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Sooty_1's Gallery Comments
I think this arrangement would work much better if we could see the shed better. As it is, from here, it's mostly on the reverse slope and half hidden. There isn't the feel of mystery, so I'm left wondering exactly what the picture is saying.
I agree about the poor HDR treatment. It lowers the natural contrast and seems to add texture where there is none.
As with your previous efforts, a tricky set up, pretty well executed. Just small detail tweaks for me, for it to work fully.
Sharpening is usually best at the end of the process.
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.
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 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 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.