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28/07/2010 - 6:46 PM

Nude #3

Nude #3I really like this image, it is a softer version of one that I did.

I like the rmboid effect with the legs and the angle mirrored by the arm. I find it a very pleasant image to look at. It does not have impact or a strong dynamic look but makes up for it in warmth.

The face looks beautiful and the hands covering the breasts does not look clunky.

Things that might be improved?
a) the lighting on the top leg is a bit hot compared to the rest
b) the left calf virtuall disappears and needs a little more light
c) the expression/pose looks like she is in her own world and gives a voyeuristic feel to me which does not draw me in but keeps me at a distance
d) I think the high contrast would have been better softer giving more detail in the shadows

I find this totally delightful and a good piece of art nude
27/02/2010 - 12:51 PM

10 days to go..

10 days to go..I particularly like this image.

I have been trying to think how I would shoot a mum to be and avoid the typical hand over boobs and other hand holding belly pose. This pose achieves that and makes it an interesting abstract while keeping it human and personal.

I am not sure if the arm in the foreground helps or distracts. It looks like you may have shot at the wider end of the zoom which makes it proportionally larger than it really is or could have been if you had more room to shoot further away.

I would have liked to have seen how it would have looked at half in shade along the bottom of the frame.

If you wanted to keep the arm on the stomach then having the lady raise her arm slightly so that there was less weight on the stomach would probably have prevente the arm flesh from being spread sideways and produced a slimmer arm, which would then show more of the stomach which is the home to the little human being inside.

Just a few of my thoughts which do not detract from a different and tasteful photograph of a very special moment.

All the best to all three of you
John
12/09/2009 - 9:43 PM

on the bench

on the benchA tremendous portrait and captures him very well.

The only thing I would have done to improve it would have to been to try and diminish the top right hand corner; it does nothing but catch my eye and lead it away from a great subject
22/07/2009 - 11:56 AM

Suzanne and Johnny

Suzanne and JohnnyI like the idea, strong composition, eye grabbing, novel with appeal and interest.

If you had chance to pose them, then I would suggest making her arm on the ceiling more obvious and also show more of her body by having her other hand moved forward a little, revealing more leg etc.

I find that I had to look for Johnny in the picture and feel that he would be more prominant if the background highlights were toned down and the background generally dimmed. I think dimming the front of the table would also help.

On the other hand if you just had to grab a shot then this is great, full if life.
16/05/2009 - 5:22 PM

turmoil

turmoilI like the image and find it quite striking. Great idea.

It does seem a little unbalance to me and I think it is because he has lost his right shoulder. I think it needs it to lead the eye from the bright sky to his face.

Also with the light on his right side behind him, the light on his left cheek and the top of his head does not really make sense. I believe that if you are going to mix layers and contexts that you have to pay attention to the lighting. Subconsciously I think the eye and brain notice such things and the image just does not feel right. Pulling back the brighter parts would probably be enough.

But despite this, it is a great image, well manipulated and I cant see the join.

John
18/04/2009 - 8:59 PM

surrender

surrenderI really like all three - each version appeals in a different way.

I think the V1 might be improved by making the adjustment appear more realistic. At the moment it looks like a film of light that has been placed on top of the picture.

If you deleted the part of the rings where they overlap an edge it might appear more three dimensional if you know what I mean. For example on your right arm, just below the strap, removed the top right segment at the edge of the arm.

Then it might look like the light has actually fallen on the subject and I think that might add greater depth.

Lovely image, very appealing, tasteful and classy - where do you find the time to be a mother and a prolific artist?

John
03/04/2009 - 4:25 PM

Blondie

BlondieA really strong image, delightful and very striking.

One thing to watch is the edge of the eye and try and keep it within the face rather than on edge. Her eyelashes are a feature but they disappear into the black background.

I have made a mod bringing some of hair to frame her face slightly and show off the eyelashes.

The other thing that I am not sure works is the back lighting on the left. The second mod has applied a shadow to the left side to give an impression. I think a softer light would have lit the hair under he chin well enough.

Just a few thoughts and things to consider, but I think this is a terrific photo without any mods.

John
03/04/2009 - 9:43 AM

The singer

The singerGreat candid shot - they are so hard to do well. This one is full of life and vitality.

I put up a mod with greater contrast and brightness as did Willie but I also reduced the tilt - I find it more naturally engaging - if you know what I mean.

But the change I really wanted was the brightening I did to the edge of her left eye. I think it is important for eyes to be framed rather than being on the edge.

Very strong image both with and without the mods and especially under difficult circumstances

John
02/04/2009 - 1:24 PM

Sixth form social...

Sixth form social...I think this is a terrific photograph and even more so for not being enhanced.

I agree with the above comments but you asked for comments and critique, so these are my thoughts on how I would change the photo (see mod).

I cropped higher up so that it is above the elbow rather than leaving a stub of an arm below it - this is general rule - crop above a joint, not below.

I cropped in a little from the right to make the image more left of centre rather than on the left.

I do not thin think having two strong light sources on both sides works well. It may be been that you were trying to backlight the hair and it has spilled on to the front. I think this detracts from the impact. So I darkened the left hand side with a dark grey layer on soft light in CS3. I liked the way that it actually seemed to enhance the back lit hair.

The other thing to watch is women's arms side on - it is a lot of flesh. To minimise it make sure that there is a tiny space between their arm and their body - it stops the arm from spreading side ways.

I think it would be better if she had lifted her head like a sting on a puppet and brought her left shoulder back a little. It would probably have reduced the amount of flesh showing on her back which I think detracts from her face. I tried to simulate this by using liquify.

I have a mod available if you wanted to see

My suggestions are only minor changes and are always easy to make - so much harder when you are on the spot and under pressure.

Fantastic photo and looking forward to seeing more.

John
02/04/2009 - 9:20 AM

how did I do

how did I doI agre with CP's comments.

I like the way you have the nose inside the cheek and can see both eyes. Framing the bottom with her arms gives it a good base.

The upward looks has a little element of surprise or wariness in it which contradicts quite a confident solid pose. This works for or against you depending on its purpose.

I think the hand distracts from her face, competing for attention, so the normal rule for women is not to show the back of the hand flat. It is just too large an area of light.

I think the two lights has made the image rather flat, but this all depends on what effect you want. I perhaps might have tried reducing the brolly and bringing it nearer the camera as fill. I might have tried pointing the softbox to the left of the model or in front of her, feathering the light to make it softer and to produce more graduated shadow. Lots of ideas with just one light - this is the fun of photography for me.

Keep experimenting and lets see some more.

John
The Hoolegans, Askĝy 14th March 2009I like this photo and I realise how hard it can be to get a decent photograph without a microphone covering the face. I like the lighting and the perspective and the blurred hand.

If I wanted to improve it then I would have tried to find some way to instil some movement - I have not been to a Rock Concert but from what I have seen on TV it is usually quite loud and frantic. This looks a little more like a classical guitar piece.

I dont now if I could have done any better but that is my only comment on a great photo.
John
15/03/2009 - 10:00 PM

Relaxed Pose

Relaxed PoseI like this mid-key photo as it is. Willie's comments are constructive and produce a great photo too, but your mid-key produces a soft, pleasant feel to the photo.

I like the relaxed pose, the angles of the arms and hands and the lighting on the hair and face. The face may be a little over-exposed but the result is quite pleasant to me.

The only thing that distracts me is the backdrop - it does not make sense to me - what is he doing in front of a wrinkly sheet. Ways round it are to photoshop it out, light it more interestingly, blur it by moving it further away and using a wider aperture.

A great shot, good subject, good lighting - well done - keep putting up photos for us to look at.

John
14/03/2009 - 9:02 PM

Eye Black and White

Eye Black and WhiteHi Amato

I like this eye - very appealing - great detail.

I agree with Willie about the eye needing sharpening but I actually found the eyebrow area too sharp.

I have done a mod with the following points:
Blurred a copy layer and masked out the eye 100% and most of the face 50% leaving the eyebrow 100% blurred
I sharpened the eye
I brightened with curves the whole picture - just a personal preference - nothing wrong with yours
I then used maksed curves to darken the corner and upper eye area under the eyebrow.
Cropped to move the eye off centre

Having done all that, I dont know which version I prefer but loaded it as a mod for you to judge.

Great work

John
10/03/2009 - 9:12 AM

Self Portrait

Self PortraitFantastic portrait - very strong and intense. Definitely stand out - great work.

As you asked for feedback, I looked long and thought about alternative presentations and made some mods as above.

I felt there was an imbalance between the eyes so I tried lightening the right a little.

I also found the hand drew attention away from the face so I brought more detail back and feel it has a strong masculine feel about it now.

i also reduced the hot spots to bring back shade to give more shape to the features.

I hope you find this alternative presentation useful.

John
11/02/2009 - 6:35 PM

Kelly 2

Kelly 2I like to follow my own advice so I hope you dont mind but I copied your pic and tried cloning out the strap. I cloned the skin on 75% opacity from both sides of the strap and then I used the patch tool to blend it - it does not look bad considering how little time i spent.

The interesting thing for me is how it changed the photo. It was great without the strap and I liked it, although cropping off the bottom did not seem to work. But when I went back to your original it had an extra appeal - probably something to do with 'lingerie'. Also the strap seemed to guide the eye down the arm giving it some 'purpose'.

I also tried to darken the bright spot on the arm as I think it competes with the top half - this was marginally successful.

Again - a great image - fantastic work.

John
10/02/2009 - 2:15 AM

Emma

EmmaI must say that as delightful as Emma is, this does not appeal nearly as much as the other ones you took.

I find the bright red background too over-powering for her complexion and I would prefer her arm not to be so blown out.

We cannot see her great facial lines in this pose because she is on her back and that produces some distortion and because the red sheet is reflecting on her face and producing unnatural shaping.

I also find the gold bits at the extremities distracting

But despite these observations it is an interesting pose and expression.

I thought about what I could do with this photo and ended up making it black and white and obtained a balance with the back ground and her complexion by adjusting the red and yellow elements.

I cloned in over the gold edges and copied the bottom shadow of her left arm. I then rotated it and moved it over her other arm and masked it in.

I quite liked the end result. Good material to work with.

Looking forward to see what you do next

John
09/02/2009 - 10:39 AM

Emma 2

Emma 2A very unusually fresh appealing portrait - Your shots of Emma are just amazing. Does E take bookings?

I particularly like the strong lines of her back, legs and arms which provide a base for her head.

I like the way her hair frames her face and the way the soft lighting and make-up mould her features.

I would prefer to see the background completely black, her shirt arm not completely burnt out and the black stocking top attracts my eye too much for my liking. But these are relatively minor comments.

I think this is a beautiful picture - one of my favourites.

John

PS if she wants a photographer for her Wedding, then I would be honoured to be considered!
08/02/2009 - 6:27 PM

Everything's so black n white

Everything's so black n whiteShannon - you have produced a very striking piece of work. I find it disturbing so you get full marks for that if that was your objective.

I would not have chosen to dwell on it because the eye is really off-putting, but as you asked for a critique I have dwelt a little longer.

I prefer your original to the mods because I feel the rest of the picture and its frame actually balance and contextualise the eye. I feel the mods are not nearly as strong or complete as your orig.

In terms of the image itself, the only thing that diminishes the effect for me is her right hand at the bottom - it does not appear attached or lead my eye anywhere. I might have tried cloning it out completely or darkening even further.

The other thought I had is about the angle of her shoulders. I feel if her left shoulder was further back it would add greater style or if it was further forward it would add greater force. But this a relatively small point.

It is a great image, well spotted, well lit and well taken!
04/02/2009 - 10:10 AM

First portrait

First portraitGreat photo - definitely grabs your attention.

My personal preference is not to have so much specular light, refection back from the flash. And for a shot like this to punch up the contrast.

I cloned down the highlights a little with clone/darken/25% and played around with curves to increase the contrast. While doing that, I found that there are lots of different variations which looked great. So it boils down to personal preference and also the purpose of the photo.

Keep up the good work and see if you can take some photos with off-camera flash - I think you would be able to increase the drama of your shots.

John
29/01/2009 - 11:32 AM

Portrait 6

Portrait 6I like the image and find it quite strong.

Changes I think that would improve it even further?

I would experiment with cropping on the left - that block of black does keep on pulling my eye to the left and for no apparent reason.

I would have had the model turn her head more towards the camera - I prefer not to have eyes on the edge of a face. I like to see a touch of skin framing the back eye.

I might have experimented with the light on the right hand side. With it being a vertical line, my eye follows her gaze and hits the blackness and does not know where to go. I might have shaped the shadow so that i led my eye out of the frame gently on that side. There is nothing in the pic on that side for my eye to dwell on so i think a neat exit from the frame is better than having to do a u-turn.

Part of the appeal of this pic to me, apart from it being a great pic of a beautiful woman, is its abstract shapes, strong images and lines, created by lighting and angles.

I like it and would have kept the background as it is, apart from lighting/shading it slightly differently

Good work
John