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Sweet Dreams

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I love the expression this guy has on his face. He must be dreaming about something really nice!

However, I would love some suggestions about how to improve it. It is currently uncropped, I have just tweaked the white balance and levels, but it is still really lacking.

I know the seal should not be in the middle of the picture, so possibly cropping off the left would be good. I thought I should leave in the reflection and perhaps highlight that, but since the main subject is the seal, he should probably be lower in the picture.

Any suggestions would be really welcome. Thanks in advance.

Jenny

Camera:Canon EOS 40D
Lens:Canon IS 70-300mm
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Sweet Dreams
Username:jbailey jbailey
Uploaded:18 Jun 2008 - 7:32 PM
Tags:Close-up / macro, Seal, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 101 (100% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
dwarf
dwarf  652 forum posts United Kingdom
18 Jun 2008 - 7:40 PM

I think cropping the left side would be good. He does have a fantastic expression, Great image. dorothy

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rontear
rontear e2 Member 11rontear vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2008 - 7:46 PM

Central composition fine for this type of image. Natural history needs some of the enviroment as well as the main focal point. Beautiful expression Jenny. Ron.

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mattphotos
18 Jun 2008 - 9:03 PM

I love the expression!.
If anything I would crop really gently from the right to centre the seal up. Maybe it would be worth darkening the highlights on the seaweed behind the seals head, this would help the subject stand out slightly.
Nice work!

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Newtman
Newtman  85 Constructive Critique Points
18 Jun 2008 - 9:42 PM

I think it is a great shot as it is, but if the opportunity repeats itself, using portrait format would have enabled you to get in the reflection, which we can see in part, and left a little more space above the head as well - but I am getting picky now!
David

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marriedandhappy
18 Jun 2008 - 10:37 PM

hes fantastic and quiet at home. As to your note above I agree to cropping most of the left side and the above too if you have cropped any of the bottom containing reflection i would put some back. kaz

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CathR
CathR  7139 forum posts United Kingdom563 Constructive Critique Points
19 Jun 2008 - 9:40 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

I agree that he has a wonderful expression.

However I don't think the light was very kind to you with this shot and the exposure is not quite right. There is quite a harsh light coming in from the right which has given you blown highlights down that side of the face and overall quite a light image. If you look at the histogram, especially with just the seal selected, you will see that there is quite a large area of overexposure.

My mod tries to bring back the highlights and also crops the image to focus more on the animal while retaining some of the context. I like the reflection which I have kept in. See what you think.

Catherine

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jbailey
jbailey  691 forum posts United Kingdom
19 Jun 2008 - 11:02 AM

Many thanks to all for your feedback. Catherine, you are correct that the light was awful, but I was only out in the boat for 20 minutes so it was either that or no photos at all!

I had not checked the histogram. I must pay more attention to this in future.

It is a pity about the reflection not being complete because it really adds to the photo, but as newtman says, I should have taken it in portrait.

Thanks everyone.

Jenny

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bangalicious
19 Jun 2008 - 1:20 PM

There is no photographical law saying that the focul point shouldnt be in the middle of the photo. as above, might be an idea to centre mr seal by cropping off the rhs slightly.

Overall it is a lovely image. Great expression and nice and sharp.

Anil.

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