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TanyaH

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16/12/2014 - 2:50 PM

A truth we can't unknow

A truth we can't unknowIt's good. The concept is there, her pose is right for the mood you're going for and it ties in well with your title.

For me, the plug isn't necessary (even though it's accumulating interesting cobwebs ... Grin) - trouble is, your 'old habit of not using a tripod' has resulted in slightly out of focus cobwebs, which for me distract rather than enhance the image.

There's also a slight light halo around the top of her head and hair, and also around her back. Obviously, it's coming from that window behind her and the natural light coming through. But for me it's a bit too dominant and I want that area behind her to be dark and disturbing, as though things (nightmares, fears, whichever you will) reside in there. By having her back to them, she's almost metaphorically ignoring (or refusing to see) them Smile

So my mod crops that right hand side a fraction, to remove the plug.

I've also added a bit of contrast using a Black & White adjustment layer, set to Soft Light and 50% opacity.

Above that, I've used a Colour Lookup adjustment layer, set to FoggyNight, and again Soft Light blend mode and 50% opacity.

For me, I feel as that retains that mad purple hair, which I really do like (particularly as it's echoed by the purple shoelace) and it also keeps that slightly unhealthy palour to her skin, which also fits with the pose.

See what you reckon?

Tanya
08/12/2014 - 11:07 AM

Rook

RookLove the perspective on this one, Keith - it really works Smile Also the texturing of the wood is wonderfully realistic. It makes me feel as though if I reached out and touched it, I'd actually feel wood ... amazing!

I also really like the way that the curve of the horse's (oh, okay - 'rook's') neck seems as though it's responding to the girl's touch ... it gives the element of connection between the two.

The shadows of the girl are done well, although I'd like to see a fraction more darkness underneath the ball of the foot that's just resting on the floor (her right, our left) as at the moment it looks as though it floating a tad too much? Don't know on that one though ... what do you reckon?

I don't mind the tattoos, even though they're quite dense. Body art is some people's way of cataloguing their journey through life and not just done for vanity purposes. Her skin is a little blotchy as if she's cold ... which, okay, could well be the case with that granite wall behind everything Grin

Although it's nice to see a realistically proportioned woman like this, part of me is thinking that her calves and thighs are, perhaps, a little too muscular given the rest of her (i.e. the torso and arms)?

But ... it's good and it works well Grin
Ferry Landing Stage on Derwent WaterVery moody and definitely something I could see on the cover of a murder-mystery type book. I wondering whether your horizon is fractionally off dead straight though - a couple of degrees down on the left?
01/12/2014 - 11:00 AM

Creep.

Creep.Hi Graham - and welcome to the Critique Gallery Smile I see this is your first visit to this gallery, so hopefully you'll find what you're looking for in terms of feedback on your image.

Given your description of what you wanted to achieve with this one, I'd definitely say you'd managed that - very successfully, in fact! Almost to the point where I didn't actually want to play with it at all, as I felt that emotionally it completely hits the nail on the head for me. The concept is great and has produced a very powerful social message about the dangers of not only being out alone at night, but being so engrossed in something (ie the phone) that she's not paying attention to the potential of what's around her.

You don't say whether you used a tripod or not, or whether this is hand-held. At 1/10 sec, if hand held, then you've done very well indeed to get the sharpness that you have. It's not critically sharp as you probably know already, but I don't think this kind of image relies on that for its impact - it relies on an emotional connection with the viewer. I find myself wanting to shout at her to look up from her phone and use her eyes for something other than 'Facelessbook' or whatever she's so engaged in.

All I've done in my mod (I use Photoshop, by the way) is to correct perspective a little using Lens Correction, so that the furthest lamppost is properly vertical, and to crop out the extra space on the left of the bus stop to move the girl herself so that she's on the left hand third (using the Rule of Thirds compositonal guidelines). I was in two minds whether to do that or not, as part of me likes the extra space beyond the space that she's in, as it gives a visual 'out' if anything does go wrong, but I removed it in the end to reinforce the feeling of containment and being trapped within a structure (the bus stop itself).

I then added a soft dark vignette to concentrate the view more on the centre of the image, and to push the details at the edges of the image back a bit. I then did a little dodging on the face, hands and coat of the girl and the walking man in the distance, to restore their prominence and the obvious connection that adding a vignette took away slightly.

My mod isn't hugely different from your original and I didn't want it to be, as I like what you've done so much. It's more a case of a little tidying up visually Smile

Anyway, you'll find my mod (and any more that other people may do) on the tab labelled 'Modifications' next to your description tab. Do please bear in mind that any mods that are done are just someone else's way of viewing your image - you may or may not agree with what's done, and that's as it should be. Photography is a very personal thing, and we all see things differently Grin

Tanya
30/11/2014 - 11:41 AM

My Mentor

My MentorI don't know why, but this one is making me smile Smile

It's certainly different ... odd, but very good. And the chair? I've always wanted one of those 70s style retro chairs Smile I really like the concept (although I won't ask where the idea for a shiny red devilish lady came from ...)

Shadows are good, the perspective of the floor is also good. The only tiny thing I'd say, if pushed, is that there's no 'shine' on the red lady's legs ... her face and chest area look as though they've been plastic wrapped, but that doesn't extend onto other prominent bits like her arms, tops of her thighs or lower legs.

Following on from John's comment above, I suppose there's other things she could have been twiddling in order to get better reception, so maybe I'm thankful that it's only the buns! Grin

T
30/11/2014 - 11:16 AM

Silence

SilenceHello Palaghioi - welcome to the Critique Gallery Smile I think I'm right in saying that this is your first visit to the CG? You haven't said in your description which aspects of this image you'd like feedback on, so it's hard to be specific about any particular aspect but I'll happily give you my thoughts on the image as it stands.

I really like the composition here. You've got some lovely detail throughout the depth of the image, and the stones and leaves in the foreground are very crisp and sharp. Obviously, the water in the background would have been making a racket at the time you were there, but looking at the image as a viewer, coupled with your title, there is definitely a sense of serenity and quietness about it. I think the placement of that leaf in the foreground really helps to add to that feeling, as that's what my eye focuses on rather than the waterfall in the background.

Use of a long shutter speed also contributes to this feeling, as it's turned the torrent of water into a lovely silky smoothness.

All I've done in my mod is to increase contrast a little, to give the image a touch more 'bite' and to adjust the saturation and hues of the foreground leaves a little, to give them a bit more prominence in the image. I also took the blue in the water down a touch, so that it didn't compete with that foreground too much. I'm in two minds as to whether that works or not, but it would be good to know what you think?

Overall though, I think's a beautiful image and certainly one that I'd have been happy to take myself Smile

Tanya
26/11/2014 - 1:18 PM

My Late Autumn

My Late AutumnHi Andreea - welcome back to the Critique Gallery Smile It's been a while since you were last in here, but hopefully between us all we'll be able to give you some useful feedback on this image.

First of all, I really do like it. There's a wonderfully calm serenity about it, and the distant light through the trees is quite magical. You say you wanted to capture mood and seasonal change, and although I think your image does this very well, there's a few things that I think you could do to push that feeling even further.

The first thing I want to dp is crop the image to get rid of that blockwork concrete on the right hand side. Although it serves to anchor the other side of the bridge, part of me wants to leave the viewer wondering where it goes, so in my Mod I've cropped this out. I've also cropped slightly from the left as well, so that the point where the bridge turns and goes upwards is on a third (the Rule of Thirds principle). For me, this particular point is a pivotal one, as it's reminiscent of change, which is what your image is about - change in seasons; change in perspective; change in height, perhaps? Ascension, if you like Smile

I've done one or two other things in my Mod as well (I use Photoshop, by the way). I've increased the contrast throughout the image, to give a much more moody feel. I did this a really easy way, using a black and white adjustment layer. This may sound odd at first, as my Mod isn't in black and white ... BUT, use a B&W adjustment layer and then set the blend mode to Soft Light. This immediately adds contrast, but also leaves the colour intact as well. I then just played with the sliders a bit, moving the Red one to -13, the Yellow one to -7, the Greens to 18, and the Cyan and Blue sliders all the way to the left to -200.

This has effectively deepened a lot of the warm tones in the image, and hopefully gives it much more drama and impact.

The other thing I did (badly, admittedly, but hopefully it'll illustrate the point) was to take the front portion of water and apply a motion blur to it, and change the angle so that it sort of goes in the right direction Smile I wanted to really try and capture the sense of movement set against stillness, as you say in your description. An easy way at the taking stage would have been to use a slower shutter speed to capture that movement, and although you used 1/30th, you could probably have gone a bit slower too.

Hopefully you'll like what I've done in my Mod. It is, admittedly, a bit different and darker than your original image. Both have their merits, though - for example, your original has a lightness and softness that my Mod has diminished, mine has richer colour that yours doesn't. It's just another way of looking at the same scene Smile

Tanya
26/11/2014 - 12:15 PM

Dim Lights

Dim LightsThis is actually a really interesting image, but for some reason it didn't work for me visually until I flipped it horizontally, so that the eye then travels in from the blank side, slides over the bar at the end and then onwards towards the furnishings and the large window. Possibly a left to right visual journey through coming in, getting a drink and then having a sit down to enjoy the view Grin

So in my mod, as well as flipping the image horizintally, I also did a few other things.

Although your intention with the processing of the three exposures was to get a pronounced light on the beams, I actually added a bit of contrast back in. I also added a Shadows/Highlights adjustment layer on top of that, and set the shadows to 49% and the highlights to 52%. Yes, it may have taken down the effect of the bright light on the beams a bit, but to my eye is more natural and pleasing. (You may not agree, of course, which is absolutely fine Smile)

I then took the saturation of the reds down as well (to -33). Even though I know your intention was to colour pop the cushions a bit, they're just a little too popped and, I think, take something away from the warmth of the others colours of the wooden beams and that lovely chest next to the nearest sofa.

Funnily enough, the one bit my eye can't rationalise is the reflection in the bottom corner (bottom right in your original, now bottom left in my mod). There's a squiggle on the reflection of the overhead beam ... that squiggly effect doesn't happen anywhere else, as far as I can see - all other straight lines reflected in the floor are just that ... straight.

It might just be a by-product of the tone-mapping exercise, and I do find it pleasing none the less, but it's just a tiny anomoly that my brain can't process this afternoon! Grin

(Oh, and apologies that your watermark is now back to front!)

Tanya
25/11/2014 - 3:04 PM

Braemar Castle

Braemar CastleHiya

I can't add anything to what's been said above, although I have done a mod where I've given it a different treatment. As it stands, it's a nice image of a rather austere building - it's well exposed, some some very interesting shapes in the builidng, and a nice sense of the grounds. Yes, it does need more context around it and the sky is pretty much featureless, which doesn't do it any favours.

So, as well as allowing a little bit of space at the top just so as to give room for the topmost branches of that tree, I've added contrast, a slight blue tone, a Colour Lookup adjustment layer (where I used the FoggyNight preset) and added a Diffuse Glow Smile

I think I wanted to bring out the austerity of the building, as it looks so unloved and eerie. Hopefully I've done that, but you'll have to be the judge of that.

Tanya
25/11/2014 - 12:44 PM

Here she comes

Here she comesHi Keith

I'm going to stick my neck out here, and be completely honest with you about this one. It doesn't work for me as it stands. There's a couple of reason for this:

1) She's standing in mid-air, basically. Even with that abstract background, she needs something solid under her feet (even if it's so dark as to almost not be there, the viewer's subconscious will still pick it up because it expects to.

2) The boobs - I'm sorry, but the shape is all wrong on these. I don't know how much control you have over the size and shape, but they're too round, the nips are looking in different directions (which isn't a problem, as such, but doesn't quite look right) and if you look closely you'll see the curve of the breast underneath the scrap of material going across them. It look as though they continue way too far down her rib cage (and they can't be imagined as ribs, either, cos ribs don't look like that!).

I hope you don't mind my bluntness. I do like the idea with this one, but when I compare it to the naturalness of the shapes in your last upload (It's that way), there's no competition.

Tanya
23/11/2014 - 11:26 AM

Pondering Soldier V3

Pondering Soldier V3Hi Keith - I've done a mod where I've tried to address to ageing photo issue, and give that feel of having been taken on an old plate-style camera. Whether I've achieved that or not remains to be seen, but here's what I did to get it (I mainly used Nik's Colour Efex Pro 4 in order to do this, but you may not have that software).

The first thing I did (in Photoshop) was to crop the image (not square, but just to take out some space either side) and then desaturated the red of the guy's jacket a bit to a more pinky, washed out tone. This seemed more natural than the brighter red in your original. I smoothed out the grain in your original using the 'Noise>Reduce Noise...' option, but then applied more grain in Colour Efex (see below).

I then used Colour Efex 4 and applied a preset of 'Classic Camera 8', which hopefully gives it a more olde-worlde feel, as though it really is an image that was taken in yesteryear. I did play with the slider options a bit regarding grain, but not too much as I wanted to retain some details in the faces of the two people.

I applied a more obvious border than the one you've got here. I did want to use a white, torn effect edge to the image, but for some reason I couldn't find that option! Smile So you've got black instead ...

I'm not sure whether what I've done is how you saw the image in your mind, or even comes close to the effect you were trying to create. However, have a look and see what you think.

Tanya
23/11/2014 - 10:51 AM

Bodyscape

BodyscapeI like the idea and the concept, they work well. I'm not sure how you did your lighting, but I'm wondering whether it's too full on? Have you tried more directional lighting, so that it picks up not just the oiled skin and water droplets, but also gives more modeling to the contours of the body? The other thing to consider, if you haven't done so already, is this kind of thing in mono. For some reason, I always think bodies (male or female) look better in black and white and with the oily thing going on, it provides all sorts of opportunities Smile
23/11/2014 - 10:46 AM

Morning Lake

Morning LakeI like it. The texture has given a lovely subtlety to the image that takes it one step closer to art, rather than a record shot of the place. Have you tried the texture stronger so that it's much more obvious? Or does that not work?
“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes stays alone.”I'm with Willie on the colour, I'm afraid. Way oversaturated for me. However, I like the concept of time alone and solitude to replenish the soul.

I am wondering though why you've used Shutter-Priority here, instead of Aperture-Priority? There may be a perfectly good reason that you had in your head, and luckily it's given you quite a wide aperture. That's blurred the distance quite nicely, which focuses attention on the solitary figure on the bench. (Okay, the bright red would also do that, but I'm being positive here Smile)

I like the spread out arms of the man (you) as it indicates someone who is relaxed in his surroundings, taking in the view and enjoying it.

I would have liked the camera to be square behind the bench, though, and this would also have meant that the bottom of the bench legs weren't cut off. For this scene, I think it's important to get the whole of it in the frame.

A little more space above the head would also have been nice, so that the viewer can also get the feeling of enjoying the same scene the subject is.

Do you use any kind of filter on your lens? The reason I'm asking is because there's quite a lot of atmospheric haze in the distance, which is light blue-ish and washed out. Using a polarizer would alleviate this to a degree, and also help to improve contrast in the image (among other things). In the old days, a UV/haze filter would have done the same thing, but on the digital SLR cameras this is no longer necessary as there's a UV/IR filter in front of the camera's sensor that does essentially the same thing. (Mind you, many people, me included, still keep one on the end of the lens for protection purposes, as it's cheaper to replace one of those than it is the lens if the front element gets scratched!)

Tanya
19/11/2014 - 4:27 PM

#193 through the water

#193 through the waterHello again Carl Smile

Once again, you've got a great image with lots of action captured, and one which I'm sure #193 would be chuffed to have on their wall or in their album. In a way, I understand why you've cropped out the advertising from the left hand side, but the other side of that coin is that advertising is part and parcel of these kinds of events. You can't avoid it, and it's everywhere you look in one way or another.

Yes, a little more space on the left would have been good, but you decided not to include it so I'm not going to harp on about it Smile

The one thing I will say, though, is that by ramping up the saturation so much, you've now got a nice blue halo going on around the edges of the trees, against the cyan tones of the sky. You've also got blue shadow falling from her arm onto the thigh below it. Not necessarily bad things in any way, but I've done a quick mod where I've (a) taken down the saturation of the blue and cyan tones, which has taken away the halo and made the shadow more natural looking.

I've also pulled back a little detail in the highlights and shadow areas ... just to balance it up a bit.

Other than that though, you've once again proved that this particular route of photography is something you're getting rather good at!! Grin

Tanya
18/11/2014 - 1:41 PM

Red Man with Poppies

Red Man with PoppiesHave you thought about a mon... oops, you said not to suggest that Grin

Okay, I've kind of gone a bit radical with a mod on this, which you'll probably hate, but just remember that it's just another person's perspective of the scene.

You're absolutely right in thinking that this image of yours looks like you've just photographed your mate, rather than a stranger on the street. Because of that, it seems much too 'familiar' to (I think) be seen as 'real' street photography and seems more set up for the purposes of (for me, at any rate). I hope that makes sense? There's part of my brain thinking that if you were that close to the guy, then he surely must have known that he was being photographed? Which sort of takes a way any anonymity you may have been trying to capture.

Sooooooo ... I've done a VERY radical crop in my mod. I've basically taken out a lot of the blue railing that so dominates the image, and also removed a lot of the guy's head (I did say radical ...). I've also cloned out the blue area and the white 'thing' hanging under the end of his nose, as it looked a bit like ... umm ... snot? I tried to enhance the feeling that the image is about the poppies, rather than the dude, even though he's still very prominent in the image. The fact that the bright red of his jacket is almost the same hue of red as the poppies themselves does actually work - I didn't think it did at first, but it does - very well, in fact. I also kept the angles as much as I could that he makes with the poppies, shadows on the wall and the wall itself, as I think they're great.

Anyway, see what you think. And if you do hate what I've done, just remember ... I could have suggested mono ... Grin

Tanya
We Will Remember: past and futureHello Andrew

I really like the concept you've gone with here, the idea that we're so tied up in our own little lives that we rarely pay attention to what's in front of our noses, half the time. Given the recent Rememberance ceremonies, this image fits well within that theme. You've also got a nice twist on it, highlighting what can perhaps be ignorance, as we walk on by ...

For me, though, your image and the split between the colour and mono is a bit confusing. In particular, the building that sits behind the (colour) lamppost is all mono, the sky is blue across the whole of the image and the people on the right are shades of grey (so to speak). I think it's personally a more powerful statement if you have just the red poppies contained within the wall in colour, and everything else in mono. I've done a very quick mod where I've done this, and also taken down the saturation of the red just a bit.

At the end of it all, though, it's down to personal choice. Your image certainly does make the viewer stop and think, though, about what seems more real - the past or the present Smile

Tanya
11/11/2014 - 5:03 PM

SCHOOL TIME

SCHOOL TIMEI like this image Tarunjyoti, very much in fact. There's so much going on that on one level it's hard to decide what to look at first. But then that 'busyness' and chaos is what makes the image so appealing Smile

I love the fact that, apart from the young lad in the foreground with (presumably) his mum and his sister, no one is taking any notice of you, the photographer, as you record the daily scene in front of you. As such, you're able to capture people just going about their daily lives, chatting to one another, standing around thinking of where they're going next or just doing their shopping.

Your image has some very bright white areas, where the camera has recorded no detail (what's known as 'blown highlights'). This means that it's very hard to bring back any details into those blown areas. Your 600D has, I believe, a Highlight Tone Priority mode that you can enable (if you haven't done so already). That will let you know where, if any, blown highlights occur in your image by flashing red. You can then make the decision to either not worry about them, or alter your exposure to bring them within range so that they retain details.

I've done a very quick mod where I've cropped your image down to remove the extra space at the bottom of the frame, and also a little off the top to balance it out. I've also used (in Photoshop) a Shadows/Highlights adjustment to try and bring some details back into the blown whites. You may prefer the lighter feel to your original image, but the mod that I've done is just another possible way of presenting the image.

I must admit though, I am enjoying your portrayals of street life Grin There's a wonderfully vibrant, busy feel to them even without any colour!!

Tanya
10/11/2014 - 12:27 PM

Sunset at Camber Sands

Sunset at Camber SandsHi James

As Willie says, all the elements are there in this image (although I did at first take the kite surfer to be a bird ... Smile). Looking at your histogram on the image, there's a bit of clipping at both the black end and the white end, which means that there's no detail in some of the black parts and the white parts. And although the colour cast you've gone with for the water is different, it's a little unnatural. I know it's about personal choice with things like that, but I would have preferred to have seen it a little more 'normal' Grin

My mod tries to address this. Rather than try to make your original image into something else, I've just concentrated on removing the blue cast to the water (using an Selective Colour adjustment layer in Photoshop, and adjusting the cyans and the blues ) and then I used a Curves adjustment layer to even out the tonal range a bit. I didn't want to touch the lovely delicate sky at all really, as I do like that part a lot.

The other little bit, that's easily missed and that I think really makes this image, is the splash of water up from the (almost invisible) third groyne into the water. The translucent quality of that little bit is what makes this image beautiful, in my opinion (minus the blue cast to the water Smile).

Tanya
05/11/2014 - 10:19 AM

First fence

First fenceHi Carl

Well, well, well ... the lad done good !! Grin Grin

Seriously, though - this is a cracking shot. Great timing, great colours and everything in the right places. And 4 sold already? I'm not surprised, to be honest Smile

I also think the red flag should be there, as it's an integral part of the action. (Red flag always to the right, white to the left - saves any confusion and jumping the course backwards ... which usually results in elimination ... Wink).

I've done a very quick mod where I've left the flag, but just brought the left hand edge in a fraction to remove that little bit of space between the upright end of the fence where you can see the grass, and I've used Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights to just claw back a little of the detail in both - I set Shadows to 20% and Highlights to 60%. All that's done is to even out the tonal range a bit, although to be fair it was also fine as it was.

Good on you - I'd imagine you're like a dog with two tails at the moment Grin

Tanya