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near cressage shropshire this morningThe problem for me is the sun. Heavily burnt out and that reduces the impact of the treeline and mist. I would crop the whole top off leaving a letterbox shot ogpf just the foreground.

The other potential issues are covered. Really, it is quite effective as is, but would be even better with a touch less exposure and the trees a littke sharper. It would be nice, compositionally, if one tree were dominant.

29/12/2014 - 9:00 PM

What goes beyond

What goes beyondA. Decent image, but about a stop under exposed. Lacks the brightness of snow and a blue cast. Auto exposure with no compensation will be influenced by the snow, causing under exposure.

29/12/2014 - 9:31 AM


RobinIt's nice, but to me the edge is off the sharpness. Not much, but is the case. Look at the eye. I'm not surprised. Add the camera sensor factor and you are well over 600mm and hand held! So you have done pretty well.

Who made the converter. Is it the Sigma EX version or a third party. Converters usually reduce quality a touch. Very little with dedicated versions, Canon on Canon, Sigma on Sigma and so on, but some can be very poor. Lets see some tripod stuff.

I would test the set up with a tripod and shoot a test subject with a lot of detail. I did this with my Sigma 50/500 and proved it was capable of very sharp results at f8. Getting them in the field was a different issue altogether.

MAYOR FRED EISENBERGER OF HAMILTON, ON (CANADA)A perfectly good standard portrait of it's type. I might just lift contrast a little to brighten things up but, in line with comments on an earlier cat image, just shows that flash can be managed properly and can be a necessity.

Try and do this, in this lighting, without it!

15/12/2014 - 2:37 PM

Bubblemaker part 2

Bubblemaker part 2I think you have done pretty well this time. A good crop, I think and the bubbles stand out well and the crowd is natural. If you increase exposure you will loose some of the highlights. I would just do a bit of careful dodging to lighten the bubble mans face a touch.

Good shot.

04/12/2014 - 10:56 AM


SpitfireWillie has said what I was going to. The dust, I fear, is not on your lens, it is on the sensor and there is quite a lot to be this visible, even at f14. Try shooting a white wall or clear blue sky, correctly exposed, at f22. Then blow up the frame. You will see the sensor dust then.

If you clean the sensor yourself, be very careful, or you have a ruined camera. I use the Article Butterfly anti static brush tool. Better have itdone professionally. Then try and restrict dust access. Never leave the camera more than seconds without a lens or body cap.

Change lenses as quickly as possible. Keep the camera body pointing down and try not to change lenses in dusty and/or windy environment . prevention is always best.

In this shot, you needed the Spitfire rather larger in frame. Should have been at full zoom and f would be easily enough givinfpg a faster shutter speed to avoid blur. Depth of field is not an issue here.

Problem with faster shutter speed, though, is a frozen propeller!

04/12/2014 - 10:44 AM

Sing away the blues

Sing away the bluesI go further. I double focal length, so would be looking at 1/1600 to hand hold. OS systems help, but can easily be beaten.

Actually, this is pretty good. Slightly soft but rather better than a lot we see. My photography mate uses a 50/500 Sigma as do I. He has been looking at Canon white lenses as he is a dedicated bird watcher, but cannot justify £5 or £6 thousand! Depends what you use your images for.

I find the Sigma on a good solid tripod to is plenty sharp enough at f8 and manually focused. In your case, on the tripod, switch off the OS. My lens doesn't have it. I can get sharp results at 1/60 sec providing I shoot plenty and try and shoot as the bird stops moving. Many fail but some are good.

I find auto focus can focus on the wrong bit of bird and I usually fine tune the focus manually or just use manual. The problem is the depth of field at f8, 800mm and only a few feet away is minimal and the focal plane needs to be exact.

02/12/2014 - 8:08 PM

Water Spout

Water SpoutSuperb idea and content. I do think a little less exposure would improve it even more. You used positive compensation. I would have been half a stop or so negative. That would increase density and reduce flare.

I suspect there would be a whole series of different images here depending on exposure. A high speed exposure bracket would have been interesting.

27/11/2014 - 4:12 PM

Grey Heron

Grey HeronThe cropped version for me. quite impressive. Just needs a bit of room extra under the feet. Even with modern gear, ISO2000 is a bit excessive for a natural history shot unless absolutely necessary. This is a tiny image, but you may well start to get image break up on a large print.

A tripod would allow much lower ISO manifested in a lower shutter speed. He's not moving much after all. However, a tripod is not the easiest thing to handle on a natural history shoot.

26/11/2014 - 8:50 AM


LynneLovely quality but a rather basic camera club type pose. The hand is clasped tightly into a fist, and should be more delicately spread, if there at all. There is a tendency for hands to look like they belong to someone else when cut off near the wrist.

Portrait crop too, a lot off both sides. If you are going to use landscape for shots like this, much closer and frame filling.

26/11/2014 - 8:44 AM

Waiting on Momma

Waiting on MommaA nice natural history image with great appeal. Difficult to choose angles, depends where the nest is.

Obviously flash. Often necessary for a quick shot so as not to alam the parents too much. You have simply popped up the camera gun on automatic I suspect. Hence 1/60 @ f5.6, the auto flash setting. The result is a tiny depth of field at 250mm and just the prime head sharp enough.

The camera flash is not powerful but you are at ISO400, to help, so for shots like this, try setting 1/200 @ f11 or even 16 on manual, then use the flash.

If you are within range, the camera will calculate the flash required and boost output to expose correctly. You would then have a lot more depth of field with very similar tones.

21/11/2014 - 9:12 AM

Olympic View

Olympic ViewNot a bad effort at all. The problem, as you identify, is not a lot of separation between bridge and background, built your exposure is good.

Often a good idea to shoot such images whilst there us still a little light in the sky, thus a deep blue rather than black. The foreground reflections are also not very distinct and separate from the main image.

Ideally, a slightly different viewpoint, but often not possible.

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes stays alone.”The idea is good, the execution needs thought. The contrast and colour is rather over the top with loss of background detail. For once, I want more included. I wand to see the seat legs fully in frame.

19/11/2014 - 8:40 PM

#193 through the water

#193 through the waterA good tight action composition. Well done.

Inwoukd clone out the two white flag direction boards and burn in the bottom right a bit to increase density there.

The colours are just a tiny bit strange. Not enough to matter much but a slight reduction in contrast that becomes apparent.

We Will Remember: past and futureWhat I will say is a first class try at moving away from a rather conventional scene. You had to have the red. It is mandatory here and I do actually think it would be better all colour.BUT, THE MAIN PRIBLEM FOR ME IS THE HANDRAIL?P. IT TOTALLY DOMINATES THE IMAGE AND LEADS THE EYE IN A STEAIGHT LINE DOWN THE KIDDLE.


I would actuaky look for a slightly different viewpoint so that handrail is less dominent.

15/11/2014 - 5:54 PM

Lost in Thoughts

Lost in ThoughtsQuite a nice image. Well composed. I would brighten the eyes and the rather flat image is not helped by your yellowish tones. If you are toning, then contrast can suffer because, usually, toning kills all decent black and thus lowers contrast.

The yellowish tone is not ideal and a much darker brown based sepiacwould be more in keeping with a possibke added contrast boost.

10/11/2014 - 8:37 PM

Striated Caracara

Striated CaracaraA fine image in many ways, but the composition is wrong. You either need all the bird, or just the head. A much tighter crop in other words. This is neither here nor there with a lot of quite bright background.

Full bird for a record. Tight head crop for impact.

This is going to be hard to swallowWrong side of the bird for me. Needed to be a front three quartets not back. Think your plane of focus is on the back of the wing rathervthan the head. If you are on autofocus using the centre spot, that is where it would be and the depth of field is not enough at a wide aperture to compensate.

06/11/2014 - 8:17 AM

Forth Bridge

Forth BridgePretty good night shot in the architectural record/pictorial vein. Well done. You could crop top and bottom a bit to give a more panoramic view. Bit of bridge missing not a problem for me.

02/11/2014 - 7:46 AM

Sleeping Sumatran Tiger

Sleeping Sumatran TigerI would stay with colour on subjects such as this, and the composition is good. Unfortunately you are rather unsharp and this is movement by the look of it. Yo must get a plane of critical sharpness in an animal shot like this, crisp and clear. That needs some sort of support in low light, or flash.

Two basics of photography. Exposure and sharpness.