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27/03/2011 - 9:54 PM

Sudbrook Super Moon

Sudbrook Super MoonSorry I'm late to this Moe.

Wonderful image. I too like the warmer tone that you have produced here. The use of the long exposure with the tidal water lapping against the rocks looks good too. The moon is a tad overpowering for me, but it does balance the shot nicely. However, it is far too overexposed. Perhaps you could have dragged the exposure right down for the moon in RAW and then masked it into the main shot? That might alter the balance in the sky but I think it's worth a go personally as at the moment it is akin to lookingat the sun!! Be aware of the halo issue again above the fishermen on the left hand side. Remember to use a harder brush when getting in tight on the grass.
An excellent composition, great use of the thirds and good to see that you have kept the uprights on the bridge nice and straight. Sometimes it is easy to distort them with a wider lens but you've held them nicely!!
Your photography is really improving. Well done!!

Dave
04/03/2011 - 5:19 PM

Lighthouse

LighthouseHi Moe,

This is one of your best shots to date IMO. This has good quality running through it. The composition is good. I know this place well, and there is nothing to use as a foreground to the lighthouse other than a fence leading off the rushes, but it's not strong. Your placement of the lighthouse in such a position with the sun offset to the left is a winning combination IMO.
It looks like you have masked the lighthouse against the sky, and on my monitor I detect a very faint halo. This is quite a difficult subject to mask, but one way wold be to harden the brush more, and get in really close to the edges of the lighthouse. It's laborious work, but would be worth it in the long run. So, with that in mind, I would also move the middle slider in levels slightly to the right. I saw that your histogram was nicely balanced and that you had the whites and blacks correctly exposed without clipping them too much. By darkening the sky just slightly, you would create a more dramatic sky with the nrighter lighthouse, and the two combined would really set it off.

Hope this helps. It really is a great image.

Dave
13/01/2011 - 9:14 PM

Shelter Rock

Shelter RockThis is wonderful light on show. The sky is a truly intense colour too. There is however a slight, very slight halo above the rock that is noticeable. Sort that out, and this will be a truly great shot.

Dave
21/12/2010 - 7:24 PM

Seasons Greetings.

Seasons Greetings.Not an easy place top shoot Tom. I always feel that the pond takes too much of the fine view beyond to be a worthy togging spot, but in these conditions, your composition has worked to your advantage and the snow and ice is a worthy subject with the Sugar Loaf just popping up over the horizon.

Merry Christmas Tom.

Dave
11/11/2010 - 6:00 PM

Woolacombe Bay 2

Woolacombe Bay 2Hi Moe,

Knowing that you have merged two images here and having exposed for foreground and then sky, I would understand if you are pleased, as this is a damned good effort at merging images.

Having said that, the foreground is still a little underexposed, and you need to pay attention to your levels pallette and ensure that the exposure is balanced. Now that you are beginning to get to grips with more complicated aspects of image manipulation, you can take on board the next paragraph.

The sea near the rocks is nicely exposed, but the rocks are under exposed. To manage this better, you could select each rock in turn and feather. Then select the levels pallette and push up the exposure. Now this will cause the sea around the rocks to over expose, but what you then do is paint black back into the water area and zoom right in so that you carefully paint the water's exposure back in. Make sure that you use a soft brush, and reduce the opacity to about 18 - 25% and do it gradually.

The cliff line on the horizon is almost black. There will be detail in this cliff line as you have exposed for the foreground and there will be detail there. You can use the same technique that I have just described but don't push the whites on the levels pallette too far as it will look unnatural. Be subtle and get some detail into it and then mask away as described.

Look at the water and to the left it looks like there is some residual shadow on the water. this is because you could spend more timer ensuring that the stitch is seamless. This will come with practice.

My feedback is not because I think your effort is poor, on the contrary, the fact that you have taken this step demonstrates an individual willing to improve their final image. I hope my feedback helps.

For your information, my image Devon Surprise was a two shot stitch, and until now, no-one was aware of that!!!!

Regards,

Dave
03/10/2010 - 9:20 AM

Hunstanton

HunstantonWell, what for what it's worth, I think you have a good image here Lesley. It's a stong lead in with the cliff, and reminiscent (although differeent geology) of shots I have seen from the coast in South Wales.
There are no halos that I can see, nor grad lines. It's a beautifully processed image. The area that I would revisit, if it is possible, is the band of very bright sky. It looks very burnt out, and perhaps you could process just this strip in RAW and mask it in later. Other than that, I like everything. The detail in the rocks is great and the sky sets off the mood very nicely indeed. Great image.

Dave
25/09/2010 - 9:27 AM

mood for a day...

mood for a day...The sky and associated reflections are as always Jouco, superbly captured. The composition works for me, with one exception. The boat appears to be leaning out of the frame and takingb the eye to the left. Visually, if it had been leaning into the frame, then compositionally it would have been perfect.

Dave
17/09/2010 - 9:07 PM

Complacency Castle

Complacency CastleI think the composition is pretty good here Moe, and what a lovely view to look out to. It's not an easy subject to photograph, and you have made good use of the reflection to balance the image. Ok, what could be done to improve it? Well, I think that you could have panned to the left just a little which would have cut out the very dark cliff and in turn included more of the illuminated buildings. Now the sky isn't too bad, but there is a lot of it, and it isn't dramatic enough to hold so much of the image. I personally would have zoomed in more to eliminate more of the sky, but I guess that you might have been limited with the length of your lens as I see that it is 55mm at its longer end. I know that I have used a length of about 200mm here. The image seems to be a little cool too, and it would be interesting to know what white balance you have used.
But, having said all that, the exposure is perfect, and you have a good detail in the illuminated castle.

Dave
06/06/2010 - 8:40 PM

The Bride

The BrideA lovely shot and very natural, but unfortunately, the important part of the portrait is not quite focussed. If you look at the image, you'll see that the point of focus is actually her arm. It would be interesting to know what type of focussing point you have set on the camera. Ideally you should have your focus point on her face. You could half press the camera shutter as you focus on her face and then recompose and take the shot. This would ensure that her face, and importantly, her eyes are focussed. Also, look at the shutter speed to ensure that the shutter speed is fast enough to ensure that the image will not be soft. You can increase the shutter speed by opening your aperture or increasing the ISO.
Hope this critique helps.

Regards,

Dave
04/05/2010 - 7:53 PM

Hatfield Forest 9

Hatfield Forest 9I like the lighting on this John, but I can see what you mean by the effect of 'popping' her having been lost. I don't think this is up there with the best of the series mind. She doesn't look entirely comfortable in this pose. Her right hand looks as if it's taking the majority of her weight, and her hand does look uncomfortable. Her eye contact with you and the angle again make for an aestheitically pleasing portrait, and I imagine she she is very happy with the series in general. You've made her look very good.

By the way, it was very easy to remove the tree. A simple use of the cloning tool with a soft brush. I reduced the opacity to 75% and then sourced from the blue sky directly next to the tree and chipped away until it was gone. I didn't touch her hair. have a go, it's a lot easier than you might imagine.

Dave
29/04/2010 - 8:50 AM

Greylags

GreylagsGreat timing to capture the moment and as a record shot it works, but this could have been so much more improved if the shot was in focus. Unfortunately it isn't. Next time, try raising your ISO so that more light comes into the camera. The D300 is very good at reducing any associated noise that comes from a higher ISO. Try and get a shutter spped that is much higher than your focal length.

Hope this helps.

Dave
*** One for the Dendrochronologists ***Good attempt at an abstract, but unfortunately the shot is a little soft. This may be because of the compression when reducing the file size. In order to keep it sharp, try taking the resized image through photoshop's smart sharpen filter. Try a setting of about 60%, a radius of 0.4 - 0.6 and make sure remove lens blur is highlighted. This will transform the soft image for uploading to the site.

Dave
22/04/2010 - 4:13 PM

untitled

untitled'Treading The Boards'. Nice conversion, and I do like the composition with the wood taking you in. Why not try dodging and burning selected areas to increase contrast and give a slightly grittier feel. Dodge the highlights at 3% opacity, anf burn the shadows at the same rate. Build up slowly and see what a difference it makes. Just a thought. I like it as it is, but the contrast will take a bit more pushing IMO.

Dave
05/04/2010 - 4:54 PM

War of the Worlds

War of the WorldsFar from me to give really good feedback on composite images, one thing that does stand out to me is the obvious way that the girls have been put into the image. Perhaps you could create drop shadows beneath their feet to anchor them into the shot. At the moment, they look as if they are floating on the grass.

Regards,

Dave
19/03/2010 - 4:58 PM

Archway to Carlisle cathedral.

Archway to  Carlisle cathedral.The image looks a bit flat at the moment, so I would suggest you have a go at what I've just quickly done in photoshop.
The first thing that I did was totally desaturate the image as it appeared that part of the image was a sepia colour and other parts not. Then I would have a look at the levels if i were you. If you click on the alt key and click on the white slider or the black slider, you will get to see what areas of the image are completely burnt out and what is complete black.
I adjust the levels to give it a bit more bite.
Then to finish the image (and I've done this quickly) and you can take more time, is to selectively dodge and burn. Dodge the highlights at about 3% and burn the shadows at the same rate. Build up slowly looking at the before and after regularly to see the changes take place slowly.

I haven't commented on the composition as it seems to me that you wanted feedback on the monochrome style. Hope this all helps.

Dave
17/03/2010 - 10:30 PM

Obsolete

ObsoleteSorry to be out of sync with everyone else Sarah, but Im not convinced!
The big issue for me is that large shadow on the RHS. I suspect it's a nearby boat, but it draws the eye. I wonder, that instead of using both rails that perhaps you could have just used the LH rail thus avoiding the majority of the shadow.

The rest of the comp is excellent and you've processed it well. I think that there is still more contrast in there that you could have brought out, but it's still very eye catching.

Sorry to be the negative one!!

Dave
16/03/2010 - 8:28 PM

Monika III

Monika IIINow this is the best of the lot Al.

As for the reflection on her forehead, try this.

Pick up the brush tool, and reduce opacity to 20%. Click on her skin near to the highlighted area but do so when the alt key is pressed. This will now select the skin colour near the reflected area. then brush gently over the reflected area and build up slowly with the lowered opacity to blend in the reflection with her skin tones elsewhere.

Hope this helps.

Dave
07/03/2010 - 5:49 PM

Paris

ParisGreat street capture Ed. Can't help thinking, that whilst it's colourful, and certainly draws the eye in, that this would benefit from a B&W conversion to give it the documentary journalistic style that street togging often benefits from. The scene is beautiful, and one would love to know what the two ladies are talking about. I think the B&W would tone down the obvious shadowed area that you have bottom right. But, street togging is something that some of us love to look at, and whilst we all aspire to take quintessetially beautiful landscapes, this is where 'real' photographs are taken. Please don't make it the last!!

Dave
10/02/2010 - 10:59 PM

Nightglow

NightglowMy kind of shot Bill. Love the stars and the exposure is bang on as I don't see any evidence of banding problems like I had on one of my star shots. Good exposure for the foreground too.

I do believe a square crop might work here you know!!! Wink

Dave
03/02/2010 - 7:02 PM

All That Glitters

All That GlittersYou got your high tide then Bill. Still not sure of the comp here. The exposure and lighting is perfect. At the risk of being overly critical, it seems that the 10 - 20 has pulled the lights over on the right. Perhaps this part of the frame could be adjusted if you were inclined to do so. The colours in the grasses are nice and have to work due to them being so dominant. Thankfully they do.
Is it possible to get closer to the bridge on a high tide? I reckon a porttait with a reflection would look good!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave