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10/02/2015 - 2:23 PM

AZ fence


It needs more.

07/02/2015 - 8:25 AM

He dosn't know it's not loaded

He dosn't know it's not loadedIn general, I like it a lot. I'm quite happy with presentation but the lighting is just a touch out. A tiny bit under exposed, maybe, or in need of a weak flash fill? A bi of work with the dodge tool on the heavy shadows of his uniform, but with great care or contrast will suffer.

I just wonder if the edge is off the sharpness. Did you use a tripod? Even with full frame the shutter speed might be a bit low.

03/02/2015 - 2:14 PM

Inch Strand, Co. Kerry

Inch Strand, Co. KerryThe other way is just to use the crop tool freehand and your eye. A nice enough scene but tones seem a little weak. I suspect a little over exposure. I assume the small aperture was for depth of field, but f8 and focus on the foreground would have done the job.

Compositionally the rocks lead across the image to the right side where there is nothing really to stop on. I know I keep saying this on many images, and it is a personal issue, I know, but it needs a subject.

The rocks fail to do that because there are a number of them acting as a lead in. But they lead to the frame edge which is, indeed, a rule breaker, but it jars here.

02/02/2015 - 9:36 AM

Spread your wings

Spread your wingsYou are blowing v1 up. Any imperfections are thus greater. You need a bit more depth of field as insurance and that means more light.

A tripod does not guarantee sharpness. Was it on solid ground? Was a wind blowing. You are applying huge magnification and thus magnifying any movement.

Macro is not easy and a lot of practice is needed and there is always a high failure rate. I use a minimum of f8 unless after minimal depth of field, which is rare. I am more likely to be at f16.

The problem then is enough light and a low ISO for quality. It means, invariably, a dedicated macro flash unit.

01/02/2015 - 11:16 AM

East Twice Brewed

East Twice BrewedNot sure about this one, Nige. I expect moonlight to be clear, bright and have a blue cast. The effect here is a very muddy brown and I don't think it works. I know it's dark and moonlit, but I think the problem is under exposure. The positive correction will have no effect on a manual exposure of course.

It is effective, but not terribly natural.

31/01/2015 - 2:23 PM

Dark Side

Dark SideI like the harsh look. It suites better. The Hoodie doesn't matter to me but I would try and tone down the two highlight skin areas just a bit if any detail is left. The face would look better close to the left edge of the frame, moving it away from dead centre.

I,like Willie, use Photoshop. What you cannot do in Photoshop is not worth having in terms of normal photography. Elements is pretty well as good in almost all respects and costs a lot less. I've looked at these additive programs and, much like buying an up market car, you buy lots of bits and pieces to get just one you need, or think you need.

I'm a keen angler. Much of the content of an angling shop is there to catch anglers, not fish. That applies to many sports and pass times.

28/01/2015 - 9:01 PM

Wroclaw Church Poland

Wroclaw Church PolandEffective and a good conversion with full range of tones. When blown up the top of the image looks less sharp than rpthe bottom to me. It is acceptable, but I think you have focused lower down and f5 has not quite been enough to give overall sharpness.

A tripod and f11 at least with use of the hyper focal distance would give top to bottom sharpness.

27/01/2015 - 8:45 AM

First time at sea - 1/1 in B&W

First time at sea - 1/1 in B&WBasically, you need to decide yourself on crop. It is very personal to get composition right for the eye, or for the purpose. Without general reference to your image, I would use mono, it does suite. I would crop below the horizon. You do not need any sky and the yacht draws the eye. I would crop quite close with most room on the left. Might even flip the image so they are running left to right. Fits the eye better.

I would run the dodge tool with a very small brush lightly over the figures to brighten them up a bit.

It is a well seen and recorded shot with considerable potential but there are many images in there? Which is best?

Maurice cleaning up "dead fall"A good interesting shoypt. Possibly just needs a bit more room on the left. The bucket is near the frame edge. Spot entering on auto is dangerous, but worked well here. I assume you used shutter lock?

23/01/2015 - 8:40 AM

Winter Rose

Winter RoseWell composed. It is just a touch under exposed and lacks that crispness of a really sharp image. Nothing is pin sharp, so I suspect a touch of movement, but the rose is a deep flower, so should you focus on the front of the petals or the stamen? Matter of taste.

Even on a compact, you could have done with more depth of field. The lighting was dull and thus, against you.

21/01/2015 - 7:21 PM

Deutschland's Sunset

Deutschland's SunsetWe need a bit more information to comment fully. This looks over exposed and I suspect a very high ISO due to the lack of contrast and heavy blue cast. The deep shadows should be black ideally to give the image some bite.

What is the subject? Ideally, you need something dominant on which to base your composition. A focal point.

18/01/2015 - 10:55 PM

The Hand-off

The Hand-offA good image. The quality is not good but I would say adequate due to conditions. The softness and flat image with huge grain is due mostly to the very high ISO. However, the lighting may determine this setting to get a result at all.

You are not at 500mm. Was the camera supported? A monopod perhaps?

If not, you should get one. They are cheap and most people shooting this kind if subject use one.

Here, you could improve things by darkening the image a bit and adding a touch of contrast. The image would then have more impact.

Sale? Yes, possibly. Several possibilities. The team players if amateur level. Local newspaper, but only on a quick turn round basis. Libraries might have an interest in off the ball action like this as it might have more general appeal. Otherwise the action is only viable for a short time.

Some libraries would demand a model release and that is usually not practical. That is unless the shot is newsworthy, then it would sell as editorial.

The other possibility is if the players are well known. There are then library possibilities.

Quality does matter and you should strive for the best possible in the conditions prevailing.

15/01/2015 - 9:09 AM

Wise Woman

Wise WomanThe content and crop are excellent and, despite the following comments, a fine image in many ways.

There are a couple of technical issues which, had I been the judge, I would mention although I assume, in a competition, you submitted a print? The sharpness is just off and, for this kind of face you needed it pin sharp. I guess this is a tiny bit of movement. You have a shutter speed rather too slow for the focal length and, even with VR, you can shake enough to cause softness.

I would have wound the ISO up a bit for the circumstances. Sharp with a bit of grain is better than soft.

You are a touch under exposed. Spot metering is not a good idea with any auto setting unless you meter from a suitable tone and then use shutter lock to hold that reading. To use a spot meter reading without any compensation, the tone must equate to as near as possible, 18% grey. That is how the spot meter is calibrated.

You should never use spot metering on auto for snap shooting.

Waiting for the right compositionVery nice ****. Really good in my opinion. The heads are in the same plane and sharp as they should be? The only weakness is the slightly over exposed background which needs tonung down a bit. You do need some image processing software. Not sure just how much you can do in Light room, but you do not need to spend on the full cwpersion of Photoshop.

Photoshop Elements does everything a photographer needs. You need the burning in tool for the background.

I am very pleased with my Fuji XE-1. Superb little camera. Cannot do everything the DSLR can, but pretty close in many cases and better in some.

04/01/2015 - 11:22 AM

Old Man

Old ManThere is a great image in there but I would like to see the original as the image structure here is beginning to break up and is not terribly sharp. It is either a big crop or you have over processed somewhat, or both.

Your shutter speed is too slow for the focal length, so I suspect the lack of sharpness is movement. Image stabilisation helps to get sharper images, but does not guarantee them and I fear a lit of people rely to much on vibration reduction.

Best keep the shutter speed up. You could have gone to ISO 800 here and used the nousecto enhance the grain in a string sharp image. In these circumsrptances, given time I get one or two shots off, then try a few different settings.

02/01/2015 - 9:54 PM


StareI like it almost exactly as it is. Very strong male portrait. I just find the skin tones a tiny bit muddy? Us it up just me? It is minimal, but I might just lift the brightness a touch.

I realise what you were replicating, and you probably have, so my feelings are totally personal.

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!