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dark_lord's Gallery Comments

dark_lord > dark_lord Recent Activity > dark_lord's Gallery Comments
Morning in the Park by dark_lord

Morning in the Park

West Park in fact Richard, but I agree from this angle there is a similarity.

By: dark_lord

Harris Hawk in Flight by lucianobianco

Harris Hawk in Flight

It's commendable that you've used ISO 100 for maximum quality, but you could use ISO 400 with no problem and give yourself more freedom with aperture.
I have to say it looks ok regarding sharpness on my screen. How much of a crop was this from the original image? A slight trim or somethinf more severe. I only ask as the heavier the crop the more any focus errors (or relative movement of camera or subject) becomes more noticeable.

Practice is the key, and the only issue with taking lots of shots is to make sure the bird's welfare comes first. However, as it's a set display I appreciate you don't get many chances.


By: lucianobianco

3 trees by justahobby

3 trees

There is just a very slight tilt on the horizon, and this is seen clearly when scrolling down the page and the horizon lines up at the edge of the screen. That's easily corrected in software.

I agree the scene is tranquil. However, once I've looked at this, there's nothing for the eye to linger on or explore.
This would benefit from a figure looking out to see or with a boat on the water in the middle distance just in from the right hand tree on an image third.

to borrow an expression from another CG team member, the stage is set, just waiting for the actors to arrive.

That turqoiuse surround does the image no favours, it's really fighting for attention, in competition with the relaxing blues and greens in the image.

Looking at the image capture time it's good that you waited till afternoon, but I'd like to see what this would've been like an hour or so later. The light should be warmer and softer and with more drama. Worth waiting for that, if you'd had the time.

But a fair record of the view and I'm sure evokes memories of your holiday there.


By: justahobby

Mel Reflection by dunfr

Mel Reflection

Well done for using the worktop to create a reflection.

Black perspex or similar material would result in a cleaner looking image which would suit this type of image where there are strong shapes and lines and good detail.
Other subjects, say a rustic looking person, would work better with the granularity of the granite.

I have used a sheet of clear plastic on top of a sheet of black plastic that has a slight texture, so that gives something in betweeen the granite and straight perspex. It was for a still life rather than a portrait and the reflection was slightly diffuse.
I'm just illustrating that it's worth trying several variations, there's not a one size fits all approach.


By: dunfr

Teagan Lynn and Ernie by CPO1944

Teagan Lynn and Ernie

Good eye contact between the girl and the horse. A well timed moment and one I'm sure you'll treasure.

While the green bucket is part of the setting, the image does look better without it. In my mod, apart from darkening the image I've also cloned out the bucket, using a mixture of the Clone and Healing brushes to help the cloned area blend in.

As the horse always greets her like this, you could have removed the bucket manually and just been ready with the camera, but it's straight forward enough in software.

Auto has wanted to increase exposure, due to the presence of the dark areas which is why this is lighter than it should be. A little minus exposure compensation say half or two thirds of a stop would have been the order of the day. Yes it can be corrected in software, as I've done' but there is clipping and loss of detail in the lighter areas. If you'd shot this in RAW ther would've been more detail avaialable to have been recovered.
As you're familiar with the location you could have taken a test shot beforehand, checked the histogram, adjusted settings and been ready.

Just some ideas to help in similar situations at a later date. Thought this image only required minor tweaks, I might add.
The use of flash has helped bring out some detail in the horse.


By: CPO1944

Spectrum by DicksPics


Album cover? Smile

By: DicksPics

Street portrait by ladigit

Street portrait

One of those occasions where you were fortunate that despite the slow speed you managed a sharp capture. Which is just as well, as it's a decent image.
Lots of options with the processing.

The Crop tool in CS5 automatically creates a grid of thirds too, and from what I remember the earlier versions did as well, and I think PS Elements does also.
But doing it by eye is often good enough, you don't want to slavishly make every point of interest exactly on a third as you may compromise or remove an important part of the image. It's only a guide!


By: ladigit

She is the Dark by nineteen68

She is the Dark

That's how they shot the old Westerns. In full sun but underexpose several stops with a blue filter.

On first looking, I thought this was shot with a harsh artificial light source (there's no sky visible) as if this were at night.
I do prefer the original for it's warmth, though.

We all think of blue for moonlight, bit in fact it's very close to daylight, as it's a grey surface reflecting the sun.
However, for pictorial effect it sets the scene (otherwise it's look just like daylight).

While you could selectively adjust the colour balance of the background that wouldn't be convincing either with one light source.
What you could do is shoot manually (exposure that is) to underexpose the background and illuminate the model with flash either through a gold Stofen diffuser or bounced off a gold reflector. The flash exposure would be rendered correct.
Adjust the colour balance so the model looks correct and the background will go much bluer, giving the appearance of 'night'.

Assuming your model will brave another cold January morning...


By: nineteen68

Checking the flowers ! by salopian

Checking the flowers !

I agree about trimming a bit off the bottom, and removing the shadow on the bottom right as both are distractions from what is essentially a simple composition concentrating on the arrangement and the portrait.

I don't mind the portrait being off centred in the mirror, in fact it lines up nicely between those grasses in the arrangement. However, if the portrait was hihger in the mirror it would make use of the 'empty space in the mirror and the portrait wouldn't be obscured as it is above. A little tweaking with camera position, that's all.

I like what you've done.


By: salopian

Gnejna Bay by Sgtborg

Gnejna Bay

You've shot this image at a good time of day. The light glistens nicely off those rocks.

The horizon isn't quite level. Even though the approaching shoreline doesn't help the illusion, it is noticeable at the far right hand edge, especially when scrolling down so that that part of th eimage is near the edge of the screen,
Ther is a facility in the crop tool in Lightroom to enable image rotation adjustments. It can be tricky to get the horizon lined up perfectly even for experienced photographers if you need to work quickly out in the field.

The letterbox crop works well enough but including a little more foreground rock detail would produce an interesting (visually) curve in the image for the eye to follow.

there is some burn out in the sky, whichis difficukt to avoid when shooting into the sun. However, Lightroom has tools for helping to bring back some density if not detail in these areas. These tools work with RAW files as th eimformationis already lost in an in-camera jpg.
According to the detail you've given, this was shot as jpg. As you're starting to use Lightroom, shooting RAW will allow you fine control over the image. yes there's a learning curve, but your images will benefit. If you don't want to shoot everything in RAW because you don't want to spend too much time processing images, then reserve RAW for situations like this above.

The colours appear quite heavily magenta which may be caused by particular in-camera settings. I use Canon and there are numerous 'Picture Styles' that have further parameters that can be set. Or it could be some Lightroom processing. Either way, I'll modify this in a mod. But well done for choosing Manual white balance rathe rthan relying on Auto to make a guess. That's another reason to shoot RAW, you can adjust and tweak the colour balance with a lot of control. There's nothing wrong with making an image much warmer if you feel it benefits it. Indeed n the days of film photographers would often carry numerous filters to do just that.



By: Sgtborg

Taiwan - Most Southern Point of Island. by geewhizg

Taiwan - Most Southern Point of Island.

I guess this is a scene which means a lot to you as you were there.
Unfortunately, and we all suffer from this, it's sometimes difficult to translate all that you feel as well as see into the final image.

This is not helped by the underexposure, but as the mods show this can be rectified.

Another approach, because the colours are flat, is to convert to mono. That's not to say a flat image becomes better in black and white, oh no. You need the right starting point.

Here you have the rough sea and some good cloud detail. Make the most of this as in mono you can push the blacks and whites and contrast more than you could in colour (wher the colour could then look unnatural and wrong).

The horizon is quite central. The image would benefit from having a 1/3 to 2/3 split between the ground and the sky - this is more of a skyscape I think.

I won't crop this as that piece of land is important and you'd lose the closest wave.

However, I will upload a mono version, see what you think.


By: geewhizg

Tangle Creek by dven

Tangle Creek

Great moody atmosphere.

By: dven

jay and jay by senn

jay and jay

Beautifully captured.

By: senn

nosey cow by number9

nosey cow

Nothing to add to what has been said.
Some very good advice from Pamela about taking a variety of shots. That's something we should all remember.
I like the fact there is no sky here which I guess was grey and quite bland but you could darken it on top of adding the vignette.

By: number9

Turbulent times by Tianshi_angie

Turbulent times

Salvador Dali might have liked this.

By: Tianshi_angie

El Capitan by dven

El Capitan

That is something I would not like to do, especially 'camping' in a suspended tent.
I'll stick to the photography Smile

By: dven

Wrapped up by ladigit

Wrapped up

It's sod's law that you managed a sharp shot at that speed but that the focus is not on the eyes!

I can second Willie's reccommendation for the 85 mm. I borrowed one on a studio shoot a few years back. I then bought one.


By: ladigit

Texting! by paulbroad


Yes the guy does have the look of an alien. A remote control dog too!
Your wife did a good job spotting this.
It's one of those 'ordinary' shots, of something that happens all over the place every day, but the main elements are bold and simple. As such it's something more people will identify with and does benefit from dudlers mod. Once noticed, that flare is a bit too much.
I know you're not always keen on mono Paul, but given the semi-silhouette against that backlit grass I couldn't resist a mod.


By: paulbroad

Get your foot on it! by peteros

Get your foot on it!

A well timed and sharp capture, just what's required for the majority of sports shots (i.e. not the creative stuff, which does have its place).

As Moira says we don't see much sports photography on here, even less really good stuff.
It appears to be that it's not the main interest of many on the site, and sadly doesn't attract views and votes so those that do post get put off because of that.

Sometimes the action does happen too close and your focal length is at the widest it can go. In an ideal world, as they say...
But you got the shot.


By: peteros

Zooming by Gothic


Well it does communicate the speed of life in a big city, and culd be used to illustrate that in an articel (print or online).

I would like to see less open area at the bottom right, though dudler makes a good point in that it is a good place for text.
Sometimes you need to take more than one version if you're shooting on spec and have no immediate application.

Yes it is good to experiment, and if you like the end result, fair enough.
With something like this you need to experiment with shutter speeds and zoom rates. You'll learn the technique with its strengths and limitations so when you get another opportunity in the future you'll know exactly what to do.
It's a great way of creating abstract images.

By: Gothic

Discs by RobinH


I've never taken a shot of this myself despite seeing it numerous times.

There's nothing I can add as far as improvements go, and the tweaks listed above are minor adjustments.
Lots of options regarding contrast and toning but all are personal choices, not 'improvements'.


By: RobinH

Laura by Bhoy


Something different, which is good to see.
There are numerous ways to achieve this effect. I'd plump for Threshold in Photoshop as that's what I know.
Her back is messy as it stands, so I cloned some white in. You could of course paint in white as there's only two tones here!
Either way, use a hard eged brush as you need sharply defined lines to natch those elsewhere in the image.

This would take to toning too, to evoke a particular mood. I'll upload a mod of that, too.
There's lots of options here.


By: Bhoy

lake erie. Ohio by photodll

lake erie. Ohio

As there is no horizon visible, look at the ripples on the water - they should be level so use them as a guide.
If your screen isn't calibrated, that will not help in determining colour casts. Having said that, it does take a little experience to identify them.

I suspect you couldn't get closer to the heron, either physically or optically. Nonetheless it shows the bird in its environment. As it's looking out to the right of th eimage, the accepted way is to make sure there is more space in the direction it's looking into than what's behind it. I know you'll lose some vegetation if you compose the image like that, but the vegetation and rocks behind the bird don't add any more information for the viewer than just having part of them showing. I shall try a mod.

Of course, if there was something of interest in that area, such as a fisherman or boat hut than that would be fine.


By: photodll

High Tech ! by salopian

High Tech !

Well done for giving RAW a go. Ultimately this will give you greater control over quality of image output, by that I mean sharpness, contrast, colour tonality etc. there is a learning curve, but then ther is with all things and you only get out waht you put in.

You should have the option of outputting as a tiff. If your RAW converter doesn't, shame on it, though I really think it should.
I agree with Willie about manufacturer's RAW converters, though Canon's is supposed to be quite good but I use Lightroom. If you have Photoshop, Adobe Camear RAW is part of it, but may or may not support your camera depending on version.

Good to see you used Channels for your conversion. It looks like you've done a decent job here. Mind you, if there's little colour to start with there's not much room for manouvre with channels. And different photographers will have different preferences too, so there's no right or wrong in that sense.
What you'll find is that even with using Channels (or the mono conversion tool in LR or PS) is that you often benefit from using a contrast adjustment too (I use Curves for greater control, but the Contrast tool often works well too).

Now to your image.
Mono is perfect for the subject, if nothing else because mono was the medium of choice in those days.
There's good detail and sharpness and the verticals are correct. A leaning camera would just not look right!

There are a couple of bright highlights on the metal parts (nothing that spoils the overal image though as they are small) which can be avoided by shooting this type of subject in a light cube or light tent. If that's not an option, you could diffuse the light through a thin sheet of material such as muslin (you may need to rope in an assistant to hold it).

As it stands I'd like to see a little more space around the subject to make it look less claustrophobic.
However, it depends on what you want to use the image for. For a brochure, for selling or as an illustration this is fine but as a picture per se then some room is more acceptable to the eye.
I'm sure the original shot does have some room as this shot is square and not the aspect ratio of images produced by your camera.
It can be difficult when several different crops can work!

How cameras have changed.
But they essentially do the same job, recording our memories.


By: salopian

a MALE MALLARD DUCK by TimothyDMorton


This is a straight forward shot of a mallard, though the presence of ice gives us some idea of the prevailing conditions.

However, the viewpoint is well above the level of the bird. Perhaps you couldn't get lower, but ideally for a picture with some imterest and impact you do need to get on its level.
It may be the compression for upload but this image is very soft and lacking detail. Your settings should give you a sharp image, but they don't guarantee it. There could also be focussing errors too (looking closely that appears to be the case). Only you can tell as you have the original RAW file.

By: TimothyDMorton

Camden Lock, Resident by RLB

Camden Lock, Resident

Effective environmental shot. Going in closer you'd lose any sense of place.


The Draw by fazzer

The Draw

Lovely cold and wintry scene.

By: fazzer

Silly Sunday Pony by Paintman

Silly Sunday Pony

Nice one, and much better than if you'd created this by digital manipulation.

By: Paintman

Silly Sunday Shaggy Selfie by dudler

Silly Sunday Shaggy Selfie

You could audition for the role of an interned Russian intellectual in a movie set in the Cold War Smile
So I thought mono would suit. Boosted contrast with Curves, then lightened the face selectively.
Corrected the converging verticals using Free Transform.
Took me longer to write this!


PS Oops, not the CG is it Wink

By: dudler

The Lone Photographer by tuss234

The Lone Photographer

The rocks are very important, They are on a diagonal which is a strong compositional element, and together with the photographer (on that same diagonal) make up three objects (an odd number is supposed to be more acceptable than an even number).

I'm happywith the colour as it stands, though the slight increae in saturation and contrast in the mod is also pleasing. Either is fine, but side by side it's a difficult choice. Its at this point that some personal preferences come into play here.

I've uploaded a mod with the rocks removed (only a few seconds with the clone tool on htis small image) just to give a flavour of how less intersting the scen becomes without them.


By: tuss234