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Sooty_1's Gallery Comments
Most of the comments have already been made, but the reason you are better to shoot in colour and convert to black and white, is that you may need the colour information to adjust the relative tonality in the mono image.
The problem here is one of balance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of it's been covered above: a pleasant scene that really needs something else to lift it.
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
If you want to bring out the colour of the nontranslucent parts, ie the heads, you will need to light the front a little.
A project is a good way to stimulate creativity, as long as you don't fall into the trap of shooting everything the same way!
A noble cause indeed, though I'm not sure the partial colour really works here. You would normally use selective colour to emphasise a subject, make it stand out from the background, but is your subject the people or the building?
Not really sure what you intended using a tilt effect on this picture? It is split into three parts naturally, and all you're doing is blurring the foreground. Tilt really works best when you change the plane of sharp focus to make something sharp that wouldn't be (or vice versa). Here it will naturally be the church, which is on a plane parallel to the camera back already.
I'm afraid it's the same old portrait, with the same old faults.
I think it matters less about the second bird being sharp as it does it being completely within the frame. However, I think as a small cameo, it would be better if the DoF was a little deeper. As is, the falloff is such that it looks more like an added ps tilt effect than a genuine shallow DoF.
It's very hard to really critique this kind of shot. It's very subjective, and owes more to the philosophy or psychology behind it than to the mechanical process of recording it.
It's a pleasing panorama, and full credit for envisioning it in black and white, where most would go for colour. It has the advantage that the murky orangey colour of street lights don't spoil the colour, but the disadvantage that the other wonderful mix of coloured light isn't there.
Good scene, good light, good camera settings, good composition. Great shot.
I find it less delicate, and more heavy handed, I'm afraid.
You have achieved a calm, tranquil feel, and the meandering water leads you naturally back to the mountains in the distance.
So, if it's perfect apart from the watch, what is it you want critique on?
There are a couple of question marks for me.
It's a difficult subject to get a good photo of, unless you can somehow get higher. The colours are lost in the jumble, and from here it becomes almost a panoramic.
Portrait professional? Or just overdone smoothing?
Taking your requests in order: