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dark_lord's Activity

dark_lord > dark_lord's Activity

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Forum Topics:7
Forum Comments:1605
Photo Comments:14569
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 399
an ciad cluaran San t-samhraidh (portrait)

an ciad cluaran San t-samhraidh (portrait) by mrgeod

Thank you for acknowledging the input from the Critique Team.

This is a bolder approach, as the flower isn't so lost.
Increasing clarity can give an oversharpened look. Sometimes just applying it to parts of the image is the way to go - for example just the flowerhead. It's then often not obvious what you've done - for that read effective.
However, this has accentuated the prickliness which I quite like here.


Down The Glen

Down The Glen by glenboigflyer

This is a nice scene.

Tonally it looks flat, but the flat light has allowed you to capture all the texture of the rocks and the turmoil in the water.
Because of all the texture on offer I've turned this to mono where I've selectively darkened the background and foreground and boosted contrast in the water and rocks.

I've also done a slight anticlockwise rotation as that appears more level, going by the far bank and the waves on the water.



Monsson by Sandipan

Difficult conditions like this can yield good images.

The lights reflecting on the water provide strong elements in the image.
there is some 'clutter', but it does provide location information and so not distracting especially as it's in the dark areas. adding to the mood, if you like.

However, the wire across the bottom of the image does have a distracting highlight. we don't need to see all that part of the image either, so it's best cropped out. Cloning is snother option, of course.

You've identified the main issue with this yourself, as have both Ians above. Just waiting a few seconds for the figure to be outlined clearly against the water would have resulted in a more engaging image.
Timing is of the essence. Don't be hasty to take the shot, or at least, be ready to take another one as you see the composition evolving.



Fences by Relic01

That fence has some lovely shapes and textures.

Well done for using manual in order to understand what was going on. Ian is right about th eoverexposure. The bright conditions shouldn't be against you in this case as you have sufficient leeway in your settings.
However, you have ensured plenty of information has been recorded albeit with a little clipping in the highlights, so exposure can be brought down in post processing as Robert has shown with his mod. What did you meter off? Grass is a good mid-tone and that in the bottom roght corner is in the same light as the fence so is a good base to start from.

Composition wise i'd have place the fence starting in one third of the way into the image, to give it more importance mainly rather than using the 'thirds' rule thoughthat does apply. I'd consider dipping the camera sligthly to include the bottom of the post.

I'll do a mono mod as Ian has suggested.


an ciad cluaran San t-samhraidh

an ciad cluaran San t-samhraidh by mrgeod

You've isolated that flowerhead nicely, you're quite lucky to be able to get just one pink flower as I usually see at least a few others at least in the background!
However, I agree with paul about the positioning. we all talik about the rule of thirds a a guideline but placing the pink flower on one of those intersections would be more pleasing in this instance. No harm in trying different compositions at all, though.
Given its placement here leads me to suggest a vertical crop. In fact, a portrait format image would work very well too and I'd reccommend taking both at the time. You never know what you may want to use the image for later so having both options available is very useful.

Without the exif it's not possible to suggest that you used a wider aperture and/or the longest end of the lens for greater differential focus for a more aesthetically pleasing image. The amount of foliage does look a tad messy in that respect but it does show the plant well for more of a record.

Nonetheless, a subject with numerous framing and compositional choices.


Salt transporter

Salt transporter by mmz_khan

A nicely captured piece of reportage.

The horizon is sloping - given the flat nature of salt pans, this needs to be level. The buildings on the horizon give it away too, if they weren't ther then we could believe the land went downhill.
So I've just corrected that in my mod.

it looks like you've shot late or early due to the lenght of the shadows so the light is softer and more atractive. Sidelighting has helped with texture.

This has been taken at head height' If you could have knelt down you would have made the workers more dominant in the frame. As it is they tend to merge in to the rest of the scene, especially as their heads line up with the horizon. A lower angle could have made more of their reflections too, making for a bolder image.
A couple of seconds later and that boy at the front would have been a bit closer to the right of th eimage - filling the empty space but still with enough room to 'walk into'.



Movement by markst33

It's harder to critique an abstract image in that different people 'see' different things.
However, having said that your technique is sound. A smaller aperture would have meant some of the closer areas would have sharper streaks, but broad strokes are fine too. Let's face it, we're not after fine detail, but it's something to consider in other situations.

The effect is attractive and the tones are warm and rich. That is appealing, but you could try a cooler bluer toned image in winter for a completely different mood.

The bottom right corner keeps distracting me a bit so I'll do a crop for a simpler image (always a good idea with something so abstract).


My Love, My Wife, My life

My Love, My Wife, My life by kuipje

This is a lovely setting and you had good soft light just right for a portrait.
I can understand you wanting to try framing the image but it's too close to your wife in terms of position in the image. It would work better more to the right and also balanced by a corresponding plant on the left. Better still, just having her surrounded by the plants near to her would be a very good photo anyway. Placing her to one side of the image for a more pleasing composition too, giving her 'space to look into'.

you would have been fine shooting at ISO 400 and using 1/400 shutter speed. Still no danger of camer movement and less potential for noise to appear.


The City Below

The City Below by martinda46

This is a pleasing scene.
It's a pity about the blotchy look in the sky, so I take it that the original sky was lacking in some way. If you post the original as a modification it will help us with suggestions. I hope you still do have the original!
As well as John's suggestion, you can selectively boost contrast in the sky or apply a gradient filter. Or a combination of all three techniques.

Either way, I'd go with a crop so that the horizon isn't central - my preferred one keeping the lush vegetation in the foreground, as it helps the depth of the image and is attractive.


Books Knowledge world

Books Knowledge world by Sandipan

I do like this shot.

As John suggests, making use of the doorway to frame the seller would finish the picture nicely. You could make more of the shadow in the foreground too. As it stands, we see a bit of each and apart from the viewer wanting to see that little more completeness, just having a little bit showing can appear as less attention to composition.

Having said that my first thought was to crop the immediate foreground.
Those doors are wonderful and are imposing, a good sense of scale to the man. Another option is to go in closer and make more of the just the man abd the books.

There are quite a few choices for framing and composing an image here, each depending on how you want to tell the story. Perhaps you did take several. If this is local to you, you could always go back and take some more. If oyu bought a book from him maybe you could get him to look into the camera - that'd be a great street portrait.


City NightScape.

City NightScape. by WimpyIskandar

I guess the camera was supported on something as this would be so much more blurred if handholding.
However, the support is inadequate as there is camear movement visible. Seeing how close to the traffic this is, vibration may have been an issue. A more solid support is necessary. And using a remote release too.

The light trails are very close to the bottom edge of th eimage and would benefit from some space below them. Or crop them out altogether. A higher viewpoint would help in such cases.

The mod you've posted is cleaner - no messy trails acreoos the building and the main trails looking smoother and continuous. But the camera movement is still there.

Don't be afraid to play with white balance. However, Fluorescent is the least likely to give pleasing results. Daylight will give a warm rendition and Tungsten a much cooler look and arguably closer to what we 'see'. AWB is a compromise but in such scenes with many different light sources can come up with something that's acceptable. Better still, shoot in RAW and adjust the colour balance to something you like.



I Rule

I Rule by Lensup

Welcome from me too.

I see from the tags you've applied that this is a captive bird, but that doesn't make it necessarily any easier to take the shot.
You have good detail in the feathers, and the softness Paul describes may be due to resizing either by you or the site. Applying a little sharpening on the web-sized image before upload is always worth doing.

The shutter speed is borderline for safe hand holding though you don't mention if you used a tripod or monopod to steady the camera. As Paul says IS can help in general but it can't cope with subject movement, say if the bird were to rapidly move its head.
the other thing that a camera support helps with is focus as you can see and control better the point of focus. as depth of field is so small, just moving back or forth by a centimetre after the lens has focussed will shift the plane of focus. You may already know this but someone else reading this may not. Once focussed, you can recompose the image and manually adjust the focus to keep the eye sharp. Your lens will allow manual adjustment while keeping the shutter button depressed.

The dark background helps th ebird stand out. I would like to see the birds head in a more alert pose. It looks like it's about to have a preen (that would be fine also). With the head a little higher the eye should gain a catchlight too.



Vendor by Sandipan

You've captured a nice piece of life that's very different to what most of us on this site experience. And in difficult lighting conditions. Considering photography is all about light, difficult and challenging lighting is one of the things that us photographers should be eager to take on.

The difference between amateur and professional is purely money - amateurs do not get paid, professionals do. There are amateurs that produce outstanding work and professionals that produce mediocre work.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't think about your shots, or look at your shots and think how you may do better next time. The fact you're posting here and asking for help shows you have the right outlook.


Rainy day 2014

Rainy day 2014 by UNKOWN_BOB

I looked at this yesterday and have only just been able to get back to it.
I suspected the areas of blurriness were due to a damp lens. I agree with john in that some people can take hours in software to achieve that result!

As for the Art filters in camera, I've never been a fan of them, although the effect here does suit the subject. I'd rather use software to create those effects (moistlenses excepted!) as you have more control over the result.
Next time you're out, take a normal shot and one using the filter effects, then explore what your software can do as you try to emulate the in-camera effect. it won't be exactly the same but you may get something you prefer and you'll certainly learn a lot.


The Shed

The Shed by malcatch

The shed is too central, so the crop you're thinking of would help, and not visible enough. I appreciate that you couldn't get closer so that really hinders you in getting an effective image.
Is there anywhere around the building that may yield a more satisfactoy view? If there is you may have to shoot at a different time of day to get suitable light.

Sometimes you have to accept that you're not going to get the image that you want.


Along my way to there.......

Along my way to there....... by Relic01

Is this not as close as you'd like because the camera is at its minmum focussing distance?
As Willie has shown, a small crop solves that and as well as making the flower larger it has removed that slight distraction in the bottom left corner.
Of course, cropping too heavily will mean you lose pixels, reducing overall quality and limiting the usefulness and printing size, even display on screen, but that's more to the extreme.
If you want to get closer easily, you can buy a close-up lens that screws to the front of your lens allowing you to focus nearer. They are not expensive, and combined with using the lens at mid aperture will give reasonable results.


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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!