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dark_lord's Activity

dark_lord > dark_lord's Activity

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Forum Topics:7
Forum Comments:1505
Photo Comments:13977
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 270
Five Finger Strand, Donegal

Five Finger Strand, Donegal by ladigit

Moving water is a marmite thing, you either like it or hate it.
To be honest I like both sharply captured and blurred water, they give different moods. Some movement goes too far, for example you could have used such a long shutter speed here that the water just turns to 'fog', which given you only have a small rock and the distant land as sharp elements may not have been appropriate as there'd be little solid matter for the viewer to focus on.
If you can do both when you do a shoot, do so and review later in the comfort of your computer chair!

As for the colour casts, your original is attractive. Willie's mod has more warmth, a consideration for greater appeal perhaps.
Of course, you could aim for accurate colour in Lightroom or ACR, then change it to something you like - as Paul says, depends on the subject. It's also influenced by the mood you want to create and how you felt when you took the shot.


1940's child

1940's child by IanSR

It's great to see such experimentation in both taking the original image and in post processing.

However, it doesn't say 1940s to me. The softness made me think of 1930s images from the cinema but the hairstyle has a hint of 1960s.
Neither of those statements takes anything away from your image. If we ignore trying to put a decade on it, we just appreciate it as a portrait.

I'm not sure how the fashion side of things stacks up, but that collar is not easy on the eye, and looks awkward. It's not so much the check pattern but the fact that one collar is sticking up that doesn't work or me as it's quite bold and fights with attention for the face. Having the other collar up would be fine, as would boith of them, but not the nearest one.

It appears you have a willing subject, and certainly trying to emulate or mix different styles you can create your own unique looking images.


Tate staircase (monochrome)

Tate staircase (monochrome) by RobLouw

Both images have their merits and to a large extent it's down to personal preference which one is preferred.

I see moira prefers the one with figures, but I prefer the version you uploaded taken with the 15 mm as it's more abstract.
I do agree the main upload needs to be symmetrical. This is because of the subject matter, a geometric subject. However, that's not a fixed rule, and something taken at an angle could work very well.
But, where it's not quite symmetrical - there's more of the ledge visible on the right than the left - and where those little differences are small they do show up in this type of image. They can be seen to be careless or sloppy composition - I am not suggesting this here, you've done well, and your mod version is spot on - it can seem that way. We've all done it!
Mind you, holding the camera at the end of a monopod to get the image, you've manged very well with a demanding subject.

Moira's mod gives it the zing that is needed for this type of image. I tend ot use Curves for this as it gives more control and finesse than Levels.

It's always helpful to upload the colour original when posting mono in the Critique Gallery - not always to provide feedback on your mono techniqe but for reference.

I've nothing else to suggest re improving this, but it would be great to have a couple of hours with a model in this location!


Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier by NDODS

Lovely dusk shot.

Black winged stilt

Black winged stilt by RobLouw

I used your colour version and did a mon oconversion from that.
I increased the level of blue and cyan in the channel mixer to make the water less dark grey.

I then made a Curves adjustment layer and masked the bird so I only increased the contrast on the water to bring out the ripples.
I could have been more aggressive with this to get the whiteness of Willie's mod, so mine is more of an intermediate stage.

I had a line arond the head of the bird which I cloned out.
You can be more precise and take a little more care on your full size original.

That's just one way, there are different ways to achieve the same thing in Photoshop, but masks and layers are very useful.

400000 Volts.

400000 Volts. by kuvailija

Yes they can make for strong graphic images as you've shown.
And for those who don't like them, see how they cope without electricity or would pay higher prices for having underground cables. Thought so!

Female Kingfisher

Female Kingfisher by Lillian

Very well shot.

Petronas again

Petronas again by KingBee

Isn't that why we collect skies? Smile

Works very well.


Weevil. by bricurtis

An excellent capture.


Tiger by vikaskhair

There's nothing wrong with using higher ISOs if the conditions warrant it, but here yes you could shoot at say 400. The animal isn't moving so you don't need to stop the action.

It's a bold and detailed portrait, and a square crop would work very well.

Having some eye contact or a more active pose is the next stage in order to get teh viewer to spend a little longer looking at the image.

of which and why

of which and why by youmightlikethis

V3 is helpful as it shows how big a crop V1 is, which only magnifies the inherent softness. It's more impressionistic in its look, though a blurred woman and sharper phone booths or vice versa would make for a more visually engaging image. Or taken at a slower speed so there's more movement blur in the background thus enhancing the feeling of rushing along the street.
However, I agree with the need for a rotation and not so close a crop so that the whole of the suitcase is included but none of the bus shelter.

V1 doesn't need the text, and indeed the image is of her walking past the phone booths not actually looking at them which the text implies.
Either way her pose in V2 is much more purposeful.

Just a perfect day.

Just a perfect day. by JeffHubbardPhotography

Would it make a good print and would it sell are two very different questions.

Yes I could imagine this on a wall, in the right environment, but the detail would need to be far sharper, for me at least.
I've done a mod where I've sharpened the head - it may pass as ok on here at the small size for the web, but whether that would work very convincingly on a large print is questionable. However it's a subject that you can tackle again (probably next year, now).
As such, trying a few different backgrounds for variety, and you could then produce a tryptich.
I've also gone for a square crop, as that's where a lot of the interest lies. The bottom quarter of the image doesn't add that much visually.

Finally, I've cloned out those two wisps of cloud next to the seed head. Given the simplicity of the image, those two spots were starting to annoy me, something I wouldn't want on my wall!

And I like this in mono.We concentrate on shape and tone, and I guess the colour would be too distracting. In the Critique Gallery it's always helpful to upload the original colour image as a version or mod, so that we know what you started with.
On the face of it there isn't anything wrong with your conversion, though in my mod I did tweak the histogram to obtain a full range of tones as there were gaps at the ends of the graph which meant there wasn't a full black or pure white tone.
A full rnage of tones would be important for a print on the wall, to attract and keep the viewer's attention.


Play Group

Play Group by mmz_khan

The clours, the light, a few children turning round with the majority concentrating on the lesson, it's all good and if not a story it tells us a lot.
I'd go with Mike's crop, it concentrates out attention on the group.


Clouds. by paulbroad

I have to admit it doesn't look unnatural to me, rather effective.
Likely differnet focallenghts, but how different given similar ranges?

The orange diagonal takes the eye from bottom ot top and the gaze of the viewer out to the right.
Perhaps flipping the foreground so the person on the bench is looking back into the image will keep the viewers attention within the frame.

I've just had a play with this. Selecting the foreground, duplicating the layer, flipping it, cloning some sky over the original figure and a little tidying up.
Clearly you'll need to do much less if you still have the layered version as it'll be easier to flip the foreground, but I hope you get the idea.


cleo the guinea pig

cleo the guinea pig by gapcrazy97

They eye needs to be perfectly sharp - it's only just off here so by applying extra sharpening selectively in software will help.
It's best to get it right in camera though as there's only so much can be done later without it looking wrong.

If you have a focus lock on your camera, you can focus on the eye and recompose, but you may miss a spontaneous shot and the animal may move while you adjust your camera position. But such is the lot of animal photography (wild or tame) not to mention other genres.

Cleo being higher in the frame with some space below works well with her looking down into the bowl. It's the same reasoning with a moving subject having 'room to move into'.


"Wood Blewits ?"

"Wood Blewits ?" by RonnieAG

Lovely low angle. The only niggle for me is the area of specular highlights at the bottom right,

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