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By PhilWhiteley
I am offering this up for constructive criticism. Basically, I know I need a better camera for these kind of shots but HOW can I make them better using a point and shoot sony cybershot camera and photoshop?

Tags: Photo journalism General Transport Flash and lighting

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


paulbroad 10 123 1168 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2011 8:40AM
It's not a bad effort and that bit different. The problem is lighting on the foreground - not enough of it. You could try the dodge tool to lighten the car, but brightening the image generally would over do the arch in the background. Ideally a second flash, externally on slave, but not what you carry with a compact.


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Carrera_c 8 272 3 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2011 9:58AM
As paulbroad said, the main problem here is the lack of light in the foreground, the only thing really well lit on the car is the license plate. Ideally you want to get a 2nd light source shining onto the car from the right side of the picture, as Paul mentioned a remote flash would be the 'normal' route here but on a compact that's not really possible, so my thought would be to get a second car and point its headlights at your subject, can play with distance, direction, and light strength - half beam, full beam, fog lights - to see which light gives the best look.

Compositionally I feel that the shot could have been improved, that bit of white paint (or whatever it is) on the road at the very bottom of the picture is very distracting, I'd probably have cropped that out so the image starts just below the cars wheels.
banehawi Plus
13 1.6k 3699 Canada
23 Nov 2011 3:20PM
Hi Phil,

Ive looked through your portfolio in addition to this shot, and you have a few good shots in there, as well as a few close up badge shots that are not focused.

So first off, no matter whether its a point and shoot or a high end DSLR, the approach to good photography doesnt change. You need Composition, Contrast, Content, Colour. Composition usually means placing the object of interest, the content on a third (imagine drawing two vertical and two horizontal lines on the shot, equidistant, dividing the shout into 9 segments), a third ideally being the intersection of a vertical and a horizontal, or on one of the lines. Contrast and colour are strongly influenced by light, so the lighting conditions make or break a shot.

What you are limited by with a p&s camera is the ability to take control of various settings; the dynamic range its capable of, the high noise levels at high ISO values, so you need to learn to work within its capabilities.

Make sure your camera confirms focus (with a beep?) before you take the shot; use the macro setting for close shots if it has one. Stay away from strong sunlight, - early morning, late evening are best. And, as you have here, night shots can be very interesting. Use a small tripod for night shots.

Ths is a decent shot, - and though it can be given a lift with Photoshop, - you need to think of Photoshop as something that helps finish a good shot, rather than something that can work miracles, - unless you get into digitally manipulated images, where it can.

Ive loaded a mod, with few changes. First tweak is sharpening, - you need to always check your re sized images after you re size and save, before you upload; open the new iage, check sharpness, and sharpen as needed, save, then upload. The rest was simply reducing the yellow tone just a little.

Hope this is helpful,


Thanks for all the advice there guys very much appreciated and all taken aboard

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