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Overread's Gallery Comments

Overread > Overread Recent Activity > Overread's Gallery Comments
Make an entrance - make a splash! by Overread

Make an entrance - make a splash!

Many thanks for the compliments all!

And yes outside at last!

Banehawi - yes I could have exposed a little more, as it is the shot already has some brightening of the shadows applied already. At the time I felt that it would be best to have some limit on the amount of over-exposure on the tree since it is still pretty large in the scene and thus take a hit on exposure over the primary part of the image. Just no way around that barring a higher dynamnic range on the camera for such a shot.

The idea about adjusting the white balance is a nice one; something I didn't think of for this; a little tweak could indeed lift the mood some.

Keith interesting point on the background and now you mention it it does indeed seem rather lacking in contrast; giving it a rather flat appearance. I might go back and fiddle with it to get a bit more contrast from that area; add some gravity to it and a little more depth to the whole scene not just over the rider and horse.

By: Overread

Charge! by Overread


Aye very true Paul; but I'll work at maximising what I can Smile Anything I learn indoors in a poor environment should set me in good standing for outside (though I suspect I'd have to review my whole approach to exposure in more variable outside light)

Kinda wants to make me get a 7DMII with the shutter speed limiter in aperture priority mode. Setting 1/640 or 1/500 as the lowest limit would be fantastic - I can't understand why Canon can't give it to us in a firmwire update

By: Overread

Over we Go! by Overread

Over we Go!

My thanks all Smile

Phil - I certainly see where you're going with the vignetting, indeed lens corrections tends to remove a very tiny amount (its the kind you can't see till you see it vanish and compare before and after). That said I think that a heavy vignette is a style I'm not really going for; however if I combined a light vignette with the contrast boost suggested by Bane that might well work to focus on the rider in a more subtle way.

Bane - my thanks, contrast wise I think I've gotten hooked on watching the whites a lot in my shots. I find that they blow out so easily on digital that I'm always cautious these days with both exposure, but also with the contrast boosting. I prefer to see detail and not have whites that look blown which tends to mean I shy away from heavier boosts to contrast (even though I do like a contrasty shot). I can layermask of course and localise the contrast boost to select areas if I'm not feeling lazy and want to spend time on a shot.

By: Overread

Roe-deers in the dark by Bartholome

Roe-deers in the dark

And another welcome to the site from me!

My views on this in addition to those raised already;

1) The fog - what you've added is going too far, its too strong an effect, though I'd honestly say that you're getting closer to adding snow with the level you've gone for. I've seen some very impressive shots where photographer/artists have added a whole snowblizzard to a shot so if you're into that kind of thing you might give it a try. Otherwise I'd look at the method suggested earlier and the uploaded mod that person gave. Two layers, one like that and one slightly stronger to give you a "fog" layer and then a drifting layer above it of more wisps of the fog would work well.

2) The artificial light isn't a problem to me in this shot because by its nature the dark aspects of it make it look more like a night-shot so you'd expect to see either black and white (infra red shot) or a flash-light. So in this cases the harsh directional light works.

3) On the fake side of things what stood out to me as odd with this shot first and foremost when I looked at it was the faces on the deer. Something about them seemed very off; rather plastically. Almost like when you look at highly airbrushed models. It's "real" but yet not real at the same time. It's not a fault of your shooting though its something that would hold back from the overall aimed effect if you wanted a "wild" appearing shot (and I've no personal problem with people doing that - so long as one never miss-represents how one got a shot).

By: Bartholome

Mane in the Air by Overread

Mane in the Air

A great many thanks for the input all! I'm rather pleased that this style of shot (that whilst its harder, I do prefer to shoot) is doing well and is viewed as better than the other I posted.

Brightening is something I find myself doing quite a bit with these shots in general. At least half a stop (according to the exposure slider in Lightroom). It's a pain, but I find that if i try and expose more to the right I end up too far into over-exposure zones; and pulling a shot back from overexposure (esp with all the white areas on many horses, tack and jumps) is more of a pain than the extra bit of noise that slight under-exposure gives.

Portrait crop I can see where people are going; it focuses right into the action of the moment and the horse; I think I've just got trouble "seeing" that as a "good" shot because I'm very used to leaving a goodly amount of room for action and subjects moving into it.

And yep I'm getting more used to the busy backgrounds aspect of this style of shooting. I still dislike it and I think I will constantly; but I don't see that dislike as a downside - hopefully it will encourage me to keep hunting for better angles (maybe even risk asking and getting out into another part of the ring for a chance at a different angle).

By: Overread

Showjumping by Overread


A gret many thanks for the compliments and comments all!

I agree with many of the points raised by several of you, I also much prefer a lower vantage point myself, I went up there for a little difference and because it does at least let me get one or two jumps like that one where there is a lot less in the background. Low down indoors is great on the horse and rider, but nearly impossible to get a clean background (might be able to get one if I'm out in the ring, but I've not advanced to shooting from there).

Bane, you raise an interesting point on letting the horse have more room to move into, I guess I kind of get more hooked into the horse and rider when I view the image and I'm reluctant (even in other shots) to crop so that they end up smaller in the frame whilst leaving more "room to move into". Though this is at least and easier shot as rider and horse are both looking the same way.

The removal of distracting elements is interesting to read of, even more so in your edits Pamelajean where you've even gone to making the background board a different colour to mute it out and focus even more on horse and rider; although I feel that the shot is then losing its "documentary" credibility as such. Or at least is then, to my eye, possibly becoming too empty and highlights the lack of dynamic action that others have raised in regard to how the angle of the shot displays the moment in a more bland style.

In highlighting the horse and rider I've wondered if a more subtle approach might not be more suitable, whilst retaining the "documentary" style of the shot rather than taking it closer to a full composite. I wonder if a slight de-saturation of the background (esp the blue) coupled with a more significant local boost to contrast over the horse and rider might not make them stand out more so without altering the photo too much.

By: Overread

Horse and Rider by Overread

Horse and Rider

My thanks Dudler!

I do share your view that a second subject to provide focus for the horse and rider would really balance the shot out. The larger canvas that you've uploaded I think sort of moves toward that idea - the "desert" of sand itself becoming the subject - although personally I think with the angle the land would want to dip downward with viewing angle of the watcher (over the shoulder style) rather than be moving upward into the scene (as it sort of is because of the angle). A physical subject would have been ideal - even if blurred it would have been a focal point.

Lens wise yes a wider angle prime would have worked, however then one hits two barriers. As you rightly said there is the aspect of variation in shots - at an event like this I feel that the zoom really shines at letting you move the focal length with the horse and rider - of course more experience at the same site and a couple of camera bodies with lenses fitted and I'm sure one could cut down to two or three primes (or two primes and a zoom) and get all the shots they'd want.
The other is depth of field - I suspect I'd not really be able to go below f2 since by that point I'd be risking too much potential horse/rider content moving out-of-focus. Indeed having some depth helps a lot since one has two focal points (mount head and rider head). So a faster lens would be better light gathering wise, but there'd be a question mark over practicalities of the extra stop of light and actually using it.

By: Overread

Horse and Rider by Overread

Horse and Rider

My thanks mrswoolybill!

The "lost" look the man is showing and his angle of view I think are focusing on the rider or where she was supposed to be - he'd been left holding the horse in the practice arena - and yes the quiet control/trust he has in the horse is shown very nice here I agree.

The texture on the horses body isn't something I'd really spotted in this shot, but yes dealing with high ISO noise and its removal is something I'm really having to learn for the first time as I'm just not used to working at ISO 3200 and 6400. I have noticed that its very easy to get these odd lines through noise reduction, esp in textured areas. It's something I've been slowly trying to work on getting rid of - though I think the only full way is layermasks and selective noise reduction

By: Overread

Horse Trials by Overread

Horse Trials

My thanks all! Some very good points shared - the backgrounds were nearly all busy sadly, though I could have shot from the other side and at least cut some of the balcony elements out of the shots.

Regarding the flat/brightness issues I did find that I was shooting a touch dark (I think about half a stop under-exposed or so - mostly because whites would blow fairly easily - at least going by the LCD on the back of the camera - an area where a handheld light meter might have given a more faithful/accurate result on the metering).

In the mod, to my eyes, whilst the rider is indeed brighter and stands out more, the horse looks like the whites of the body are going a bit too white and losing detail for my tastes - although this could be a simple difference in monitor calibrations and eye level viewing them.

By: Overread

This World is Mine by Overread

This World is Mine

Many thanks John and Ali!

By: Overread

What's the Buzz by Overread

What's the Buzz

Many thanks Carol and Carol! Grin

By: Overread

Snowy Egret in Mallorca by MikeRC

Snowy Egret in Mallorca

Technically speaking I can't see anything wrong with this photo at all, at this scale on the web. You've even used the -2/3rds exposure compensation to help counter the brighter parts of the white bird from overexposing (the whites along the back look strong white, but I don't think they've overexposed - histogram on your computer should be able to give you a more definitive answer, but they don't stand out to me at all).
ISO is where I'd start for wildlife - 200 is a good base to work from; though on dimmer days 400 is normally very usable on pretty much all cameras without worries. Shutter speed is certainly fast enough to freeze the motion (and has done wonderfully) and is also more than fast enough that any handshake should be of no concern (at 1/1600 at 300mm VR, strictly speaking, won't be having any effect on the hand motion blur in the shot).
Aperture - well you've been reading and chatting in the forums about the aperture and sharpness, esp with regard to the 28-300mm so I'll take it as given that you already know to try shifting to a slightly smaller aperture to get a little more sharpness out of the setup.

Having done no editing work at all its a good result - myself I'd say sharpening (esp after resizing) would be needed on the photo, but other than that no areas appear in need of work. Some burning around the whites might be in order if they are just blown - though if you shoot RAW I'd be tempted to process the RAW twice - once normally and once for the highlights (same settings as for normal, but then slide the exposure slider until the whites are more controlled; but not too far that they look "dark") and then blend the two images into one with layermasks in editing.

However I get the feeling that the result you've gotten has left you feeling like something might be wrong, that something is lacking that you'd prefer different. If you have some examples taken by others that you'd like to emulate if you could link to them it might help to understand where you want to head - what you'd like to be able to create with the camera.

By: MikeRC

Vixen by paddyman


Really great shot here - love the way the grass his almost giving you a sweeping frame around her

By: paddyman

Passing the Road by Overread

Passing the Road

Many thanks for the compliments and crits both!

Sherlob I do agree that the light wasn't perfect, I knew at the time that it wasn't the best of light with it mostly dull grey - but I am glad to read that the composition is working decently well. I've had some recommend that a few steps forward might have helped to bring more of the roads curve into view as well.

Niknut - ahh someone knows where things are in Cumbria! And yes I processed this shot with the thought in mind that I didn't want to go overboard with the contrast, however that was done with the screen uncalibrated and after recalibrating the screen tonight I do find that I prefer your more contrast version over the original. Though I think you've also given the levels/curve a little tweak as well; its brought out the colours better in some areas I think (sky and the right side) but its also sapped a bit of the warmth that the light had that I tried to preserve - an interesting challenge to mix/match the two I think might be in order.

By: Overread

Look into my eye by Overread

Look into my eye

Many thanks for the compliments all Smile
Iceland - yes I have indeed come across his work, I have his flickr in my contacts list and he does do some outstanding macro work - certainly very inspiring stuff!

By: Overread

Hornet by Overread


A great many thanks to all - I certainly did not expect this shot to get such applause! Also not sure who gave it, but a great many thanks again for the person who awarded it a "Guest Editors Award"

Smile Smile

By: Overread

A sight of the Hills by Overread

A sight of the Hills

Gah Sorry for not noticing this sooner Scutter/Ben
Actually whilst I edited this shot I held myself back (deliberately) from oversaturating the results and I've had a few suggest that I boost the contrast a little. I do have to say I like the edit you did in the sky areas for pulling out the stronger blues.
With regard to the background mountain areas I might or might not burn them in a little more, but I think it adds a little depth to have a contrast change between the fore and backgrounds (as I recall the lighting was like that at the time with a subtle difference between the two).

By: Overread

Creepy Crawly by Overread

Creepy Crawly

Thanks Banehawi - I think this is around 4-5 times (sadly EXIF does not record magnification unless its hidden in there somewhere). Probably 5 times as I had the aperture quite wide

By: Overread

The Holy Trinity by Overread

The Holy Trinity

Thanks for the comments Stuart!

And yes the 70mm macro will work with both of the sigma teleconverters, myself I tend to use the 1.4 more than the 2* simply because it gives a bit of a magnifiation boost, but its overall image quality still remains very high. The 2* I tend to use less often since as you say if I just want the longer working distance for 1:1 stuff I can use the 150mm - and I tended to use the Raynox DCR 250 + the 1.4TC if I wanted to get to 2:1 macro instead of using the 2*TC. Not on an image quality basis but on a speed (slipping the Raynox on takes a matter of moments) and also ease factor - since with a really short working distance you can often end up resting on the ground or leaning on a surface whilst focusing, whilst a longer working distance tends to work better with a tripod (since the further away one is the more handshake affects the shot).

As for when I use the 70mm over the 150mm in butterfly farms/enclosures I tend to prefer it since the long working distance of the 150mm tends to get in the way (large bugs and one can only back so far before running out of path to stand on). Indoors is also another time I tend to reach for a shorter working distance over a longer one.

Even with the 65mm now the 70mm will still keep its place since it can still do 1:2 and all the way to infinity whilst the 65mm starts at 1:1.

You might find these two test results that I did of interest as well:
Sharpness test for the MPE
Comparison 70mm, 150mm and 65mm
though I do think there might be some focusing errors on my part in the last test and I will repeat it at some point with angled shots like in the first - where any focus error on my part won't affect the test results.

By: Overread

Little House Spider by Overread

Little House Spider

thanks all - and I am starting to rediscover my love of the heal tool - in a whole new way (gah this lens shows up every speck of dust and then some!)

By: Overread

Who? by Overread


Many thanks all Smile
Paul - yes both the sigma 1.4 and 2* teleconverters will fit to the 70mm macro - the join is even very smooth with no forcing needed.

By: Overread

1st KINGFISHER by steve_eb


Lovely series of shots and a great chance to capture shots of both subjects - one could not ask for more. The 3rd appears the sharpest kinfisher shot though I prefer the looks of the first shot overall.

Out of interest have you considered (or were able) to use a beanbag when you don't have space/time for the tripod? Even with the OS of the 150-500mm 1/160sec is probably really pushing your handholding at the long end (and whilst ISO 400 would have been usable I well understand the reluctance to rise ISO and lose finer details and have noise in a shot)

By: steve_eb

A reflected drop by Overread

A reflected drop

Soo sorry for the long reply wait - I was away for a few days!

Many thanks for the comments all - certainly something to think about! The idea of lighting the subject rather than the drop itself didn't occur to me when I shot this, but its something several people have suggested now and I think it might be the right step forward in getting the shot to work with less of a highlight reflection problem on the waterdrop.

Tripod side I would have used a tripod for this - if I had brought it with me on the day - I'm scrabbling around and getting one of thsoe shoulder straps for a tripod soon because at present carrying it along with a regular bag is a pain (I have to hold it rather than the camera which means no shots). I certainly agree that such a shot would work better with a tripod.

Composition wise - yah I gotta agree there as well (its my weakest area at present so somewhere I do really have to work on). If I get another chance hopefully I can work some composition into the reflected subject as well - in this case I was just after a clearer reflection so that is why its bramble and awooden post in the reflection.

By: Overread

Any Port in a Storm by Overread

Any Port in a Storm

Thanks for the input all!
I really like the input on people not understanding fully what it is your seeing, since its something that I didn't really think of. I guess I have just got a little too used to viewing butterflies this close - though I can fully agree that he is very squashed into that corner. (and sadly with all the water on him he was in a total mess with wings and antenna control).
I like the crop suggestion and was thinking along similar lines, even though I do rather like the burred background areas on the left, but the idea of rotating the image is new, but I can see how his look changes to be one more similar to those more commonly seen.

Many thanks also for the contrast/brightness suggestions - certianly there appears tobe more scope with the shot than I have gone to, though at the moment I am slightly reluctant to really perfect things on this level (mostly as my screen has horrific brightness and contrast changes even if I change the viewing angle a tiny bit Sad ).

By: Overread

The Bold Robin by Overread

The Bold Robin

Many thanks all Smile

By: Overread

In the Hole by aunt sally

In the Hole

Beauty of a shot -- really great catching one of these sneaky devils at the centre - and that he is nibbling is even better

By: aunt sally

Hidden Joy by Overread

Hidden Joy

Many thanks all Smile

By: Overread

White Wing by Overread

White Wing

Many thanks for the input Smile
I suppose a lot of the butterflies in those houses get to (enjoy?) oldage more than their wild counterparts - so I do agree there are more with the tattered wingtips.

I did pester Dalecath, however he is keeping his golden method a tightly kept secret, but the bees in flight thread in the forums has caught my eye - along with some of the linked setups people have used with lasers and the like - its certainly something very specialist to construct - possible with the right tools and gear.

As for the apertures I still feel that a smaller aperture might be better, if only because one can never garantee the angle that the wings will be at when the camera fires, as well as the point that the AF locks onto - if it catches a wing a shallow depth would give a nice wing, but soft body. Though as I found this puts even more pressure on the flash - I think more than one flash would be needed - so that they could fire at a lower power, thus allowing nice rapid firing, whilst still giving the lighting needed (or one of those fancy highspeed flash units on Dalecath's website link)

By: Overread

Funghi by VonQ


I really like the idea of this shot - good lighting coming through the mushroom and getting a good low angle to show that aspect in the shot! The bright and colourful background also works well to offset against the more drab colourings of the main subject.

Lighting on the background areas though seems a bit harsh and I guess that is a result of slight overexposure in those areas so that you could expose under the darker mushroom better.

Its something that in the field I think would only be solved with 2 exposures and a tripod to steady the camera so that you could then blend the two together (one for the mushroom and the other for the background) into a single composit shot - though its not something easily taken in the field if your working without a tripod.

As it stands you went for the mushroom to be exposed correctly and in this case I feel that it was the right choice to make - well done!

By: VonQ