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20/01/2010 - 7:47 PM

Emma

EmmaI think it's a lovely portrait. The high key look always looks good. You have a lot of burn out however, and this is something that you need to be caerful of. E.G. the left side of the face as I look at the face is deviod of any detail, so one cannot see where the face ends.
If this was a problem with the exposure, just turn the flash down a bit, or move the lighting back a little until you get the correct exposure. If this was done in post processing, just be careful that you don't overdo it.
The pose is very nice, and the eyes are lovely and sharp. Good effort.

Dave
03/12/2009 - 7:40 PM

Frosty morning take 2

Frosty morning take 2A nice image Tony, but personally, it feels a little flat. I can see that the sun is there, but some nice warm light across the foreground would have lifted it.
I hope you don't mind, but I looked at the image more closely in PS, and could see that the foreground was underexposed on the histogram. I also think that your photo has lost some sharpness when you have resized it for uploading. This can be sorted in PS with 'Smart Sharpen'. I tend to keep the percentage down to about 40% and then use a very low pixel number to sharpen very slightly. I use this technique just for uploading to the web.
I've emailed you a copy of what I did to show how it could be changed slightly.

Cheers mate. Hope this helps.

Dave
22/11/2009 - 4:14 PM

Chaffinch

ChaffinchNice bird, but I think the presentation and processing has let this down. I hope you don't mind the feedback, but as this is a critiqueing site I feel it's important.

It looks as if you've cut this bird out from another image rather roughly. There are sharp angulated edges around the bird. In addition, there is a green splodge on the twig which doesn't seem natural.

I know from experience that it is really difficult to photograph these small birds. The focus on the face is spot on, and the exposure is great. I think more time in the post processing area may improve things though.

Regards,

Dave
20/11/2009 - 10:51 PM

Durdle Door Crescent Moon

Durdle Door Crescent MoonPretty good attempt I'd say, but there is an area to the right side of the sky that looks as though part of the image is missing. There's a splodge top left too.

That said, a great composition and lovely colours. I like the effect the long exposure has had on the water, and the moon in the arch looks great.

Dave
16/10/2009 - 7:35 PM

By the pond

By the pondThis is one of those shots where ignoring the rule of thirds can really work. A beautiful reflection in water can work really well, and this is a very pleasant image.

For me though, the image lacks punch, IE it is doesn't have enough contrast to really grab the viewer's eye to draw them in.

I see that on the histogram for the entire shot that the sliders are nicely balanced at each end of the spectrum, but I think that this is one of those shots where selective work can really help.

I have selected the shot in three seperate areas to see if I could improve things. Firstly, I have selected the sky with a broad feather and pulled the curves down to try and darken the sky slightly. Unfortunately, the sky on the right is burnt out, and so there wasn't much change there.

Secondly, I selected the trees on both sides of the reflections with a broad feather, and used levels to slightly lighten them.

Thirdly, I used a broad feather on the water, and used levels to try and boost the contrast a little.
Finally, as the image wa already small, I only used a little smart sharpen at 40% and about 1.5 pixels.

I think it's given the shot a bit more impact.

Hope this critique helps.

Regards,

Dave
15/10/2009 - 10:03 PM

Fall in New Hampshire

Fall in New HampshireRegarding the sky issue, how about trying this in the future.

Assuming you've taken this shot with a tripod, take two exposures, one exposing for the trees, and another exposing for the sky, but so that the sky is quite a dark colour. A blue sky would be perfect but it looks like this was quite overcast, so grey would have to do.

Then blend the two shots together, and using a layer mask with the opacity knocked down to about 12 - 15%, try and blend together the difficult areas together until you're happy you've got a decent blend. For the rest of the image, use a very soft edged brush and paint in black at about 75% until you've got the blend you want. It may appear to be a little time consuming, but with practice, it's a technique that soon becomes quite easy to master.

Just a thought!

Dave
15/10/2009 - 9:54 PM

Sgwd Ddwli

Sgwd DdwliHi terry,

Sorry mate, I think you've pushed the greens and reds too much on this one. The leaf on the left about a third up looks unnatural and the ferns on the right look too vivid for me.
Nice comp and a place I'd like to visit.
Just an opinion!!

Dave
15/10/2009 - 9:42 PM

Golden Light

Golden LightI do like the movement on the grasses Andy. The lighting is superb, but I hope you don't mind me saying this, but the shot seems a little out of balance to me. The rock and tree work well together, but the mountain behind that ought to balance the shot is so dark, that it doesn't help with the comp at all. I know you've got to use the light you have, but it's just something that stands out to me mate.

Dave
14/10/2009 - 10:25 PM

Robin

RobinA nice shot of a robin where you've clearly had to react quickly and get what you can. The composition is not the classic pose, and often it's nicer to see them in a more natural setting, but at the end of the day, you've done well to capture the shot in the first place.

The shot does look under exposed to me, and this was confirmed when I looked at the histogram. It is easy to lighten the image and this can be done by raising the whites in 'Levels'. This is what I've done in the mod I've attached.

Hope this helps.

David
11/10/2009 - 10:11 PM

First Light - Carew Tidal mill

First Light - Carew Tidal millNicely framed Terry, but the berries seem a little soft. I know the mill is the focal point and guess that the light wasn't quite there, but as the berries are such a large part of the shot, my view would be that they ought to be more focussed. Just a thought!!

Dave
Through the Arch - Cockington, DevonHi Terry,

A great idea to pop the colour within the arch to draw the eye. I love the B&W processing too. I hope you don't mind, but I think that as the colour draws the eye, you wnat to see more, and as it is quite a small part of the frame, you can't. The house is therefore the main subject, and you've cut off the top gable on the right, and the crop is very tight to the chimney pot on the left. As the scene in the distance isn't prominant, you maybe could have stepped back a little to keep the gable and yet still had the interest through the arch!

Just an opinion mate.

Dave
19/09/2009 - 6:01 PM

Beach Huts at Sunset

Beach Huts at SunsetHi Terry,

A completely different shot from your previous uploads. I like the composition, and the way that the DOF gradually moves from the left to the right through the frame. It's clearly a very low lying sun which has warmed the shot nicely, but the fourth hut is very bright and detracts from an otherwise great shot.
Still gets a click though!!

Regards,

David
06/09/2009 - 5:41 PM

butterfly

butterflyI don't think there is too much wrong with this shot to be honest. I think the sharpness is very good and the detailing on the wings beautiful. I think that the butterfly merges with the background due to them being a similiar tone. Therefore in order to bring the butterfly to more prominence, I have darkened the image using curves. I then painted a layer mask over the butterfly to bring the original lighting back. Hopefully this has seperated the butterfly from the background more.

I love butterfly shots and this is a good one.

Hope this helps.

David
31/08/2009 - 9:27 AM

evening after the race

evening after the raceI can see what you're trying to achieve with this shot. You've managed to get the reflections of the yachts in the water which is pleasing compositionally. The big problem though is exposure. Having looked at the histogram, you can see that there are loads of blacks, many whites and very little middle ground, which means that the photo lacks detail.
In addition, the light above the right hand yacht really distracts the eye.

I have cropped the shot to get rid of ther dead space at the bottom of the shot and reduce the sky which holds no detail. I've cloned the water in places to just clean it up.

To be honest, I think if I were you, I'd go back and have another go. This shot has loads of potential, but just hasn't delivered.

Regards,

David
17/07/2009 - 1:03 PM

House at Exbury

House at ExburyA pretty good shot I'd say and nicely processed. I do think that the shot is a shot of two halves though. The grass lines act as a fabulous lead in, but they lead nowhere, other than the hedge and sky. The house is almost an add on with the composition in the foreground. I do recognise that there wasn't much you could have done about that though. Perhaps if you had moved to your right and used the lines at a 45 degree angle to the house, the composition may have been more pleasing. I don't know, it's just a thought. The house id the main subject, but it is frustratingly on the edge of the shot. I really want to see more of the front facade with the steps that lead up, but the angle of the shot doesn't allow this. Finally, I think that as it's B&W, you could have pushed the contrast more.

Hope this helps.

David
11/07/2009 - 11:51 AM

Skies Above

Skies AboveThis is a lovely sky, but that is about it I guess. There is nothing in the foreground to hold the eye. I appreciate that it was probably very dark too, but perhaps you could have used neutral density graduated filters that would have allowed you to focus on a subject in the foreground whilst at the same time using that great sky to hold the whole shot together.

Another style you could have used would be to silhouette something. The building to the left (which acts as a distraction) is an example of what could have been achieved. Perhaps a person standing there, or some other object could be used to stand out as a silhouette against that great sky.

Hope this all helps.

David
11/07/2009 - 11:46 AM

Open Doors

Open DoorsI think that this is a difficult subject to shoot and quite hard to critique. The dark areas to the side of the doors draw the eye, but I can see why you have included them as the opening gives some depth to the shot.
I have uploaded a mod where I have used a square crop to take the doors out. I also lightened the sides a little to give a better balance.
The shot is nicely exposed in the centre. I think that this type of shot is made for HDR, and may have looked really good if you could perfect that technique.

Hope this helps.

David
20/06/2009 - 8:24 AM

Tower of Power

Tower of PowerI love the idea of this shot and I think it works pretty well. The main subject is clearly the city hall, but the importance of the people cannot be ignored. There is a lot of dead space in the foreground of this shot, and I suspect that you have tried to use the reflection of the building in the wet paving slabs. It's not a strong reflection though, and doesn't give anything (IMO) to the shot.
A stronger composition, I think, would to have had the figures slightly more involved in the shot. You don't want them to dominate, but perhaps if they were slightly closer to the camera, then the shot would be a lot better.
It's not clear to me if you have colour popped here, but I think that this shot would really work in complete mono but with the umbrellas and people in colour.

Hope this feedback helps you.

Regards,

David
17/06/2009 - 9:19 AM

Beach Day

Beach DayThe colours in both the foreground and sky are superb. However, the photo doesn't work for me as there is just a huge expanse of sand at the bottom that gives nothing to the shot.

The line of posts on the right appear ideal foreground interest. You could focus in on them and actually use them to draw the eye into the shot and the wonderful colours of the sand and then that magnificent sky.

Hope this helps.

David
16/06/2009 - 8:44 PM

Black bird

Black birdI think if you have cropped a lot, then the sharpness of the shot is explained. It is pretty good, but I felt it could be improved and I have uploaded a sharpened image where I have used smart sharpen from PS CS4 at 0.4%.

The composition is good as you have left neutral space to the right, the area in to which the bird is looking, but if anything, coming out a bit more might have helped the composition.

Hope this helps.

David