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The Young Rabbi, Budapest, 2009Very strong. Engaging eye contact. The exposure is spot on for me - you've managed to keep a tiny bit of separation between the black of the suit and the darkness of the background.
Geraint
18/05/2010 - 7:29 PM

flesH

flesHWow. Very powerful. The repetition of shape between his body and the rabbit's(?) is quite unsettling, as is his gaze. I agree with the comment regarding the background - I don't see how it complements the photo, but this is clearly part of your approach. Maybe having him slightly further away from it so that the focus falls off a bit would offer more separation and isolation (which is a theme that I get from the photo). I also find the rim light a bit too strong, but I never like using rimlighting myself so I'm biased!

This is another fine addition to your excellent portfolio. It's abhorrent but at the same time captivating. Excellent work.
Geraint
29/11/2009 - 5:16 PM

Hollywood Photocall

Hollywood PhotocallMy comments regarding the tights as per your prvious post stand on this one too. The lighting setup is good - I really like the shadows of her arms - very different! Burn the tights in and increase the contrast a tad (which would complement the hard light nicely I think) and possibly crop a little from tyhe bottom (maybe make it 3/4 rather than full length?) and you've got a cracking photo.
27/11/2009 - 9:15 AM

The doctors were my enemy

The doctors were my enemyThis is great. To me it's all a bit too bright though - if you brought down the exposure in RAW and/or converted to b&w and really pushed the contrast so that you have black shadows and bright (even clipped) highlights I think the menace would be enhanced and the textures in the stairs and walls would be brought out. The sunlight makes it look too 'nice' for me as it stands. You have a wonderful portfolio, and you're really getting the best out of this location - congratulations.
Geraint
12/11/2009 - 8:02 PM

Busk

BuskV1 is great - the dog is obviously enjoying busking too. I think it would be a bit more effective if there was more room in the frame. As it stands it looks slightly too cramped for my liking.
Geraint
14/08/2009 - 8:14 AM

The Businessman

The BusinessmanI really do like the lighting, and the way the eyes are brought out by the choice of shirt and tie colour. Good, strong gaze as well. My only niggle is that the money isn't clear enough. I think it would work better if there was more space around him (with more money but keeping the same level of motion blur), or if the frame was kept as is but with the money slightly sharper. I think the contrast between his sharp and hard look and the blur in the money is interesting, and you've pulled it off well; for me personally the above adjustments would take this up a notch. Good work though.
Geraint
14/08/2009 - 8:01 AM

Black Rose Immortal

Black Rose ImmortalI like it. I just think it needs a bit of a boost to the highlights, just to bring it out of the darkness a bit more. I also think the composition could be improved. Maybe try and crop a little off the right hand side, or even flip it vertically, so the rose is pointing 'up' rather than 'down' in the frame. It might not work but it could be worth a try.
Geraint
02/08/2009 - 2:31 AM

The little traveler

The little travelerMyself, I prefer it with the arm; the contrast between the tattoo and the child's expression is a wonderful juxtaposition for me. I'm with Conrad, though, regarding the left-hand side of the photo: maybe cropping or burning it to get rid of the curtain's highlights would improve composition and mood.
Geraint
28/07/2009 - 9:55 AM

Traveling

TravelingWonderful! Very well-controlled focussing. The eye is drawn to the sharpness of that person. I'm not sure if I would clone out the bright light coming from the door at the end of the carriage. It draws the eye a bit, but I quite like it. Lovely shot.
Geraint

Edit: And a superb portfolio!
30/06/2009 - 12:04 AM

Man - Mannequin

Man - MannequinI like it. Nicely composed, and you follow his gaze right down the 'path' and out of frame. Nice b&w tones too. The only thing I can crit is the halo that seems to be surrounding him. This could be down to compression issues, but it looks like you may have used a curves layer adjustment on him, and not blended the edges well enough. Or it could be that it's just oversharpened. Hard to say with a version this small. Good shot though, and the other guy on the right of frame balances things nicely.
Geraint
Methamphetamine Fueled Street FightFantastic. You can feel the aggression (in the taught muscles) and the pain (in the man's face) so clearly here. The juxtaposition between the fight on the left and the seemingly bemused exprsession of the woman on the right gives this scene a weird kind of 'balance' if you know what I mean. A fascinating shot. I really like the high-contrast; it, along with the grain, serves the scene very well.
Geraint
10/05/2009 - 10:24 PM

Making Music

Making MusicGreat shot, and your processing is excellent. Just a couple of niggles - the tiny lighter sliver on the left hand side draws the eye a little bit, as does the pattern on the glove. Toning these down a bit would bring more focus to his face (in my opinion), which has been brought out beautifully. This really is a great shot; it's a shame these kinds of shots don't receive the attention they deserve on EPZ. This series from Prague is very good.
Geraint
10/05/2009 - 6:37 PM

bar spin

bar spinI like it, and especially your choice of composition. Maybe it needs more sharpening as the bike and rider don't look defined enough for me. This could be down to the shutter speed being too slow, or softening during the compression/upload process. I'd imagine it's the latter as you've obviously put a lot of thought into this - I wouldn't have thought you'd overlooked the shutter speed.
Geraint
08/05/2009 - 10:02 PM

davao 016

davao 016I agree with the comments about exposure. I would try and brighten it overall with a curves layer, but protect her dress as the detail is nice and an increase in exposure would probably blow it out. Use a curves layer and paint the dress black with the brush tool in Photoshop. I really like the shot, and I think the vignette you seem to have added suits it and frames it well.
Geraint
15/03/2009 - 12:46 PM

Billy Nomates throws a party

Billy Nomates throws a partyThis type of shot can often fall flat on its face, as there's nothing really there to engage the viewer apart from seeing the same person just in different locations in the frame. This, however, is very well done, as you are interacting with 'each other' in believable ways! This actually looks like a typical scene in a party in somone's living room. I love the humour of it all, especially the 'builder's bum', and the look of helplessness of you in the middle. The selection of tshirts is also well-thought out: I really like the way Homer seems to reflect the pose and expression of you in the middle, and the "It's His Round" slogan is suitably tragic for the poor guy drinking by himself in the background. I think this is excellent, and well done for putting so much thought into it and executing it so effectively!
Geraint
08/03/2009 - 12:05 PM

The Printer II

The Printer IIHi Colin. I think it works better. Instead of actually using the burn tool to darken parts of images I've started using masked curves layers. Basically you add a curves layer, darken it as required then 'paint' with the brush tool either in white or black on the areas you want to change. It sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it it's quite intuitive. On the curves layer you should see a white rectangle next to the curves icon. This is the mask that you paint onto. I think it will be white, so choose black as your colour on the tools palette and paint on the areas of the picture (in this case the white paper). Here are the steps I would take (bearing in mind I'm using CS3):

1. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Then darken the image accordingly. The whole picture will go dark.

2. Change the colour to black on the tool palette (two different coloured squares, black and white by default).

3. Pick the paint bucket from the tool palette, then click anywhere on your picture. The whole picture will return to normal.

4. Pick the paint brush tool from the tool palette and pick a suitable size for the item(s) that you will be working on. For the paper in this picture a small brush is needed, with a soft edge.

5. Change the colour back to white on the tool palette, then 'paint' the areas you want to darken, in this case the paper.

This is a non-destructive way of changing images; using the burn tool actually changes pixel values. By using curves layers you can go back by double clicking on the curves icon in the curves layer and change the curve to brighten or darken the areas as you wish.

I hope I've explained this reasonably well. It's a nightmare to do so without showing you with pictures. I got the idea from a fantastic book by John Beardsworth, "Advanced Digital Black & White".

Let me know if I can do anything else.
Geraint
26/02/2009 - 7:03 PM

cage

cageI agree with the cropping suggestion. I think I'd be tempted to crop the sides in to the corners of the concrete, so that you're left with a 'block' of the concrete and the steel. It would leave the highlights of the horizon on the top left third as well, and you'd still have the boat(?) top right as well. Also I might try and dodge a little bit of the concrete on the left hand side to balance it a bit more with the right hand side, which is a lot brighter. These are just minor niggles though - I think it's a beautiful image and the long exposures worked very nicely.
Geraint

Edit: Ummm, just had a look at your portfolio. I don't think I'm in any position to be giving you any tips on landscape photography, but hope you'cve found something constructive in the above babble!! Nice work.
12/02/2009 - 4:51 PM

Evening's Sun

Evening's SunMaybe the SB800 with Lightsphere should have been placed on the (your) right rather than left, as the sun seems to be able to light the left side. Either that, or keep the lighting setup you had here and add a reflector to the right side to bounce back light from the sun and the SB800. I actually quite like this though. Maybe you could have turned down the power of the backlight a little bit.
Geraint
09/02/2009 - 2:22 PM

black sea

black seaI really like this. I think the composition could perhaps be improved by cropping a little from the right hand side, so that the figures are not so centrally-placed. I think a vignette is suiting to the photo as it hones the eye in on the figures, but the current vignette is too harsh for me; maybe if it was feathered more, so that the transition from dark to light was more gradual? It's such an atmospheric image - you can really feel the wind and the cold! Your portfolio is intriguing too.
Geraint
04/12/2008 - 9:50 AM

Ghost

GhostI like this series. Painting with light is difficult to get right, but I think you're on the right track. Maybe if you'd found a way here to hide the light on the downward or upward movement (the two streaks), and shortened the duration it was pointing at your face to avoid the burnout, it would have been an improvement? Also, try and avoid the spill of light on the sofa (our bottom right) - it distracts the eye from the 'ghost'. I don't mean to come across as being negative because you've got a good concept here; just a little fine tuning and I think the results will be great.
Geraint

P.S. And tidy up under the sofa!