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cuffit's Gallery Comments

cuffit > cuffit Recent Activity > cuffit's Gallery Comments
Sunshine and Valor by IainHamer

Sunshine and Valor

Great shot, it hardly seems possible that they could be anchored there. There must be quite a shelf beyond the pier or perhaps the ship's draft is less than we might think. Makes you think. Cracking colour, scale and composition. Chris

By: IainHamer

Stone Maiden by cuffit

Stone Maiden

Chinga, many thanks for your kind comments and to all those who took time to look and vote - much appreciated. Chris

By: cuffit

Foxhill Motor X by Generous1

Foxhill Motor X

Interesting, this pic was taken at about the same time as the last one in which the main bike was out of focus - have you managed, from the info given to you on the last one, to figure out why this one was sharper and the last one blurred?

By: Generous1

Foxhill by Generous1


You were certainly in a great position to take the shot and your shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the action, but the main bike (the intended subject?) is out of focus. The second bike is in focus but, being further behind and much smaller than the main subject, doesn't rescue the shot. As your camera was set to 'Action' (which will favour high shutter speed), I wonder if a central focussing point picked up the second bike? Or was it that the speed of the main bike was just too quick for the camera to cope at such a short distance.

I have avoided visiting Foxhills as my impression, from videos I have seen, is that access for photographers is limited; you photo shows that might not be so - how did you find access around the track?

With an 18-55 lens, I would have set myself up on the bends or aimed to get that main bike a little earlier than you have - a little closer than that second machine to fill the frame. Panning is another technique which can be useful.

Hope this helps. Chris

By: Generous1

Sloggi Balloon by Pricey

Sloggi Balloon

May I be the first to vote - great shot. I have often thought of attending these meetings but I haven't found one this side of the country (East Anglia). Must keep an eye out for them. Chris

By: Pricey

Howie ... by brownstonechip

Howie ...

Excellent quality. Chris

By: brownstonechip

Night rally by Sulco

Night rally

Good on you for putting your photo up for critique - and for trying something different; you have attracted a lot of interest and help - whereas I think if you had placed it the site with voting enabled it would have seen very little attention for all the reasons already mentioned; the primary one for me would be that I cannot easily see what you were trying to achieve.

I don't think there are many of us that haven't produced a photo that fails completely. With more than a fair bit of experience I went to Oulton Park last year to photograph a round of the British Superbikes series and couldn't get a successful shot no matter what I tried. Whether the camera was on semi-auto settings, full manual selected on both camera and lens, or on a monopod or off - total disaster! I even reset the camera to factory settings and switched lenses as well.

There are many fine rallying shots on the site and it might be worth searching the 'tags' and find other motorsports pictures, many have the settings shown as well and, while the settings can only be considered an indicator as all photographers have their own recipe, the general rules given to you above will always apply as a starting point - depending on what you are trying to achieve.

One last thing, you mention you were quite a way from the track and I hope my last comment doesn't fall into the 'grandmothers and sucking legs category' but, along with Nick, the outside of a fast bend where you were standing is usually the exit point off the track when the cars/bikes lose adhesion!

Good All the best for your next shots.


By: Sulco

The Cyclist by Paintman

The Cyclist

Nice shots - good that you have a combination of camera and lens that work for you now. Chris

By: Paintman

Buchan by rickie


Excellent. The 'eye' does it and lifts a technically very good photo into something special. I wonder if, in black and white, it might be possible to make the eyes even more of a feature. Was this at Brands which is not an easy track to get a shot like this - I watched on TV. Chris

By: rickie

Inside the gallery by xwang

Inside the gallery

I like this shot, but I wonder if there is an even better one with a much tighter crop - the couple in the front almost mirror those in the painting - the old world and the new. I would have excluded the man on the right. Nevertheless, good timing very well seen and my vote follows.

By: xwang

Andy Priaulx by cgp23

Andy Priaulx

Excellent shot, flame and all - with the driver behind kindly being in the right place for great composition. Such timing does not come along very often, so well caught. Chris

By: cgp23

On the gas ... by brownstonechip

On the gas ...

You really do get great clarity in your shots. Another cracker. Chris

By: brownstonechip

Moto x by brownstonechip

Moto x

Haven't seen any of your pics for a while, Phil. Good to see your photo (I was unable to get to Cadders Hill this year) with the usual high quality and action. Chris

By: brownstonechip

hit the corner right by one

hit the corner right

Mark, I have been watching a few of your latest uploaded photos and have not commented but wondered if there may be something wrong with the focussing on your camera? I have also wrestled with focus and depth of field issues, along with blown highlights and/or dealing with minimum places to take photos at motorsports events. Of your last 4 photos, the latest is the sharpest but it still lacks clarity on close inspection. Also, the first 3 appear to have a 'blur' on the right hand side - almost if they were shot through a window - one I recall has an oblong blur - is this something obstructing the lens perhaps? I am not familiar with your camera (I recall the film versions were highly thought of) and whether you have autofocus or rely on manual focussing.

It is odd that your 1/800th shutter speed hasn't helped you. Personally, I think the high shutter speed tend to make the bikes look static unless they are at a dramatic angle but, again, in the first 3 of the four, the focus appears to be on the second bike of two, when you want the closest one (or both) sharp. Looking through your portfolio 'Have a Clear Lead' is a good shot and you have 'panned' the camera on that occasion and, while not as crisp as it might be, it is well taken and has greater impact for that and the eye doesn't tend to dwell on the sharpness.

Normally, a high shutter speed (1/800) would give you a sharp shot but a static-appearing bike (if photographed on the straight) so I am not sure why the photos are not sharp. Are you perhaps moving the camera slightly as you shoot (neither still nor panning if you see what I mean). You could increase the aperture to increase depth of field, reduce the shutter speed and pan to blur the background which would also give you an exposure which might reduce the highlights. Of course, we are often stuck with the bright light and only changing position can solve the problem - I always find that the best position for light is usually the wrong side of the bike - rider's head on the other side!!

Your latest shot has good composition but is quite tight in the frame, perhaps a square composition, or a 2x3 ratio, would have created an even better photo with less space surrounding it.

I hope you find these comments helpful. It just occurred to me that there seems to be a theme to the photos and a quick review of your camera might reveal where the problem may lie and raise your success rate. There are many good exponents of motorsports photography, MikeMar, Brownstonechip and Richie being very good examples, I often visit their portfolios and you can see the you the settings they use as a guideline to start.


By: one

Trust by cuffit


My thanks to both Ian and Alan for your User Awards - since the scheme started I have only been awarded two and, now, I get two on one photo. Thanks also to all who voted - it is very much appreciated. Chris

By: cuffit

Green Finch in Flight by NeilS

Green Finch in Flight

I had a go at such shots this weekend and found it very difficult; I was trying to catch them inbound toward a bird feeder. Even when I sensed they were going to move, the speed at which they bridged the gap brought home how tricky these shots are - I only had one half-decent shot to show for all the attempts! So well done you. Chris

By: NeilS

Race for the Line by cuffit

Race for the Line

Tony, thanks for your kind comment and thanks, all, for your votes and taking an interest. Chris

By: cuffit

Peach Hornet by SteveMackay

Peach Hornet

It gets my vote for quality, technique and sheer endeavour - but how do you set up the shot and take 150 photos of such a creature without it moving? Chris

By: SteveMackay

RAF Hawk by John_Wannop

RAF Hawk

I sometimes think these shots are too tight in the frame (no doubt to show the detail) but this one is superb in my view. Fantastic detail and also bonus points (if there were any to be had) for making the effort to get up there at this time of year - I hear it is a bit of a trek and a lottery as to whether anything comes through. Excellent. Chris

By: John_Wannop

The Cheltenham Spa Express by livinglevels

The Cheltenham Spa Express

Good shot. I prefer Version 2. The engine appears, to me, more prominent than the smoke in this one. Both good though

By: livinglevels

Frozen Leaf by Rende

Frozen Leaf

Excellent! Great colour and detail. Chris

By: Rende

Noon in the Rockies by DavidMosey

Noon in the Rockies

A spectacular view, great shot. Chris

By: DavidMosey

Winter Bittern by cuffit

Winter Bittern

Thanks David for your kind comment and also to everyone who voted for the Bittern! It is only the second time that I have managed to get over 30 votes so I am delighted that the photo caught the eye. Chris

By: cuffit

Passing Trains by bwlchmawr

Passing Trains

Lovely scene, well shot. Chris

By: bwlchmawr

Sunday Special by limmy62

Sunday Special

This is a cracking photo with great light and it gets my vote. The only thing that caught my eye is that the clouds mirror the smoke almost exactly which kept drawing my eye away from the smoke. I think I would have cropped a little lower at the top; however, I don't take train photos as good as this. Chris

By: limmy62

The Prize Draw Committee 2 by mrswoolybill

The Prize Draw Committee 2

My wife and I were at a similar event last month, the expressions remind me of the period where the raffle is drawn and half the tickets belong to those who have left the event, or, those choosing which prize to have which takes forever - great events though. I picked this off the page as being one of yours, it is excellent.


By: mrswoolybill

Triton by xleex


This photo brings back a memory. In the mid- to late-70s a friend and I went to the Motorcycle Show in the Agricultural Halls (?) in London. While every one was waiting to get in and some were already coming out, the biggest crowd was stood around a Triton which was parked outside. I hadn't seen one before (we were both motocross riders) but it drew an awful lot of interest. Your photo of the bike is as I recall it.

Nice photo


By: xleex

#105 airborne by cf73

#105 airborne

I agree it is a good shot, the subject is sharp and all in the frame - albeit only just at the bottom; did you crop it that tight to avoid another object - fence top, head or marshal perhaps? Unfortunately, racing always starts about midday (same everywhere I assume) and I know what you mean about the harsh light and the challenges that presents us. For a single shot of a bike I try and get the light right on bikes in the earlier practice sessions when the light may not be as harsh or there is some shade to be had; in the races there is often little choice but the action of many bikes can make the shot; dust can be a good background - although a pain for the camera kit!!

Your shutter speed of 1/500 has ensured the rider is sharp, but the juggling act we all face is throwing the background further out of focus to reduce the impact of the trees behind on your main subject, much depends also on your distance from the subject of course. I think I would have changed to a lower shutter speed for a slower panned shot, under-exposed by a bit and upped the aperture; this may have helped reduce highlights and blurred the trees further. Another photo in your portfolio was shot down at a 1/100 so you may be onto this already - trial and error to fine tune.

I hope this helps.


By: cf73

Avro Vulcan XH558 at RAF Cosford Air Show 2014 by DerekL

Avro Vulcan XH558 at RAF Cosford Air Show 2014

An excellent set of photos, I think they are all extremely good but I quite like the more unusual angle of V3 - a suitable air of power and menace about it. Chris

By: DerekL

Lancaster @ Bournmouth airshow by tedtoop

Lancaster @ Bournmouth airshow

A great photo of this beautiful aircraft, you have captured it very well. Just a very small point, viewing it large I had to move the photo on my screen and, if you were to print the shot, there appears to be a few sensor spots above the aircraft and to the left. Chris

By: tedtoop