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04/06/2014 - 10:47 PM

Express Delivery

Express Deliveryhi,
i have been trying for the last 6 years every June and its quite difficult to track the puffins because they do not hold a straight predictable course. strangely the terns i find easy. i have never had any luck by pre focusing.

the 3 d tracking i think may be more suitable for sport and the dynamic (centre position) is the best way to go. you can select 9 /21/ 51 or so focus points on my d300s and in theory once you lock focus the camera will sense movement from one point to the next and so on if the subject moves off the point you locked him on to whilst tracking.

problem here is the more points you choose, the more thinking the processor has to do and i am sure that the response time is greater. i have had more success with 9 points than 21. i position the cross hair on the top third and follow the bird in. i also think that the responsiveness of the lens to focus is important as i recently borrowed a Nikon 300 f4 which i found locks on far quicker and with very little hunting compared to my 70-300 zoom
Phil
18/03/2014 - 7:37 PM

Give Me

Give Mehi,
well i have to say i like the idea, a sort of Irene Froy overlay in white by the looks and a direct composition.
i like the way that the face falls off focus quickly but i would have preferred to see the hand fully included, exposed without the highlight on the palm and with the finger tips / nails sharp.

its not that i cannot get creativity and pass on conventions, i can, but i feel like i need to focus on something and the hand seems the appropriate place.

i like it as it is but i may well have tied one with the model further to the left to lose that little bit of negative space and extend the other arm to intersect the corner. would have balanced out the white bg a bit better IMO.

like it a lot,
regards
Phil
12/03/2014 - 8:37 PM

FORK UP

FORK UPforget the processing, camera settings the composition is exceptional and modern and creative. it has vee shapes, diagonals and everything you could ask for, the image has humour and has interesting content.

i like the desaturation but hate the reticulation / noise / grain finish and wonder if the image flipped horizontally would work even better. we tend to read left to right afterall.

f22 is or must have been a mistake as the lens is heading to the worst area of performance and you could have reduced the iso a fair bit by opening up the aperture and had a lot less grain.

did you process this way or was it like this from camera through glass etc or something.

image is super though
Phil
11/03/2014 - 10:20 PM

York street at Night

York street at Nightlovely effort with some super detail in the cobbles and brickwork.
i dont think i could have done any better at all in the taking, framing or exposing of this lovely little corner of the shambles.
unfortunately there are some areas on both sides and top without detail and there is little to be done about that at the taking stage but a quick crop is all thats needed to focus attention on the well lit areas

i did a quick mod to show what i mean, it makes it stronger for me, how do you feel about it,

best regards
Phil
11/03/2014 - 9:24 PM

coffee shop

coffee shopfor me its an excellent conversion with a nice and contrasty main subject and subdued background with just enough detail to set the scene.

compositionally the sofa arm focus is falling off fast and could be cropped up a little without losing any of the impact of the sitter.

i may be tempted to whiten the eyes a tiny bit and select the man carefully and add a little tonal contrast in nik efex to him alone, this would bring out his skin texture and beard detail.

its a nice control of dof here and i really like the image overall

regards
Phil
11/03/2014 - 9:17 PM

Untitled

Untitledhello and welcome to epz.
this is a nice quality shot with super textures in the boat.

it has a lot to like and an interesting content, but compositionally i am a little torn between wanting a horizontal format from a low viewpoint and the alternative of less foreground (water) and more of the sky.

but given what is here, i think in my opinion that the sky is over saturated and needs taking down a little selectively in hue and sat.

just to satisfy curiosity i did a version in landscape format with a slightly desaturated blue in the sky.

i also agree that there is a good basis here for a high contrast mono.

best regards
Phil
11/03/2014 - 9:07 PM

Closed school

Closed schoolhi,
the content looks interesting but for me a little flat in perspective, its like one of those scenes that needs working to get the killer image,
i do like the combinations of colour and shapes but i feel the main image would be centred around those vent pipes with some creative positioning.

think i may have gone for a little less iso and a wider aperture with this viewpoint and tried a more natural exposure rather than hdr or tonal contrast which in this instance is not helping the overall feel of quality.

its an ok shot but has not really got a principle centre of interest to be enduring, could easily be something strong from the same location though

regards
Phil
03/03/2014 - 8:55 PM

Trapped

Trappedhi,
i really like this and applaud the creativity, looks like a mans head in a tube type light. like the ones with the globules floating about.

i do feel overall its dark where it needs to be vibrant and that the subject is tall and thin so id present it that way too.

i did a mod where i cropped tall and thin, kept the subject dead centre to add impact and to hell with thirds, then added tonal contrast in nik colour efex pro to punch up the contrast. i think it looks like a poster or a book cover.

great stuff and an exciting project to do a set of these

Phil
13/02/2014 - 2:52 PM

feminitoys

feminitoyshi and welcome to epz.

a bit difficult to offer critique here as its so highly processed, mainly towards an artpiece rather than a photograph. sort of a bit Hockney and yet not quite.

also struggling to connect the two images, is it two or is it one.

the top one is quite good, may be a bit too much on the bottom (pun intended) and a little short of leg on the right side but the idea is good even if the processing and im prone to play around with pics a bit is a little ott for my taste.

the bottom subject is good too almost posted as a cartoon strip, again i feel a little less processing would have said probably more

all that said im looking forward to your next upload and this one was to be fair and to your credit quite different to what we normally see and shows some degree of creativity

regards
Phil
13/02/2014 - 2:28 PM

village man

village manhi, this is a nice character study, it says something about the man, i can feel his warmth and kindness.

from a quality point of view, its starting to lose its edge i think due to the nature of the lighting.

i know that flash seems to be an obvious solution but it usually kills any mood in an outdoor portrait and i would sooner seek shade or move around to minimise the contrast.

if i read you right you have tried to compensate with highlights and shadows and for me this usually ruins a picture in quality unless its a very minor adjustment.

i do like the animals in thn background and feel you could have made a greater connection between both by using a landscape or horizontal format with the man to the right of frame.

its very nice but a little down on quality and i think would be a tough one to get a good print from.

stick with it though because i think you have what it takes to get a great expression from a subject

Phil
12/02/2014 - 10:37 PM

Spider on lizard skeleton

Spider on lizard skeletonreally interesting, and the main subject is nice and sharp, pictorially the background is a bit untidy and a good clear background makes the difference between a good picture and a great picture.

it may be sneered at by some purists, but with subjects like this i tend use some backgrounds i have made from prints of out of focus foliage.

Phil
04/02/2014 - 3:55 PM

Sunrise...

Sunrise...hi and a warm welcome to epz.

this looks really nice in the thumb view but to fair seems to lack that biting quality i am used to seeing in seascapes on this site. indeed there are some real specialists in the genre on here.
i know the equipment you use is more than capaable so i guess a lots in the processing. i also like seascapes and i guess you may find some in my showcase or back in the pages somewhere.

compositionally the base is the most interesting area and i think a downward tilt or a lower viewpoint (preferred) to reduce the sky a little and add more foreground would have been good, and somehow the focus dosnt seem as crisp as it could be in the fg and that water detail is really very nice. some selective smart sharpening with a slightly larger rad may add some good texture to the rocks.

i think there are some colour balance issues towards the cyan end in the sky and im sure you could get that in raw adjustments or white balancing by a variety of methods.

another suggestion is to not exceed f16 as lens performance drops off usually eather side of a f8-f16 range and although im unfamiliar with that lens i feel confident the performance graph will be falling at f22. shooting at 200 iso would have been fine and the sensors are usually optimised for 200 iso anyhow. this would keep your speed the same to slow the water down.

i see you have some flare issues in centre of rocks and this is usual when shooting pretty much head on to the sun, usually best to keep the sunball just out of frame if you can and this is often compensated by having some of its light falling across the rocks .

its a lovely scene controlled well with the grads but i think you could pull an even better result from this raw file.

this is all subjective and its down to you , and of course there is always the chance being a first upload that you didnt mean to enter the critique gallery but thats where i found it.

enjoy your scaping and above all enjoy this terrific site.

if you like this comment feel free to click the like tag and if you feel it was helpful then you may click the "nominate as good critique" .

let me know how you feel about your comments,
best regards
Phil
04/02/2014 - 3:24 PM

The Hotelle

The Hotellehi,
this is compiled from interesting shapes in a super modern building and i like the top half and i like the bottom half but im unsure if both together work in harmony. think id crop off the top at the base of the lift (shadow block), and use the bottom half. ----- or alternately crop out the ground floor and use the top but the lines are not so strong as the former. sometimes less detail is more.

otherwise its a nice architectural design, maybe a little underexposed in parts and needs a token figure in there somewhere to add scale and added centre of attention. as it stands my eye wanders all over the frame looking for something to grab on to.

i can see its a style you are developing but always a little flat in perspective and usually for me in need of an anchor or focal point of interest to complete them.

my opinion of course and completely subjective, if its where you choose to be then thats fine too.

regards
Phil
09/01/2014 - 8:11 PM

The way down

The way downits a solid scene with a nice compositional lead in from the corner but is suffering from slight over exposure in the distant hills, stone and sky.

as Willie points out, it may be true to level but may benefit from a slight rotation to correct the horizon visually
try making a duplicate layer and use the multiply blending mode and then tune back to suit with the opacity slider. doing this multiplication of the layers will darken down the whole image and add contrast and you may need the use of the opacity slider to strike a happy balance.

then try a crop about one inch down to lose the burned out section of cloud and it will concentrate attention on the lovely recession.

best wishes Phil
04/12/2013 - 10:07 AM

Mist on The Moss

Mist on The Mosssometimes we are confronted by a spectacular scene, we have the gear, the time and we know that we will never capture that image as we saw of felt it and i fear that this is one of them.

its possible to take images at midnight in a coal cellar nowadays but always at a cost when there isnt a little more quality light falling on key areas of the image to give you a chance of a range of tone through the image, you struggle to win.

the scene is good, ive been infront of these rays and mist at dawn and always struggled to wrench any quality from the raw. i dont think id have gone about the shot any differently.

even with your grads in place the bright area of sky have blown and would be better cropped out ideally at the taking and the trees really are too far away to stand up and be counted and the ground exposure is left muddy by the brightness of the rays which are having little effect in lighting the mist.

i am not a lover of hdr but a 7 or so exposure hdr may have given you more.

sorry because its a great scene and i know how much it means to pull something out the bag from a trip but i think this is a tricky one.

Phil
04/12/2013 - 9:54 AM

Inquisitive Woman.

Inquisitive Woman.hi,
well exposed image from a reenactment event andits nice to see some interaction and positioning away from a straight head shot as is often the case at such events. getting people doing something or communicating something is a real bonus and makes a huge difference.

the lady on the left is good, nice posture, great expression and the hand positioned well, although all of it would have been better.

both sets of eyes looking at something to the left as they make secret comment is also good and quite natural, there is also little to give away that this is reenactment other than we know there were not so many Nikons around in those days Grin too many times i have seen really good models but with modern varnished square croped finger nails and it sort of spoils the illusion.

if im over picky id like them huddled together a little more and the cupping of the mouth from the other hand so as to look better balanced and leave more of the mouth unobscured.

its a good effort though and captures a great moment
Phil
04/12/2013 - 9:27 AM

A misty morning 2

A misty morning 2HI
nice scene almost like a tuscan hill town. i live in the derbyshire peak district and we get similar conditions or inversions in our case.

because there is little detail in the areas of mist its good that some areas are defined and have interest like the white houses on the left. that balances nicely with the emerging hill on the right but i think id be tempted to crop just inside the mast as i feel its too sketchy to be interesting and just pulls the eye. possibly a little crop on the left side too.

im guesssing the sky was devoid of much colour at the time but even though the majority of the rest of scene is approaching 18% grey, the average metering has resulted in the sky bleaching out a bit too much and a nd grad at the time of taking would have been beneficial.

its better for me at least that the original cropped to reduce the foreground intrusions.

sometimes a little hdr done really gently can bring out some detail in the mist, even spiltting the raw into a couple of different exposures is enough.

phil
22/08/2013 - 4:36 PM

Goodbye My Love

Goodbye My LoveV1 has more clarity, simply is a better image and the figure is implied to ones imagination as just isnt necessary as an element.

i actually feel that although its compositionally sound and has context and purpose (unlike many composites.) the boat is not of sufficient quality or needs to be desaturated and the overall grunge feel has been overplayed for effect. it needs some but this is more than stormy.

also the handrails look like welded contruction and are not correct to period (the posts are right ) they would have been castings.

so i like the overall idea but really the figure is too much and the grunge layer too heavy at least for my taste.

regards
Phil
19/08/2013 - 8:21 PM

Moonlight Mystery

Moonlight Mysteryhello and a very warm welcome to epz.
it is indeed a very well put together composite and reminds me of a epz member KT Allen who does very well in salons with hers.

compositionally i love it, nothing negative to say against it. the quality is great but maybe there is a little too much light on the figure. in some ways it does not look wrong in terms of an image but it takes away a little of the realism, if she had been facing the sun it would have been fine but the shadow side is facing us and is the brightest part of the picture. maybe it would be worth just taking the brightness down a little or adding a texture layer over
there are some nice elements in the construction and they have all been dropped into place very neatly.
Phil
04/07/2013 - 9:36 AM

bones

bonesHI,
a most unusual view point and on the thumb at least is a really nice composition.
athough i love the concept and the shapes, there are a few things that niggle when its opened to full size.

now it could be my monitor which on this machine is uncalibrated but i am getting some well blown or at best very bright areas on the shoulderblade which is taking my eye away from the rest and that together with the contrasty light on the skin revealing maybe a bit to much texture.

the ear ring, intersting as it is is in a very awkward position so close to the corner and i feel that i may have wanted to make for of a feature of it to contrast with the skin tones and shapes.

my gut feeling is that shot in veiled soft light this would have been stunning . but for me, its just a bit harsh.

you could perhaps do a little smoothing or add some glamour glow to make it more sinuous.
but its a great idea

Phil