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dark_lord's Activity

dark_lord > dark_lord's Activity

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Forum Topics:7
Forum Comments:1561
Photo Comments:14314
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 346
Foxhill first corner

Foxhill first corner by Generous1

You've done something different, which is to be applauded. However, it's not to everyone's taste.
The main lesson here is always to work on a copy of the original, so you have both versions avaialble.

Round the Bend

Round the Bend by SWMahy

Both versions are fine, and as Tanya says, it depends on what you want.
The closer version would be better for having the open gate as the gate is a large prominent element. It isn't so prominent in V1 so I'd say it's less of a requirememt for an open gate, nice though it would be.

I would like to see a third version, where you've pulled back a bit so that there's more substance to balance the dark trunk on the right. I'm thinking another trunk, or at least more foliage. That may not be what's there, I'm just thinking around the subject and its composition, how I'd approach it if I were there!
Decisions, decisions and I'm not saying either way is better.

It's good to see you use the channel mixer for a mono conversion, but while this looks light and airy, the image would benefit from some deep black tones. Even after such a conversion it's often necessary to adjust the Levels and/or the contrast.


Look out to the river

Look out to the river by ajnaaddict

I agre ethat this is a pleasant scene, but tonally it's on the flat side. Look at the Levels dialog and you'll see there are no pure black (or at least very dark) tones.

I adjusted this so that htere were a full range of tones. I then further tweaked the contrast, using Curves.

There is an overall green cast, which I corrected. I removed some dust bunnies from the sky - these are small spots of dust on the sensor which means that your sensor needs a clean.

I cropped the sky and foreground to produce a panoramic image. This suits the subject as that's where the interest lies. The cropped areas don't add anything to the appreciation of the scene.

You shot this in some good early light which is always a good start.


The Magnificent Horse-Ride

The Magnificent Horse-Ride by perceptive_imagination

A belated welcome to the Critique Gallery from me, as I missed your last upload.
You have a bold silhouette and a stunning backdrop.

However, I'd reduce the intensity of the colour a little as it is very vibrant. Oftne, a more natural tone is better on the eye. I know you're in India but I still think the colours are very strong.
The subject is central, and these types of shot work better with the subject to one side of the image. This would give space for the horse and rider 'to move into'. Other subjects, such as a building, would be better able to work with a central placement.
Always experiment with different compositions, though.

all the above can be sorted, and are only minor points.
A little separation between the horse's head and the guy on foot is what would make the biggest difference sothat we can see two clearly defined silhouettes.
But that tail flicking in the air is a great element to this image, it adds life, and given the choice I'd go for that over separate sihouettes!




It's fine if the objective is to get people top know their camera's settings and menus, especially those who don't realise what they've got and those who ar 'scared' to venture away from the norm.
However, for those without multiple exposure settings, and even for those that have (I did experiment with it in the film days) combining images in software offers infinitley more control albeit a longer process.


Nicole by markst33

My thoughts too regarding composition.
Timing is good too.
Yes the eyes need to be sharp, and as you're using flash I suspect slight focussing error which is easy at longer focal lenghts. As it's only just out, you could selectively sharpen the eyes (not a bad ide even when the eyes are pin sharp!) and soften very slightly the rest of the image. That'd really make the eys stand out and a soft look is very appealing for this type of shot.

I did cringe when you mentioned on camera flash as it very rarely looks good especially with children but then I saw that you bounced and reflected it, which is absolutely fine. Leaving the flash on camera is probably the most practical when you're following her around too.


farm field

farm field by mogobiker

This is the type of landscape that cries out to be left in colour. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't give mono a try.

Thank you for posting the original version. Your problem stems from severe underexposure. I'll upload a screen shot of the histogram. As you can see all the tones are to the left of the graph, meaning the image is dark, and there are no lighter tones which means there's no sparkle.

My first mod shows what moving the white point slider in Levels to the right hand side of the histogram.
My second mod shows what can be done by selecting the sky and adjusting the Levels and Curves to bring out the detail and boost contrast. I also boosted contrast on the land area.
My mod three shows a mono conversion where I adjusted the yellow slider in Image > Adjustments > Black and White to lighten the yellow tones. Note that a quick greyscale conversion would still leave a drab image so I hope you didn't use that method. Even so, I then boosted contrast for the lower half of the image, and darkened the sky for a moody look as it initially looked insipid.


A yellow coloured house

A yellow coloured house by xwang

I'm struggling to see the issue here. The sky looks ok, or am I missing something. By its very nature the clouds will have soft detail and definition and I can't see why perspective correction would make them look worse. Often, when sharpening and image, the sky would be masked off in order to preseve that softness. Thinking that through, you could always apply some softening to the sky.

The centre of the image isn't vertical to start with so if you don't correct that first you'll struggle with the perspective correction anyway.

You're only shooting at 24 mm, so you could have tried shooting at say 20 mm and not tilting the camera so much. OK, you'd need to crop some space from the bottom but you's not need so much perspective correction. Swings and roundabouts!


Stock Rod 46

Stock Rod 46 by billmyl

The first thing that struck me was those white tyres in the foreground. That'll be the same for many viewers and they do spoil the image.
I have to assume that this was the 'cleanest' view you had of the action, which is a pity as there's plenty of potential at events like these. It's a few years since I did much of this sort of photography, so I know the frustrations.

You've done well to keep it this sharp at just 1/25, but you're right saying it would be better sharper. The panning has produced very good streaks and thus an impression of speed at this shutter speed. if the car was sharper it would really stand out.
Taking a burst of images means you can't time the shot precisely to miss the tyres, but will improve your chances of a sharper image as, say, for one out of four images the camera will be tracking the car almost perfectly.
try and find an area of 'least distractions' too, though with shutter speeds like you've used here, any distractions will be turned to streaks and often add to th eimpression of speed.


Katie Anna

Katie Anna by Danny1970

There are a lot of different images here (albeit the same subject) that can be critiqued, so i'll restrict my comments to just a few, for time and lenght of reply.

V1, the bed knob is very intrusive and quite distracting. I get the idea, so try shooting through the bed frame so you frame the model's face that way. The bright area on the pillow behind the model's bottom is also distracting. These are things to look out for but easily forgotten in the heat of the shoot. Non eye contact can work, especially on these images as it can give the idea that there's someone else there in the room. But, try one with and one without.

V2, some distractions but the eyes need to be sharp. It's not as though the area that is sharp is especially important to the image.

V7, good eye contact, but too much hair over the one eye. The composition has a lot of redundant space, moving the camera a touch lower and to the right would give a more balanced image.

V8 is nicely done and what I guess you wanted when shooting V1, it's often how a shoot progresses.

V3, very nice play of light and shadow, but cropping off the top of the image to remove the highlight on the head keepos attention on the face. Works well with no eye contact.

V5 the best of this bunch.

I'm sure dudler, our glamour and portrait expert will add more!


Love photography

Love photography by Cookie_Monster

I'd normally go for mono for this but your use of the pink filter does make the heart shape more prominent (though it also resembles a pair of buttocks, sorry!). Tanya's mod is more delicate.

You don't say what aperture you used for this, though I'd guess fairly small as there's quite a lot of print that's sharp. Worht experimenting with different apertures as well as post production to concentrate on the 'foto' wording.


Derwent Water Reflections

Derwent Water Reflections by peterjay78

I can't remember from any of your previous uploads whether you said you shot RAW or jpg, but this image reminds me of an un-converted RAW file where you need to do some work to bring out the image.
OK, a dull day doesn't help, and there is room to play with a jpg too, as Willie has ably demonstrated.

Building on what Tanya has said, use those adjustments and sliders, push them to the max and see the effect. Then bring them back so far (or reduce the opacity of a layer to reduced its effect). By doing that you can see what works and what doesn't and what you can actually extract from the file.
It won't happen overnight, but it won't be long before you can qucikly see what you need to adjust.

And, you've got a lovely symmetrical composition so you can clearly pick out the interesting parts of a scene. Then the work starts...


Night over San Marino

Night over San Marino by jerryiron

Night shots always look better taken at dusk so that you get a deep blue to the sky, so you've shot at the right time - almost!
I say almost because the exposure needed for the rest of the scen has made the very strongly it castle wall to be overexposed. Shooting, say, 10 or 15 minutes earlier when the sky and surroundings are closer in exposure level to the castle would give a more even level of tone across the image. You could then selectively darken the bluer areas if you wished. You wouldn't then lose detail in the very bright areas.

But it's a great view, with the castle dominating the landscape.


White Cliffs of Etretat, Normandy

White Cliffs of Etretat, Normandy by jerryiron

You have a nice curce of land around the edge of the frame.
Lightening very dark areas in software leads to high,or at least unpleasant, noise, though at this size on here and with all the small detail it's not so noticeable (it would be in broader areas of plain tone).
This is a classic case of needing a grad, or two different exposures blended together. This is two extreme to be ble to use two differen tconversions from the same RAW file, as there'll be too much noise from the shadows and detail wouldn't be there from the sun.

Quote: this gallery for me much more interesting

I'm glad you think so, but that's because we're helping people try and improve. Take on board what's been said, shoot some new stuff and post in the main gallery. You can always pop back here now and again.


Seen better days

Seen better days by peterjay78

That's a really interesting looking tree in good sidelighting, so I can see why it attracted your attention.

Unfortunately, the resulting image is lacklustre and Pamela has addressed this with contrast and saturation. The image is very bright in places with loss of detail. The dark background would influence the camera into giving more exposure, so you should have gone for -1/3 rather than +1/3 in order to retain detail and render the darker background, er, darker. Shooting jpg doesn't help as a lot of information os discarded. With a RAW file you would have been able to reduce your exposure aftereards and recover some highlight detail and still not lose quality.

However, having done all that, you can go further. Using Curves I darkened the dark tones.. I also went for mon, as this tree has a strong shape and strong lines. The fact that some are pure white matters less in a contrasty image than in colour where we would judge it to be 'too bright'. I also applied a vignette, to focus attention on the tree.

I went for a square crop as the tree fits nicely in a square frame making efficient use of image space. There's nothing wrong with the landscape crop that Pamela has done but sometimes it's nice to experiment with different crops.


Photo Shoot - Portrait

Photo Shoot - Portrait by TornadoTys

Then there are those photogrpahers who set up the camera on a tripod, prefocussed and aimed at the sitter, and move out from behind it so they are face to face with their subject, firing the shutter when they see a good expression. I've seen portraits of photographers where the camera is in view but they're not looking through it. So it's an idea that can work so don't let that stop you.
What I'd avoid though is having the top edge of the camera cutting across the subject's eye as you have here. It looks more like a compositional error than having a clear view of the eyes or going for something like Tanya's mod.

But you've done a good job of critiquing your own image and that's good because you're identifying where andhow you want to improve.


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PortfolioAdded Date/Comment


Added Date: 10/03/2006 - 12:57 PM

You do have some amazing images in your portfolio.


Added Date: 08/08/2006 - 12:10 PM

Just had a scan through your portfolio, some really nice images there. I see there are some big gaps between posting, but hey, quality rather than quantity eh!


Added Date: 09/01/2007 - 12:56 PM

You've a really stunning landscape portfolio here. I thought I'd comment here rather than individual images. I really enjoyed looking.


Added Date: 15/03/2007 - 6:20 PM

Yo've got a great portfolio here, some lovely bird images. I can even forgive the fact that the squirrels are grey ones as the images are good lol!