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dudler's Activity

dudler > dudler's Activity

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Forum Topics:1
Forum Comments:96
Photo Comments:11400
Competition Entries: 6
Modification Uploaded: 703
Spanish Flower

Spanish Flower by TOMMYBOY

I showed this to Mrs Dudler, and she said "beautiful" - she's the gardener in the family, and often tells me that the subject is more important than the technique. What we say in the Critique Gallery is often geared towards technical perfection, which is necessary for photogrpahic achievement, but doesn't necessarily matter to 95% of people who see your pictures (or mine, or Moira's, or Pamela's).

We do aim to give advice so that posters here can tick boxes for the photographic perfectionists as well as the casual viewers, though. So here goes...

I love shallow depth of field pictures, and have recently spent a pretty indecent amount of money on a lens so I can do more and better shots of this type. It's absolutely true that you need at least a small (and, crucially, highly visible) sharp area.

I've done a mod to darken the whole shot, and I have also burned in the top left corner - bright areas at the edge are distracting if they aren't an important part of the subject.

The out-of-focus areas in the background have a lovely quality to their softness. A little stopping down, as Moira suggests, would have made the shot far easier to get, and probalby wouldn't have affected these too much.

Please, though, experiment with using the lens t every aperture. Stopped down makes things easier in many ways - but there's an excitement in working at the edge, where the difference between brilliance and failure is a millimetre sway backwards or forwards...


Skatebank by Chandler

There's a lovely idea here, but it hasn't quite worked this time. With luck, you cna go back and develop the idea, because it's got a lot of potential.

Probably in order to have somewhere to have the camera steady, on a tripod or street furniure, you've gone quite well back, and gone for what i call a "design" picture: the structure matters as much as the content. That's led to a lot of pavement at the bottom which is wasted - it doesn't seem to be a lead-in to the main areas of interest, so it is a bit dead.

The two lights at the top are a distraction - I've cropped one out in my mod, and cloned the other out, to show how much the bright spot pulls the eye away from the action.

And that's the other thing: the design structure means that the action is pretty small-scale in the shot as a whole.

This doesn't mean the idea is flawed, but that it hasn't worked this time (for me, anyway). Either some dominating action in the background, or a really tight and obviously-structured composition will make it sing, possibly with a touch of weird and wild processing to match the style of the place and the sport...

And I'd be tempted to go up close for soem pure slow-shutter action shots while I was there... (And maybe you did!)

Out to sea

Out to sea by TOMMYBOY

I think this could work, in a wry sort of a way, with the boat heading straight for the edge - but it desperately needs a crop to put the boat o nthe bottom third, and to get rid of the dead space at the bottom.

I've cropped even more than this, and taken a little more off the right hand side, to try get the full "sailing onto the wall" look. The impact Paul talks about is imaginary, and involves a pier or a large ship just out of the frame. Or maybe I just have a warped sense of humour.

It would have been even better had he been looking back over his shoulder, or if he was chin-up, and strinking a Napoleonic pose.


Untitled by Fabiola

Beautiful, assured, unconventional. The model, and the picture...


#747 by cf73

I've posted a mod with the colours altered a little, and some deepening of the midtones.

The tape remains - I'm working on my laptop, with a small screen and modest CPU!

I suspect that Willie will add something about AWB, which is the cause of the blueness, almost certainly. You've taken charge of almost all aspects of this shot, and it's worth adding control of colour as well!

All the settings are sound, and the composition is excellent.

The one thing that seems to me to need a little tweaking is the timing (or the AF tracking), as the front wheel is the sharpest area, and it might be better to have critical focus on the rider. I have very little experience of action photography, and of high-speed focus systems (fine as an Alpha 900 is in most ways, it was never a leader in AF speed). Prefocussing, high speed continuous settings, and selection of focus point settings and modes are all things that others will advise on better!

The main thing, for now, is getting out there, and getting back into the feel of a sport that yuor write-up suggests you know well. A vital thing, I have relaised, is knowing a bit about the sport, so that you can anticipate what will be happening.

Keep gong, and you will rapidly move from good (which this is) to excellent!

First attempt

First attempt by JonnyNI

And welcoem from me, too!

A couple of htings strike me. Moira's close-in crop works really well, partly because it makes the composition less central. In general, you need to get the points of interest onto the thirds i nthe frame, though it's nto an unbreakable rule.

Speaking of which... I think that the hood and central composition could work, if the hood was more fully on (avoiding the cut-off ear, incidentally), giving the look of a middle-ages religous painting. The "dissociated" look would work then, too.

Very rough mod coming - and a dark background would definitely be good. Black or dark grey...

ohhh noooo!!

ohhh noooo!! by chr1sm45on

A definite "WOW!" shot, Chris!

Poppies under the morning sun...

Poppies under the morning sun... by xwang

Sometimes, you do have the question of whether to shoot the descriptive picture, or the one with biggest impact.

In this case, I'd go for a more extreme crop, and titling the shot "Through the metal fence"... I know it's cheating, in a way - but I love wordds as well as pictures.

Mountain in clouds

Mountain in clouds by FloKl

And welcome from me, too. Pamela and Moira have said everythign there is to say about the Critique Gallery, except, perhaps, that the Critique Team is made up of a number of people with differnet interests, skills, and tendencies.

Moira has already shown you her love of square pictures, and deep insight into the way a picture is just a little slice of tiem and space isolated - from the nn-visual delights of hte world, as well as the bits outside the frame.

One of the best pieces of photographic advice was given by a press photogrpaher who was asked what exposure he used for his brillint news shots. The answer: "f/8, and be there!"

And you were there (coincidentally, not too far from f/8!) A pity it snowed as you left, and not the day before - but my advice is to tkae the picture you can, rather than regretting the one you can't. Make the most of what you can see, and this means that the more ideas and techniques you have, the better the chance of making a really good picture of any subject. Someitmes, circumstances will mean that you can't possibly have the perfect picture, but you can always make a decent and workmanlike ob of things.

As, indeed, you have here. Your post is perfectly competent, especially as it's unprocessed.

I've done a letterbox crop (my personal tendency), and increased the contrast in Levels, as Moira suggsts.

This is mostly about options... There are relatively few right/wrong issues, but lots of choices. I hope we're opening a few up for you!

The Wok Player

The Wok Player by kaybee

I am sure that there are puns to be made - but they evade me. For now, anyway. Until I've woken up properly.

Glamour escorted

Glamour escorted by ladigit

What Moira said, and modded.

Outstanding work.

B&W rose

B&W rose by unk001

This is a very central composition. I think it could work nicely, though, with some toning down of the background - just burning in will do, to reduce the bright patches to dark greys.

The flower looks quite highly processed: as though you have sharpened quite a lot, with quite prominent noise - not that this is wrong - quite true to the old Nikkor/Tri-X formula beloved of pressmen and photography students in the Sixties.

Apologies if i don't get round to a mod to demonstrate this - I've got a large batch of pictures resizing in the background, and so Elements is very busy indeed...


lost by philip007

I think I have to add "and they are lost too!"

Welcome from me, as well.

A good idea, well executed. I'd be tempted to have more solid tones in the foreground, but the point is arguable.

For me, it works as it is, and they don't need any more space above.

And, although you used program AE, so that the lack of sharp focus on the figures is as much accident as design, it's just right. I suspect it may have been taken with a mobile 'phone?

Lovely work.


Varnishing by Chandler

One part of good toggery is spotting when you've caught a lucky moment, and using it!

And, possibly, using a little PS to make the most of it.

I would like to know what you've done, if anything: one of those cases where seeing how it started might win applause for your creative work - so can we see the original, unprocessed shot, please?

Masterful composition, by the way.

Ahh This is the life mk2

Ahh This is the life mk2 by TOMMYBOY

He looks really relaxed: perfect for your title.

I suspect that you've framed to get the reflection in the frame, and leave the boat on the top third. I wonder if it would convey more of a sense of freedom if there was space above the boat? It's a general rule that you should crop tight - but sometimes a large area of "negative space" is good, and I think this might be one such occasion.

Very crudely cloned in in my mod, to show you the sort of thing i have in mind.

Does it work for you? It may not - but one of our aims here is to show you options: you can decide whether to take them up or not.

In technical terms, I'd suggest using aperture priority, and choosing the aperture that will give the effects you want (including, for a shot like this one, with a long lens, a high shutter speed). I wonder if the plus a third stop compensation has made the whites a fraction too bright: I think i would have tried without it.

But a striking shot. Keep them coming, Tom!

From the Hip

From the Hip by PentaxMac

Uncompromising, not initially flattering - but strong and characterful!

TopicDate Contibuted
Why a very high resolution sensor?11/06/2013 - 10:12 PM
Art Nude = female nude?05/06/2013 - 7:13 PM
Skin tones...29/09/2011 - 3:11 PM
Closing the Pupil26/09/2011 - 4:43 PM
Model turns Photgrapher! Hello - New here :)23/06/2011 - 9:35 PM
a blast from the past03/04/2008 - 10:29 PM
Lenses with Image Stabilistation - are they worth the extra cost26/02/2008 - 7:37 PM
Whats your favourite portrait lens02/01/2006 - 1:19 AM
Lens Hoods01/01/2006 - 10:44 PM

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