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dark_lord's Gallery Comments

dark_lord > dark_lord Recent Activity > dark_lord's Gallery Comments
Nuthatch by rsjkinson


Lovely shot.
I must get over there myself sometime.

By: rsjkinson

Great Crested Grebe Preening by Paintman

Great Crested Grebe Preening

Superbly captured.

By: Paintman

Tall Ships Greenwich mono by rontear

Tall Ships Greenwich mono

This just looks like it could have been taken 150 years ago Smile

By: rontear

Misty sunrise. by kuvailija

Misty sunrise.

Lovely shots.

By: kuvailija

Kingbolete. by kuvailija


V1 is great, but I also like V4 with the fly on it! Nice to see the location shot too.

By: kuvailija

Agapanthus Silver Moon by flowerpower59

Agapanthus Silver Moon

Very well arrranged and lit, and great to see a textured coloured background. Black or white work well most of the time but can be stark.

I've uploaded a mod where I've smoothed out the line in the background.

By: flowerpower59

Waiting for bums by ladigit

Waiting for bums

Sepia sounds good, but I imagine that upholstery is nicely coloured. Even faded colour would be attractive.
Perhaps what Paul alludes to with the composition is that it would look 'complete' if we could see all of the nearest chair rather than cropping it off as you've done here.


By: ladigit

Fox (Vixen) by DerekL

Fox (Vixen)

Excellent captures Derek, especially V1.

By: DerekL

Grilled Corn Season by anand_lepcha

Grilled Corn Season

We can all make suggestions on how to 'improve' an image, but another thing with candids is that you often only get one chance to capture the moment. I could say 'take plenty of shots' so you get a cleaner framing of the person, but her actions and expressions may then not be as good.
Points all worth bearing in mind for next time though,

Does the person on the left make or break the image? No. It helps suggest a crowded area on the street.
You have the essential elements captured well.

Apart from the perhaps obvious suggestion of eye contact (which is not always necessary) it would be nice to see her engaged in the cooking process, perhaps placing a corn on the charcoal.


By: anand_lepcha

First maternity shoot by Pedhar

First maternity shoot

Sometimes it's hard to get people to smile especially if they feel self conscious in front of the camera.
You have direct eye contact which does help here.

If they are happy wearing what they choose, so be it, they are the client. All you can suggest is alternatives, if that is possible. Talk through beforehand what they want and what you think would work well. Of course, that may not end up getting anywhere, but if you don't try you'll always wonder 'what if we'd done this?'.

The dark background and light from the side looks creates a moodier look, perhaps the 'grit' you wanted.
You could also try adding some grain for that classic grit feel. Photoshop can do this, though DxO, NiK and Perfect Effects all offer arguably better results. Worth taking a look if you do a lot of people and portraiture (though also useful for other subjects too of course!).

I apply a little (the default) sharpening in LR, exporting full size tiffs, effectively an unsharpened file I can furhter work on. I then apply specific sharpening in Photoshop depending on the intended use, such as print or web.


By: Pedhar

Yellow Mongoose by dark_lord

Yellow Mongoose

I'm not sure Jennifer, but their claws could be an issue. I think they are tolerant of humans being around, like squirrels in the local parks.
The penned areas were open to view, but are designed so the critters can't get out. I'm sure they'd really like to do that Grin

By: dark_lord

Kinnettles Castle 2 by billmyl

Kinnettles Castle 2

An overcast day is so often not good for landscapes, but you have to take conditions as they are.
Buildings often look good in mono, and you can boost the contrast without it looking unnatural so you still get a punch image. Moira's mod shows this well.

I wouldn't worry about not seeing the branches. All you need is a little something for the frame, and to block out that sky, so just having some foliage works fine.
Indeed, the less detail we see ther the more the attention is focussed on the castle.


By: billmyl

the colour version by youmightlikethis

the colour version

The sky looks too heavy and false here in colour, perhaps burned it too much? I prefer your mono version as it looks better there. Others may and possibly will disagree Smile

By: youmightlikethis

Pearls of nature by totti

Pearls of nature

I haven't been on much over the last few days but this is quite a depature from your stylised architecture shots.
A good image and nice to see you experimenting in other directions.

By: totti

How dare they cull!!! by Lillian

How dare they cull!!!

Lovely! Super detail too.

We had one come in the house last week!
Unfortunately I didn't see it myself but it appeared quite at home apparently.

By: Lillian

Sone1 by Sone


The tight crop works well here. Mono is good for portraits, but not as an excuse to try and cover up errors.

Worth trying again with the camera held firmly on a tripod, and try not to move too much!

Try framing the shot more loosely and crop precisely in software later.


By: Sone

Ready for action by ladigit

Ready for action

This looks very good in mono, though I agree with Pablo that a slight rotation is needed. Something like this in a classical setting works better with perfectly upright verticals. More of a tilt could be good in a more contemporary environment.

By: ladigit

Cornish Sunset by Rich67

Cornish Sunset

Welcome from me too.

Adjusting hue, saturation, levels, contrast etc, is what most people do most of the time.
Using masks allows you to make local adjustments, but you can use any of the selection tools too. Just take your time and don't run before youcan walk. You can ask specific questions when you post an image if there is a particular problem area.

There's no need to worry about 72 dpi here (an old chestnut and quite misleading) as it's the actual picture dimensions that are important - here it's a max of 1000 pixels, which is fine for the web but won't print well!
And on the note of people using images, a logo or name won't put people off (and isn't required in the Critique Gallery). It can be easiuly cloned out.

As Willie says, the composition is good. The curve of the foreground taking the eye into the image, the horizon on a third and the sun on an intersection of thirds. All pretty classic and it works.


By: Rich67

Until we meet again - Version II by whipspeed

Until we meet again - Version II

The sky has been inserted well, it looks part of the image, i.e. no joins.
Given the muted colours and sombre mood I'd be tempted to darken the sky a touch, that's all Smile

By: whipspeed

At Home by hasslebladuk

At Home

Beautifully captured.

By: hasslebladuk

ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER BRIDGE by youmightlikethis


Nice symmetry in V1. I like the contrasty treatment in V1 and V2.

By: youmightlikethis

Juvenile Stonechat by ianrobinson

Juvenile Stonechat

Superb capture.

By: ianrobinson

Keep Calm and have a brew by CanonMan

Keep Calm and have a brew

Quote: Vintage vehicles and re-enactors need to be in black and white

Suits the period, but also try faded or muted colour with a slight sepia warmth on top.

If they're in US uniforms colour images would be good as the Americans could get hold of Kodachrome Smile

By: CanonMan

Past their Best. by myrab

Past their Best.

Getting to that time of year, plenty of flowers on their last legs. Makes for some interestign still lifes, as you've shown.

By: myrab

Family trip to the beach by remos08

Family trip to the beach

I agree with what John and Moira have said. The rotation and crop have produced a stronger image.
I understand what you mean about including some of the landscape, but it doesn't add anything to the image that you'ce captured, it's all about the family at the sea.

If the landscape wasmore identifiable or had more interesting elements e.g. some boats or hills, then including it would help give a sense of place. as it is, the strip of land is quite non-descript (apologies to the locals, but at that size in the image it is quite featureless).


By: remos08

willow3 by unk001


I like the fact you set yourself a task and worked through it. That's a good way to concentrate on your photography.
It's also good you've uplaoded the full original but as John and Ishan say, you can still upload your editied version. Not many upload a before and after to the Critique Gallery, which is a pity as it's useful.

This would suit a square or squarish crop, even a portrait format (more conventional) but whateve you choose, remove the flower on the right. It is a distraction from the mqin flower and that diffuse background that sets it off. And as it's cut through by the frame edge it looks more mistake than intended.

I was intrigued by your comment on V4 that that was the result of aperture priority, then you later commented about the sun bleaching the flower out. That's the crux of the matter, the harsh light on that shot, nowt to do with exposure mode.

I have no problem with shutter priority and your logic is fine in that you wanted to stop any movement. However, the resulting aperture chosen by the camera will have a marked effect on how the background is rendered. As this can make or break a picture, that's why most photographers in this field (no pun intended) tend to use aperture priority. For example here, going for a smaller aperture than you did would render the details more obviously so the flower would tend to blend in, which would not work so well.

Your +7/3 (on this original) did not have the effect John indicates because the lens couldn't be opened any wider to give that much compensation at your chosen shutter speed and ISO in those lighting conditions. When the sun was out, and conditions were brighter, it would do that.

There's some good advice re spot metering and manual exposure from others here.


By: unk001

The Old Farm by rtenny

The Old Farm

Willie's mod of the colour balance has definitely improved this image, as warmer tones are what most of us find very appealing.
Yes some images benefit from a cool look, but not this.
An image that is 'warmer' in tone than something that is 100% accurate can be the nicer image. Experimenting is fun.

In the days of film, if a photographer felt the light was too cool he may use a warming filter in front of the lens. In the same way, back on the computer the colour balance can be changed to give a warmer rendition. This is easier and less destructive shooting RAW, but is perfectly ok to modify a jpg. Most imaging software allows you to do this, they all work in a similar fashion. They may have more than one way of achieving it, so you'll find your preferred way, no right or wrong.

I also would go for the panoramic crop. One question you could ask yourself when taking an image is 'does the extra space/sky/forground/ etc. (delete as appropriate) add to the appeal of the image or add interest/information for the viewer?'
in this case, no. We have some blue sky, there isn't any need to include more, we all know the sky carries on up. Of course if there were say a bird circling very high up over a vast plain, then lots of sky would need to be part of the image.

On the other hand, a large area of plain sky can be great for text, such as in a magazine or book, it depends on what you're shooting for.


By: rtenny

Pondering life by remos08

Pondering life

Sometimes the sun is in the 'wrong' place but we have to manage with it. You may have wanted something different than you have here, but i wouldn't say the sun was 'wrong'.
Yes there are some dappled highlights but in no way distracting. You may want to get rid of them, but they are a nice part of the image. Sometimes we can be too much of a perfectionist!

Applying half a stop of exposure compensation at the time of shooting would tone them down.
I shall try a mod selectively 'burning in the bright areas. You could also try selectively reducing brightness or exposure on Jack.

It would be better to see all of him - nothing wrong with cropping bits off if it looks ok, but just clipping the body looks more like a 'mistake' than intentional, something to be aware of, but we all do it from time to time!

He's a little bit central too, nothing a crop can't sort out. And then he's got more space he's looking into for his pondering.


By: remos08

Dream Weaver by mmz_khan

Dream Weaver

This is very well shot.

It would be nice to see just a little more of the face, as the eyes are what the viewer looks at first. The direction of her look would still connect with her work. A small point, and something I'd usually only comment on in the Critique Gallery.

A square crop would be an alternative here. I'll upload a mod, see what you think.

That strong angle of light, and those highlight spots on the blue background that suggest a starry sky help give the impression of a dream, nicely done.


By: mmz_khan