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20/10/2014 - 5:22 PM

Front on jump

Front on jumpSome good points raised above, Willie's mod has made a big difference to the whole image & some great advice from Tanya.

I would have been tempted to crop much,much closer to the horse & rider,I don't think losing the sides of the jump is a big thing.
I think you did very well to get the angle here,maybe not the most attractive from a horsey point of view, but well done.

The light has done you no particular favors but at an event such as this you have to be there at the time it's actually going on so there is no choice.
Yep,does need lightening & brightening a tad but I bet the rider likes it !
I did a very swift mod...lightened slightly,cropped in close...I had to add the clouds though...sorry,it just needed something in the sky for me.
30/09/2014 - 4:45 PM

Brighton Station Clock

Brighton Station ClockI like this,lots to see but maybe a wee bit too much as Moira has suggested...I do like her second mod.
Love the lights & a fabulous clock.
For me,on your original up load the darker area to the bottom right pulls my eye straight away..Moira's mode has removed all but the tiniest bit of it. You have chosen a nice even exposure,could have been quite tricky looking at the scene.
I may have taken a couple of steps to my right just to separate that bottom light from the darker triangle,then played around with a few different crops.
11/08/2014 - 9:19 AM

Flower dialogue

Flower dialogueA wise decision to convert to B&W,there seems such a lot going on in the colour version.
I like your arty composition & generally the tones are good,although I reckon a touch more contrast wouldn't go amiss to really make this jump off the page.
Your choice to expose for the flower is spot on,you have bleached out the sky to give you a nice clean bg,very suitable for arty B&W.

You could have used a piece of white card popped in behind the flowerheads too,may have avoided you having to wiggle yourself into a position to get the sky right behind.
I think this just needs a wee bit more definition,a little more sharpness on the flower/seedpods just at the top of the stem as that bit is right on the third & is thus the first bit you see. F4 focusing on that part may have done the trick but using a smaller aperture would work equally as well.Yep,that brings in the shutter speed issue,as you know that would decrease,making it difficult to shoot the frame in the conditions you have mentioned without some movement...hmmm,a fine balance methinks.
Increasing the ISO would have helped with speed & aperture.
Nicely presented in the subtle frame.
11/08/2014 - 9:00 AM

Test upload

Test uploadHi Denny,to answer your question..
Quote: What does the large version look like.

The larger view does show considerable noise on the bg grasses,but,you have used a fairly high ISO & the a heavy crop,a combination which will deteriorate the overall quality of the final image.
Well spotted to see such a small bug amongst the grasses.
Perhaps just a tad over exposed with a small hotspot on the bug & some on the grass stalk.
I notice that you have used +0.7 exposure compensation which will have decreased your shutter speed,so,maybe if you had dropped the ISO a little you would not have needed to use the EV...maybe I'm totally wrong though as generally I'm a full on manual kinda gal Sad

I read with interest your forum post ref.quality,maybe you need to rethink your workflow,again,I don't really know as I can't actually see what you are doing.
My workflow is....
1..Raw file opened in LR3 ( yep,still using the older version as I'm still on XP...I'm saving for a new 'puter),general processing includes white balance & possibly a little exposure correction,nothing more.
2..Files saved as 16 bit tiffs AdobeRGB colour space,in a separate file.
3..File opened in P/S CS5 & post processing done,ie:cropping,levels etc,the usual stuff.
4..manipulated16 bit Tiff saved as a copy
5..resized to 1000px,converted to 8bit,converted to sRGB & saved as a jpeg ( again,a copy)
I never edit on a jpeg,always a 16bit tiff file.
I'm probably a little behind times these days Sad but the workflow works for me.

I hope you get things sorted to your satisfaction,very frustrating I guess.

Anyways,I did a very swift mod,cropped that light spot out on the RHS,used levels to reduce the hotspots on the bug & grasses a tad & darken the whole thing very slightly.
10/08/2014 - 9:07 AM

Taos morning

Taos morningI like this for it's sheer simplicity,a restful yet atmospheric scene.
The dark shape looks like a face ( to me..Wink ) so intimates a figure lying in a grey mist.
I did a quick mod..cropped a load of sky,upped the contrast a little,softened the 'mist'.
I was tempted to convert to mono but,I do like just that wee hint of colour in the sky.
This would create a lovely huge canvas on a blank wall.
31/07/2014 - 11:16 PM

A Tribute to Dame Edna....

A Tribute to Dame Edna....Nice control of the highlights,such a pretty colour with good detail.

Just watch your bg,it's not quite black in a couple of places,to the LHS,about a third of the way down behind the flower.I did drop the image into Photoshop.I hope you don't mind, to make sure it wasn't just my eyesight.I managed to correct it simply by using a curves layer,OUTPUT at 101..INPUT at 102 gave a good totally black bg without much interference on the flower itself.Then I checked the 'info' panel & the reading for the blacks was at zero.
I would have popped a mod up for you but sadly they are not enabled Sad
Durham Cathedral from the RiverSo what if it's been done..not by you !
Lovely viewpoint Fiona.
Here's a bit of help with the grid thing..
Adjust the Grid to your personal preferences, by selecting Edit>Preferences>Guides & Grid. You can have your grid set for a major line (the Gridlines) every inch ( or your choice) with some minor lines between the majors (e.g., four Subdivisions). This allows for greater accuracy. However, if you need more or less, you can adjust the gridlines to fit your project.
16/07/2014 - 8:43 AM

Painted Lady on Thyme

Painted Lady on ThymeYes,slightly over exposed generally.
I do like the pose you have captured but the Lady is lost amongst the distracting bg.
If you turned this 90 degrees anticlockwise,oddly, the Lady is much more prominent in the frame,then you could have a go at a crop from the top & bottom.
I'll try a mod.
08/06/2014 - 1:57 PM

Secret Garden Project

Secret Garden ProjectWell done for having a go at something different...almost works.
I'm not too sure on the lighting you have used,there is plenty of light on her face but her hair is backlit which seems to contradict the amount of light on her face & the front of her dress. Also,there are no shadows on the floor which does make it seem she is floating a little...maybe that's the impression you wanted to create.
Yep a nice gel on the beauty dish may have dropped a light on her face & dress resembling the colour of light from the lantern but I think that particular light needs to be much more focused,as the light from the lantern would be very limited in real life....and a different colour.
I may be talking a load of rubbish but there is something about the lighting that is so not sitting right with me...I may have put my finger on it...but........
I like her gown,love her expression & hair.
I did a very quick mod...
Dropped in a little shadow at the bottom of her dress with the burn tool,tried to reduce the amount of light hitting the front of her using selective levels & cropped rather heavily.Reduced the amount of blue on her dress.Not perfect but it looks a little different & something for you to consider.
06/05/2014 - 7:15 PM

Lavender stoechas

Lavender stoechasI agree....V2 for me,just something a little extra in the frame.
Not too sure about the landscape format though,maybe portrait would have done this a better favour...dunno,jury's out Wink
Perhaps would have removed the very dark bit right on the edge,LHS as Moira has suggested,it does pull my view a wee bit.
Would have liked a touch more light on the front of the flower head,a lump of crumpled up kitchen foil on a stick would easily drop an extra bit there for you & with it being on a stick you could move it around/stick it in the ground close by to get the best effect.
The ghost in Bournemouth lower gardens
Quote: did the cloning go wrong a bit?

Yes,look right at the bottom of the frame at that pathway,I can see exactly where you cloned into with bits that are much lighter than that part of the path you needed to clone in.Not a dreadful thing & would be easily fixed...I'll try a mod & show you what I mean.
02/04/2014 - 6:12 PM

Switzerland Dec 8th 2013

Switzerland Dec 8th 2013A pretty scene of that lovely house with the smoke coming out of the chimney.
Perhaps just a wee bit on the bright side in the fg & any sky detail has been lost just because of the harsh contrasts.Maybe a little earlier or later in the day would have been a better time to take this shot when the light may have been a little less harsh & intense.
To improve this I would have cropped off the sky,darkened the fg a little & had a go at removing some of the blue tint to the snow on the house roof...all of which I have done in my modification.
That signpost doesn't really add anything to the scene for me,I see the back of the sign not the front & is a bit of a barrier to me getting beyond it to the better image of the house at the back.
I find myself wishing you had got much closer to the house with that nice dark backdrop from the trees behind,would have made this much better composition wise I feel.
Possibly slightly over processed which has lost you lots of detail in the fg,but,again the harsh light has not helped you here.
Do you have an ND grad filter ? using one would have retained some detail in the brighter parts ,alternatively you could take a couple of images,one exposed for the lighter parts & one for the darker ones,combine them in Photoshop CC on separate layers & mask out the bits you don't want in the scene ( Reckon you would have had to use a tripod though as both images need to be exactly in the same position.
Nicely spotted...love the smoke.
31/03/2014 - 6:28 PM

Time Passes

Time PassesHi Helena,
To begin with,this is a well thought out still life,there is a story to be told & you have a nice link to your objects.
Firstly the bg...for me it's over complicated & swamps the collection a little,the brightness & colour are not really helping,something a bit more subtle would help to bring the focus on your 'things' rather than the bg being the first point of call for the viewer.I am in favour of the bg having some movement though,a few creases here & there really can help with the composition.However it looks as though the base you were using isn't solid/flat...I find using an ironing board as my base helps as you can alter the height without too much trouble.You could place it quite close to a wall & use sticky tape or blu tac to hold the bg up behind.

Creativity/atmosphere has to come from the lighting as has been suggested above.This lighting looks rather flat & straight on to your subjects which has lost you the shape & form that can be created from shadows.

Content ?...I think there is enough to tell a story,perhaps a little too much TBH,reckon you could have left out the glasses & case.I find my eyes wandering around the frame,not resting on a particular thing.
I do like the books but if it had been mine I would have put the spines facing forward,particularly the big one at the bottom.

Love the movement in the metronome but you have lost that crisp detail by using a fairly shallow dof, something like F16 would have been a better choice methinks.
The Roses ? yep ,I agree ,they look a little wrong with the stems chopped off,I would prefer to see the flower heads rather than the stalks...nothing stopping you chopping off the stalks altogether & placing the flower heads where the glasses are,that would give you better height to your composition.

As a final point I think this would look much better with a much lower viewpoint,as it is I feel I am looking down onto the image instead of viewing it as a whole,reckon that would improve your composition by a mile.

Just needs a bit of work,thoughts are there,composition can be worked on...remember what pleases others may not be what you were looking for,so be an individual & bring those creative skills out !
27/03/2014 - 9:06 PM

Daffodils in a Ginger Jar

Daffodils in a Ginger JarMuch better lace Fiona,you could try the local charity shops for a nice old piece of lace curtains,all crumpled & worn..they seem to have a life,movement & texture all of their own ( I have a great collection which I use for bg's & fg's too).
I like the hint of light hitting the blue cloth,that just gives the vase a sense of depth & situation..Moira's black mod is good but then you have lost that 'grounding' of the vase.
Willie's shift to the right is a good one he has just left enough light to bottom the vase & avoid it floating in mid air.
Composition & content are strong,good color & detail.You could try the odd petal on the lace ( a little 'thing' of mine,which sometimes I try to avoid doing but fail miserably Sad )
I can see a collection of 'things' taking place...you will soon need a nice big cupboard to keep them in,mine has just been delivered & hides many sins Wink
25/03/2014 - 8:24 PM

Still Life with Grapes

Still Life with GrapesYou have been busy whilst I have been away Fiona,some nice stuff coming into your pf.
For me,V2 all the way,the spill of the grapes makes it for me.
However...you just knew there was going to be one Wink....you really do need to use real Grapes,they have a texture/colour/bloom & form that is quite impossible to replicate.Yep,the lace is very pretty but needs to be softer,more pliable ,loose...whatever you call it just to give a delicate base to the 'harder landscaping'.
The light is pretty & you have done well to avoid highlights on the glass.
Perhaps try a similar composition but using a landscape format to give everything room to breathe.
Good colour mix Fiona,lots of effort going into your stuff..well done !
17/02/2014 - 5:53 PM

Fou Roux

Fou RouxNot sure about this one Nick,it does look a tad on the static line for me,even for a still life.
I like the content but reckon good ole Dave has some constructive suggestions above.
Maybe a slightly lower POV would help.There seems to be lots of gaps & for me it's not 'running through' the frame...that paintbrush is giving me a block to the rest of the image.
Colours are good,great concept.
30/01/2014 - 6:42 PM

The Beauty of Aging

The Beauty of AgingSome nice detail on the petals & the bg is nice & clean.
Almost over is generally not the best time to take images of flowers as some of the petals just look grubby & some are pristine,so,either well over & dried out brings out loads of texture on the petals or pick a time when the flower is at it's best.
You have the stem very OOF which is ok but I think there is just a bit too much of it in the frame here,not adding anything to the image & thus could be cropped out leaving the focus much better on the head of the Rose.
With a very shallow DOF you render lots of the flower OOF but I think you just about have the centre in focus.
The bg is very stark..a crop sorts some of that out but you could think about using a piece of lightly coloured card or material behind your subject with plenty of room between it & the Rose so it's nicely OOF,a piece of old net curtain could come in handy as an alternative.
The other alternative is to have a go at dropping on a lightly textured layer to compliment the flower...just a suggestion & one I have used in the modification I have offered. Drop on the textured/coloured layer have a bash at using different blend modes for the texture to see which you prefer & use the eraser tool to remove it from the flower. A different idea perhaps for you to try ( it's good fun too Wink )

In the mod,I have cropped & rotated the flower,added a light texture & used the 'Multiply' blend mode,reduced the opacity of the texture to around 40% & removed it from the petals.Darkened the flower down very slightly on the left in order to give the Rose a little more shape & form.
I cloned out a couple of very blurry leaves too.
09/01/2014 - 6:39 PM

Flowers and butterfly

Flowers and butterfly
Quote: I've made ​​from the video with this camera /Play Memoty Home/ and then have treatment with Photoshop.


That makes things quite difficult as anyone offering critique can only comment on the resulting image & your post processing & not the settings you used to take it.
The image is ok,plenty of room for the Butterfly to 'breathe',good colour.
Just a few light halos around the antennae which suggests slight oversharpening.This could be easily remedied by using you clone tool set to 'darken' on a separate layer....I did that method in the mod I have uploaded.
The yellow of the flower is a touch overexposed & for me,could do with toning down ever so slightly.
The dof is ok,enough to isolate the insect from it's surroundings.
08/01/2014 - 8:48 PM

Milton Ferry Bridge

Milton Ferry BridgeA great bridge for photographic opportunities.
The fg is quite messy & thus distracting tbh,I think you could have done with a little 'gardening' on that score to remove some of the longer bits of grasses,particularly where they overlap the main subject.
I see a very strong blue cast to the whole frame,quite easily corrected in your editing program using the colour balance tools.Not sure that the very darkest vignetted part of the sky is adding anything to this,scrolling the image up & down I can see where a crop from the top may be in order.
I like the effect of the long exposure on the water but it has left you with lots of blur in the fg grass & as it is so long it removes interest from the water.
I really think a closer viewpoint would have been an advantage as there are great shapes & contrasts in that bridge.
08/01/2014 - 6:04 PM

Blue boat

Blue boatI would have gone in much closer to the boat & therefore included far less of the uninteresting sky.Perhaps a few steps to your left would have helped which would have again given you less sky in your composition & used the rocks/cliffs as a more interesting bg.