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Sooty_1's Activity

Sooty_1 > Sooty_1's Activity

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Photos:13
Forum Topics:2
Forum Comments:1234
Photo Comments:1212
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 143
Warhorse House

Warhorse House by withakat


Quote: where the NEX-6 doesnt do well at all above ISO 800. Other camera models using precisely the same Sony sensor perform much better, - the Fuji XE-1 being the most notable. Its output will look smeared/smudged, quite like you have here.

Not quite, the Fuji uses a CMOS x-trans sensor, developed for the x-pro 1, which differs in some detail to the standard CMOS Sony sensor. I would have confidence in using the Fuji up to 1600/3200, with a good noise reducer. I've even used it much higher and got decent results. Though the "smearing" has been documented, you are unlikely to have to worry about it too much (google Sony nex landscape images and you'll see what can be achieved). You will however get better results with a lower ISO, wherever you can use it, and the image will be easier to work with later.

This image does appear to have a flattening of the tones, but I think it's more to do with the poor light. Some post production work can boost this image, mainly a separation of tone between the sky and the stonework. For now though, you're better off trying to get as good an image as you can at the taking stage.

The composition is not at all bad and, with the advice you will get here, and some practice at the various camera settings, you'll soon get the hang of good exposure in most situations.

Nick

'Lest We Forget'

'Lest We Forget' by flatfoot471

Most of it has been said above. I'd prefer to see wild poppies too, but it hangs together pretty well as it is. In the interests of uniformity, I'd prefer to see the same font used for all the text, I'd prefer to see the figures look more like archetypal "Tommies" and I also think the flag is superfluous. Otherwise, the sentiment is right there, and the blending looks ok, especially on a small screen.

Nick

Ps: they aren't forage caps, they are wool cap comforters...this looks like the commando monument at Spean Bridge, Scotland. And yes, the service is to commemorate all those that have died in the service of their country, military and civilian. The fact that this year is the anniversary of the start of the First World War is incidental.

Stealth.

Stealth. by paulbroad

Doesn't really work for me, I'm afraid.

The join with the replacement background is still a little obvious, and the lighting on the man is a bit harsh (flash or just a very bright day).

Tactically looking at it....yes his fingers are bright, but then so is the shine coming off him! It looks like the idea of Hollywood gucciflage rather than real special forces!
I usually find it irritating that reenactors seldom have much real idea of military ways: most are just wannabes that are not brave enough to do it for real (and I include paintballers/air softies in that).

Nick

Portland Bill Dorset.

Portland Bill Dorset. by Nigwel


Quote: Added a bit of sharpness to it and I like it.

A bit? I've seen fewer haloes in religious artwork.

The sharpening doesn't affect all areas of the image evenly, leading to an impression the the posts have been outlined with a white pen, and that some elements of the image are just cut outs stuck on top of a background. I don't really get added 3-D effect, more a flattening of the layers, and the tonal compression makes the colours look muddy. I'm guessing the light wasn't that great, and unfortunately, you can't force it if it isn't there.

I think the bird has to go too. If it was on the right side it would balance the obelisk, but it looks too crammed in where it is, all the detail is on the left.

The composition is nearly there, but Dudler's mods are better, IMHO. The lead in of the path takes you to the obelisk nicely, but you need more dramatic light to make more than a record shot, I'm afraid. Midday on a cloudy day isn't the best time for this kind of image, as it's very flat. If you could have only gone back late afternoon when it was sunny.

Nick

Red Crane at Portland Bill, Portland, Dorset.

Red Crane at Portland Bill, Portland, Dorset. by Nigwel

These are the kind of images (along with the lighthouse one) that polarise opinion. Some seem to love the fact that it looks completely unreal, others hate it. Personally, I'm in the second camp, with most HDR and pseudo-HDR effects that just look completely OTT.

Looking at the original, I'm guessing you used a hefty slice of highlight/shadow adjustment, followed by injudicious use of the saturation and sharpening controls. It didn't need cropping, just rotating to level the horizon, unfortunately, you've cut the seagull in half! It would have been better to just clone it out. There is a certain graphic quality, which may have worked better in black and white, but either way, it could have done with more exposure. As it is, the tonal relationships are all wrong, and this technique tends to a mid toned uniformity. If you were to convert it like this, it would be predominantly one shade of grey. You need more contrast and a range of brightnesses to give the impression of three dimensions, not vivid colours and sliders pushed all the way to the max.

Nick

Seaham Tommy

Seaham Tommy by Frank_Reid

Nice simple picture, nice crop, good subject, yes, even nice light. My only criticism is the lack of light on his face. You may be able to lighten that area, but something to reflect the light back under the helmet when you shot it would have made all the difference.
Even a bit of fill flash would have worked, just at low power, to give the face some detail.

Otherwise, a striking image in the making.

Nick

Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge by ISP6712

It does...the end of the bridge!

You obviously wanted to have as broad a view of the bridge as you could cram in, so losing the near end is a bit of a faux pas. You could have moved slightly closer to the bridge and/or used a slightly wider setting. The exposure isn't far off, though you would get a little more colour in the sky and a brighter red if you'd added a little exposure.

At least you've got the bridge without scaffolding!

Nick

BEAUTY

BEAUTY by tjt4002

Nicely constructed and shot. Simplicity is the key, and my only minor criticism is I think it needs to be brighter. Maybe a result of the tone, but I'd like to see a pure white background, easily adjusted in processing, but a little more exposure would have done the trick at the taking stage. The flash was probably fooled by the predominance of white in the picture.

It would also be better using a much lower ISO, which would entail a much longer shutter speed and probably the use of a tripod. Otherwise pretty good.

Nick

Big Sur California Slow Flow

Big Sur California Slow Flow by bgfain

I think you've pretty well achieved your aim. There's only a couple of things that I might change.
Firstly, the rocks at the edges of the frame...they need to be either in or out, distinctly. Not half and half as they are now.
Secondly, the small strip of sky adds little to the composition. I'd like to see the image taller, perhaps even portrait, to give the impression of the flow out to the wide ocean beyond. It's a bit constricted at the moment, not helped by the rocks at the edge.
I'm not sure if it also needs brightening a touch, as the texture of the sand is hard to see, but not so much you lose the brooding feel of last light.

This will obviously divide the sharp water/blurry water factions, but otherwise a simple, peaceful image.

Nick

B&W sunflower

B&W sunflower by unk001

I'm viewing on an iPad, so it may not be the best screen for this but a few things stand out, to me.

The flower is right in the middle of the frame, and is surrounded by untidy bits. If you aren't going to tidy the frame, you need to fill it with the main subject.

The flower looks a little worse for wear. If possible, choose as perfect a specimen as you can find, unless you deliberately want to show it past it's best.

The lighting is very harsh, and not particularly suitable for showing the delicate flower at its best. Better to choose an overcast day, or diffuse the light somehow, which will lower the contrast and allow more detail to show in the petals. Getting closer will also allow more detail to be recorded, which lower contrast light will allow you to bring out in processing.
In the same vein, are you processing for contrast (extending he dev time even slightly)? If so, you might want to process for lower contrast, and scanning in the same way for lower contrast. Scan as a 16 bit tiff to retain as much info as possible, and add contrast later, rather than trying to get it out of the scanner straight off.

I appreciate why you're trying this, but a bright yellow flower against bright green leaves??? It just screams out for colour unless you can show the most delicate of structure within the flower and make that the subject.

It looks like the dark leaves are more sharply focused than the petals or the centre part of the flower. I'm guessing you hand held this, and small movement has moved the plane of sharpest focus. A tripod will allow a smaller aperture and thus a greater depth of field, plus, it won't move when you trip the shutter. It will also slow you down and allow you to be more considered as you shoot, so you can take your time to see exactly what's in frame, and exactly what's in focus.

So, if you want to shoot flowers, especially in black and white, find ways to lower the contrast initially, then add it later, and use a tripod to make longer exposures and focus easier.

Nick

Longships Lighthouse, Lands End at Sunset in October 2014

Longships Lighthouse, Lands End at Sunset in October 2014 by Nigwel

A similar comment to the last really, a few seconds later and the boat would be in the bright area, and would be a much stronger subject. Smack (no pun intended) in the middle of the frame is the least impactful place it could be, though caught between the land (bottom left) and the Longships (top right) does help.
If the land goes, a slice off the bottom would improve the composition, and having the boat and rocks on diagonal thirds would (IMHO) give the best "feel" to the image.

The colour balance could be almost anything you wanted, as there are no other visual cues as to the correct hues.

Lastly, I know it's a visual impression, but the shapes of the waves and the angle of the Longships make the image look like it curves up at the sides. I'd be interested to see a slightly corrected version.

Nick

one for fun two for show

one for fun two for show by unk001

I don't think your developer is optimised for delta film. I'm not familiar with it, unless you mean Ilfosol, in which case it is eminently possible to dev Delta in it.
As Dudler says, Delta is a tabular grained film, so specialised developers will give better results (Kodak t-max dev is one such, intended for use with the films of the same name). So it may be better to change your dev for your film, or change your film to something like FP 4 or HP5.
Procedure, and sticking to it rigidly will enable you to fine tune times, dilutions, exposures etc to make best use of the process, but if intending to scan, a little less contrast will help. This shot is high contrast anyway, shooting with a high sun, which makes it hard to get anything other than a 'soot and whitewash' image.

For reference, check out this guy's site, containing some good tips for processing, scanning, post processing and printing...
http://crawfordphotoschool.com/digital/index.php

It's good people are still using film, and finding it rewarding. Image quality can be stunning, especially with the larger formats.

Nick

House&Bridge

House&Bridge by xwang

I also think that architecture should be upright, unless you are trying a wacky angle with a wide angle, for instance.
To me, tilting an older building like this doesn't give it any dynamism, and in fact here, it spoils the compositional elements, which in the corrected version are quite pleasant.

I'm very familiar with Tattershall, and know how hard it is to get a clean shot, and when the reeds aren't so verdant, there is just a dull brown puddle, so full marks for making it look pretty.

I agree that the building is a bit underexposed, and Willie's mod goes some way to addressing that, but your main enemy here is the dull light. Even though it's cloudy, you're shooting in the middle of the day, when the light is high and unflattering for almost everything. Hard to do much about it if your time is limited, but more exposure and a slightly warmer colour balance will improve the brickwork no end, if you can't be there at the time the light is better.

Nick

Longships Lighthouse, Lands End at Sunset in October 2014

Longships Lighthouse, Lands End at Sunset in October 2014 by Nigwel

I'm sure the sunset was spectacular, but it's really hard to convey that in an image like this.

I wonder if the lighthouse would be better if it was in the light reflection area on the water? As it is, it disappears a little in the shadow, though the other rocks would have to straddle the light area, so it may not work compositionally.
There looks like a lot of good structure to the clouds, but again, bringing it out has been hampered by the bright sun. You acknowledge it's blown out, and I think a little less blown would be better. A ND grad or differential exposures might help elicit more detail, especially as the sky looks like it could be really stunning. Some tonal balancing looks possible as there aren't many absolute blacks and whites.

There also seems to be slight distortion of the horizon, looks like pincushion due to it being fairly close to the edge of the frame. That could also be removed in ps.

Nick

Rain - nyc

Rain - nyc by paolocardone

It's simple, cohesive and tells a good story.

I like the way all the heads form a line, all looking in the right direction. The umbrellas have a rough symmetry, and the droplets fade from white to black like a bead curtain grey grad.

It's quite impressionist, and I don't think there's much to do that will really improve it. A touch more contrast maybe, but otherwise, a good shot.

Nick

Alice...

Alice... by MyOwnWonderland

The main, and most obvious giveaway is that all the subjects are lit differently. You can't just throw together images and expect them to be believable.
The background has a cold feel, and looks like it was shot on an overcast or rainy day, making it almost shadowless. The girl is shot in more directional and harsher light, perhaps indoors with a warmer light, maybe tungsten room lights. The rabbit is in cold, more directional light, but which doesn't match the background.
The colour of the shadows will give you the clue: background - fairly neutral, the girl - orange/brown, the rabbit - blue. The direction of the light is also different for each.

You need to feather the selections more too, to avoid the "cardboard cutout" effect, and there also appears to be two planes of sharp focus, which looks wrong, as does the lack of shadows in places mentioned above.
It would have been better to have got all the foot in, and you could lose a bit off the top of the picture, which is wasted space as far as the composition is concerned.

Whilst I can see your reasoning, and what you were trying to do, the various bits are visually and technically disconnected from each other. Perhaps by attention to detail with the various parts of the composite, and more careful manipulation, you could make it more cohesive, but I'm afraid at the moment it's just cut outs stuck on a background.

Nick

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