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Artist - Buddy Group 2 - self portraitI've got this challenge to go Pete and am not looking forward to it Tongue

Thought I'd comment anyway, even though I'm not one of your buddies this month Wink

This is very brave and I love the inventiveness of it and think you've done well with the angle and making it a study of the artist at work - which I'm hoping reflects something of your character?

Just a couple of little thoughts from me:
I'd prefer not to be straight onto the pad which has quite a flat 2d feel at the moment
Not so sure about the background; I'd a least like to be able to imagine that the subject of the sketch is lying there being drawn, which I can't at the moment. So I'm wondering if it's feasible to include a 3rd Pete, with just a little of the original shot showing, or at least make the background plainer so it matches the background of the sketch?

That all being said; I think this is great and will pleased if I come up with anything nearly as good

Tim
01/07/2009 - 4:11 PM

Up Close

Up CloseGreat shot and nicely using the macro to present a different view of the subject. I would personally maybe just crop a little off the left, increase DOF a notch and have a slight angle on the head but all very minor preferences
Tim
30/06/2009 - 6:04 PM

Strawberries

StrawberriesHi Les
Sorry, a bit late adding my critique!
I fall into the camp of really liking the contrast between the two halves of the strawberry which are so very different to each other.
I agree with a couple of others - there are slight distractions top left and top middle, but a tiny crop on both sides would solve these.
Really like the backlight on the greenery and also the way it isolates the subjects from the background. Just wonder whether a reflector could have placed a little more light between the two halves and maybe added some catchlights on the juice that is there and that everyone is wanting to see!
My only other comment is that I think I'd prefer a little more DOF coming forward just to bring out some more of the excellent detail of the seeds on the right
But all minor points in a great image Smile

Tim
26/06/2009 - 8:58 AM

stick insect

stick insectHi Merille
In contrast to Gaz, I personally like the top leaves, but that's because my alternative title would be "exploring the gap" as my first impression was of the long feeler(?) searching where to go next.
Excellent detail and I love the brightly lit leaves and the contrast against the background.
My only suggestion might be a bit random, but what about using a landscape format instead - rotate left and then maybe mirroring it too?
Tim
26/06/2009 - 12:39 AM

Bubble

BubbleFirst off I really like this and more so the longer I looked whilst pondering what to say.
I like the heart and the positioning of the eye behind the hole, but it's the general playfulness of being observed through the bubble that makes me to smile. Smile
Crop wise; between #1 and #2, I definitely prefer #2, which certainly gives the bubble more emphasis. #3 is great too, and has a lovely abstract feel, but for me it's actually become a completely different image from the other two, so it's not an either/or

A slightly random suggestion, but I did keep thinking that it would be really striking and surprising if the eye through the hole was bright and pin sharp, but I see that Gaz has beaten me to the punch. You'd need to cheat to do it, but I certainly wouldn't reduce the DOF further otherwise as making the eye any softer would be detrimental.
Tim
25/06/2009 - 8:15 PM

Grapes

GrapesHi Sandra
I'll try not to rehash some of the exisiting "buddy" critique; although I think I agree with most of it with the exception of the green-on-green which I personally really like as it's still distinctive enough that the grapes stand out.
My big question to you would be "what were you trying to achieve" with this image. With the grapes central and cropped fairly tight, all I get is "here's a bunch of grapes" which I think is where the others are saying it's missing a point of focus. A little bit of play with the DOF, POV or composition could have lifted the shot entirely and given it a bit more of a story to tell.
But none of this is to say that it's a bad shot and it's not a critique I'd level at your shots in general either - almost as though you uploaded a shot to give us something to say Wink

Tim
13/03/2009 - 1:06 PM

THE STARE

THE STAREA beautiful portrait Ayelet and love the intensity and the detail in those eyes - but just what have you done with the old granny Wink

Just wonder if you could give a little bit of a lift to the eye in the shadows so that the white and the colour comes through a bit stronger, and like Dave, I'd also be intrigued to see a version without the brushed-aluminium style lines
Tim
15/01/2009 - 12:40 PM

Feeding at Sunset

Feeding at SunsetThis is a great image Mark; a lovely mood,that sky is superb and you've done a nice job with bringing out the foreground detail.
My apologies for being the lone fussy voice again, but it feels a bit let down to me by the colours of the foreground, with the green and blue horses and the radioactive grass. I assume this is where photomatix has wrongly emphasized some of the colours and if you get this bit right too, I'd have said the whole image was superb. I could send you a jpeg that I've had a play with, if you're at all interested and not just fed up with me Smile
Tim
17/10/2008 - 8:18 PM

Deagol Finds the Ring

Deagol Finds the RingGreat image John and a lovely bit of imagination and work.
For me it would be slightly improved if the transitions betwen the backgrounds and the black were a bit smoother as they're quite distinctive on my screen. Really not sure you need my advice, but how about lasooing the subjects tightly, feather outwards by 50 pixels, invert the selection and then decrease the birghtness?
Tim
21/09/2008 - 11:02 PM

Sophie

SophieBeautiful and fun portrait, great tones and details and I love the effect and the eye contact.
You may want to completely ignore me Smile, but it felt a little odd with her hair leaking into the background and I know it doesn't meet, but I just wanted the hood to frame it a little more by being a little brighter where it fades into the shadows
Tim
08/09/2008 - 9:36 AM

Spirit of romance

Spirit of romanceWhat a wonderful idea and superb work putting it together. I prefer the border from #2, but the exposure from #1 seems to have more mood.
I hope I'm being helpful rather than awkward, but if you plan to repeat this shot in the future, I just wonder whether there's any way to remove the option of considering this as a "kissing queue". Maybe the starting point of the bride stood in the corner could be a little more natural?
Tim
29/07/2008 - 11:06 AM

N&N

N&NGreat portrait and I like the contrast in personalities portrayed in the poses.
I'm not a big fan of this background though and as you've already got deep shadows around them both, I've posted a mod to see what you think of it completely blacked out?
Tim
27/06/2008 - 9:21 AM

Broad Bodied Chasers

Broad Bodied Chasers
Quote: Some very useful critique here, which will help me to learn shooting this type of subject matter too, so thanks to all the guys who took time out to give Karen advice.

Ditto for me - I didn't know about grass having the same tonal range as 18% grey - will come in very useful in the future.
As an alternative way of rescuing the shot you could have narrowed the depth of field further instead, so the one in the background is less distinct. For my personal taste; when you have two subjects either getting both sharp is good or one sharp and one indistinct; the inbetween is the variant that I don't think works quite so well.
I've uploaded a crude mod to illustrate
Tim
22/05/2008 - 6:31 PM

A Differnet View

A Differnet ViewLovely shot Marian; although I now have a crick in the neck!
A familiar sight for me and despite fighting the glass you've caught it so well with great detail and focus.
Hope this is helpful Marian, but looking at the white fur on my screen, I notice a bit of a colour cast. I had a quick play in PSPX2 and found that 5% less blue and 5% more red worked better for me
Tim
21/05/2008 - 1:36 AM

Wedding of the Year

Wedding of the YearI really like the happy smiling faces here and the selective colouring you've applied adds a nice touch. I also think it's a nice touch that the couple themselves are holding drinks instead of flowers
I think you've already received some excellent advise about the exposure and maybe feel the contrast is a little too high overall giving some deep shadows around the eyes.
I've uploaded an mod, rotated to lose the bit of sky and cropped even tighter jut as an alternative option.
Tim
20/02/2008 - 2:35 PM

Pekin Robin at Tropical World

Pekin Robin at Tropical WorldHi Mike
This is a great image and a big improvement over yesterday's shot with good colours and detail. It's been fascinating reading all the discussion between the two shots.
The only thing I feel worth adding is to say that getting a still image must be your first priority, as there's very little you can still if the image is blurred due to motion. So I might consider a few steps:
a) get a tripod to eliminate you being the one who moves
b) if the bird is basically still, then take several shots to reduce the chance of a slight head movement giving problems
c) set the f number to about f4.5-f5.6 - this is roughly optimum for getting all of the bird in focus and blurring the background nicely, as well as your lens being better quality when you're not using it's minimum f number.

If the bird isn't still or you don't have a tripod then you'll need to make sure the shutter speed is quick enough for you to hold the lens steady and to freeze bird motion, probably 1/100 sec up to about 1/400 sec should be fine in most circumstances with a 300mm VR lens.
To increase the shutter speed work down the list until it's acceptable
d) underexpose by about half a stop
e) increase the ISO to an acceptable point on your camera where it's not too noisy. Detail in fur and feathers suffer when you have to try and correct for lots of noise, so don't push this too far.
f) reduce the f number up until the limit of the lens

If you're happy with the shutter speed you can then worry about the rest - each step working back up the list will increase the quality and reduces the compromises that were needed.

All of these are very rough guidelines and birds are far from my forte, so experiment and practice are the key and the technical side will sink in over time until it becomes 2nd nature

Wow - a lot lot longer than I initially intended - hope it's helpful Smile

Tim