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04/12/2010 - 3:47 PM

Snow Stream

Snow StreamWelcome to EPZ Stefan.

This is a really beautiful image just as it is. It unusual to see such warmth in a winter shot that also retains good white snow colour.

If I had to make one suggestion it would be to crop or clone the snow lower right, - it doesnt add to the image, and might look better without it.

Ive loaded this in a mod as an example, and also increased contrast just a little.

A fine first shot,

Hope this is helpful,


03/12/2010 - 4:25 PM


JOSIEThough it a nice shot, shallow dof, sharp head, I think there are some areas where this can be improved.

You havent loaded your shot setting so I dont know you aperture, but it does appear you had enough light to use smaller that 2.8 to get more of the Lioness in focus.

To me, it looks over saturated all round, and this brings up that blue background even more. Its worthwhile changing that blue to green, and easily done by replacing the colour, - I used Phototoshop>image:adjustments>replace colour.

In addition, the contrast is quite high, which also makes the colours appear a little overdone, so reducing contrast, or not increasing to much post processing can give a more natural appearance.

Adding space to the left, and cropping from the top results in a square format, and a better composition overall. Toy add canvas size to the left, and copy or clone in the background, - you can do a better job that I did in the mod if you spend more time.

Mod2 is the better one, - mod1 had an incorrect colour profile attached.

Hope you find this feedback helpful,


03/12/2010 - 3:58 PM

Bunhill Fields in the Snow

Bunhill Fields in the SnowHi Lloyd,

I think that this was likely an exercise in HDR, - and as such its successful.

I wonder though about the choice of subject for HDR as you may well have had a similar result with one, maybe two shots.

HDR is more suited to scenes that have a very wide dynamic range, from deep shadow to bright whites, - similar to the inside of a church as an example. I think if you try the same technique in a place like that, since you have figured out the technique, you would be happy with the result.

One additional step you should consider for HDR is Tone Mapping, - so a programme like Photomatix does a good job.


01/12/2010 - 2:28 PM

Ice Bench

Ice BenchI like the trees and sky in V1, but would prefer the snow a little whiter, closer to V2.

The overall effect does work for you, however it has introduced some unwanted elements also.

If you look at the top of the tree on the right you will notice a distinct blue fringe, which is also noticeable in other parts of the shot. Its absent in V2, so its likely there and has been enhanced in V2 so its visible. Noise is also noticeable in the sky in V1.

This is very likely something to do with your lens causing some fringing, - which can actually be fixed to some extent in the Filter>Distort>lens correction area.

As Frank suggests, lets know you aperture/shutter etc next time, - it can be useful for critique.


30/11/2010 - 4:13 PM


-"-'-"-I like it Andrew, - it has the effect you wanted. Ive added a little diffuse glow to parts of the image in a mod for a slight glow, - doesnt make a huge difference but could add a little mystery to the overall effect.

As for a title, - depends on you intent for the shot. She looks scared to me, - is pressed against a wall near a corner, so titles like Followed, Decision, Run, Exposed, and for something unconnected, Twitter.


30/11/2010 - 3:54 PM


sadNo mistake here Saif, - its a good image.

I suggest that if you were attempting to achieve a dreamy feeling you could remove the black border, - it tends to limit where she is looking, and add a larger white border; apply some diffuse glow for an overall softer look, and de saturate a little as in the mod.

Hope this is helpful,


28/11/2010 - 5:41 PM


GuitarIts a very good shot Alison. Exposure and sharpness are spot on.

I assume f/5.6 is likely the smallest aperture you have available to you, and at 49mm, you will still get quite a deep dof as you see here.

One thing you might try next time is to shoot along the length of the guitar, from the bottom along the body and neck and focus on the pickups, - the addition length will give you a more obvious fall off of focus.

Either way, - a good shot. I would prefer not to have the tow shadows falling across, and Ive used some shading to minimize these in the mod. Ive also reduced the reflection from the chrome area at the bottom. The main change though, and I think it will improve the composition, is the addition of more black space at the top. It gives it a 10 X 8 aspect ration, and places the guitar more optimally in the frame.

I hope you find this helpful, - and you try more experiments with DOF. Remember also, - the longer the focal length, the shallower the dof. Take a look at the online dof calculator at dofmaster.com for a good read.


28/11/2010 - 3:45 PM


GraceIts a fine shot Joe, and a lovely background. I love the wisps of hair floating in the breeze.

I would suggest cropping some space from the left, - and I feel her head is a little high in the frame, - so in my mod I added apace at the top and cloned in sky and the impression of the top of her head. This places her eye on a third for a better composition.

I did increase mid tone contrast a little as her face appears a little washed out due to fill flash, which has also given her some nice catch lights.

Its worth trying some of the B&W conversion methods Paul suggests above to get a little more contrast, - and Ive increased contrast slightly in the mod.

Hope you find this helpful,


27/11/2010 - 2:17 AM


*Hi Emma,

The tone doesnt look right to me.

When you mean tone, - I assume you are referring to white balance, and also to whether the childs skin is a natural colour.

You should always shoot in RAW in order to be able to correct white balance in post processing. When this is corrected, the overall image will be neutral in the sense that it wont have a colour bias, or cast.

Once this is correct, you can make minor colour balance adjustment to get skin tone right, though it should be close.

The image has a heavy RED cast. BUT, - to assess your images properly, you first must ensure your monitor is as accurate as possible by doing a calibration. if you dont have access to a colorimeter, Photoshop comes with a programme called Adobe Gamma which you can find in Control Panel, - give it a try.

I suspect you already believed the tone wasnt right, which is why you asked.

Ive tried to get the cast and tone right, - but I havent been entirely successful as Im limited by not having the RAW file, - this is mod1

You can see a marked difference in mod2 where they are side by side, and the cast becomes obvious.

To get where I ended up, I used a Threshold and Curves adjustment to set the black and white points to be beutral, and I then used colour balance, measuring the skins tonal composition to get an approximation of a more natural appearance. As I said its not quite there, but its closer than the original.

If you dont want to shoot RAW, then dont leave the camera in Auto White Balance, - select the setting that matches the lighting conditions, - this can sometimes get you closer.

And as a long time Canon user, - when shooting JPEG, Canon does tend to favour red to give a warm tone.

Hope this is helpful,

If you need any more info send me a PM.


24/11/2010 - 3:15 PM

Say Ahhhh!

Say Ahhhh!I think you almost have these Tigers tamed!

I like the original shot, and would suggest a slightly different crop with a simpler frame. The crop essentially allows more room around the head.

The grass for me is too vivid, and can compete with the animal, so Ive toned the grass colour down quite a bit, all in mod1.

Mod2 is a toned mono, - this can occasionally work with a Tiger.


23/11/2010 - 10:11 PM

Proud Father

Proud FatherHi Sharon, welcome to EPZ.

As a newcomer, a few rules for critiques to keep in mind:
Let us know all of your shot settings; any post processing work done what you intended for the result; and if you find any feedback constructive, you can click on the Mark as Constructive link under the posters comments. Use ONLY if the feedback is constructive.

The image is gorgeous, a beautiful moment captured that will make a very nice print.

Youve had the nose pointed out, and theres a few other suggestions I can dd that might be helpful.

Avoid a heavy black border, - it tends to make the image appear like its in a closed box; when you re size you image for the web, check the new image for sharpness, and add more as needed, - compression will cause loss of sharpness; consider re composing the shot to place the baby further back from the right, and higher in the frame to enhance the effect of looking down, - this also laces the babys head on a "third"; as mentioned by Nikola, a simple 90 degree rotation will place the baby in a position looking up. I would also brighten the baby very slightly.

I have loaded 3 mods: Mod1 is the flipped version; mod2 the original with the mods Ive suggested; and mod3 is is a softer version, - you do this by applying a diffuse glow distortion filter in Photoshop.

I hope this gives you some ideas and you find it helpful,




23/11/2010 - 12:34 AM

Gordon's Bay

Gordon's BayHi Glen,

When you are shooting a bright scene like this, - light will be reflected from the water and the sand, and there a good chance this will "fool" the camera, and make it chose and exposure that will result in a darker result than required.

This is where you need to make a jidgement by checking your histogram on your cam after the shot, and then take the shot again, but this time use a + exposure compensation, telling the camera to over expose by say 2/3, and then look at the resulting shot and histogram, which should look a lot better.

The beauty of the digital camera!

Hope this is also helpful, loaded a mod also,


22/11/2010 - 12:46 AM

City Skyline

City SkylineIt appears to me to be slightly off horizontal, dropping a little from left to right.

Ive corrected this in the mod, and reduced some noise using Noise Ninja, which also applies a little sharpening.

Its is a nice shot, composed quite well.

You mention 4 shots merged, - but you dont mention is this was done as an HDR merge, or what it was you were trying to achieve.

Either way, a good effort.

Hope this is helpful,


22/11/2010 - 12:26 AM

Claire b

Claire bHi Lee.

A seductive pose that works quite well with the position of her head and direction she is looking.

For me, - underexposed quite a bit, with a strong yellow cast. You havent loaded your shot details or you intention for the shot, so I have to assume you didnt tone it deliberately yellow, - let me know if I am wrong.

It is way too soft for me, doesnt appear to be an attempt at soft focus, just a shot that needs to be sharper.

I have loaded 2 mods. Mod1 addresses the issues above, - Ive also added a little more space at the top to bring her head lower.

If you do want an softer overall appearance, Ive loaded mod2, which is a diffuse glow filter applied to mod1, It can give a more glamourous appearance, and is quite easy to do in Photoshop, - look under filter>distort>diffuse glow; apply on a new layer and adjust opacity until you get the result you want.

I hope this is helpful,


20/11/2010 - 2:54 PM

Deep in whittle thought

Deep in whittle thoughtHi Farrah, welcome to EPZ.

You did find a nice moment here, and having the whittler working is great.

A couple of comments technically:

The image is not straight left to right, and these some barrel distortion that makes the shot "bulge: outwards from the centre, easily fixed in Photoshop.

It lacks contrast, - likely a very bright day, so adding some makes the image more interesting.

I would suggest cropping space from the left to move the man onto a third.

Ive loaded all this in mod1, and mod 2 is a sepia toned shot that might be worth a try.

I hope this is helpful,


20/11/2010 - 2:01 PM

The Earth Be My Bed

The Earth Be My BedHI Prabh,

I am always grateful to you for showing images that have the ability to make us more fortunate people realize that we are actually fortunate.
This image is one of them.

To answer you question, the face is way too soft, as you focused on his feet, rather than his face, It would have been better to have the softness on the feet, by focusing on his face.

The other problem you have is you have a dark subject against a bright background, so you exposed well for the bright area, leaving the person underexposed.

I have loaded 2 mods, - mod1 is your opriginal shot with the gentleman exposed a little better, and sharpened, - not enough to get his face sharp though, - and mod 2 is a monotone conversion.

So what Im suggesting is to get the original exposed right first, then try the conversions and toning and see which you prefer.

In this shot, your angle is good, but you instinct about the face was correct.


19/11/2010 - 5:12 PM

where the stars don't shine

where the stars don't shineIm late coming to this shot Diana, and have had the advantage of reading all the comments above.

For me this is a magical image, with just the right amount of perspective distortion to make it akin to a dream, or a scene from a graphic fairytale.
I agree that the very brifht spot can be toned down, - and the horizon straightened, and Ive done a fair amount of work in the mod on composition, etc, - BUT, - I think this has perhaps lost the magic component?


19/11/2010 - 3:18 PM

early morning

early morningIts a nice shot Lee. I wonder if your lens is the 50mm f/1.8, - im not aware of a 55mm prime unless its a new model.

Either way, like the idea. The essential part of this for me is the water drops on the wire and I would try to enhance these. In the mod Ive just used a 2 pixel soft white brush on them to make them glow.

the rest is cropping, - I would move the weed on the right in from the edge, and crop off the background tree, and sharpen overall.

Hope this is helpful,


19/11/2010 - 2:06 PM

Dragan test

Dragan testIts a good application of the effect. I would suggest you sharpen it a little, brighten the eyes, and remove the light glow around his head. It takes a lot of practice, and this is a good subject to start with.

17/11/2010 - 11:49 PM

A Bit Brisk

A Bit BriskIts an excellent shot; the wave movement is just perfect, terrofoc light and tone.

I would just like to see the horizon on a third, and that left wood piece in a little further from the edge, so added a mod to illustrate the suggestions.