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22/03/2014 - 10:46 AM


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


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


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.


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_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
10/02/2014 - 11:31 AM


Beer!I love the name of the beer, which is quite ironic really as your image could do with a little fixing as it appears to be slightly off kilter as well as being slightly too dark IMHO.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
09/02/2014 - 7:48 AM

Darts 4

Darts 4A well worked image, the feint outline of the dart in flight can just be seen adding to the appeal.

I might have been tempted to bump up the ISO in order that the Shutter Speed could be increased, this would in turn have enabled you to capture the dart in flight perfectly. "Just a thought"

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
05/01/2014 - 6:18 PM


waterfallA beautiful image, however a tad over exposed with some blown out areas Phil. This is apparent at the top of the image...

If you haven't already done so try 'Bracketing'

Due to the nature of what it means, bracketing has in the past been reserved for the professional photographer who could afford to and found it necessary to "burn" a lot of emulsion film to get the shot spot on.

Now with the introduction of "almost" in-exhaustive and cheap to run digital photography, we can all practice with and learn from bracketing techniques using your cameras exposure settings, white balance settings and flash photography settings.

So what is it?

It means you have the ability to be able to take three or more shots of the same scene each with differing exposure, white balance or flash values. One is taken with a correct exposure according to the metering setting on your camera, one is underexposed and one is overexposed.

The under and over exposed shots can be taken within a range of + or - 3 stops either way with half or third stop increments.

By doing this, you can asses which of each represents the closest and most accurate exposure.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
04/01/2014 - 9:29 AM


Windows_26Hi Kurt. I have upload a little mod. Nothing to drastic. Firstly I reduced the noise, then I carefully cloned out the lighting fixtures, and then the chain and post it note ?. Once I was satisfied with this part of the operation I performed a tighter crop in order to balance out the image slightly. "All operations were carried out using PS6 , hope you approve"

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
11/11/2013 - 9:22 AM


KlaudiaA beautifully styled image, however I feel that the lighting is a little too harsh. This is apparent down the left arm of the model where the detail has been blown out slightly. Whilst at the same time there is also some loss of detail in the face, on the nose particularly.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
09/11/2013 - 2:48 PM

Red deer hind

Red deer hindA most beautiful capture of this magnificent Red Deer John. If I may be so bold as to suggest a little cloning to remove a section of the rather distracting fern near to the ear of the Deer.

Regards Nathan Grin
09/11/2013 - 8:42 AM

Windswept II

Windswept IIBeautifully done, however I am not quite sure about the encroaching and rather distracting part of the wooden groyne...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
19/10/2013 - 3:50 PM

'Trick or Treat'

'Trick or Treat'Whilst I love the wonderful contrasting colours, forms and shapes, I feel that your composition is somewhat out of kilter. Much of the weight to the image seems to be swayed towards the left, leaving a lot of unwanted emptiness on the right. Maybe a tighter crop would suffice...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
03/10/2013 - 4:25 PM


RebeccaA very well worked portrait, good use of the lighting, and the colourama, however apart from the lack of space, maybe a little cleaning up during post production would help the image further. "Just a thought Robert"

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
03/10/2013 - 4:00 PM

Two Babies in a Hollow Tree

Two Babies in a Hollow TreeA wonderful image Don, but your extremely high ISO has increased the amount of noise to such a degree that the amount of noise levels prevent me from enjoying possibly a great image...

Not quite sure why you opted for such a high setting Don especially in the middle of the day...

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
29/09/2013 - 2:51 PM

Millennium walkway lanterns

Millennium walkway lanternsA scene with loads of photographic potential.

Firstly did you use a tripod?

In order to capture images in low lighting conditions it is essential to follow some basic principles:
Why do night shots look so attractive to us?

Our retina is build with rods and cones. Rods offer much better night vision, but far less color sensitivity than cones. Since our eyes have to keep a fixed exposure time, this is nature’s elegant trade off.

Our cameras work the same at all times. To compensate for lower light, we increase exposure time, a luxury the human eye cannot afford.

Our camera is capable of recording colors invisible to us, as the color sensitivity of the camera does not change with exposure.

This results in photographs that look brilliant and much better than we see the world at night. Street lamps that look white and yellow to us have a much wider color spectrum than we know. These lamps create the fantastic colors we see on our night shots.

It is easy to capture beautiful photographs at night and stun your audience by following a few easy steps.

When to shoot

Unless you want to photograph star trails, I recommend shooting when there is still some color left in the sky. Sometimes the color lasts up to one hour after sunset, even if our vision tells us otherwise.

If you photograph in cities on overcast days, you can photograph longer. The city lights reflect off the clouds and you get a spectacular looking sky.

Different light sources produce different colors. Fluorescent, Sodium, Tungsten, Mercury, Sulfur Lamps and LED all produce different colors, even though we cannot distinguish them at night.

Our camera brings out all of the colors. The resulting photographs might surprise us sometimes.

How to shoot

Shoot in aperture priority Mode (Av,A) to control depth of field and maximum sharpness. Since we have to use a Tripod at night, we can “stop our lens down” to achieve maximum sharpness.

Keeping tight manufacturing tolerances over larger areas (wide aperture) is difficult. That is why every lens, even expensive ones, will be sharper when stopped down (smaller aperture). A cheap lens that is “stopped down” can outperform an expensive lens that is wide open.

How to stop down

Start by setting your lens to the widest possible aperture (smallest f/stop). This number will vary depending on your lens. Assume your widest aperture is f/4 for the sake of this article. Now back up one to two stops from your widest aperture.

Most lenses have a 1/3 stop scale. Here is the one-stop scale for reference:

2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22

In our example, where f/4 is the widest aperture, you should back up to at least f/5.6 preferably f/8.

As a general rule of thumb, you can remember that f/8 will yield very good sharpness for most lenses. Decreasing the aperture even further is only necessary to cope with large depth of field scenarios. Optical diffraction sets a practical lower limit for your aperture.

How to meter

The varying brightness levels confuse most camera light meters. Streetlights are tiny but bright dots in a sea of darkness. Depending on your scene, your camera may expose correctly, or over- or underexpose.

Start with Aperture Priority and let the camera figure out the exposure of your first shot. Then check your histogram and compensate.

Cameras with an RGB histogram are perfect for this task. For night shots, the red channel is often brighter. A camera with a brightness only histogram will hide this fact.

I recommend exposing the brightest of the three RGB histograms to align right, while I would leave a bit more room on a brightness histogram. Clipped highlights are almost impossible to recover. Take a few test photographs under different lighting conditions and evaluate the exposure on your computer (RGB histogram) to learn how to expose properly.

You can also bracket your exposure to pick the best one or to generate a high dynamic range (HDR) photograph.

How to set up

Putting your camera on a tripod and using a cable release, remote control or self-timer is essential for long exposures.

Study your camera manual to find out if your camera supports mirror lockup (only SLR cameras have a mirror). The mirror, used to direct the light to the viewfinder for composition, needs to move away from the sensor to take the photograph. This motion causes camera shake that may cause motion blur in your photos.

Mirror lockup separates this process into two steps. First, you flip the mirror, and then you take the shot. Wait a few seconds between the two to give the camera a chance to stabilize.

Use your cameras noise reduction (or dark frame subtraction) feature to get cleaner images.

Different light sources can confuse the automatic white balance of your camera.

If your camera supports RAW, you can record RAW and fine tune the white balance during the development process.

If your camera does not support RAW, adjust your white balance properly during the shooting. Bracket your white balance to pick the best one later at home.

Make sure your horizon is straight! This is tougher at night than during the day.

Have fun and practice, practice, practice

Regards Nathan