apply sharpening as needed. I think omitting this step has likely caused it to appear softer than your original shot.

I uploaded a mod thats cropped to place the boy further to the right, and brightened and sharpened.


10/09/2011 - 7:09 PM

The morning after...

The morning after...Hi Robin,

Nice shot even if its not a Red!

Theres a little bit of a green/yellow cast, and the image can do with some more contrast, - and apart from that its good. Im sure the cast may come from the light filtering through the trees, but it look better if its corrected.

Ive loaded a mod with more contrast, and a slight colour balance adjustment.

Hope this helps,


09/09/2011 - 12:26 PM


GeorgeIts a decent attempt at a studio portrait, - outside your comfort zone.

technically exposed fairly well, a few hot spots on the face. The pose would be better of you had been a little higher with respect to the subject, mainly so his teeth were visible with his smile; the colour cast has been pointed out, and this is a white balance issue, - you are best to shoot in RAW, and calibrate your white balance by shooting either a grey card or a piece of white paper in the same light, using this as a neutral reference to get correct white balance. It has too much Magenta, and too little yellow. Ive corrected in the mod, and also crped into am 8 X 10 format, placing his eye on a third by adding some canvas in front, and cropping from the top and right.

Hope this is helpful,


08/09/2011 - 1:38 AM

dragon bloom

dragon bloomThere really isnt anything wrong with this image Lee. I think you have to also look at WHO is voting, rather than the number of people who are. I see the Editor, Pete, VictorHabbick, and a slew of other very high profile and outstanding shooters giving you thumbs up.

This, as well as others are excellent images, and very artistic. I see you are reaching out to ask if people prefer saturated versus desaturated, etc and now here, asking whats wrong! Nothing.

I can suggest to my particular tasted, as in the mod, - a little more space at the top, a little off the right, her eyes a little brighter, a little less "glow" in the centre, and VERY slightly more saturation, but its me, - its still a great image.

Also, your images are small size, - since youre not an E2 member, - doesnt mean theyre not as good, but some of your shots need to be seen larger to be really SEEN. And, - thought theres always debate about this, - its a site that seems to favour landscapes, and nature shots, - not a deliberate slant of the site, but of the members who make up the voting section. There are wonderful shots of that genre on here.

I have voted on your work ages ago, - and this is the first one Ive noticed in a while, as its in the Critique section where I spend 90% of me time. But I will look through your portfolio having seen this.

Hope this is helpful,


08/09/2011 - 12:54 AM

Hi Grandad

Hi GrandadA great pose. She seems to suit b&w very well. I love this expression, - so far away!

Its underexposed quite a bit, and this may well be again due to very bright light behind her. Try some shots with the flash forced up. so it provides some fill in light, and will also give you some nice catch lights in her eyes.

Looking at composition, you can crop space top and bottom to place her eyes on a third, - and so much of a portrait is simply about the eyes.

Ive loaded mods with the suggested crop, - and have three variants, - second two using different methods to soften slightly, with mod3 tilted a little. In all, Ive used the shadow tool on CS4 to lift the detail in her eyes, and used a soft 2 pixel white brush to put some catchlights in her eyes.

I hope this is helpful


remember what summers were like ...The original shooting conditions were not good, - so its all post processing after that. Sun was high, wrong time of day, sun very bright, - all those "do not take a shot here now, wait until evening" signs.

Its a dull shot, - like that Fella from Ripping Yarns that could talk about shovels for hours on end (hope you can remember), and it needs some serious contrast and lifting in just about every department.

So I applied contrast, especially nid tone, used a Velvia filter, sharpened and there it is.

I just noticed you pre shot, and to be honest, I see no real difference, - it was still not the right light.

06/09/2011 - 7:11 PM

Eiffel tower

Eiffel towerIts a good shot from a compact, and a very nice POV.

A little overexposed, - but very acceptable as is. Youve done very well to get the tower exposed well against a very bright sky that would normally have resulted in a dark image. Ive loaded a mod with a small amount of exposure reduction.


06/09/2011 - 7:01 PM


lillieHi Gerald, - Im not certain what result you were after here, and youve not provided a description, or let us know if theres any aspect of the shot you are not happy with.

So going by what I see, the focal point should be the large open flower in front, though the unopened bunch behind are well in focus and better lit.

The camera settings indicate that the camera was metering for a very bright light, and therefore, since the flower you really want is not completely lit, its mainly in shadow.

So, if you like shooting flowers, its handy to have a white piece of card to use in front of a flower to reflect light into it, - and also a larger light green. or black card to place behind it to isolate it. With enough foliage around, you wont need 3 hands, - though some togs do have a few alligator type clips to position the cards.

Anyway, the flower needs more light, which Ive added in the mod using Photoshop, Curves and a layer mask; ive cropped to lover the flower to thirds, and Ive applied some sharpening to bring out the rain drops.

Hope this is helpful,


04/09/2011 - 9:42 PM

Vases 2

Vases 2Ive uploaded a mod. What I did was enlarge the image around the flowers; find the lightest grey area; used curves black dropper and clicked on it. This make the entire image darker, and I then cleaned up some of the spots I mentioned.

Then I added black canvas to the top and right sides to place the composition off centre, and added a border.

Let me know if your monitor shows the grey areas around the flowers, - its obvious to me on a calibrated monitor. if the mod looks wrong to you, or if you cant clearly see the grey around the flowers (straight edged areas), then you need to calibrate your monitor. If you switch between Dawnmichelles mod and mine, you should clearly see a dark grey background, and then a pure black background in my mod. It should jump out and be obvious.

You should calibrate, as you will not be seeing images correctly.