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TanyaH

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11/07/2014 - 2:30 PM

Wear and tear

Wear and tearTo be honest, I think you've done well to get the tonal range you have here ... okay, there's a couple of areas that are burnt out and have not details, but in a way it kind of adds to that old, worn out feel.

I'm sure the critique team will step in with advice for next time, but if it was me I'd be tempted to do a bracketed series and then combine them in editing software. That way, you'll have detail in the highlights, and still retain detail as well in the shadows.

HDR 'proper' may kill the atmosphere you're trying to create - I don't know. But there's surely got to be a middle ground somewhere between the two approaches?

I like the image a lot, by the way. Beautiful sweeping curves and lovely sharp lines always make a nice combination. I'm curious as to the choice of yellow background though ... not that it's not nice, but for me black seems to solidify the elements of the image better (and also, oddly, seems to reduce those bright white highlight areas a bit too). Smile
10/07/2014 - 3:54 PM

Toadstools on windblown Ash

Toadstools on windblown AshFor someone who says they're a beginner, this is a cracking shot!

You've used a fairly wide aperture (f5.6) which has given you a limited depth of field (the bit in front of and behind the main thing you focused on). This has the effect of directing the viewer's attention firmly towards the main subject, rather than wandering endlessly around an image that's sharp throughout. In your image above, the sharpest point of focus seems to be on the little ferny fronds in front of the mushrooms (or toadstools?) ... and while the fronds are beautifully sharp, I think the mushrooms (as the main subject) should be the sharpest point. (Mind you, it is only fractionally out, so it's not too bad Smile)

You've chosen to use a 'Daylight' white balance, rather than leave it to the camera to decide - and while this has given the image a slight warm cast, I think it suits the subject well.

Your ISO of 1400 has given the image quite a grainy look (although not as much as I would have imagined ... Nikon must be good!) - the higher your ISO, the more 'graininess' you'll see in an image. If you want clarity and quality, you'd be better off using an ISO of 100 or 200 ... this may mean, though, that your shutter speeds get a bit longer as a result, so using a tripod is definitely the way to go for this kind of image. Okay, you may have already done that, but given the shutter speed of 1/15th second, if you didn't use a tripod, then you've got very steady hands!

You've shot in JPEG mode ... and I would also hazard a guess, from the very saturated colours in your image, that you've got some sort of image enhancing mode turned on in the camera settings themselves? Something like vivid colour mode? I know you said in your earlier forum post that you're looking at post processing and editing software, so I don't know whether you've already got something that you're using, or whether you're just relying on the camera's picture settings at the moment ... once you get into the editing side of things, if you shoot in RAW format (the one in the camera; not where you have to take your clothes off Grin) and then edit the RAW file in an image editing software, you'll have much more control over how you want the colours to appear in the end result. JPEG is great, but it also throws away a lot of information once it's taken the image ... you don't necessarily get the choice afterwards to make the editing decisions you'd like to.

The other thing I'd say is that you've placed the main subject (the shrooms) dead centre in the image ... while this is an easy thing to do, and seems to be the best position, it's often the most boring. Try composing with your main subject off to one side a bit - it'll make the end result far more dynamic and appealing to the viewer. It's not always possible, depending on what's to either side of your main subject, but if you bear that in mind when you're composing your images, then you'll do yourself a favour. (Having said that, sometimes something will look far better placed dead centre ... but also this often looks better when in a square framed image, rather than the landscape format you've got here (i.e. longer than it is high).

Okay, if you're still awake at this point ... I really like your image. The colours zing, the tiny ferny fronds are amazingly beautiful and to be honest it's a damned good start to your photography journey!

Keep it up Grin
08/07/2014 - 11:34 AM

RGB

RGBFunnily enough, I've just been looking at info on the RGB colour space settings in Photoshop! Grin

I like this image - it's simple, yet very effective. One thought though ... if you put a piece of black card either side of the left and right hand bottles, that should give you a definite black line down the outside of the glass, which would help to stop them bleeding into the white background so much. (At least, that's what the normal advice is for glass photography - never tried it yet, but that's what 'they' say ... Grin) You may have already done this, but for me it's quite noticeablely absent on the red filled bottle ... ?
24/06/2014 - 12:37 PM

Storm Clouds at Dusk

Storm Clouds at DuskHiya - I love the electric blue of this one, it's very striking. Given the high ISO and the conditions you took it in, it's amazingly clear and free of noise.

I can't decide whether the horizon is fractionally off or not, and also for me the light patch in the clouds on the left hand side detract a little from the lovely little reflection below it.

So I've done a very quick mod where I've straightened the horizon a touch, cloned that light patch in the clouds and cropped a wee bit top and bottom (as well as left and right, to accommodate the canvas rotation).

I don't know whether it's improved the overall image or not, as that's always a subjective matter anyway. But thanks for sharing Grin
13/06/2014 - 10:21 AM

Broken

BrokenThis is actually quite a disturbing image, and I can't make up my mind about it.

On the one hand, I feel as though there should be more detail in the facial features, but on the other hand ... by eradicating virtually everything that conveys a feeling of 'identity', you've effectively reduced the person to a 'thing' (hopefully you'll know what I'm trying to say by that!?); and that does tie in with your title.

The one thing that does snag my attention completely with this image, is that even though almost all features have been obliterated by the processing style and choice, there's so much emotion in just that one eye ... and that's where my gaze keeps going back to. Eye to eye, so to speak ... and that sparks a feeling of recognition and empathy ... and also, hopefully, support for the healing process.

So now, I think I've made up my mind about it ... it's bl**dy good Grin
30/05/2014 - 1:29 PM

Lydia IV

Lydia IVI really wanted to comment on this, from a woman's perspective, so given that it was the fourth of what's obviously a series, I had to go and turn on the adult content thingy so I could see the others (I didn't want to make a comment out of context, so to speak).

So ... having seen the others now (where the lighting is much more subdued), I think that in this particular image the lighting doesn't do your model justice. The features are quite strong and bold, and I think that the makeup is too heavy in this bright light. The hair is very obviously a wig, which while not a bad thing in itself, becomes far more obvious with harsh lighting.

The background is also very obviously in a house/domestic setting (the skirting board) and to be honest, the pose itself doesn't look very relaxed. It's almost as though your model is trying too hard to be seductive, whereas in the other images in the series the facial expression is far more natural (and therefore more appealing).

I'll probably get shot down in flames for saying this, but it's more like a parody of a glamour shot, than an actual glamour shot. However, if that's the look you're actually trying to create, then discount everything I've said above because in that case you've nailed it (as they say on Britain's Got Talent).

But if you're trying to create a feel of soft seduction, glamour and sensuality, then I think different lighting, a different pose and a more considered background would go a long way to achieving that effect.

I really hope you're not offended or p'd off with my honest thoughts on this image.

Tanya
28/05/2014 - 5:37 PM

Simone

SimoneI really like this - it's suggestive without being sleazy and sensual without being sexual, if that makes sense? Given the very bright backlighting of the window, there's beautiful detail throughout and nothing so massively burnt out on the figure that it's a distraction.

If I would suggest anything, it would be to crop slightly on both the left side to remove that dark upright bit of the wall, and the right hand side to remove that very thin sliver of lighter wood on the post thingy she's leaning against.

Part of me also wants to suggest straighting the horizontal of the edge of the bit she's sitting on (brain's gone, can't think of the word?) but looking at the left hand side of the window itself, it looks pretty straight vertically ... so maybe it's just an old building where none of the woodwork and walls are true Smile

Either way, I think it's really good and would love to see what it would look like as a mono conversion.
28/05/2014 - 3:00 PM

portrait pilot

portrait pilotSome great advice above, so I'll just say what I see visually ... the use of a 28mm equivalent focal length, although giving you the room to do a full length shot, has unfortunately had the effect of distorting the girl's body a bit, so that her arms and head seem out of proportion with the rest of her body (small arms/large head). While this in itself isn't a bad thing and can be very creative, I think that if it's something you wanted to work with then it should be exaggerated, so the viewer is left in no doubt - perhaps by getting down to a lower viewpoint (rather than standing, which is what it looks like here) in order to take the image.

Given the slight provocative feel to the pose, I'm wondering whether the buttoned up top is the right choice. With her chest area thrust out in an almost challenging manner, and the crop top and short(ish) skirt, I suppose it does convey a "look but don't touch" feel, which can be sexy and conflicting in its own right. But I'm wondering whether that subtlety is lost in this image because of other isuses that Moira and Willie have pointed out above?

It's difficult to suggest things without knowing what feel you were trying to create with the image - but she's a very pretty lady, and hopefully you'll be able to work with her again.

Tanya
22/05/2014 - 10:04 AM

Make a wish

Make a wishI think the composition is really good - I like the way there's only a section of your face in the frame, and it connects well with the dandelion head and the floaters. I can understand why you used flash for the light side of things, but for me the flash and shutter speed have arrested the movement of the dandy seeds as they float off from the main head.

Given that (I would imagine) you wanted to introduce a feeling of movement into the image, you could always try not using flash at all if that's possible and a slower shutter speed would hopefully introduce that sense of movement into the image. It's quite static at the moment, and rather than being a complete image telling a coherent story (face, breath, head and seeds floating away) for me it's more a case of three separate elements, not connected by anything. It looks more like a staged scenario, rather than one that's actually happening (if that makes sense?).

I think also that the direction of your breath, the head and the position of the floating seeds doesn't work - surely, at that angle, they'd be further down the frame on the right hand side?

Mind you, I've tried this sort of thing and it's not easy. It's also never easy trying to be the model, create the image and press the remote release at the same time! Grin
13/05/2014 - 9:50 AM

The yellow field

The yellow fieldI really like this, and the way you've presented it. There's great depth in the image and the way that the fields are layered green and yellow, with those two seats in the foreground, make it very eyecatching and satisfying. The image could stand a bit of cropping, if you wanted to play with that at some point (the top yellow fields, and little off the right hand side to remove those tracks in the second green field). But equally it works the way it is currently. The colours could maybe do with a bit of oomph to bring them out a bit more, as they're currently a bit muted - it depends on the look you want.

However, irrespective of all that, it's got a lovely harmony as it is and it's growing on me the more I look at it Smile
07/05/2014 - 10:12 AM

creeeeper

creeeeperI really like this, it's very simple but beautiful. Looking at the frame round the outside, I find it slight odd that the ends of the creeper and barbed wire are cut off, and end mid-white area (if you see what I mean?). It might be worth adding a tiny thin black line round the inner image, to ground it within the white a bit more, and then that would also delineate the main image from the outside white border? Hope that makes sense! Smile
28/04/2014 - 10:34 AM

Round the Bend

Round the BendI love the colours and the concept, the framing and the composition.

However, whereas the bench images are all the better for not including a person (either for scale, interest or whatever reason) for me this image doesn't work without a lonely figure walking down the path in the distance. I don't know why ... and I can't explain it either!

The bench images made me think "Ooh, that's good ..." and my eyes linger on them, contemplating my navel, life, the universe and everything. This one, for whatever reasons, makes me think "That's nice ..." and my brain moves on to the next image in the thumbnails.

Maybe it's because a bench is for sitting down at, and therefore implies a cessation of movement - whereas the road is all about travelling on, and the continuation of movement ... ??

Sorry!
Tanya
09/04/2014 - 10:36 AM

In the Mood (take two)

In the Mood (take two)The warmer skin tones definitely work better with the mood of the image, although on my screen her blusher seems a bit too warm now, and is the first thing I saw! Looking at the image like this, I'm now definitely leaning towards taking that lower leg out completely (despite what I said yesterday). With the warmer tones, it now seems to have too much of a presence (even though comparing the two images, it's no more there today than it was yesterday - weird!).

I think with the lower leg not there, the line from the guy's arm, her thigh and that wonderful billowing blue dress behind her is then unbroken and makes a much better shape.

The more I look at this one, the more I'm liking it Smile
08/04/2014 - 10:18 AM

In the Mood

In the MoodPaul's picked up on the lighting above, and I also think that the skin tones could do with warming up a bit, as it's a very sensual image and the lighting seems a bit cool for that feeling. However, I really like the dynamic feel of the pose and the little things in this image (ie the suspender strap and the veins standing out on the guy's neck). For me, the woman's lower leg is kind of visible but not - and I'm not sure whether it needs to not be there at all, or brought out more so that it's more definite?

There's a real intensity about the connected gaze between the two that's incredibly intimate and passionate, and as an image I think it works very well.

Tanya
02/04/2014 - 10:11 AM

Andrea

AndreaA beautifully lit portrait. I'm finding that the bright white strip down the left hand side of the frame is distracting, and (playing with paper to see what it's like) I think that the composition would be stronger if it wasn't there. Is it natural window light?
28/03/2014 - 11:10 AM

urban cages

urban cagesHello Mario - I really like this image, and what you're trying to portray with it. I've uploaded a mod where I've adjusted the horizonals and verticals a touch, and cropped to both remove the scan bit at the bottom (which I think detracts the eye from the rest of the image) and to move the man himself over slightly to the left so that sits on a 'third' line (the composition 'rule of thirds'). The only problem with removing the scan bit is that it also removes the dark bar at the bottom, which I actually quite like as I think it adds a feeling of weight to the image. (Mind you, I didn't want to do any cloning of those bars, so the mod I've done is a bit of a quick one).

I haven't played with the tonal range of the image at all, as I like how you've done it here. It really does give a feeling of the daily monotonous grind, behind the walls and cages we all have to exist in sometimes.

Best wishes
Tanya
26/03/2014 - 3:40 PM

A Heart of Wood

A Heart of WoodI hadn't seen the previous two, so I've just gone and looked at them. My honest first thought on this one was that it was too contrived (sorry!) ... but looking at it in conjunction with the other two, it actually makes more sense now. I think that with this version, the two tones in the sky (the orange and the pink) and the overhanging branches at the top of the frame take away something from the heart for me. It's odd, but if I cover the sky in the image at the horizon line, and just leave that lovely tangle of tree roots and the cold blue tones of the water, the heart seems to blend in much more but also becomes a much more important part of the whole. That may not be your intention at all, though, and this is just my opinion!

I think that of the three so far, Heart to Heart is my favourite.
04/03/2014 - 12:18 PM

"Lipstick" by Antjuan DeCarlos

"Lipstick" by Antjuan DeCarlosBeautifully contrasty tones, softly curving planes and a very imaginative pose. I think the image would be stronger without the wall/edge of the mirror down the left hand side, so maybe an upright letterbox style format? (Yeah, I know it's contradictory, but I can't think how else to describe it - long and tall?) Given the title, I really expected to see the model's lips, with perhaps a hint of lipstick kept in for a splash of colour, but no. Now whether I'm missing something in your intention, I don't know. But as you also mention the lipstick again in your description, it would seem an important part of the rhetoric for this image ... ?? (Mind you, maybe that's your point and I'm just missing the bl**din' obvious!?) Grin Still a very good image though.
04/03/2014 - 10:36 AM

Girl with scarf (2)

Girl with scarf (2)This is a beautifully composed image. My only quibble with this is that the point of focus seems to be on the material of the scarf, not on her eyes (or even the eye closest to the camera). If that one eye was in sharp focus, then the rest of the image could be as soft as you liked and it wouldn't matter! I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we'd always do things differently after the event, but this is such a powerful image that I feel the focal point lets it down, which is a shame. Having said that though, the tonal range you've used is lovely, with just a hint of pinkness to the lips, and the catchlights in her eyes make it very compulsive and almost hypnotic.
03/03/2014 - 12:55 PM

Strange Commute

Strange CommuteI absolutely love the concept, the fact that her shoe colour kind of tones with her hair and the 'falling' leaves. But I think that the background image of the wood needs more punch. It looks to be a bit bland, and doesn't really do justice to the overall composition. I don't know whether you added the slight shadow underneath her, or if that's just a lucky colouration on the ground anyway, but I think it needs to be more pronounced. There's also a very slight halo effect round her bum and just underneath her back, which I think may be from cutting her out and adding her into the image afterwards? It's very, very good though, and with a couple of minor tweaks, could be very, very exceptional instead Grin