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dark_lord's Gallery Comments

dark_lord > dark_lord Recent Activity > dark_lord's Gallery Comments
Seen better days by peterjay78

Seen better days

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.


By: peterjay78

Photo Shoot - Portrait by TornadoTys

Photo Shoot - Portrait

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.


By: TornadoTys

Spirea by Dinda


A nice delicate image you've shot here, in soft lighting which has retained the fine detail.
Good use of a wide aperture to give a beautifully uniform background with no distractions. the flower curves nicely through the image.

I can understand you wanting to retain the web as it's a natural part of the scene. However, it doesn't say much about spider's webs, and is a distracting element. If it were an interesting shape web, possibly with water droplets on, then it's look fine. but as it is I've quickly removed it from my mod.

Due to the wide aperture not all blooms are sharp, and neither could or even should they be, but in my mod I applied a little sharpening so that the ones that were sharp stood out well.


By: Dinda

Early morning mist by peterjay78

Early morning mist

The interest, visually, is in the middle distance onwards, where the mist is, which is why Tanya's crop produces a stronger image. On another day, where the light is different, or if there were lights visible in the buildings (different time of year perhaps) then I'd leave them in frame. Sometimes it's what you don't include that makes the picture.

If your exif is correct, f/16 shouldn't have been used. Even if it wasn't, you need to know for future reference. It'll result in corresponding slow shutter speeds which will make camera shake more likely, you don't need extensive depth of field in a shot like this as everything is a fair diatance from the camera, so f/8 should be fine, I'd go no lower than f/ll. And at f/16 lens performance drops away so you lose more than you'd gain.

But, you got out to capture the light. You used a telephoto setting to pick out an interesting part of the landscape (telephotos are not most people's first choice for landscapes which is a pity as they are great for the details).
Both of those points are important in getting the shot in the first place.


By: peterjay78

What happened to the view? by Canonshots

What happened to the view?

I'm afraid I have to agree about there being no subject.

I'll just add a couple of suggestions.
Willie's mod has added contrast, which has helped the foreground, but I like the softness in the distance, so in a similar situation in the future you can apply a contrast boost to just the foreground using a layer mask.
Secondly, in the absence of a willing subject, get lower and closer to one of those ferns so at least there's some foreground interest to help to give some depth to the image.


By: Canonshots

Fountains Abbey by xwang

Fountains Abbey

As you shoot RAW, using the corrections in LR is the way to go. I suspect it's a very similar if not basically the same tool as in CS6.
However, you do lose part of the image with those tools.

I used the Transform tool in Photoshpop and manually pulled out the edges to correct the verticals and then stretched the image to get rid of the squat look (essentially what the correction tools do). I've used both approaches before and still do, horses for courses, whichever result I prefer.

I sometimes don't do 100% correction as a very slight convergence can look more natural than having everything rigidly straight where objects higher up can seem larger than they should be. For example, windows on a tall building, we know they should look smaller higher up than those lower down as we tell ourselves they're furhter away if they're higher up. But for less tall buildings, like here, it's not such an issue.

Having said that, my mod is not a full correction, just so that you can compare it tio Willie's and decide for yourself. I also made mine mono for something different, but this time round I do prefer your colour version!


By: xwang

Oystercatcher ?? maybe by steve_i

Oystercatcher ?? maybe

Definitely an oystercatcher.

Quote: way further south than normal

Where, exactly?

By: steve_i

Red Fox by Myathebirdwatcher999

Red Fox

Well captured, Mya.

By: Myathebirdwatcher999

Early Bluebell by baker58

Early Bluebell

Very elegant, well shot.

By: baker58

Sparrowhawk ! by Brian_Scott

Sparrowhawk !

Superb capture.

By: Brian_Scott

Orange tip - Anthocharis cardamines by Mike_Young

Orange tip - Anthocharis cardamines

Beautifully captured. one of the signs you know spring has arrived when you see these.

By: Mike_Young

Moorhens. by Brian65


Well I've not uploaded anything for a month either.
You've made a big splash on your return, though Grin

By: Brian65

If Rugby Players Did Archery by Chris_L

If Rugby Players Did Archery

I wish you hadn't cropped half of the target out Wink

By: Chris_L

A Wheatear by Graham63

A Wheatear

A really beautiful capture.

By: Graham63

Seagulls on the wind by jerryiron

Seagulls on the wind

Welcome from me too.

I agree about removing the white blob, but for me the bigger 'distraction' if you like is the brown area top left. Part of the far shore perhaps? though it can be cloned out, a crop is easier and results in a pleasing image as Willie has shown.

That gull flying over makes the big difference - cover it up with your finger as you look at the screen and you see how important it is. A picture of a row of gulls is less interesting. It's what makes an image rather than a pure record. There are the purists who take natural history images and go for just a record and miss out on the aesthetics, which is a shame as those images are the ones that catch the eye.


By: jerryiron

Light and volcanoes, new version by juancb

Light and volcanoes, new version

I missed this shot first time around so I went back and looked.
This is much better and shows how processing differently can make a huge difference to the end result.
No centre of interest as Paul says, but some images don't need one. Imagine a boat on the water, or a bird silhouetted against the sky. Both will draw the eye. However, peaceful and relaxing as this is, would you want something as a focal point to change the overall feel? Perhaps, in an ideal world, but either way a nice mood in the image.

By: juancb

New Hampshire's Spring Horizon by trentg23

New Hampshire's Spring Horizon

Welcome to epz from me too.

Paul makes a good point. As you've given over two thirds of the image area to the sky, that gives it a high prominence so it needs to be dramatic or unusual.
As it is, it's nothing out of the ordinary, but fine as a backdrop or complement to the land.
The suggestion of a snowmobile would add that interest to the image. Alternatively, getting closer to one of those snow clad trees so that it's larger in the frame would add depth to the image as well as interest. that's what you need to think about when creating a 2D image of a 3D scene.

Great location, plenty of picture opportunies.


By: trentg23

HOME- in dedication to a good friend of mine. by olamii97

HOME- in dedication to a good friend of mine.

I agree with Tanya. Your weiting is more powerful than your image. This is the place for image critique, where we can help you achieve your message visually.
Sadly this isn't happening.
Looking at this image doesn't say ebola to me. In fact my first thought was something to do with terrorism. Therin lies the problem, you images are ambiguous and can easily send the wrong message.
Take a long look at some good quality photojournalistic work if you want to see how to put across a message in a visual medium.


By: olamii97

A Glance by sehrbrock

A Glance

How much of a crop is this from the original image? We can tell it's a crop as the aspect ratio is not the same as an original frame. If the crop is significant, then this will highlight any imperfections, such as lack of sharpness more so then a smaller crop.

You can upload the original image as a modification. we can then also offer alternative crops.
For example, if there was some room to manouvre, a version with the animal set to one side with space to 'look into' would be visually more appealing than a centrally placed animal.


By: sehrbrock

sun down sunset by horselover1997

sun down sunset

Welcome from me too.

An attractive scene. I can see why you wanted to capture it. Pablo's crop is bloder and more pleasing as the tree trunk creeping in on the right is a distraction.

This could be a focussing error but it looks more like cameara shake given that shutter speed, as the risk is there. Could be a bit of both. Either way, you need to perfect your taking technique getting sharp focus (where it needs to be, for example eyes in portraits) and making sure the camera is held firm (unless after creative movement blur).

Becoming a professional is easy, it's staying professional (i.e. making a living) that's the hard bit. I see photography in the not too distant future being just one part of an income for most 'professionals'. That's not to say part time is anything lesser. You still need to get your basics right, and on that note, we look forward to more of your images in the Critique Gallery.


By: horselover1997

The treasurer's house 3 by xwang

The treasurer's house 3

The cropped version is the one I'd go for, as the reduced amount of ceiling makes that element less dominant.
But, that ceiling is interesting and part of the room, and if you want to emphasise that part, leave it as it is.
It's just the characteristic of using very wide lenses in small rooms.
I too would like to see more of the chair on the left as we'd then see the whole painting and the lamp would be very nicely on an image 'third' (if you want ot go for those things). We wouldn't then see so much through the doorway but that's a less important element.


By: xwang

Let the Light Shine Through by jdellphoto

Let the Light Shine Through

Welcome to the site. I see you've recently joined and this is your first upload.

You've found an attractive subject and i can see why this attracted you. shooting into the light often yields interesting images.
Certainly this has an element of 'enchanted wood' about it.

I see you were shooting at full aperture, and your focussing is spot on as that autumn leaf is sharp where it needs to be. The out of focus areas are pleasantly out of focus - this is one of those occasions where stopping the lens down to smaller aperture would give a messier confusing image.
However, as you are shooting wide open, you can afford to use a slower ISO for better image quality (noise, tonality) and still not be worried about camera or subject movement (e.g. if there were a breeze). ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 1/1000 would be fine.

I like the contrast between the deciduous leef and the pine needles.
However, it would have been best to spend a little time refinign the camera position. The criss cross of branches cuts the picture up which is an issue where it goes across that golden leaf - more pleasing to see an uninterrupted leaf.
If you could have got the light right behind the leaf there'd be less of the bright area above it, which does draw the eye away from the leaf. Bright areas do tend to do that Im afraid, and the same is true of the bright area at the top of the left hand side though that can be cropped or cloned out easily enough.

I see this as a much squarer crop as the bottom half of the image doesn't have much interest, or at least anything that can add to or benefit the image.

But, well seen, detail shots like this can be as effective and say as much about autumn as a wider view.


By: jdellphoto

Sparrow in Action by mitrashamik

Sparrow in Action

It's good to see someone capturing some activity the bird is doing rather than a straight portrait shot, though nothing wrong with that.
You certainly have patience in order to get your shot. You must know this is a regular place the birds go to wait that long. So you should take just a little time to consider the background and how distracting or not it can be. Yes here it's nicely out of focus but the bright green has been covered by others' comments.

Thus your general method is good.

As for more space for thge bird, as this image is square you've definitely cropped it down from the original (the aspect ratio is different, rather a giveaway) so you should be able to produce a version with the more plaesing composition suggested.


By: mitrashamik

Her Eyes! by IshanPathak

Her Eyes!

Welcome back Ishan, it's always good to see your images and read your comments. I hope your exams went well.

I agree with Pamela that it's good you identify the areas in your image that need improving.
Yes ideally you'd get all the ear in, but you've also clipped some whiskers, so it's more along the lines of a closely cropped in image than something you've done as a 'mistake'.
The rest of th eimage is free from distractions and the sharpness and detail are so good you don't concern yourself with the 'missing ear'.


By: IshanPathak

Jackrabbit by StrayCat


Sharpness looks fine to me too, at least at the size on here.
I know that (some) Canon lenses allow tweaking of the focus ring while AF is engaged just to adjust focus on the subject - not as an alternative to focus tuning but for example when the subject moves a little bit. I don't know if Nikon has a similar feature though I'd hope so. It's something I do use especially with birds.

You say you cropped this a little, but I'd prefer slightly more space around the animal rather than seeing it crammed in by the image edges.

Processing method (glad you included it, many don't) is good, pretty much the same as my workflow. Agree with Willie re white balance thoiugh my mod uses your original where I've tweaked the contrast using Curves. It's slight so the difference may not be so obvious on here but it made a difference when I was adjusting it. I prefer images with a little punch and those taken in soft overcast light can benefit. Your processing has retained all the detail, so my adjustemnts haven't lost any of that. As I say, a perwonal preference but worth thinking about now and again. I must admit sometimes I can't decide if the Clarity or the Contrast in LR is better for a particular shot!

That's the technical bit out of the way. If the animal's head was just raised a bit so there was good eye contact it would have been great, but a decent record as it stands and nice to see it taken on the animal's level too.


By: StrayCat

Exodus by kcara


On first looking, this appeared to be about a river bank covered in vegetation. Then I noticed the animals. If they are to be the main subject they need to be more noticeable. Maybe on a wall sized image they would be but you'd need a really sharp clear image to do that. The image here doesn't look crisp - I'm not suggesting the full size original is not sharp, as many factors can affect the lookk of an image on the web, most notably sharpening after resizing and compression.

One way to get more detailed panos is to shoot with the camera in portrait format. That sounds counter intuitive until you realise that means you get the benefit of more vertical resolution than using horizontal images.
Together with your exif, it would be helpful if you mentioned how you shot this.

There is a halo around the trees on the horizon on the right of the image where you've darkened the sky, or at least as a result of whatevr processing you've done. To be honest, as the trees barely go above the horizon and they are quite dark too I wouldn't worry about them going darker with the sky, it will be less noticeable than what you have here.


By: kcara

Eye contact by kcara

Eye contact

The image is not crisp for two main reasons. The shutter speed is bordeline for capturing a steady image given the closeness. The normal rules for shutter speed and focal length have to be modified in favour of faster speeds. The second is the small aperture used on a kit zoom lens with tubes, as diffraction starts to come into play.

However, using extension tubes is good and enables you to get closer. It looks as thoughyou've managed to get your focus on the eye of the beast, which in itself is not easy. Using say f/8 would have allowed a faster shutter speed and reduced the occurrence of diffraction. The difference in depth of field would have been a negligible amount of very little. If the importsant part of an image is crisp it stands out very well and we thus accept that a little extra of a leg is less sharp.
Having used a macro lens at the edge of it's capabilities I'm happy to use f/8 to f/11 rather than f/16 to avoid diffraction.

Composition is fine, the subject and importantly the eyes (again) are off centre.
And getting down to the same level as the creature makes for a strong image.

Ideally you wouldn't have that hairy splinter (ok, I can't think how else to describe it!) at the bottom right, but it is part of the environment and I know insects don't always go where you want them.

The spider and the piece of wood are vary much the same colour and tone which doesn't do much photographically but is a good illustration ofblending in to the natural environment. So yes it would be good to get it on something that contrasts well, but ok as a record of its typical (I guess) habitat.

The exif says you used flash. It would help if you tell us how and where the flash was, i.e. on or off camera, built in or separate speedlight.


By: kcara

"My Kingdom" by Coen

"My Kingdom"

Willie's mod is more how the image should look, though there's nothing to be done about the white areas that have lost detail through overexposure, especially shooting jpg. Shooting RAW anf you may well have been able to recover some detail.

It looks as though the spot area was influenced by the dark plumage. The spot area should be placed over a mid tone area in the same light as the subject. That foliage in the background looks ideal.
Matrix, Multi-segment, or whatever other names different manufacturers have for their sophisticated meterign systems are pretty good. However, even so, I still like to fill the frame with even tones to get my preferred setting so that I know when the fancy metering is not quite right. I often set to manual exposure especially if the light is prety constant so that any bright or dark areas won't adversely affect the exposure.

I don't know why you chose f/11. Yes a stop or two down from full aperture can give improved lens quality. But f/8 or f/9 here would be fine. The 'extra' depth of field of f/11 is absolutely minimal. So you could have given yourself a higher corresponding shutter speed. VR is all very well, but give it and yourself a better chance to get a sharp image (not to mention helping to stop subject movement though that doesn't appear to be an issue here!).

I can se you have caught some preening action, but it's not the most illustrative of the activity and it's such a pity about the positioning of the branch behind the bird's head.


By: Coen

Re-edit of Wine Strand, Co. Kerry by ladigit

Re-edit of Wine Strand, Co. Kerry

The subtleties of colour and tone come through in this version.

By: ladigit

Purple and Green by beamer

Purple and Green

Meadow cranesbill, or Geranium pratense.
We used to have several plants in the garden but sadly they seem to have disappeared.

A pity qas they make a very good macro subject.
Given the size of these flowers and the lens you usd I take it this is strongly cropped.
However, heavy cropping usually shows up any weaknesses in technique and that's not the case here. You will limit how much you can enlarge the resulting image though, either on screen of for a print.

As your technique is sound and you've got a nicely composed image, you should be thinking about getting a macro lens for your next purchase as that will enable you to get some good high quality close up images, and allow you more shooting flexibility.

It's also good to see the use of a wide aperture. Not all flower or macro/close-up shots need or even benefit from small apertures. For example, the background is sufficiently comlementary here, a smaller aperture would have rendered it more distracting.


By: beamer