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19/10/2011 - 9:44 AM

the nile river

the nile riverIt's all a bit central and a bit static. I've cropped a bit in the mod (this is one case where the rule of thirds will help composition). Sadly, it isn't very sharp - it looks like it was taken from a moving boat (though the shutter speed is quite high due to the sun, so it shouldn't be). Also, your lens looks like it has a dirty front element as there are flare spots lowering the contrast of the image.

Nick
17/10/2011 - 4:10 PM

The Mannequin

The MannequinUsing flash would kill the mood lighting stone dead. If you want subtle lighting adjustment, you could use a reflector to bounce a little light back into areas you need it. If you want really small areas, you can use a hand mirror, like a make up compact, or for less impact, a piece of white paper, scrunched up tin foil etc.

For people wanting to do studio lighting, using a mannekin is a great way to experiment with set-ups. You can make notes and know what to expect when you have a real live model.

With this shot, a strip of white paper, held out of shot just below model's eye level would have lightened the sockets enough.

Nick
12/10/2011 - 10:57 AM

carnival

carnivalAs above. The flash will add nothing to the picture in cases like this, except to highlight the hi-viz. I wouldn't worry about the burn out of lights, as there are so many of different brightness.

I would prefer to see the float further to the right, which would also show more of the faces looking at the float and less of the untidy rhs. I would also crop out the arrow on the road.

Nick
10/10/2011 - 1:31 PM

Mexico sunset

Mexico sunsetHow much more sky do you want?? There is plenty here to work with.
More of a concern for me, is the untidy silhouette foreground. I think it would have been better to find a view with a less cluttered and simpler foreground. A single tree would be ideal, or a pair of trees to frame the sky perhaps? The picture is in the colours, and more sky on show would have been better for me.

Nick
05/10/2011 - 10:23 AM

Having a rest

Having a restGood character study. I also like it better without the frame and slightly lighter, but the composition is not a problem.
I would have loved to have seen a close-up head shot with that characterful face.

Nick
05/10/2011 - 10:03 AM

Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayGood light, though maybe a fraction overexposed.
I might have been tempted (if possible) to move to the left and put the bushes lower right and the end of the pier top left. That would have exaggerated the curve of the shore and the white thing rhs would have made a strong triangle. At the moment the sea is a bit of "dead space", and although I can see the horizon is level, the picture looks like it has a lean to the right due to the angles of the components.

A pleasant, peaceful image though. Nice when there are no people around.

Nick
28/09/2011 - 2:23 PM

Ruffled feathers

Ruffled feathersNot a bad effort, but limited by the equipment in use.

The date is horrible and needs to go. You could crop a little to tighten the composition, and up the contrast curve a little to give it more punch, but other than that, there is not much else you can do to improve it: there are better angles to shoot birds from.

Nick
28/09/2011 - 8:57 AM

Hobo cafe

Hobo cafeYes, the stonework is a little flat, but the best way to bring out the texture is to shoot when the light is more side-on, grazing across the surface will be better than frontal lighting.
Also not keen on the right side - it's too messy and distracts from your subject. Crop it out or change your viewpoint to exclude it.

Nick
13/09/2011 - 3:06 PM

level crossing

level crossingIf you are on foot, try to have the train coming towards you rather than away. The rest is a pretty good effort at something that is not as easy as it looks.

Nick
29/07/2011 - 12:56 PM

Jenni

JenniI like the picture - it's natural and unforced. Colour or black and white is good for portraits, but I would like to see her further away from the background. The texture detracts from the subject and her radiant smile.

Modelling is quite good, but a small reflector would have lightened the side of her face a little. Nitpicky, I know, and I expect you didn't have a chance to modify it, as you would have lost the spontanaity.

Nick
28/07/2011 - 10:16 AM

Lady in the fort.

Lady in the fort.A little bit of flash (probably with a -1 or -2 flash compensation) would have made the colour of the sari sing and put a little light back in your wife's face. You could also then lessen the overall exposure to stop the sky from burning out.

Do not be afraid to use the flash in daylight, especially for this kind of shot.

NIck
28/07/2011 - 10:11 AM

Street of Sherborne

Street of SherborneThe problem with b+w is that you have no colour to separate areas of similar tone. ie. a mid-toned red has a similar tonal value to a mid-toned blue and a mid-toned green. You have to look more for light contrasts and shape and form. You have to use filtration to alter the tonal relationships in order to make similarly-toned areas stand out from each other. Do not confuse tone with colour though.

This picture is ok in terms of the subject, but so much of it similarly toned. I suggest you go back and convert to b+w in Channel Mixer, and try moving the sliders around to see what effect they have. Keep the total of all channels around 100% and experiment. If you have photoshop, it should be in Image/Adjustments/Channel Mixer.

The grain doesn't really help either, as the picture is quite 'busy' with lots of small details. You should be able to make this a lot smoother and bring out the texture in the wall.

Nick
28/07/2011 - 9:51 AM

rusty wire

rusty wireIf you can, go back later in the day so the light is less from the top and more from the side. This will enable you to make more of the textures on the post. As above, either forget about the turbines and concentrate more on the post, or take a slightly wider view so you get the whole post in the frame.

Also, look around the borders of the frame - that small tuft of greenery on the RHS is distracting.

Lots here to photograph if you look closely enough, on the large and small scale.

Nick
04/07/2011 - 12:47 PM

obscured fushia

obscured fushiaI find the out of focus blob obscuring the flower detracts from the rest of the frame, which is otherwise well executed. The background is neutral and allows the colour to dominate, and the focus (which could be a little deeper allowing more of the flower to be sharp) is concentrated on the right part of the flower.

I know how difficult it is to isolate one bloom when there are so many, but if you want to isolate just one flower, why not just remove one from the plant?

Nick
20/02/2011 - 11:43 AM

For the love of dog

For the love of dogThis is well observed, sharp and well exposed, but the angle grates on me for some reason. A step to the right and getting lower would square it up and (for me at least), make the shot better.

Nick
06/02/2011 - 8:40 PM

Fancy a Ride ?

Fancy a Ride ?
Quote: maybe its more advisable to use full manual rather than aperture mode given the degree of control

Not necessarily, as long as you can bias the exposure with the exposure compensation, you still retain a degree of control. And what you meter from will make a difference.


Quote: but ideally should not be a problem at 31mm with IS on

IS helps but is not 100%, it's handy but I wouldn't rely on it if it's possible to keep the shutter speed up...remember the sensor crop factor making your lens closer to a 50mm.

The new version 2 is much better, also it's more in keeping with the style of old street photography.

Nick
06/02/2011 - 3:15 PM

Fancy a Ride ?

Fancy a Ride ?Good study, but quite a bit overexposed. It has proven impossible to bring the highlights back as they are so blown, and increasing the contrast hasn't helped.
All the intricate detail on the carriage has been lost. If your camera produces pictures like this a lot, I would suggest you add -0.7 exposure compensation permanently, as the scene is not so dark as to warrant so much exposure. You need to use a faster shutter speed as well, as 1/20 sec will increase the chances of camera shake, and this doesn't look that sharp.
Maybe moving to the left would have shown more of the carriage too.

Nick
06/02/2011 - 3:04 PM

Off Camera

Off CameraIt's not a bad effort at all. A criticism of the lighting is that the light is too much of a point source. The diffuser needs to be much closer to the set up in order to make the highlights more diffuse on the bottle.
It is very sharp, and maybe a rustic still-life could benefit from a little softness, and if you turn the slate with the hole the other way round, the problem goes away.

I'd like to see a nice wedge of crumbly cheese on this too, but then I always like a nice piece of crumbly cheese! Tongue

All minor things, but attention to detail is everything with a set up still life.

Nick
BDC Drifting Championships - CadwellUnfortunately the whites are overexposed, and the shutter speed is too high, making the wheels look stationary. If drifting, I wouldn't think that the car was moving too fast, so a slower shutter speed and panning would have given a better effect. There should be sufficient control on your Fuji to do this. Even choosing -0.3 or -0.7 on exposure compensation would have helped, as would a wider aperture.

White is not the easiest colour to shoot in motorsport, but a tad underexposure would have been better.

Nick
Beautiful view, but the perspective is wrong...Just uploaded a mod to correct the perspective, and I also pushed the colour and contrast a little....

The river looks a bit grubby and I'm not sure it adds much to the photo, but I didn't crop it. I think the picture here is higher up.

Nick