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13/12/2014 - 7:56 AM

On the Bridge

On the BridgeBeautifully posed and captured in beautiful natural light Robert. However I am not quite sure about the format, maybe a more traditional portrait format with a tighter crop "Just a thought"

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
09/12/2014 - 7:19 AM

Early Morning

Early MorningA wonderfully calming and well captured scene with beautiful early morning light. I might be tempted however to remove the bottom section of the image removing the encroaching and somewhat distracting foliage. "Just a thought Sue"

Regards NathanGrinGrinGrin
27/11/2014 - 8:39 AM

Try as I may....

Try as I may....Hi Barbara

With reference to your query about obtaining the best possible outcome when shooting at night here are few tips which you might find useful:

Night Photography Tip 1: Get high quality night shots

If you want the best night shots you need to shoot in the best image quality, and that means RAW. By shooting in RAW your images will retain the most ‘information’, which gives you greater scope for enhancing your shots in Adobe Camera Raw and other raw-processing software. RAW is especially beneficial when taking night shots as it gives more flexibility when you want to change things such as colour temperature (or White Balance) or accurately increase (brighten) or decrease (darken) your exposures.

Night Photography Tip 2: Use a tripod for sharp pictures

Shooting at night obviously means there will be less light and therefore slow shutter speeds, anywhere from 1-30 seconds – that’s way too slow to shoot hand-held. So you’ll need to attach your digital camera securely to a tripod if you want sharp results. Make sure your tripod is set up correctly and rock solid – it’s easy to end up with soft images because you haven’t double-checked. Hang your camera bag off the hook on the bottom of the centre column if you can. And don’t hold onto your tripod as you’re shooting with slow shutter speeds because any slight movement can mean blurred photos.

Night Photography Tip 3: Pick your night photography locations in advance

Before you venture out into the night, it will pay dividends and save you valuable time later if you plan ahead. Pick good locations beforehand by scouting out the best spots in your local town to find the most interesting lights and architecture, or if you’re looking to shoot traffic light trails, check which roads are busiest, when is the best time for traffic, and which is the best (and safest) position to take photos from. Check out the photo galleries here on PhotoRadar for inspiration, to see how other photographers have tackled the local city lights at night.

Night Photography Tip 4: Use the lens sweet spot

Use the ‘sweet spot’ range of apertures for your lenses – this is usually between f/8 and f/16, but take test shots to find out. Even pro-level lenses don’t produce the best results when used at their maximum and minimum apertures. By using apertures in the middle of the available range you’ll increase your chances of capturing the sharpest shots with your lens

Night Photography Tip 5: Night photography settings

To take control of your exposures it’s best to shoot in Manual mode so you can choose the best narrow aperture and slow shutter speed for night photography. Begin by composing and focusing your shot, set a narrow aperture around f/16, then dial in the right shutter speed until the Exposure Level Mark is in the middle of the Exposure Level Indicator. Take some shots and review them on your LCD. Remember this is what your camera thinks is the best exposure, but if your shots are looking too bright, underexpose by 1-2 stops so that they actually look dark!

Night Photography Tip 6: How to get a ‘starburst’ effect on street lights

Using a narrow aperture (around f/16) will not only ensure a deeper depth of field, so your shots are sharp from foreground to background, but will also make street lights ‘sparkle’ in your scenes to give your pictures an added magical effect. See the shot below…

Night Photography Tip 7: Composition at night

Carefully study the scene before you start taking photos. Are parts of the scene in darkness? Do areas of the shot become more interesting, brightly lit or colourful as it gets darker? If so, don’t be afraid to zoom in on the most photogenic areas. Zoom in with your wide-angle zoom lens or ‘zoom with your feet’ – just move closer to your subject…

Night Photography Tip 8: Use Mirror Lock-up

The slightest movement can create unwanted camera shake, and this even includes the mirror moving up and down inside your digital SLR. You can quickly enable Mirror Lock-up (look for it in your camera menu’s Custom Functions menu) to get around this potential pitfall.

Night Photography Tip 9: Don’t touch your camera!

When taking long exposures at night, even touching your camera to press the shutter button can create enough movement to leave you with blurred results. Use your digital camera’s built-in self-timer to trigger the shutter after you’ve pressed the button to avoid any problems. For shots that rely on accurate timing, use a remote release instead.

Regards Nathan
12/11/2014 - 6:20 PM

Evening in Venice

Evening in VeniceA beautiful scene so very typical of the location and one which you have captured wonderfully. I might however suggest that your remove the encroaching lamp on the left as it draws the eye away from the main subject. "Just a thought" Image one for me please.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
13/09/2014 - 4:16 PM

Wildflower Meadow

Wildflower MeadowA stunning profusion of colour so very well captured. I might have been tempted crop right down in order to remove the ypl third of your image and produce a letterbox style crop which would IMHO have more punch.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
18/08/2014 - 9:19 AM

Hurricane Flypast

Hurricane FlypastA very fine capture however I would have like to have seen some movement in the props... "Just a thought"

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
08/08/2014 - 7:25 AM

Bethany

BethanyA beautiful smile very well captured, however I do feel that the lighting is a tad too harsh this has caused some burnout notably in the hair and the hands.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
06/08/2014 - 7:38 AM

Tree

TreeI rather like the composition and the subject, and it is well exposed, but for me the proportions seems a little off. One would normally consider three thirds or two halves, but in this case there seems IMHO to be a little to much sky. In order to balance the books I have made a slight crop from the top of the image. I hope you approve.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
15/07/2014 - 2:40 PM

Brenda - Boat Trip

Brenda - Boat TripNicely done, however the background is a little overexposed resulting in some of the detail being lost. May I suggest you try using a Polarising Filter, this would have allowed you to captured the hidden detail in the sky without over exposing the image. Alternatively try bracketing. There are plenty of tips and tutorials on the site to put you right.

Regards Nathan
15/06/2014 - 10:48 AM

Westminster

WestminsterHi Nigel

I've added a modification which I hope that you will approve of. In Lightroom I made a view changes firstly I brought out some of the detail hidden under the bridge using the Shadow adjustment tool, before I added a little punch using a preset tool, this in turn adding a little oomph to the proceedings.

Regards NathanGrinGrinGrin
10/06/2014 - 3:44 PM

Ox eye daisy

Ox eye daisyA beautiful image although the centre of the Daisy is in shadow due to the fact that you have shot into direct sunlight. If you had used a lit fill-in flash then this would have resolved the problem. Image two is beautifully captured and exposed.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
22/03/2014 - 10:46 AM

Windows_103

Windows_103I took the opportunity to upload a mod, I hope you like the final outcome. Nothing too drastic. A simple cropping, then I removed the white object from the image, then converted to monochrome.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
22/03/2014 - 7:35 AM

Jen

JenA beautifully worked image Robert. However I might have been inclined to remove the wire during post production in order to give a natural appearance to the image....

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
06/03/2014 - 6:58 PM

Willow

WillowA wonderful captured Mya, however a little blue in the eyes because of the flash. This is very similar to red eye. In order to eradicate this try using your red eye reduction feature on your camera or alternatively try to diffuse or bounce the flash.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
06/03/2014 - 5:02 PM

Leading Light

Leading LightA beautifully exposed capture Trevor, however I do feel that the left hand side of the image lets the whole pice down. May I be so bold as to suggest a portrait style crop slight off to one side in order to remove for me the unwanted and unnecessary left and some of the right. The wooden groin make a great lead in.

Just a thought.

Regards Nathan
02/03/2014 - 6:18 PM

Female Blackbird

Female BlackbirdA beautifully sharp capture Ade, however I feel that a slightly different crop would make all the difference. May I suggest that you remove the space top the right, this would give the impression that the subject has got more space in which to move into.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
01/03/2014 - 11:45 PM

Aurora in shetland

Aurora in shetlandA stunningly beautiful composition, for me everything from the point of view to the exposure is spot on. "Superb Ian, a really gem"

If I were to be a little picky may I suggest that you straighten your building. This is an easy operation if you have access to post production software such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

There are many tutorials on the ww which will guide you through the process effortlessly.

Here is just pone which you may find useful Ian.

http://www.essential-photoshop-elements.com/straighten-leaning-buildings.html

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
01/03/2014 - 6:11 AM

Orange Butterfly

Orange ButterflyMy first reaction was to say a stunning image, however upon closer inspection there were a few niggly concerns. Firstly the over saturated colour. The colours are almost bleeding into each other making for a rather messy image. Secondly the original detail has been lost with over processing, this may be attributed to either attempting to sharpen the image or the over saturation of the colours. Finally it is important the you try to get all the subject as sharp as you can, however due to your relatively large aperture of f/5.6 you have created a shallower depth of field which has resulted in one of the wings being out of focus. If you had opted for a smaller aperture of day f/8 or f/11 then you would have captured the whole subject in focus. Other than toning town the colour there is very little that I can suggest you do to make this any better.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin

For some great tips on photographing insects please see the following link: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/tips-and-tricks-for-insect-photography-4874
23/02/2014 - 4:46 AM

Windows_76

Windows_76A beautiful window, although a little over exposed. May I suggest that in order to try an compensate for the over exposure you bracket your exposures.

What is bracketing?

Exposure bracketing is a simple technique professional photographers use to ensure they properly expose their pictures, especially in challenging lighting situations.

When you expose for a scene, your camera's light meter will select an aperture / shutter speed combination that it believes will give a properly exposed picture.

Exposure bracketing means that you take two more pictures: one slightly under-exposed (usually by dialing in a negative exposure compensation, say -1/3EV), and the second one slightly over-exposed (usually by dialing in a positive exposure compensation, say +1/3EV), again according to your camera's light meter.

The reason you do this is because the camera might have been 'deceived' by the light (too much or too little) available and your main subject may be over- or under-exposed. By taking these three shots, you are making sure that if this were ever the case, then you would have properly compensated for it.

As an example, say you are taking a scene where there is an abundance of light around your main subject (for example, at the beach on a sunny day, or surrounded by snow). In this case, using Weighted-Average metering, your camera might be 'deceived' by the abundance of light and expose for it by closing down the aperture and/or using a faster shuter speed (assuming ISO is constant), with the result that the main subject might be under-exposed. By taking an extra shot at a slight over-exposure, you would in fact be over-exposing the surroundings, but properly exposing the main subject.

Another example would be the case where the surrounding might be too dark, and the camera exposes for the lack of light by either opening up the aperture and/or using a slower shutter speed (assuming ISO is constant), then the main subject might be over-exposed. By taking an extra shot at a slight under-exposure, you would in fact be under-exposing the surroundings, but properly exposing the main subject.

Now, most digital cameras have auto exposure bracketing (AEB), meaning that if you select that option before taking your shot, the camera will automatically take three shots for you: one which it thinks it has perfectly exposed; a second one sightly under-exposed; and the third one slightly over-exposed. The amount of under- and over-exposure usually defaults to -1/3EV and +1/3EV, but can also sometimes to specified in SETUP, e.g. you may want to use -1EV and +1EV instead.

When should you use exposure bracketing? Anytime you feel the scene is a challenging one (too much highlights or shadows) as far as lighting is concerned -- e.g. sunsets are usually better taken slightly under-exposed so use exposure bracketing there -- or whenever you want to be sure you don't improperly expose a fabulous shot that you may not get the chance to go back and take again.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
14/02/2014 - 5:30 PM

Paddy Fields,

Paddy Fields,Potentially a very good image, however in the first instance I believe that your image is somewhat over saturated, the greens seem almost to green, whilst at the same time the blue of the sky looks like it has been over processed. This in turn makes the sky look unnatural and somewhat milky in areas. This might be due to over tweaking of the colour levels during post production.

The clarity of the image starts to fade off very quickly, from about 1/3 in your image becomes almost single clumps of colour,. This can be attributed to either over processing of not choosing a small enough aperture to accommodate for the depth. We often talk about focusing frames or distances, picking an object either one or two thirds into the frame then focusing on that, this with the correct aperture would result in the image being focused from start to finish. As for a modification, well I believe that the image is do far gone in regards to bring the detail back, however one could still tone the image down making the colours less obtrusive and more viewer friendly.

As for its aesthetic qualities, I think it is bright and attractive.

In summary an over worked image...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin