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30/10/2010 - 6:38 PM


VogueOne of the better Peacock shots Ive seen on this site Paul.

Excellent detail, beautiful pose, love the angle from the side.

I would think that it appears a little cold tonally, and benefits with a threshold and curves adjustment that allows the green hues to come through.

Though its a shame to crop this at all, it may look better with the head placed more to the left and a little higher as in the mod. Ive also increased saturation a little, and brightened the eye.

Hope you find this helpful,


23/10/2010 - 2:56 PM

Two's joy

Two's joyThanks for the original Xiaoli.

I think something in the sharpening processing using the high pass filter caused problems with the image.

Ive sued the basic Unsharp mask in the mod1 with the settings:

Amount = 100%

Radius = 0.8

Threshold = 3

The result is cleaner. I also lightened the magpies a little. The one on the right is moving, so you will never get that one sharp. A little increase in contrast was the only other tweak.

I tried to use your settings and got a result that didnt look quite right. I then used the High Pass filter with the settings:

Radius = 2.1 pixels.

Blending mode Overlay, amount = 100% and got the result in mod2, which is not bad.

Perhaps the amounts you used for high pass were not quite right? When you select a radius, it should just barely show the edges to be sharpened, so a low number should work better than a large number.

Hope this helps


22/10/2010 - 3:47 PM

My angel

My angelShe is an Angel Igor, a lovely child. Ive looked through your portfolio and Ive seen her pose like this before with her knees just like this.

One thing I notice through browsing your portfolio is that you tend to over soften skin and facial features. This sometimes causes the finished imaged to appear a little too plastic, as you lose a lot of detail.

I think thats one comment I would apply to this shot, - too much skin softening. Young children rarely need any, and if at all, it should be lightly applied.

The pose has a look of fear rather than friendliness, although you will surely see the pose quite differently to me.

I have loaded a mod trying to bring a little more texture to her face, and lightening the shadows at the top of her eyes, and cropped a little from the right. The central position is OK, - just might look better off centre.

I hope you take this feedback as constructive, and I look forward to more shots of the Angel.


21/10/2010 - 6:12 PM

Gateway To India

Gateway To IndiaA good shot Prabh. The light doesnt bother me, - seems to be a street light?

With a wide lens, you will always get the converging verticals, and in fact theres specialized lenses called tilt-shift lenses that are designed specifically for architecture to ensure straight verticals.

You can minimize this to some extent by standing directly in front of the building.

Otherwise you either leave it, - its often seen in shots and even in movies, and it can be used to advantage at times. In can be adjusted in software, but this works better if you had been standing directly in front of the building.

Loaded a mod as an example. The other thing to note is that you need to sharpen the image more after you re size it.


19/10/2010 - 9:42 PM

Love of Antiques

Love of AntiquesVery nice work, and I believe you achieved your objective. It is a very erotic image and pose, however still discrete and not exploitative.

The only way to have more space as you know is to use a wider angle lens, or have her pose in a less wide position the next time. You can use a large mat and frame to give the impression of a wider crop as in the mod.

Bren, grey triangle is a watermark.


19/10/2010 - 2:30 PM


WillThis is a very good shot Mike. The crop is different and I think brave, but it works very well. I love the expression, the fact hes looking down, and seems to be on the way out of the frame, - all well done. Its one of the better portraits of this style Ive seen in a while.

Its almost a high key look, and you can protect the eyes from the effect by using a layer mask to remove any of the brightening effects from them.

In my mod, Ive darkened the eyes only just a little, and cropped a little tighter, retaining the 1982 badge which I assu8me may be significant. The crop is to align his eye onto a third, and enhance the nice diagonal composition.

I darkened the eyes by making a layer copy, changing the mode to multiply, reducing opacity to about 40%, the using a layer mask to make sure the darkening was applied to the eyes only.

I hope you find this helpful,


15/10/2010 - 4:15 PM

Blue Eyes

Blue EyesV3 is the best of the three, both technically, and for post processing.

For a portrait, its very important that the eye closest to the camera is sharp, which it is in V3, but the softening you have applied in the other versions have damaged what is essential to make this shot work well.

Ive loaded 2 mods.

Mod1, using your original is cropped to move him away from the centre, and make his eyes draw the attention of the viewer. The existing composition draws the viewer to his ear. I have sharpened quite a lot (remember to sharpen after you re size your image!), and reduced the dominance of red. I have added space to the left for balance, and darkened the left a little

Mod2 is the same shot with a little diffuse glow distortion filter applied while retaining the sharpness of the eyes.

Hope this is helpful


14/10/2010 - 1:43 PM

Lifting Off

Lifting OffIts a well timed action shot with a great sense of speed and movement.

It can benefit with a little more sharpening (remember to sharpen after you re size for the web), and also a touch more contrast as in the mod.

For decent background blur you would have needed to use a more expensive piece of glass with a larger max aperture than the one you used, but I have loaded a mod with some blurring as an example.

Hope this is helpful


13/10/2010 - 3:38 AM

Miss black and white

Miss black and whiteYou havent mentioned what type of blur you applied. There are a couple of different approaches to soften skin using blur, - Gaussian, lens, surface, and under Filter>Noise, one of the better ones when applied carefully is median. You can also use Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise for a blur effect. Be careful not to apply to eyes, clothing, and hair as the look will not be natural, so use a layer mask to remove blur from these areas.

A plug in filter used sometimes if Portrait Professional which you can try out with a free download.

In this shot the blur is overdone in my opinion, though the basic shot is quite good.


12/10/2010 - 9:51 PM


VikkiYou mention a hd effect? I assume you meant high key?

Ive loaded a mod to recover as much of the blown areas as I could.

I used a duplicate layer; set blending mode to multiply; used a mask to remove the darker areas where I didnt want them, then flattened the layer. Desaturated a little and sharpened. Also cropped a little differently.

Hope this works for you.

There is a good tutorial on the site about high key if you are interested.


10/10/2010 - 5:39 PM

Arid Africa

Arid AfricaIts a nice shot. Looks like you were perhaps trying to get too much into the frame, - and I cant blame you for that, - most of us would.

That foreground carcass really deserves a better placement, as it a critical part of conveying the sense of dryness.

It is lacking in contrast which is often the case I see with African shots with a very bright high sun.

Sometimes a photograph needs a helping hand, like moving the Zebras, and the carcass, - as in the mod.


10/10/2010 - 4:33 PM

Wet Landing

Wet LandingIt is a nice shot with good compositional elements.

As mentioned already, - its better if balanced with 1/3 sky and 2/3 foreground in general. if you had got down lower, raised the camera a touch you would have nailed it.

I have loaded a mod with sky added, - I increased the canvas size at the top and cloned in the shy; cropped a little from the bottom and sides; adjusted contrast and sharpened the distant area. You didnt let us know you shot settings, - I assume a small aperture, f/11 - f/18, and its better to focus 1/3 the way into the scene rather than at the horizon or end of the pier for a better front to back overall sharpness.

dofmaster.com has some good reading on this, - its called the Hyperfocal Distance.

Hope this helps,


08/10/2010 - 4:20 PM

Lucy -- The Parasol Girl

Lucy  --  The Parasol GirlIts a very good first effort, The lighting is quite good, giving some depth and contrast. It might be a little hot in some areas, - and I would be careful about including large reflective rings like the one here, - but overall good. Migth tone down the red a little, - but to make sure, you should calibrate you white balance using a grey card using the same light set up. Dont take the work of the light manufacturer, or the decision of the flash setting on the camera, - they can often be very different to what you get if you actually measure the WB.


06/10/2010 - 11:26 PM

Ruin Window

Ruin WindowIts a good shot overall.

You need to be careful with the use of the Topaz filter, - it can introduce colour casts, and also leave edges with halos. Both effects are visible in this shot, with an overly blue tone, and wall edges with halos.

Looking at the composition, I would suggest choosing the distant hill as a focal point, which means cropping space from the bottom, and adding a little to the top. As it is, theres no clear point of focus, though the natural one to me is that hill.

Ive loaded a mod as an example, and also reduced the colour cast, and lifted the shadows a little,

Hope this is helpful,


06/10/2010 - 9:39 PM

You Bring Me Sunshine...

You Bring Me Sunshine...Its a nice shot, and looks better with a few small tweaks (nothing wrong with a little p p)

Its a little soft, so after you re size for the web, check sharpness again and re sharpen if necessary.

When making borders, try to stay away from using the dominant colour in the shot in the frame, - it tends to weaken the shot.

Crop the flower a little more off centre, - though sunflowers, in particular do work centrally placed.

Ive done this in the mod, and also increased the flowers contrast, bringing out the colour, and also lightened the seed head, while slightly darkening the surrounding leaves to shot the flower off.

Hope you find this helpful,


06/10/2010 - 7:22 PM


AutumnLoaded a couple of suggestions. It would have been better if you had been able to zoom in closer to isolate the leaf more, but you can do it somewhat with cropping.

In both Ive de saturated, blurred and darkened all but the dead leaf, which Ive sharpened.

Hope this gives you some ideas.


06/10/2010 - 6:55 PM


cloudsBetter than your average plane window shot maria.

Ive loaded 2 mods, first is you original crop a little brighter, second is a tighter crop to remove the piece of blue sky top left that catches the eye, - might work better.


04/10/2010 - 2:30 PM

Misty moon near Ogmore castle

Misty moon near Ogmore castleIve downloaded this and made a couple of changes, so some suggestions.

Its looks better with more sky, and the horizon on a third. I did this by cropping space from the bottom, and adding canvas at the top, and cloning shy into it.

There is lovely light you can lift at the fence and grass on the right is you lift the shadows in that area, - makes a huge difference, as it really sparkles.

Increase contrast and sharpen a little more.

Id be happy to mail you the mod if you like.


04/10/2010 - 2:17 PM

Nash rocks

Nash rocksHi Ryan,

Ive looked through your portfolio and youve got a lot of really good shots in there, all technically spot on.
Many really deserve more attention, but perhaps arent jumping out at the viewer in the thumbnail.

This one here is another excellent shot. Compositionally it is very good.

It doesnt have a clear focal point that those rocks would lead the eye to, - but since there want one there, cant do anything about it.

I think you can likely enhance this to add more punch and drama. I would suggest darkening the darks to give it more contrast, and also increasing the saturation. As it looks it appears almost one colour, and doesnt "pop".

I loaded 2 mods, - the second one has a little more colour and warmth, but in both cases, a darker, more contrasty mood with a little sharpening.

Remember to check sharpness after you re size and sharpen as needed.

Hope this is helpful,


Not A Beautiful Woman Just An Ugly Old Fart MeYou did well with a self portrait Dennis, - its not an easy thing to do.

You didnt let us know your shot settings unfortunately, - just the lights.

Its soft overall, - might be just that you didnt sharpen after re sizing for the web?

Its also a little under exposed, - so having info on shot settings would help here with feedback.

You selected flash for white balance, however it looks overly yellow to me. You need to actually check the white balance of you lights, - place a grey calibration card in the shot, shoot on auto wb in raw, and then use the white balance tool and click on the grey card. this will tell you the actual temperature of the lights, - they can vary widely.

Loaded a mod with sharpening, exposure and tweaked colour balance a little.

The pose is likely the real you, so unless you were going in for a job as a model it looks OK to me.

Hope this helps