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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:1267
Photo Comments:1230
Competition Entries: 0
Modification Uploaded: 143
A KIND OF EMPATHY

A KIND OF EMPATHY by youmightlikethis

It isn't the darkness, it's just over processed, as most of your skies are.

If the figure, and it's connection with the landscape, is the subject, why make the sky compete? You could have had a sorrowful, contemplative, powerful image, instead you have a post-apocalyptic world, where every single part of the image screams for attention. It doesn't suggest sorrow to me, it's just .... alien.

Nick

Shrewsbury Square at Christmas

Shrewsbury Square at Christmas by Fogey

It looks to me like like you have a spot or two of rain on the front of your lens. That's what's causing the flare, which as mentioned, takes on the shape of the aperture.

Difficultly in exposure is less to do with the type of lights, and more to do with the brightness relative to the shadows, and their placement in the frame. You used spot metering, which is tricky in night scenes, as you need to know exactly what you are metering. It's easily fooled if you are off target by a fraction, and I would suggest using matrix metering and/or bracketing exposures either side of the suggested meter reading. That way, you get a little insurance for better exposures, or even just a different take on the scene.

I would also suggest sticking with daylight balance with different light sources. Here, most of the lights will be tungsten, with maybe a few halogens in the shop windows and sodium slighting the building on the right. I wouldn't bother with the flash either, unless you are attempting to balance it with a foreground subject that you want lit. All it does is cause atmosphere-destroying highlights on shiny objects and fluorescent jackets!

I would also suggest you shoot in RAW, mainly because you get to tweak the WB without losing information, and also that there is much more information to play with in processing.

Here, you really need to lift the shadows ever so slightly, don't just brighten it as you will lose the highlights, and crop from both sides (get rid of the figure, and get rid of the green lights left go the statue, then you will have a pretty good night shot.

Nick

SITTING BY THE BY

SITTING BY THE BY by youmightlikethis

For me, neither.

It's just a shot of a street: no story, no cohesion, no obvious reason for taking it. There are several interesting aspects in the picture that maybe you should have concentrated on (the man on the box, the man with the dogs, the umbrella woman), but that would mean perhaps not being anonymous (which is "safe"). Just snapping away in the street doesn't produce great photos.

You ask us which works better, but really you need to be asking yourself that question. If you can't answer it, you have to consider that neither do, and look at why. Then maybe go back over the comments you've had on previous uploads and see if common themes keep recurring.

If you are familiar with good street photography, you will know when it works.

Nick

shapescape

shapescape by youmightlikethis

I would suggest that for cohesion whenever you montage images together, that you ensure uniformity. ie, make the two landscape oriented pictures the same size, make the vertical shot the same height as the other two, and the spaces between them all the same. That way, with the white key lines around the images, there is uniform amounts of black and it doesn't look lopsided.

I prefer the colour versions, but they are very blue, purely a matter of taste. The processing is severe, but with modern architecture like this, it suits it, unlike your images with older buildings, but it isn't an abstract montage, it's an architectural one.

You don't really need critique if you're only asking which version we like best. You really need to be making decisions like this for yourself by now, especially if you're not going to change anything about your processing or presentation.

Nick

London Bridge

London Bridge by Tonyc49

It's not as easy to capture the river as it seems at first!
The lights often fool the metering, everything on the river moves slightly unless you hike the ISO (as you have here) to get a faster shutter speed, and the cloudy sky always exhibits the orangey glow from the multitude of tungsten and sodium lights.

It is usually better to shoot when here's a trace of light in the sky, as the balance between the shadows and highlights is better, plus the artificial light doesn't dominate the colour balance so much. The exposure isn't bad, but a little lifting of the shadows will help.
When I enlarge it, it doesn't look too sharp, but then balancing on the balustrade of London Bridge (as I suspect here) allows traffic vibrations to shake the camera. Even a tripod won't help much on a road bridge, but waiting for traffic to stop may be the only way to mitigate the effect unless you have a damped tripod head. One other way is to use a lens with a wider aperture to allow a faster shutter speed, as the ISO is already high. Shooting just after sunset would mean more light in the sky, and probably a nicer colour balance.

It could do with a slight clockwise rotation and I'd clone or crop the highlight in the bottom left corner.

A couple of small points too, it might be better to call it "Tower Bridge" as that is the main subject, and the warship is HMS Belfast.

Nick

WISTFULLY BLU[moods on the mile]

WISTFULLY BLU[moods on the mile] by youmightlikethis

To answer your question, no, not for me.
It's all too dark and over-heavy. I don't think the selective colour is selective enough, and it looks careless the way some of the sky and background has been missed. The picture is too dark, and the processing heavy and unsubtle: for me, not really suitable for this image.

Whilst it is undoubtedly street photography, ie it is taken in the street, I don't find much direction in it. It is easy to just shoot random images, but they don't all make good final versions, and this is one of them. There is no feeling of cohesion, and by emphasising the sky so much, it competes with the people for position of main subject. The only bit I find remotely interesting is the dialogue between the two women in the middle of the bustle. And they're almost lost in the darkness.

There is more to good (successful) street photography than just shooting in the streets. There has to be more of a story and fewer disparate elements.
Check out people like Gary Winogrand.

Nick

WHATS WRONG WITH THIS IMAGE

WHATS WRONG WITH THIS IMAGE by youmightlikethis

What's wrong with the apostrophe?

For me, it's all a bit dark and sombre. Brightening it up will make the man stand out a little more, but you might be better off with someone in lighter clothing. The background is just too busy for him to be so dark.

I'd also lose the vignette and the alarm. The figure doesn't really fit anywhere in the image, there isn't a space for him to naturally fit.
IMHO, a near miss, but you aren't going to improve it much by working this image, a better composition is really required, and tbh, a person walking past a shop/sign/wall/poster has been done so many times, it really needs to be really top notch to stand out.

Nick

Just a perfect day.

Just a perfect day. by JeffHubbardPhotography

I would like to see the seed head sharper, but to me the black and white conversion is not quite as sympathetic to the dandelion as it might be. The bottom of the seed head is starting to get close in tone to the graduated sky. Darkening the sky all over (adding red filtration) would allow it to stand out more, and with the added sharpness it might make the seed head pop more. I'd also clone out that bit of cloud to make the sky background cleaner.

It's just a bit...bland, for me to want to own it, but more impact would definitely help.
Any particular reason you wanted black and white for a subject that would probably have more impact in colour?

Nick

Book Signing with author, Robert Harris

Book Signing with author, Robert Harris by JeffHubbardPhotography

In this situation, you cannot get everyone's face unless you set the shot up, so I'm not that bothered by it, but I would say seeing what the author is doing more clearly would be better, and you would get at least a profile of him. Moving a smidge to the left would do that.

The only way to answer the question is to see the colour and mono versions side by side.
The black and white is fine, though the feel is very dark due to the flash lighting the people closest to the camera. Again, not much you can do unless there was enough light to not use flash, but as it is gives a sense of intimacy in the room. To that end, I'd suggest cropping the guy on the right out, though it does also get rid of the only other clue it's a book signing, ie the piles of books. Doing this creates more of a feel of the crush of people round the table.

The guy on the right could warrant a picture of his own!

Nick

Not Me!

Not Me! by ade_mcfade

A competent environmental portrait. The shop tells us more about him than he does, as his face is largely covered, it's a shame the shutter speed has cut half the pictures off on the TV screens.
Not sure what the white protrusion is at the bottom, but it could go as it cuts the clean line of the frame edge.

Getting market vendors and shopkeepers onside in places like this makes it quite hard to take a bad picture, as long as the technical side is ok, as there is always so much interest and animation. I'm not sure whether a colour version would work better, but it don't feel the b&w is very sympathetic to the subject here. It falls between two stools for me....on the one hand, the pure portrait doesn't give you enough information about his character, yet environmentally there is barely enough detail to make the picture either.

I think maybe you could crop it tighter, making him fill the frame, for more impact, and a slight clockwise rotation to square the shelves up slightly.

Nick

Flight.

Flight. by revilo

Revilo, I just wanted to ask a few questions...

1. Why did you post this image in the critique gallery, instead of the main gallery?
2. What is it you want help with, regarding this image?
3. Why did you not upload the later version of the image, with the corrections included?

Nick

Christmas in Chester

Christmas in Chester by Danny1970

The images are indeed all slightly underexposed, due to the bright lights fooling the meter.
The good news, is that you can check each exposure as you take it and adjust accordingly.

With a tripod, you are less bound by having a faster shutter speed, and in these lighting conditions you are unlikely to have a fast enough speed to freeze motion in passers by unless you hike your ISO right up. The downside of that is the quality decreases and noise increases as the ISO goes up, and here, you'd need it to be at least ISO 800 to have any chance of sharp people. You can either accept it or avoid it when shooting in busy places, or try shooting when it's not busy.

I'd also suggest (if using a tripod) shooting in aperture priority mode, and dial in some exposure compensation to adjust the exposure, based on what you get on the screen. Perhaps even bracket exposures one and two stops either side of the meter reading. On a tripod, slower speeds are fine, and with night shots, noise in the shadows is the main problem, so I'd aim for the best quality and use a low ISO. Plus, shoot RAW, as it records the most information, and it's possible to drag out shadows and highlights that would be lost using jpg.

Nick

Canoeing Diablo Lake

Canoeing Diablo Lake by Meganbf

I'm afraid I'm not really a fan of this selective colour, and I feel the image lacks the balancing effect of colours in other parts of the spectrum.

I'd like to have seen a shot a few seconds later, as the canoe moved into the space between the headland and the dark trees on the left, which would have had the added bonus of putting the canoe in the only space where there's no real detail. It would also have been closer to the bottom left third, which may have balanced the image a little.

I'd be interested to see the original, with colour on the right.

Nick

Star Trails

Star Trails by Nigeve1

Not quicker, but better, look at photo stacking software online. The inclusion of dark frames and flats increases the signal to noise ratio and cuts pretty much all sensor generated noise. I use Deep Sky Stacker (free) and there are lots of tutorials out there about its use and processing. Other stacking programs are available.

For me, the trails just need to be longer here.

Nick

Thank you Critique Team!!

Thank you Critique Team!! by ladigit

Congratulations.

Anything that gives you an excuse to take photographs is a good thing.

On to the next challenge!

Nick

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

TopicDate Made
Critique Gallery26/04/2012 - 10:23 AM
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