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17/02/2011 - 7:02 PM

The look

The lookHere eyes, and vacant expression are gorgeous.

I agree with Cath that you need a little more texture in the face, which Ive done by reducing highlight strength.

I would not recommend that particular frame, and to position her optimally I suggest moving her further left so shes staring into vacant space, which can work better with the expression.

Ive loaded a mod as an example,

Hope this is helpful


16/02/2011 - 5:59 PM

the BIG FIX modification

the BIG FIX  modificationKrystal, this image is not fixable in the sense that the completely overexposed portions can never be recovered as they contain no data from the camera. The mod uses a highlight recovery method that can deal only with a small range of highlights that still contain data, - and it dies look better, bit there a lot of blown areas still present.

The fact that you shot nto the light, and got decent detail on the roses is in itself an achievement, - but snce youve not loaded any shot details at all I can comment of if you used a fill flash, exposure compensation etc, - perhaps you dont still have the exif data.

Looks like you were after the nice light through the vase, along with the flowers, and in retrospect you may have achieved a better result if you had moved so that you were not shooting directly into the light, - moved to one side, shot from higher pov, etc, - any position to get your shot and eliminate the blown highlights.

Loaded a mod with highlights and shadows recovered as much as the original quality would allow, and cloned in the couch top left which tends to draw the eye away from the table. The highlight and shadow work is done using a dedicated tool in CS4 for this purpose.

Hope this is helpful


16/02/2011 - 5:29 PM


BLUE TIT IIIts still looks over sharpened, but also very blue, - i.e. what should be white = blueish.

its very difficult to undo over sharpening, - best to start with the original shot and sharpen less. if you sone have it it may work if you apply a small amout of Gaussian blur on a layer, and use the opacity slider to reduce it even more just to take the edge off.

If you are familiar with the threshold tool, which usiing its slider you can identify exactly where white starts, - mark it using a colour dropper too, then the same with black; then close the Threshold tool, open curves or levels and ose the white dropper on curvs or leve;s and click on the white marked spot, same with black and you will remove the colour cast


15/02/2011 - 5:49 PM

Sports Portrait I - Adebayor

Sports Portrait I - AdebayorHi Ollie,

Youve managed well to get a mid action shot with the ball in the air and nicely focused. I have to agree with Frank and Paul about the use of mono. Most of the gear the players wear is a reflective synthetic fabric, so you can get a lot of reflection on a sunny day, and a mono conversion can blow out highlights completely, which is what you have here. The use og high contrast accentuated the blown portion.

Taking that you like the mono, - I have loaded a version in mono that reduces highlights quite a bit, and lifts shadows, effectively reducing contrast so you can see the difference. I also straightened it using the edge of the field as a guide for horizontal

I looked also at you exif data and noticed you are using Program AE, which is not the setting to use at a sport event. Use Shutter Priority, set it as fast, I would suggest 1/1000 with that lens while still making the cameras exposure happy , you will likely need to increase ISO in low light conditions.
In addition, set you Autofocus mode to AI Servo, focus on the player, and shoot when ready.

Hope this is helpful,


13/02/2011 - 9:59 PM

All Saints Church

All Saints ChurchHi Phil,

Not a lot wrong with either one. The mono appears quite bright, almost like a pencil sketch, and I ran into exactly the same issue. I think this is because you need a lot of tonal range in the colour to get a good mono, and theres mostly yellow in the original, which is hard to get a good conversion with.. For the mono, I tried a warm grey duo tone that seemed to give a better result, - at least to me.

I loaded a mod of the colour also. Your using a very wide lens, which in itself introduces barrel distortion, and your position with respect to the building ( you are lower that the mid height) will also introduce tilt shifting, to getting it straight needs an approach that looks at both aspects. Ive tried to do it, but Im not sure if its any better than your approach. I did however increase sharpness and contrast, lowered the brightness on the brightest parts of the building to "prepare" for a mono conversion.

Hope this is helpful


13/02/2011 - 9:38 PM

Dallara F308 Mercerdes

Dallara F308 MercerdesA good panning shot, quite sharp, nice detail. Im sure it looks a lot better in the larger original.

The lighting conditions seemed quite poor, and its seems slightly underexposed as a result. Its cropped tight, or zoomed tight, and shots like this always look better with a bit more space in front of the car if possible, - its appears more dynamic.

I have loaded a mod with more space, - unfortunately its all grey track, but I have brightened the car, the whites are now white and nor grey, and I have cropped at a tilt to enhance the sense ov movement.

Hope this is helpful


13/02/2011 - 8:58 PM


JulieA little too soft and diffuse for me, though a nicely posed subject. I would prefer if the softening/diffusion was not applied too much to the eyes and mouth, and a little more definition was left in the areas of the nose and cheeks, - so theyre a little less flat.

Ive loaded a mod where Ive sharpened eyes and mouth; used a multiply layer at 20% to blend in a little more depth to parts of the nose and cheeks, and cropped a little closer in the width.

On the settings, with a studio flash, you would normally use the max synch speed, which I think is 1/200th for the 7D. I wondered about f/16 also, and can only assume that you needed it due to the either/or tight space and inability to turn the studio flash down below where it is?


10/02/2011 - 3:01 PM

London Eye

London EyeA different perspective on an often photographed landmark.

Shooting straight into the sky often requires you to dial in some positive exposure compensation if you main subject is in front of the sky, or you end op underexposed. This isnt too bad, but it still benefits by being a little brighter, which also helps with contrast.

The main issue though is geometry, and the central hub should be vertical, and its opff quite a bit. Ive straightened in the mod, and adjusted exposure/contrast.

Hope you find this constructive,


09/02/2011 - 3:11 PM

Cane Corso

Cane CorsoBy far your best shot of this dog, Lee. Its a very nice, classic pose with a beautiful expression. Colour, detail and sharpness are all really good. Youre aperture was perfect to get the dog sharp, however the shorter focal length also made the background a little sharper than you may have liked, but its a minor point. Further away with a longer focal length and the same aperture would give a shallower dof.

As perfect as it is, theres always room for improvement, and a niggle for me if that hes places right in front of a large tree that merges with his head. A cnage of position would have places him against the greenery without the tree maybe, - but perhaps that was not possible.

I have loaded 2 mods, with the tree removed in each, and I think you may see an improvement. The other change I made was to position the dog more to the right, and a little lower to get him composed on thirds. and make it an 8 X 10 format for printing.The background has a slight Gaussian blur applied, Mod2 is just mod1 with a frame.

I hope you find this constructive and helpful, and would love to know if you like the `no tree`` mod.


09/02/2011 - 5:59 AM

Eye Spy

Eye SpyWelcme to EPZ Mieke.

WE dont see a lot of Kookaburra shots here, and this is quite nice against a super sunset.

Looking at you shot details, you used a focal length of 238mm, f.6.3, 1/100th second. You had flash on, - which in AE mode provide fill flash, but I dont know if you used the cameras built in flash, or an external like a 580.

It appears from the shot that you didnt have the flash power, or were too far away for the flash to expose the bird properly. The built in fash doesnt have a lot of power, and though an external like a 580 has a lot more, distance makes a bit difference,

In the mod Ive compensated by increasing the exposure on the bird only; cropped space from the left and added some sly at the top to get the bird onto a third for a better composition.

Youre shutter speed was way too slow at 238 mm if you were hand holding, and I suspect the use of flash, even at low power gave you a chance at a reasonably sharp image. Though you dont mention if you used a tripod or a solid support like a bean bag.

The general rule for the minimum speed hand holding is 1/(focal length * crop factor), which in you case is 1/(238 * 1.6) - 1/400.

Hope you find the feedback constructive and helpful, and that you like the mod. To view the mod, click on the Modification tab under you shot, then click on the mods to enlarge.


08/02/2011 - 10:44 PM

Thar be Dragons...

Thar be Dragons...This is a very fine shot of the Lizard. The colour balance didnt turn out too bad as you say, and the wildcard processing gave a decent result.

Looks more like a Basil, or perhaps a Gordon to me, - not sure about Lizzie... I'll bet its yours and youre pretending its the wifes....

Anyway, - the challenge with lizards, apart from names, is that they reflect a lot of light. This is no exception, though overall its not bad. To me this makes it appear slightly overexposed. So next time perhaps use a negative exposure compensation. Your settings look good apart from that

I did load a mod with the highlights toned down, exposure down a little, and darkened the background to make him/her/it stand out a bit more, - make a more handsome composition.

Also, from the POV of composition, its best if you can compose to get his eye on the third, as I have done in the mod using a combination of cropping from the left, and adding canvas top and right.

I hope you find this constructive, if not amusing, at least entertaining to some degree.

best regards

07/02/2011 - 11:59 PM

Butter wouldn't melt !

Butter wouldn't melt !Hi Sylvia,

This is so different for you!

The Red Eye is there for sure; theres a cool tone overall ( probably the weather); its not quite as sharp as it can be. But its a lovely expression of a kid in its element.

Ive loaded 2 mods with some changes.


07/02/2011 - 11:17 PM

Hoot..anyone there?

Hoot..anyone there?A really nice shot Lillian. Looks a tad soft, - likely due to the slightly oversone whites.

Loaded a mod with highlights toned down; sharpened; increased eye detail; re composed on thirds. I also cloned out that little spot of blue on his leg from the band.

Hope you like this,


07/02/2011 - 6:28 PM

Which side was he on?

Which side was he on?Another great candid street shot Jonathan.

I would image this man has that expression all the time, - its obviously got his face well set judging by the lines.

The obvious comment to point out is his hand is cropped off, and it could be a spoiler. But the rest of the shot is strong. On my screen its greyish, and lacks contrast, so mod1 is jut a contrast ans sharpen mod. I spent a lot of time bringing out the lines in his face, which are fantastic.

Mod 2 is a square crop and an ideas to compensate for the loss of the hand, - and thats the trick of making it look like you deliberately cut off his arm; mod2, is mod2 with some toning that might suits the place and time.

07/02/2011 - 6:03 PM

Golden Eagle.

Golden Eagle.A fantastic shot from a compact camera. Agree with all of the above, but couldnt help trying my hand at Avian Head Replacement Surgery, so loaded a mod with the head, highlights toned down, and re composed by cropping to place the bird further to the right and lower for a better composition.

T see mods with the new site layout, look at the tabs under you photo, select modifications, and click and any one to view larger.

I hope this is helpful


05/02/2011 - 7:14 PM

Ships Death Traps

Ships Death TrapsIts a nice shot. Nicel foreground interest leading the eye to the island.

Overall i seems a little dark or over saturated on my screen, - although the exposure is spot on, and its not over saturated. I think this is due to the fact that its a very high contrast image, and the black border enhances the effect.

Ive loaded a mod where ive cropped space from the top, to lower the horizon to a third for better balance, sharpened a little and inverted the framing. I reduced contrast overall

Hope this is helpful,


05/02/2011 - 6:57 PM

B&W looking for comments

B&W looking for commentsWelcome Mike.

I agree with CathR, - this is a poor shot of the girl, and a poor shot of the building. It should be one or the other, and my suggestion, loaded in the mod is to make it a portrait style shot og the girl with a small amount og the building behind. If you wanted to inslide both successfully, then a better approach would be aor move back, or zoom out, and get more of the building, and all of the girl.

At f.5, 0 I believe the girls face, and the bars behind should be as sharp as the stone surround, and looking closely at this is appears that you have applied some softening?

In the mod, I have sharpened the girl and background; lightened her hair a little, and reduced the glare on her face.

I hope you find this feedback constructive, and look forward to more of your shots. I would love to know your opinion on the mod also.


05/02/2011 - 6:40 PM


NuthatchIt is a nice shot. I do agree with Clint however, and question why you would need to remove noise at ISO 400 on a 7D, unless this is a small crop of a larger shot?

Noise reduction, - including Noise Ninja which has specific noise profiles for each camera, will tend to soften some areas of the shot where it will interpret very fine detail as noise, such as in soft plumage, and it will remove it, - this is why you always need to remove noise with a layer copy and remove the NR effect where its not wanted. With large high res monitors we are all gettiing a little too picky about noise!

To me, the shot appears to be slightly flat and a little hot on highlights; and it can benefit with re composing with cropping to place the bird lowers and further to the right.

Ive also toned down highlights, enhanced the eye catch light, and increased saturation on the bird only. I finally applied a VERY small amount of sharpening.

I hope this is helpful and would like to know your opinion on the mod,


04/02/2011 - 7:51 PM

Singing Heron

Singing HeronWhat a fantastic and unique shot. Its very good as is, however some small suggestions as in the mod.

A little more sharpening, especially round the head; crop to get the Heron even more onto a third (its quite good as is) and reduce the highlight reflections from the wooden roof. Ive also removed the two white bits {feathers?)

I hope you find this constructive and helpful


04/02/2011 - 3:17 PM


princessHi Emma, - youve done a good job with this. Shot settings are spot on, and its a very pleasant princess result.

Lots of good comments already above, and I will add my own as I go along.

Daves reference to white balance is right on, and its sooo easy to do the calibration with white paper or buy a gray card from a photo shop (CHEAP!), and shoot in RAW. The use the gray/white card to calibrate your white balance.

My main niggle is that since she is surrounded by pink, its hard to void a red/pink cast on her skin. Ive removed this in a mod and you can see it makes quite a difference. I would also reduce the saturation of the background so its more incidental, rather than playing a strong part in the shot. For me, Teddy stays, - hes just focused soft enough to play a peripheral role, and Princesses have Teddys!

Her face, especially around her eyes appears to have some shadows, or darker colourations that may be diminished by reflecting light into her face, (though it is a tad overexposed as it is}, but a better way I found though the mod was to apply a soft diffuse glow, - after all, - she is a Princess. This removes colourations around the eyes, and softens the image after all. And its easy to do with the Photoshop distort filter.

At ISO 400 there was a little noise I removed in Noise Ninja, - and Ive made the curtain on the left rather plain all the way by painting in the main curtain colour to removed reflections and bright spots.

As always, - I hope you find this constructive and helpful,