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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.


17/11/2010 - 11:12 PM


CaseyWelcome Robert.

As a new member, a couple of reminders: please add you shot settings, - it helps provide a more constructive feedback.

You have an option to mark any comments as constructive, - but please only do this for those that you believe are constructive.

Back to the shot.

Generally a good shot in bright light. I get the impression she is slightly squinting looking into the sun perhaps, and if so, you can get a better eye expression if you shoot with the sun lower in the sky, and to one side, and better still if a little cloud cover is available.

The loss of the top of the head is allowed, - theres no rules that demand it, and it placed the eyes nicely on a third, - and also, is a casual shot. A more formal shot would perhaps suggest you include the head.

The crop is a little wide, and Ive loaded mod 1 a little narrower to make a 10 X 8 format aspect ratio, - had to add a little more space to the top; and mod 2 is a portrait crop. Both work for me.

I have sharpened both a little to get the eyes to sparkle a little more, - and Ive also reduced the amount of red in the skin just a little.

Hope you find this helpful,


14/11/2010 - 11:07 PM


NicWelcome to EPZ Rebecca Parker!

First, some guidelines so that we can provide better feedback and more constructive critiques.

Always let us know you shot settings, lighting setup, and what you were trying to achieve, in addition to any post processing modification you may have done. You also have an option to mark a critique as constructive by clicking the link of the same name, - only use it if you do feel what you are receiving is constructive.

Second is a tip, - when you re size an image for uploading, check it for sharpness, and sharpen again as needed.

This is not a bad shot and a good first effort. Looks like a fashion shot to me. or if a portrait, its meant to show a particular aspect of the persons personality, - shyness, depression, sadness, - something like that.

When the subject is looking straight into the left or right of the frame, its better to leave more space in that area, otherwise the shot appears cramped.

Ive loaded a mod where Ive added space to the left by increasing the canvas size and cloning in the background, - or you could do this in camera by composing like this.

The light seems a little harsh coming from the right, and is blowing out the jacket detail, - might be as you wanted it, however Ive recovered some of the detail by toning down the highlights to show what a little less light looks like.

last this I did was apply a little more sharpening.

A good start, and I hope you find this helpful, and keep uploading more of your work as you progress.


14/11/2010 - 10:36 PM


JenA really nice sjot Pablo, lovely pose, great model ligting is very good. post processing and softening all done just right.

Some observations:

Although you have used a fairly small aperture, I thnk you have focused in front of the eyes, either on her hair, or mouth, as these areas are considerably sharper that her eyes. Did you select a single focus point with the camera and place it exactly on her right (left one in this shot) and then shoot? If not, then you need to do this.

The softening has drained a little colour from her skin, or you may have de saturated intentionally, - but Im assuming you didnt, so have adjusted skin tone in the mod.

Ive sharpened the eyes alone, and lightened the shadows slightly, while cropping space from the right and top to place her eyes on a third.

In mod2, I removed one of the two catchlights in the eyes to show a comparison, - some people prefer one catch light.

Hope this is helpful,


13/11/2010 - 11:54 PM

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonicaThe idea is very good, but it doesnt work for me as an abstract, as its clearly a fatsia. THis would be a great opportunity for a Lensbaby which would give a great result.

The other alternative us to use it as a base for an abstract, and work on it in Photoshop to get it more abstract.

In the mod I applied a vertical motion blur, about 6 pixels, to successive layers and used the lighten mode at various opacities, and the used some contrast adjustments, and selective application of Gaussian blur.

Hope this is helpful,


13/11/2010 - 4:53 PM


WeddingHi Jon,

Your question is how to get colour correct.

I will assume from this that you mean white balance, which is how to get colours to appear "correct", as in not coloured or tinted and without colour cast which are caused by the ambient light.

If this is the case, some basics:

Always shoot in RAW; this allows complete control over white balance when processing the RAW image.

Set a white balance reference for the ambient light; place a neutral gray card in any shot where you will be taking a number of pics, and where the light wont change; if light changes, you will need to set a calibration point for the new light conditions. Then, when performing RAW processing, use this gray card to tell you RAW processor to use this as a WB reference, and apply the resulting WB settings to all shots taken in this light.
This is easily done in set or posed shots (you only need the card in one test shot!), not so easy here with a candid, however you can still use what you know to be white as a reference in RAW processing.

ALWAYS use a flash to provide fill in light. You will see all Pro togs doing this is you watch. It will fill in shadows, provide catch lights in eyes, and is a safety net in a manner of speaking to ensure you get more good shots that not so good.

Now for this shot:

Its underexposed, and unevenly lit from left to right - fill in flash would work well here!

There appears to be a mix of light types, so not an easy job for auto white balance, - and again, shooting in RAW will let you make the best of the situation. On my screen there is an overly yellow tone (incandescent lights perhaps?) that RAW WB would compensate for, - and in my mod Ive used colour balance to try to get it right. To do this, I made an assumption that the brides dress is close to white, and adjusted colour balance to get it as neutral as possible (this means R G and B are close to the same values)

I have cropped space from the left, and added a little height, while compensating for the uneven lighting , - lifting the light on the grooms face.

I hope this gives you something to work on and answers your question. If Ive missed the mark, let me know.


13/11/2010 - 4:19 PM

The light in the sky

The light in the skyWith night shots, try to expose for the lights. If you have spot metering, use it to meter a bright area while set to your chosen aperture and obtain a reading for speed. The use Manual mode and enter the settings. If you dont have spot metering, zoom in as close as possible to a bright area and again read the speed, then got to manual, etc.


12/11/2010 - 11:22 PM

Hello anybody there?

Hello anybody there?Its a very nice shot Chris.

Youll need to let us know all your shot settings so we can be more helpful, - was flash used, what mode was the camera set to, whats the speed, aperture, ISO, - all the good stuff you find in the EXIF data.

So, driving blind (!) I think the shots appears overly yellow, - likely a white balance setting issue. it will look better with space cropped off the top to place her lovely eyes higher, about 1/3 the way down the frame.

What is great is the sharpness, great eyes, detailed and lovely catch lights, and the shot itself could be titles An Apple a Day, the Apple of my I, - it goes on...

I have loaded a mod to demonstrate my comments.

Hope you find this helpful, and remember to help us help you by loading all the details!


12/11/2010 - 5:55 PM

Roadside weeds

Roadside weedsOne of your best shots ever!

All you need to do is remove that odd visual cue on the bottom right, - try cloning in some sky for example to cover the road, buildings and post.

12/11/2010 - 3:58 PM

dartford warbler 2

dartford warbler 2This is a really nice shot, and a great example that shows more pixels doesnt necessarily = better images.

Its sharp, well focused and a lovely pose.

I agree that the composition is better with a square crop, as this places the bird on a third nicely, and provides a very attractive composition.

I have little to add apart from the crop in the mod Ive uploaded, and increasing contrast a little as the light was likely a little flat at the time of shooting. Ive added height also for optimal placement of the bird.

Good work, and I hope this helps,


09/11/2010 - 5:15 PM

Liverpool Street 'Ship'

Liverpool Street 'Ship'This is an excellent, well seen shot Barbara.

I see you tried a mono, - and imo this shot is absolutely crying out for a mono treatment.

I have added two mods, - first is the original, with the following mods:

Straightened verticals; added space to left; increased sharpness and contrast. The addition of space on the left is critical for me as it places the image in more empty pace, adding to its impact, and sets it up for a mono conversion.

The mod2, I used this as a base for a toned mono conversion; I flipped it horizontally which I think makes a big difference, and added a large frame, which also gives it scale.

I hope you find this helpful, and you will now go back and try mono again!


09/11/2010 - 3:12 PM

Julie 2

Julie 2Much better composition than the last shot.

Apart from the couple of hot spots which are easily dealt with, a couple more comments:

You had done some toning last time, - dont know if youve done it again, if not, I would recommend calibrating white balance by using a gray card, then shooting RAW and using the grey card shot as a reference. The skin appears a little too red to me.

The contrast is a little too high, resulting in a harsh look, and the loss of detail in her hair, - so in mod 2 Ive addressed both colour balance and contract (ignore mod1, wrong shot uploaded).

Hope this is helpful,


09/11/2010 - 2:47 PM

Stay where you are

Stay where you areHi Lillian, - V2 is by far the better shot, - its quite spectacular in fact. Its so rare to see a Wolf lying in the open and looking at the camera.

V2 is very soft imo.

I have loaded mods of both, but I would load V2 on its own.

Mods include colour balance, reduced saturation sharpening, and cropping.

Hope you find this helpful,


09/11/2010 - 2:23 PM

One Size Fits All

One Size Fits AllThis is a terrific candid shot. leaving the price tag in makes it special.

I would suggest cropping unnecessary space from the left, addin a little to the right by increasing canvas size and colouring in, and sacrificing a little off the top of the hat for a better composition as in the mod. Sharpen a little more also.

Hope this is helpful,


09/11/2010 - 2:12 PM

Looking at Mum

Looking at MumWelcome to EPZ Simon.

This is a nice shot, - a gentle candid moment youve caught well.

youve made a few tweaks, and with a few more this can be improved.

At the time of shooting, it would have been a good idea to have Mom pull her hair back, behind her ear for example, as it hangs very close to the babys face and is a bit of a distraction. This may also have showed some of Moms face.

As another tweak you can move her hair higher so less is visible.

Cropping closer, by taking space from the left, and a little from the right gives you a 10 X 8 format suitable for a print, and gives a better composition by placing the baby on a third.

The babys eyes are a little dark, so next time try to get a light source, such as a window that can lighten the eyes and provide a catchlight. In the mods Ive lightened the eyes and added catchlights, and you can see this makes a big difference on its own.
Catchlights are added by simply painting in white with a soft 2 pixel white brush

Ive loaded 2 mods, first is as suggested above, second has some diffuse glow and Gaussian blur added selectively to soften the areas around the baby for an overall softer appearance.

Its a good start, - youre doing well, - get some practice in and you will see big improvements.

Hope you find this helpful,


Evening in the street of LincolnThe attraction of the shot for me is the glow if the light. I would think about darkening some areas of this, - the sky with a vignette, - de saturate the sky a little, enhance the glow by increasing the light a little and adding a touch of diffuse glow, and just a very slight lift in shadow on the main window and door way. I used the lamp post as a vertical guide and straightened a little, and I would crop space bottom and top.

Its a nice moody shot.


06/11/2010 - 4:27 PM

Big Apple

Big AppleA good shot. Its a well known skyline that suits this type of shooting style well.

One thing to remember after you re size a shot for uploading is to sharpen it again, - this seems slightly soft.

The converged vertical as a factor of the wide lens, and can be left or straightened, - in this particular case I would definitely straighten.

Depending on the software you use, there different ways to do this, - I used the lens correction tool in CS4.

Your tripod should be quite a heavy and steady piece of gear for this, and preferably you should not extend the centre column. One without a centre column in face is best. Also, if it has a hook under the head, hand your kit bag of it to give it more weight. Finally, do not press the shutter with your finger, - use either the self timer or a remote release. For the very best long exposures. many shooters also use mirror lock-up, which prevents ant slight vibration from the mirror movement from causing the slightest movement.

I would suggest you think about adding a little more sky at the top to place the bridge line on a third, and crop some space from the right to balance.

Its a scene that also works really well in mono. and I have loaded a second mod with a toned mono treatment that to me looks quite nice.

Hope this is helpful,