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17/05/2008 - 1:23 PM

girl at the station

girl at the stationWhat were you trying to say with this shot?

The reason I ask this is becasue it doesnt tell me as a view anything ... theres no narrative to it. Compositionally its lacking but the position of the girl itself inst overly bad .... had she of turned towards you and been looking at you from a distance that might have helped add a connection into the shot.

Focus and camera shake are both serious issues here and boosting the ISO and getting the shutter speed up would have helped. Theres nothing sharp in shot so im assuming you had autofocus off and simply just fired the camera? if not then have you cropped this ? You dont say what aperture was used but a wide aperture of F2.8 or F4 and accurate focusing on the girl in the distance would have provided a nice effect and also aided in getting rid of some of the distracting foreground elements.

On a more basic level the shot isnt level itself .. it leans to the right and this would need a quick rotate to straighten that out.

Hope that helps.

Dan
17/05/2008 - 12:30 AM

sandwood Bay

sandwood BayHDR is something I have been using for some time and this is a nicely processed image .. one thing to note is that in contrast situations like this 3 shots is usually enough to cover the range needed with 5 shots being useful in situations where there exists a very high range of exposures .. that said it does no harm.

The shot would be pleasant enough without the footsteps but their inclusion in the current position is actually distracting ... you have the patch of water and the hills in a strong compositional position and a remote feel to the shot which is then spoiled by the footsteps been so far left ... your eye is dragged to them and away from the points of interest.

The sheen on the water is attractive and this should have been left as the main feature ... I would crop the steps out of this if i were trying to save this shot to be honest.

If i were reshooting the image then i might be tempted to shoot some with the footsteps taking up more of the frame .... probably in a portrait orientation with the w/a lens shoved right into them ... if you made them yourself i would have walked them towards the water than come right back around to the camera to ensure the return journey wasnt in shot.

Hope those comments help.

Dan
16/05/2008 - 7:21 PM

How Green is the Valley

How Green is the ValleyGot to disagre with Dave above .. briwoolys mod is certainly an improvement for a number of reasons. your original shot lacks contrast and as such looks flat .. not good in a landscape image. The tweaks appear to have been a levels or curves adjustment and/or dodge and burn ... either method will work to some extent and it is this that has lifted the shot.

Compositionally its lacking too ... whilst its a nice vista theres nothing really for the eye to rest upon and as such you end up wandering around the shot without resting anywhere. The thing that partially works is the use of the 3 trees ... 3 is usually a decent number in compositions and despite being weaker elsewhere they do try to give the eye something to concentrate upon ... but they are too much in the foreground and blend too much into the background to truly work.

Trying to compress perspective with longer focal lengths is a good way to create landscape shots but you have to make sure that you are create clearly defined structures or layers within the composition for them to truly work.

Colour wise your originally is slightly yellow and this would need sorting in the selective colour tool of Photoshop if you have it.

Hope that helps..

Dan
16/05/2008 - 3:05 PM

Feeling blue

Feeling blueCompositionally this partially works ... though I would have liked to have seen the whole of the foot retained in the shot. Obviously there is a colour cast across the image however this isnt something that bothers me particularly .... the main issue for me is how blurred the shot is ... its too blurred to be a sharp photographic image and not blurred/processed enough to give it a dream like quality.

One thing I often do with this typew of shot is say to mayself ..."what am I trying to say with this image?" ... once ive answered that its often easier to define the right methods of image taking and also post processing to give the look I want.

If you wanted a more dream like image then it needs additional work and that might be selecting blurring, the smudge tool duplicating layers and maing sections slightly softer etc.

If you can provide some more info on what you wanted to achieve I think you will get more out of the critique process too.

Dan
14/05/2008 - 4:00 PM

Shag Rock

Shag RockThere are some wonderful tones in this shot and the processing looks pretty good too. My niggle would be that a stronger comp could have been found by moving more to the right and getting the bottom rock int he bottom left corner and placing the other rock on one of the thirds to strengthen the comp ... not trying to stick to rules or formulas i may add but it would give this more kick.

it would also have removed come of the distant buildings and this would have given a greater sense of being remote/wilderness ....

Dan
14/05/2008 - 9:01 AM

Leeds Art Gallery

Leeds Art GalleryInitially theres something I like about this .. the light and the lines do work well but the niggle for me is probably the verticals which still arent spot on (Corners exagerated by the WA correction). Normally I can live with some element of disruption however when its a shot which totally relies on the geometric shapes .. or where they are the biggest feature they have to be almost perfect.

Im not sure there is a way around it necessarily shooting wide angle with a shot like this. Other than a TSE lens ...

Also might help if the figure was on the first flight of steps ... maybe giving a bit more prominence in the shot rather which might take some emphasis off the lines ....

Dan
14/05/2008 - 8:52 AM

The Fairway

The FairwayOn first glance this appears a great shot. However on closer inspection the top of the huts are very dark ... Im not sure if this is through burning or more likely the blending of a second exposure layer? A softer and larger brush wuold have helped to smooth this layer in if this is the case.

I also wondered if there had been an element of HDr in the lower section as this too cuold also give areas of localised darkness? However your description says a two stop grad was used and this would have then been unnecessary unless you were intending on HDR layer blending as a technique.

The colours are excellent though however the composition coulc be stronger. At the moment the lines of huts lead the eye nowhere and i would have preferred to see a portrait composition with less of the huts filling more of the frame and that stunning sunset taking more importance in the frame too.

Dan
13/05/2008 - 9:22 PM

Another Go at My Owl....

Another Go at My Owl....I thought id come and offer a crit as well .... The image is technically fine but I agree Cheryl that the image isnt overly strong. The pose could work ok if the image had more of a graphic element to it. For me that would mean a high contrast background or vibrant colour that really makes more of the shape of the owl and gives a totally flat clean background to the shot.

Cheryls points are equally valid too and make perfect sense from a more natural and wilflife orientated perspective. There are other types of shot from birds that can be enjoyed tho and creating that poster style graphic image is just one of them.

Dan
13/05/2008 - 6:42 PM

The 'Sheepstone'

The 'Sheepstone'Quite simply crop the right hand side of the shot. Or go for a square format. The only real issue here is the composition and I beleive there may well have been bettre and stronger compositions which could have been explored at the time.

The shot itself has some nice colour and a quick trim to remove the wasted space will undoubtedly give great strength and impact. Another option might be to run the single file through photomatix and then layer this over the top to bring out more detail in a realistic fashion.

Using these HDR blends gives very realistic results and allows a lot of control over specific sections of the shot.

Dan
10/05/2008 - 7:57 PM

Holly

HollyLacking a bit of saturation adjustment and probably a curves tweaka nd as such looks very flat. The focus is too far back as well .. which I appreciate isnt easy with fast moving objects.

If your camera doesnt focus quick enough then try locking onto the bird in the dogs mouth and by with a decent DOF .. you might get the eyes sharp.

Its about trying to improve your hit rate whilst overcoming any shortcomings in your kit.

Dan
10/05/2008 - 7:55 PM

Passion...

Passion...Lacking shadow detail and missing a bit of zing ... im not sure if you shot this raw but a slight exposure tweak and checking the levels might help. If not then reshoot it with a touch more light as your form isnt distinct enough to amke this work otherwise.

Dan
10/05/2008 - 1:11 AM

Trotternish

TrotternishAs much as I like this .. and I do really like it ... i thin it would be stronger witout the tree ... the tree in its current position just serves to clutter the comp for me.

Maybe a landscape orientation with the tree bottom left would have better balance?

Dan
04/05/2008 - 7:24 PM

Ashley #

Ashley #Technically a very good shot in my opinion. However in terms of composition Im not convinced. The use of the light above is a little cliche and although it does provide illumination to the face the fact that the girl is staring out through what appears tobe corrugated plastic doesnt really appeal ... she cant be enjoying the view for sure! Both because of the level and the subject ...

To make this work better I think there needs to be less space between her and the light, or alternatively to not have her focus directed at the light itself.

I do like cluttered compositions but the positioning of the other items dont work too well for me either. The ladder is too far left and would have been better placed more towards the middle .. where it would give better balance. I do like the wire though.

Outfit and model are both excellent and I quite like the dressed up feel in a dressed down location ...

Overall a very good shot but not as good as you are capable of in my opinion.

Dan
18/03/2008 - 9:20 AM

Vacancy

VacancyId like to see a little bit of lens correctiona nd alowing extra space on this would have helped. not sure you would really benefit from the filters if youve done a two stop exposure anyway .. other than saving the time of the extra processing.

All in all this is a good landscape shot in many way and certainly has plenty of impact.

Dan
07/03/2008 - 10:47 AM

Frosty evening

Frosty eveningIt sounds as if you are focusing incorrectly. As a rough guide using a wide angle you need to focus on objects quite close to you .. you can buy a hyperfocal distance chart from ebay or warehouse express which will show you the best distances. At F13 you should get good sharpness across the range asasuming you are using a tripod.

Also check you use mirror lock up as camera shake can cause some lack of sharpness. In addition to that using your depth of field preview button .. and letting your eyes become accustomed to the darkness will allow you to see how much depth of field you actually have ... some scenes may not require F13 however others may require more .... its an invaluable tool and one which you should get into the habit of using.

The rule of focusing a third of the way into the image isnt a bad guide however with wide angle you will generally find that you get the immediate foreground sharp and then use your depth of field preview button to find the aperture you need to get as much front to back sharpness as possible.

Hope that helps

Dan