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Children of Lir

By jennymccullough
The legend of the Children of Lir (by Jenny McCullough)
Once upon a time there was a king called Lir. He had four children, one daughter Fionnuala and their sons Aodh, Fiachra and Conn. Their mother the queen was dead and the children missed her very much. The king decided to get a new wife. His new bride was called Aoife. She was beautful but not very kind. Aoife grew jealous of the four children. She wanted the king to herself. She planned to get rid of them. She asked a druid to help her and together they thought up a terrible spell. In the castle grounds there was a lovely lake. One day Aoife went with the children to the lakeside. Suddenly she pulled out her magic wand and waved it over them. There was a flash of light and the children vanished. In their places were four beautiful swans. "You will be swans for nine hundred years" said Aoife and ran away. She was never seen again.

Tags: Flowers and plants Digital art Wildlife and nature Portraits and people Children of lir irish tradition art photogrpahy portrait swan lake

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


Coast 10 1.6k 292 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2013 8:20PM
Nice story to illustrate the visual.

This is quite beautifully done but is very strong on the eyes. I think a slightly tighter crop gives the image more punch and I wonder if this would be better slightly softened to add a bit of dreaminess to the overall feel. In keeping too with the fairy tale that accompanies the image.

None the less this is a striking and well worked picture that I find very appealing. I'd love to do a mod but have iPad only with me today, to illustrate what I mean.

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Mynett 9 142 6 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2013 8:24PM
This is very eye catching and beautifully captured but I do agree that a stonger crop would enhance the overall effect.

lovely work
thank you mynett & Coast , i take on board what you said and will recrop it to see what i get Smile i will also try to sofen it coast , appreciate your critique its been very useful, i am still learning and am not great with photoshop so appreciate any help i can get Smile
Alda 5 70 30 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2013 9:01PM
I love it! GrinGrinGrinGrin
paulbroad 10 123 1240 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2013 8:09AM
Very nice indeed. I wouldn't soften it if that means reduce sharpness. Give it a slight glow would be another matter. I might consider a slight top and bottom crop to a more landscape shape but fine photography.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1928 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2013 10:17AM
Attractive story-telling. You were lucky with the water surface, there's just enough disturbance to give interesting textures to the reflection without spoiling the clarity.
Just one point - to my eye this needs rotating a couple of degrees anti-clockwise, the reflections should follow down vertically from the subject and they are at a slight angle here.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1928 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2013 10:26AM
I've uploaded a Mod - I rotated a few degrees and as that gave the need for a crop I tried square - just as an alternative view.
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
27 Mar 2013 11:37AM
Love this.
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2015 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2013 4:33PM
I love fairy tales like that, Jenny. Even without the story, I think that people would imagine there to be one here.
This is a very impressive image, and I am surprised that you class yourself as a beginner.
Your model is very beautiful, the reflections are excellent, and you have chosen a scene with very few distractions so your subjects immediately capture the viewer's attention.
The tree trunks give away the slight lean, and Moira has dealt with that. I like her use of the vignette.
Fogey 5 96 13 United Kingdom
28 Mar 2013 11:24PM
Based on the Excellent advice posted above, I have done a couple of mods. One is the finished article and the other showing a screenshot of the Golden Ratio,

Created a layer, ran the image through Neat Image noise reduction, created a mask and painted out the subjects. Flattened image.

Created another layer and put a Gaussian blur on the image of .8 pixel. Again created a mask and painted out the subjects.

Cropped to the Golden Ratio and flattened the image.
thank you all so much for your help Smile The image looks stronger with the crop , i love the last one that little bit softer really works well. i will try to redo it in photoshop on the raw file Fogey, i had not seen it off a little mrs wollybill , thanks i really appreciate your help ,
and thanks so much for all the mods, really shows how a image can look that bit stronger without changing too much
29 Jun 2013 1:25PM
Lovely image to accompany the legend.

gajewski Plus
13 10 9 United States
29 Jun 2013 6:40PM
A very nice shot and interesting story.

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