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17/02/2014 - 12:13 AM

Fou Roux

Fou RouxIts not bad Nick.

But you've lost some compositional "pull" by having the easel upright.

Might be a better arrangement if you angled the easel on the same plane as the painting , moved the candle more central and dropped the usual distracting elements like that rag on the left and the glasses with that sharp highlight running through.

Chuck in a bit of faux omnidirectional lighting and ..it works.

Beautifully muted.
14/11/2013 - 12:29 AM

EMPIRE

EMPIREIts not the wonkiness of the candle

It provides neither source or ambience and competes for temperature / attention overall.

Remove it , and the whole image takes on a far more subtle inferred light source , albeit diffused directional front lighting with all those nearly blown distractions Wink

Maybe shoot this again keeping the triangular composition and use natural side-lighting to bring out the textural balance of the elements.

And a few more slugs , in fact lots more slugs .loads and loads , get them to eat the apple cos thats really bright as well , and erm


good palette
13/08/2013 - 8:39 PM

Waiting for Dad

Waiting for DadBit late to the party Nick Grin

The observations (not concerns) about your overly-technical approach reside with some of your still life images where you invariably over complicate the weighting of the components. Their relationship to the whole.

Anyway mate ,

This image achieves what I imagine you set out to do, ambience, story and mood. The lighting dilemma isn't an issue to appreciate. Film noir etc , good theatrical.

You have a greyscale issue processing the composite parts separately.

One set is grainy , the other smooth and it doesn't gel.

So, add the elements , and then apply the conversion to the whole.

You could consolidate the whole thing using any tech thereafter , duplex,duotone etc.

Just a suggestion Nick , and I aint posting jack ***** till the click club finds a desert island to breed with each other and hopefully spawn some good photography.

erm Smile
24/01/2013 - 9:03 PM

A Family at War

A Family at WarCertainly a good study Nick !

Good use and placement of complimentary elements , Nice balance of positive/negative space , pleasing colour contrast and an effective crop.

As a re-take you could consider the following.

Lower or raise the tripod. The viewing angle could improve the structural arrangement of the lines in the image and add or decease tension.

Simplify the content. The two medals either side of the central one neither lend a compositional lead nor supportive role.

Try placing your finger over both of them , the image is balanced...

Choose a different (or mute the) foreground. Its buckles and rivets are competing with the main content and the highlight on the corner of the briefcase is where your eye is first drawn.

Balance contrived and constructed. The bible seems it would naturally lean that way , but the zebra medal looks plonked on.

Im unsure why you didn't feel the image would be better using natural (or single source light with some subtle angled bounce)

The lightpaint approach seems to have lost the directional modelling that natural would have supplied and could do with some edge structure.

So imho ,Its a good experimental , with great material that needs simplification of light and content.

Ive tried these still lifes , wel hard and usually end up proper boring Smile
Dorothy & Timothy ..Seek and Ye will findIts full of menace Nick ,

But Im still finding my eye drawn to the patterns of the leopard top , its leading and locking away the transition to the door. Its precision within the frame to precise.

mmm,

As you have all the layers , Id really try a version with Dorothy scaled right down to about the size of the mask and placed dead central in the doorway.

Its all there , just needs a little play with scaling .

Good series !
03/11/2012 - 8:14 PM

Just Thinking...

Just Thinking...Its a damn fine portrait!

Really good how the bottom of her pupil doesn't quite meet the eyelash line. Clever study.

Anyway,

The buckles compete for attention with her eyes, her earning needs to go, as does that black thing on her coat. The scarf is just perfect balancing the catch lights.


Have a think about how props/clothes and distracting elements work together ..


Slapped a mod, and im off to watch the telly
An exhibit from Birkenhead's 'Tram Museum'Good element and well exposed train.

Think as you wander about how a b.g image might suit other images where you have sharp subject matter.

This image has a rubbish background , but the train is nice , shoot some old railway sidings and combine the two . As you can replace skies , Im sure you can replace backgrounds.

Cant be arsed going into consistent aps and light source , but whacked a 20min mod to give you an idea. Didnt drop the brush opacity below 60% and would have used the pen tool if extracting for detail.

Quick mod whacked and put a brief tutorial on the website.
09/07/2012 - 8:24 PM

Mother & Son

Mother & Sonmmm ,

Cons,

Oversaturated , halos around horses after post-processing , bland sky , ears intruding above treeline , central composition , and a rather unimaginative snap.

Pros,

Good aperture and you getting zapped by an electric fence haha.

Remedy,

Try different viewpoints or whistle and get the subjects engaging more with the cam. Direct eye contact would have been a good scene.
09/07/2012 - 8:06 PM

Last Orders

Last OrdersHi Sandra

Thats a good scene you found , and a shame you couldn't have jumped in and removed that bucket !

Still , on the exposure side (and if you could re-visit) , it looks a great place to try some HDR , just a three sequence and some exposure fusion afterwards , rather than the falsey halo effect.

I re-mapped the contrast range of your low qual jpeg , so Im sure there's a lot of potential in the raw file to bring out more of the scene in that black negative space.

Maybe try a few lightroom versions and apply some local adjustment using the base image and the original image in p.s.

Slapped a quick mod.
06/07/2012 - 9:31 PM

Blaenavon, graveyard

Blaenavon, graveyardHi Sue

Perhaps you're missing the wood for the trees with all that pp !

Its a great background with no particular focal point and that's a good thing to use as a base layer sometimes.

It just about retains enough dof to draw the viewer in , and I do like the proportionality of the whites greys and blacks , a good wash of tones.

No , its not cheating , its imagination and wont appeal to the luddites but sod em.

What it does need is rotating horizontal (as its reading right to left ), and an added focal point that kinda gives the base a depth.

Like it. Mod slapped an idea
16/05/2012 - 10:54 PM

Good Night my Love

Good Night my LoveWell good concept !

Maybe the light on the second gravestone in, is a little forced without a source.

Subdue it to near black and the whole image glows.
Dorothy & Timothy ... EquilibriumId have a rework on this mate.

Its got superb mood and surrealism, but the sum of the parts don't really gel the whole.

The eye isnt allowed to settle on a focal point , chairs seem confused between balanced and interlocking (drop the middle one , it has no shadow from the soucelight behind) and the sky looks rather to obviously mirrored/flipped. Maybe patch and lose the symmetry.

Feathers Smile
09/04/2012 - 7:16 PM

Stumped

StumpedIm not a fan of grads that render the horizon black as you know Adam.

The e.v must have been well off the scale with this scene , even at iso 50 , the grads didn't seem to hold the range ?

And im wondering why the purple sky hasn't found its reflective in the water , seems almost cross processed , great for vivid urban but maybe not for this sort of scene.

Much prefer your sharp and quirky imaginations !

Well good polarised though Smile
06/04/2012 - 8:04 PM

under tower bridge

under tower bridgeGood p.o.v and really like how you used the light to bring the detail out under the bridge.

A difficult scene to expose handled well. Details good despite being nearly wide open.

Unless your fussed about converging verticals with wide angle shots (which im not) , you could try to select the offending leans with the marquee tool and slap an "edit-distort-perspective" to that element only.

Do it on a separate layer so you can mask back those parts that were ok to begin with without affecting the entire image.

Selective straightening / rotation / skew , will work far better applied locally rather than the usual mistake of trying to adjust the perspective of the whole image in one go.


Slapped a quick mod.

And next time you post something up if you find the advice useful , whack the "Nominate as constructive critique" button under the comment , cos my finger went numb typing .

Smile
03/04/2012 - 8:47 PM

Its raining men!

Its raining men!Hi Helena

Nice to see some dm in the crit gallery.

Unless you're going for far out surrealism where all the rules can be broken , its an idea to still follow some relative toggin concepts even though its a composite.

The f3.5 is giving you a really shallow d.o.f , thats not really assisting the blokes you have added , they look well stuck on.

Far more effective if you had used different people in the sky (or different poses , men , not one man) and selectively blurred / scaled them to match the natural fall off of your original shot.

Its a neat concept though !
03/04/2012 - 7:56 PM

The Bug

The BugHi Prabh ,

Im assuming you're tone-mapping a single image image (as you only posted one original ), rather than a sequence of exposures ready for tone-mapping hdr.

You have a few options.

If its a single shot , have a go at copying the original image over the tone mapped result and use a layer mask , low opacity brush , to bring back in some of the original scene without the cast.

Or ,

Tone-map to taste , and do another less saturated version and combine (layer mask) those parts you feel need the need to emphasise / mute.

Or ,

Create a hue sat adjustment layer and target the blues (ideally with the eyedropper) then reduce sat until your happy.

Or ,

Have a play with "image adjust , colour balance" and target the blues again although that method is more of a global rather than a targeted adjustment.

atb
Dorothy & Timothy ... Gone FishingThe impossible catch...

Do like the subliminal inference of her fading away from memories.

Would liked to have seen the rod raised or an additional element to suggest a connection between the two and complete the emotive.

At the moment , my eye is drawn to the scissors , which may be significant in your interpretation , but maybe to small a part of the scene to "lock" it down.

Imperfects like banding or shading , really dont spoil my enjoyment of conceptual art/photography unless its a distraction from the message.

Atb mate , wip Smile
24/03/2012 - 7:56 PM

the visitor

the visitorBeen really enjoying this session John.

Beautifully lit model and the choice of palette for the b.g cool Smile

Perhaps one of the weakest of the set though.

Im getting drawn to the competing pyramid and the amputated arm kinda cuts into the ambience of the scene.

Your "Modern Muse" image has all the right elements , hair , balance , tone , pose , and class.

Best to keep the b.g as simple as possible and use poses that look like they want to "fit" into the scene. She looks a bit bored .

atb
03/02/2012 - 11:02 PM

Going Home

Going HomeLovely conceptual Jan and well good for stepping off the comfort blanket !

But perhaps a palette clash ?

Maybe that harsh lime green isn't complimenting the pastels to well though, looks a blob of radioactive dayglow paint chucked on.

Have a glance at Diane Owens work , she restricts the hues real well.

Slapped a mod

xx
27/01/2012 - 10:42 PM

A Knight To Remember

A Knight To Rememberjust avin a late night breeze through hun.

Im liking its inference , clever idea !

But (haha) , maybe its confusing that the stronger directional light is coming from the left on the prawn and yet its (juxt knight) shadow is coming from the right ?

If your doing the shads on a separate layer , have a play with the warp tool so ya "mould" the light and have a think about masking the opacity , its a bit harsh for a soft light source.


erm , well thats me off lol xx