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Sooty_1's Activity

Sooty_1 > Sooty_1's Activity

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Forum Topics:2
Forum Comments:1380
Photo Comments:1314
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 146
Push Bike.

Push Bike. by paulbroad

Sharpening is usually best at the end of the process.

I'm disquieted by the colour change across the frame too, it just looks odd, as if some processing has caused it, and yes, the haloes look like he's been cut out of another shot. Mono would be a better choice, I think, as it's quite a graphic image that doesn't need colour for any part of the story.

Whilst the Fujis are great cameras, they don't resolve distant fine detail very well unless everything is spot on, making them less than ideal for landscapers. There is no texture on the sand, and the details look like they've been added with a soft pencil.

Probably one of those shots that really should have something good in it, yet no matter what you do you can't bring it out. I have many.



Yellow by Relic01

You can see by the excessive edge definition that it's been heavily sharpened. The "noise" is, I believe, a crude attempt at high levels of luminance noise reduction followed by over sharpening, which is why it appears smeary, almost like it's been printed on a hairy fabric. This is classic where the individual pixels stop looking like points and start looking more like woven fibres, such as early versions of Lightroom, or freeware noise reduction.

In cases like these, it's often better to accept some noise rather than attempt to eradicate it, and don't sharpen so much everything has a halo.

IMHO, it's better to set in camera jpg processing (sharpening, saturation, noise reduction etc) off, or as low as it will go, then you will have more control when it comes to process on the computer. Bayou don't want to have to counter-correct what the camera has done, as all it will do is reduce quality.

The under exposure won't have helped, but there should be enough there to salvage a half decent image.


future skies

future skies by KatieMariePhotos

It's very rare that a sky or sunset can hold attention by itself. It usually needs something definable in the frame as a subject, and unfortunately here, there is little to stop your eyes darting around the clouds looking for something to fix on.

The formations themselves are quite attractive, and I'm sure you were struck by the grandeur at the time, but to convey the enormous sky in a small image is much harder than it appears. There are one or two quality issues too.

Firstly, it all looks a stop or two underexposed, which has the double effect of darkening the sky so it looks heavy, and darkening the foreground so much it's largely featureless, yet not enough to make it a true silhouette. I'm guessing there's a road or pathway there...?

Secondly, and allied to the above, the under exposure has caused an increase in noise(the pronounced graininess) and it's caused the image to appear blocky and ill-defined. The opposite of what you really wanted with those delicate clouds.

Thirdly, it has a real colour cast. If you really like blue sky, you need to adjust the colour balance and remove the greenness, then lighten it all to bring out the colour better. It may have been auto white balance that got it wrong. A top tip to remove colour casts is to whack the saturation all the way up, then try to get whites white, blacks black, and looking as neutral as possible, before lowering the saturation again. Then look at it and take the saturation further down, because it isn't just that that controls how good the colours look.

So, for this image, it needed to be exposed a little more, the colour corrected and something of interest to counterpoint the enormous sky included to hold the attention.
If this was taken on a basic camera, you will not have much control over some things, but most have adjustments for exposure and white balance, often for ISO as well. It might be interesting to see the original shot uploaded as a mod.


Starry night

Starry night by CalebAndrews

Welcome also.

As you can see from the mod, the aerial is quite a good subject to "anchor" the sky, and give it some visual terrestrial interest. The rest is just clutter, distracting from the wonderful sky, and is better left out.

The problem you may have is that an unlit subject against a dark sky may well be hard to distinguish. Here it's good (the black silhouette against the deep blue), but any darker sky and it may start getting lost. One idea is to "paint" light onto it during your long exposure, with a flash or a torch. This will have the effect of making it stand out against the dark. With a little playing, you can get the balance right so it doesn't dominate the sky, but adds a focal point of interest. The graphic shape and construction is great to use, as it can suggest communication, discovery, reaching out into space etc.

You have got the sky exposure spot on (or close enough for good processing) which is the key to this shot.


Pond in the park

Pond in the park by Porgee


As Willie says, it depends on the competition, but it's really nowhere near good enough quality for competition. Phone cameras are usually optimised for fairly close people shots and selfies (as that's what the manufacturers assume they will mostly be used for) so the distance resolution is usually poor....as you have found here.

From your description, I can see what your intention was, but there are a few details that occur to me.

The composition is a series of horizontal features that act as barriers, rather than guiding your eyes around the frame. It appears to slope slightly too, which could easily be corrected, but niggles nonetheless.
Far from distracting, the figures seem to be the main subject. When there are figures in the shot, they tend to draw the eye anyway, plus here there isn't much else in the frame to hold any attention.
The top corners of the frame are untidy as they contain distracting detail, and preferably could be cropped, cloned or minimised by blurring.

I assume it's a grab shot, but you really need a better recording method if you have any ideas of entering competitions, mainly for the extra control it gives you and the better quality of image. Even a reasonable point and shoot will be a step up from a phone.


Amelia - Shallow DoF

Amelia - Shallow DoF by Matt_UK

The guys above have covered some important points about focus techniques, and a (hopefully) willing subject should allow plenty of practice! The mods show a lighter feel makes a more delicate image, more suited to the subject, and black and white eliminates all the distractions away from her face.

The one important thing touched on above, is that the focus is out slightly on this one. Looking at the few hairs in front of her eye, that's where the plane of focus is, ie about a cm too close. With that in mind, enlarging will only magnify that, and the more you see it, the more it will niggle you and make you more determined to nail it next time.


Sitting fairy

Sitting fairy by marosmitro

The problem here is one of balance.
All the 'weight' of the image is on the right side, and the large lantern draws my attention away from the girl. There are four prominent lanterns on the right, against two less so on the left side.
A pleasant image though slightly surreal, and the pastel feel makes it dream-like. I think redistributing the lanterns more evenly (maybe losing the closest one altogether) would improve it tremendously.


What happened to the view?

What happened to the view? by Canonshots

Unfortunately, all you have is a picture of some tufts of grass. I'm sure you will agree, not the most captivating of subjects unless you are an agrostologist.
It probably means more to you as a memory of the place, than as a standalone image.

With weather like this, it lends itself to other forms of photography than landscapes. The soft even light is great for still life (plants, people, small details), or as Willie says, the others in your group. There is no subject here, and the lack of drama robs the image of anything you want to fix your attention on. Even close ups of the grass or flora would have more interesting details to see.

I can see what the pro meant, but there isn't much in the weather to work with, here.



Hope! by paulbroad

Quite nice, I find my eye drawn to the red and white stones on the left.
I can't process at the moment, but maybe a slight crop from the left, and clone those two rocks out, might be something I'd try. That and reversing the image horizontally.


Low Summer Sun !

Low Summer Sun ! by TornadoTys

I don't have the facility to photoshop at the moment, but as there is the 'wrong' amount of body in the shot, I'd consider straightening as much as possible, then cropping so the free hand is on the lower third and the upper hand is on the upper third. That makes the composition more dynamic IMHO, which would counterpoint the image then being square.

If you can have another go at this, it might be worth trying to get the whole body shadow in (by jumping perhaps), and squaring up the camera, but maybe jumping at an angle for a different dynamic?


Storm on the Vestmann

Storm on the Vestmann by jerryiron

While the image is very descriptive of the harsh conditions where the land meets the North Atlantic, there are a couple of technical things that strike me.

First, there seems to be a bit of lateral chromatic fringing, particularly on the rock edges to the left. If this is like this straight from the camera, you will need to use the lens profile, or reduce it in the RAW processing stage. If it is an artefact caused by your processing, you will again need to find a way to reduce it afterwards. If it is the Nikkor 12-24, there are profiles out there that will automatically remove known fringing issues.

Second, I'd remove the seabirds. They are too small in the frame to have any impact, and just look like imperfections at first glance. More of them, but larger, would round this shot off well.

I like the vertical elements, thrusting into the stormy sky, but I would like to see the foreground lightened a little. I find the shadows losing definition as they are quite blocky, and I think lightening it a little wouldn't detract from the dark brooding rock, but would allow more texture to show. At the same time, the darkening sky needn't lose any of its menace, so it would need to be localised dodging.

Otherwise, I think it's pretty good.


PS: how long before a black and white version appears? It would need some tonal adjustments and some more localised work, but it could be stunning.


Magnolias by EveLine1

Apart from the under exposure, the problem I have is that it's just full of distracting detail. I'm afraid that I spend as long looking at the out of focus statue and tree as I do the main subject.

Sorry, but for me, a simple plain coloured subject shouldn't have a busy and distracting background. None of it really works, IMHO, a plainer background, or one that is completely blurred (so as to be unrecognisable as anything) would be much better. Then I'd be free to concentrate on the shape and form of the subject itself.



Shhhh by jhaslam4

Judging by the depth of field, I'd say a wide to middle aperture. The light is pretty good, it just needs a small reflector to bounce light back into the shaded side of the face. The shutter speed is fast enough to not display any shake, and the plane of focus is pretty much around the eye and fingers, where it should be.

Being asleep, she's not going anywhere fast, so get the banker shot and then you can try different things! Reflectors are useful for babies, as their delicate skin shows better when well lit. It can even be slightly translucent in some lighting.

Filling the frame excludes any distractions, just leaving you to concentrate on the subject. Exactly what you want with a baby picture.


Colours of the wind

Colours of the wind by DB_Photography

Most of it's been covered above: a pleasant scene that really needs something else to lift it.

I agree the colours are worth shooting, but you need to be more proficient with your burning in. There is a tell tale halo round the treetops, which you didn't really need. The trees are silhouetted anyway, so brushing over the trees won't darken them any more, but darkening the lighter patches behind the branches will make the sky look more consistent.

The logo has drawn some comment, but you really don't need one when showing your pictures. If you wished to sell your work, and you printed it for someone, you wouldn't include it in the frame as it spoils the image. By all means include a very small or unobtrusive one on a website, but including it here smacks of someone just pretending to be a professional.


Dinorwic quarry

Dinorwic quarry by lespaul

You have used settings that are entirely reasonable, but the light is the real problem. Shooting at midday rarely works as the light is harsh, unflattering to the landscape and fro too high a position. It means undulating landscape has no modelling, no real detail is revealed about its shape and form. It looks like the sun is pretty much above the scene in front of you, judging by the shadows on the hills, and thus a polariser will have very little effect. It will do more of the sun is lower and at right angles to you

Whilst the reflections are ok, they will be there regardless of the Suns position, so shooting at midday won't make them any better. In fact, there is a hazy feel that robs the scene of a lot of its colour and contrast, and the dark tones are a result of the shade, rather than the texture.

If possible, it would be better to shoot early or late in the day, with more side lighting, that should really bring out the texture and form of the landscape.


Why doesn't this appear vertical? update: Issue fixed!

Why doesn't this appear vertical? update: Issue fixed! by pablophotographer

If you want to bring out the colour of the nontranslucent parts, ie the heads, you will need to light the front a little.
Add a silver or white reflector in front of the flowers to bounce light back into them. The danger if you add more exposure is the you will get bleed round the flowers spoiling the edges of the subject, but you do need a little more if you want to eliminate the curtain patterns.


TopicDate Made
Critique Gallery26/04/2012 - 10:23 AM
I hate the phrase "Tog"24/05/2011 - 10:25 PM
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