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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
28/02/2014 - 3:45 PM

Fungus Rock

Fungus RockIt looks to be a stunning location, so I can understand why you don't get bored with it! I think this is a very good image ... you've got good foreground interest (the rocks), a lovely sweeping curve to the middle of the image which leads the viewer's eye to that huge rock, and then that dramatic sky beyond. I don't know what you did to it in post production after capture, but I'm finding that the image looks a little harsh. There's a fairly visible 'halo' effect round the top of the big single rock, and also along the top of the cliff coming from the left. Whether this was as a result of trying to tone down the sky and get a bit more detail into it and capitalise on those faint light rays on the horizon, I don't know. You could maybe try it again and use (depending on your software) a mask on the foreground, which would then let you adjust the tonal qualities of the sky without hopefully getting that halo effect. All in all, though, a very nicely composed shot Smile
20/02/2014 - 12:55 PM

sales woman

sales womanIt is a wonderfully candid image, and very well spotted and timed. There's just two things that (for me anyway) could make it even better - the fluff of hair on the left hand edge of the image is distracting, it's neither one thing (a definite person attached to the fluff) or the other (no one there at all). And the right hand side of the image has a band of light running down it, which I think is the edge of a corner building behind her? Other than those two very minor points, I thinks it's a cracking image. At first, I thought she was an artist with a paintbrush in her hand, it was only once I'd read your description that realised she was a make-up artist! So again, the hair on the left is put into context by that knowledge, although a whole face could tell more of the story. Superb expression on the girl's face, and the handling of extreme highlights on her face and the darkness of both her hair and coat are well balanced.
20/02/2014 - 12:04 PM

What the tide washed in

What the tide washed inOkay, this is weird ... very well seen, though. It reminds me of the Skeksis in the old CG film The Dark Crystal (and yeah, they still freak me out a bit!). I think what you've done with this is really good, although the vignette with the blurring could do with being a bit softer at the top of the 'head' bit - the line's too visible. Also, given the dark nature of the subject (well, perceived 'dark' anyhow), the light's a bit too jolly (sunshine?). Still, as a creepy weird image you've definitely got it right ... a couple of minor tweaks and this could well be something out of the nightmare drawer! Grin
19/02/2014 - 1:16 PM


PotteryDefinitely an image that catches the eye, and superbly captured at that! You can virtually feel the stickiness of the clay on the hands Grin If I'd have taken this, I may have been tempted to go with a square format, to counteract the circles of the top of the pot and the spinning base, but that's very much a personal preference. Doesn't matter though, it's excellent exactly as it is. And I just love the fact that the hairs on the arms are so visible ... makes it very 'real'.
28/08/2012 - 1:44 PM


DancersI think this is a stunning image. I know it's inevitable in a situation like that that someone's head might just get cut off, but I actually don't think it matters too much in this case. Yes, there's a small bit of empty space bottom right; no, it's not a 'tidy' image ... but it is so effective. I love the implied motion of the dancers and the vibrancy of the predominant yellow colour. Oddly enough, without the bright highlight on the dark-haired dancer in the middle, it wouldn't be anywhere near as pleasing for me.

You could try different crops for a more 'tidy' composition (square, letterbox etc) but another part of me wants it to stay exactly as it is. It really reminds me of an Arther Rackham 'Fairy' illustration, and for that reason alone it gets a big thumbs up from me Smile
24/08/2012 - 5:06 PM

Guardians of time

Guardians of timeAlthough I really do like this, and standing stones are a fantastic subject, for me the large black block on the left is way too dark. Also, there's quite a bit of posterisation in the sky. I know this can happen when you do tonal conversions on a JPEG image in 8-bit per channel mode, so maybe that's what's caused it? I suppose the alternatives are to either shoot in RAW, or convert the JPEG into 16-bit once you're in your editing software. But I don't know how you processed the image in the first place, so don't know whether you've got that option or not?
24/08/2012 - 9:58 AM


SummertimeI like the effect as well. It's a bit like one of those weird holographic postcards that you turn one way, and the subject is doing one thing; turn it another and they're doing something else. The right hand side doesn't seem quite so 'soft focus' as the left hand side - don't know whether that was intentional or not, but I prefer the left hand side. In fact, there's two distinct images in this one - the whole image as you've currently got it, and a squarer crop of the left hand side to just to the right of the band of the dark sand clump in the middle. Taking away the small group on the right, and the bright colours of their clothing, leaves the left hand side of the image strangely muted in colour but, with the walkers in the distance, gives a wonderful sense of isolation and a focal point on the horizon. Either way, I really like the way you've processed it Smile
20/08/2012 - 5:09 PM

Abandoned boats

Abandoned boatsI love the letterbox style format, and the subject matter. But for me, the soft focus effect is making my eyes hurt! I've got enough trouble focusing on things these days Grin The tones aren't particularly punchy, but to be honest that's quite nice - gives a lovely, gentle feeling to the image.
31/07/2012 - 2:05 PM

Soaking up the Sun

Soaking up the SunLovely atmospheric image, great tonal range and very dynamic pose. My first thought was to suggest that cropped to square format would be nice, without the shutters and the reflections ... but just spent a while playing with a couple of bits of paper either side to judge the effect and I actually prefer it the way you've already got it! The shutters provide a nice tunnel into the main subject - the girl herself in the window Smile So the other suggestion would be crop a wee bit off the bottom, say to the bottom corners of the shutters and maybe a bit off the top as well - make it more letterbox style?
27/07/2012 - 2:15 PM

welsh lake

welsh lakeHi Brian - this one of yours caught my eye ... lovely tranquil image, and I see you're a fan of the inserted light beam as well !! Grin Thanks for your comment on my 'Last One Standing' image, much appreciated. One thing that did interest me though, and not something I noticed until looking at this image of your reservoir ... you've done your light beam so it's wider where it enters the image, and narrows down as it gets closer to the water. I did mine so it was narrower as it entered the image, and widened as it got towards the bottom of the 'canyon'. It got me thinking ... which way would a natural lightbeam be - narrow top/wide bottom or wide top/narrow bottom ... ??
16/07/2012 - 10:46 AM

way out...

way out...Very well seen and executed image; given the contrast throughout it you've captured the range of tones really well - there's even detail on that very far wall, which is lovely. I think it would also work well in square format, as it would echo the squareness of the first opening and perhaps make the composition stronger? The chain across that last opening is a little distracting so I'd be tempted to remove it, but that's just my opinion and it doesn't actually detract from the overall scene at all.
13/07/2012 - 12:20 PM

Looking into the light

Looking into the lightI really, really like this image. The crossed shadows behind the figure; the fact that it looks like there's a hidden staircase going downwards in front of him/her (which is quite spooky with connotations of the 'underworld'); and I even like the fact that you've left the verticals converging - lends itself to the abandoned 'falling in on itself' atmosphere. For me, the view out of the two windows has too much clarity, and pulls my gaze when my eyes actually want to wander round the interior. I would love to see a darker, more brooding B&W version (but then I love black and white!). Very well thought out and executed.
12/07/2012 - 5:28 PM

The Baker

The BakerOkay, I've taken a completely different approach ... maybe a bit radical Grin

It's a good character image but the background is very 'busy' and as Willie says above, doesn't really show a baker's environment, except the Hovis poster on the left hand side and I had to look twice to realise that's what it was. (Personally, I like the tongue - I think it adds a sense of humour to what could otherwise be a very worried looking baker!) Also, the colours in your shot seem quite saturated (might be my screen, although it is calibrated). As you don't say what aperture you used, it's hard to guess, but the background is neither in focus, or sufficiently out of focus not be distracting.

Soooooo ... I thought that with a face as full as character as that, I'd turn Mr Wilson B&W (see my mod). I also did a quite tight, roughly square crop, and took out the background completely. I added a very slight S curve to give Mr W a more gritty feel and boost contract a bit. It seems sufficiently sharp to my eyes, so I didn't do anything there. And yes, I did crop the ear on the left deliberately ... don't know why, just looked better for some reason than the whole ear *shrugs*
12/07/2012 - 1:40 PM

ofbeldisfull festingin

ofbeldisfull festinginGreat legs!! Grin To be honest, I didn't like this when I first looked at it, but the more I look, the more I like it - it's very 'otherworldly' with that brooding sky. I think your blonde hair blends a little too well with the rubble behind your head, so almost gets lost with the similarity of tone, and your black dress also gets lost at the left hip/right elbow with the holes in the rubble behind. I keep thinking that the red hue on the stones and the foreground don't look natural, but on reflection it does suit the overall feeling of the image. Interesting one.
11/07/2012 - 10:10 AM


KippersHi Brian. I love the simplicity of this image, and the fact that all bar one of the kippers seem monochrome, which really highlights the one that does have colour. The only thing I'd personally do is to boost the colours a bit of the one fish, and do a slight crop on the right hand side (and maybe at the top to remove a little of the black up there). I've uploaded a mod to show what I mean - probably not the best mod in the world, but hey! Grin