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By strawman
A photo I would value some critique on. It was taken during the tall ships visit to Gloucester, and I want to know do you think it a successful image or what would you do.

At this point I will confess I have edited the background to get rid of some clutter, can you spot it? Also it is deliberately taken with a shallow DoF I wanted the gun to drop from focus, does that work for you?

It was a dull day, so low light, this is 1/80 @ f8 200mm ISO 400. I wanted a touch of motion blur as I thought it might add dynamic, should I have gone for a sharper shot?

Should I have edited it to make a greater contrast between the in and out of focus areas?

Thanks for taking the time to look.


Tags: Fire Soldier Digitally manipulated Tall ships Portraits and people

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


Paul Morgan 15 18.3k 6 England
5 Dec 2007 12:29AM
Hi John, I don`t think it was a bad attempt considering the conditions, lens used etc.

Looks like you did a little cloning a little to the left and down a bit, a long the edge of the wall.

For me the focus effect does not quite work and feel a little more dof is needed, at least on the chaps face.

The chaps face is slightly out of focus, but the rim of the hat on the left is so sharp you can see the odd fiber, so here maybe the point of focus moved just a notch.

The area to the left of the musket is a lttle distracting, taking a couple of paces to your left may have helped here.


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Paul Morgan 15 18.3k 6 England
5 Dec 2007 12:56AM

Quote:but the rim of the hat on the left is so sharp you can see the odd fiber

Sorry John, should have said right side Smile
chensuriashi Plus
10 240 17 England
5 Dec 2007 2:50AM
I would have had the end of the gun, and his fingers around the stock in focus, this would have brought the shot out more for me, but easy to say after the shot...nearly a very good action shot.

5 Dec 2007 5:50AM
Personally I think you went for a too slow shutterspeed here. I do think that the slight motion blur does not help this one (having said that, put up a series of photos alike, and let that same motion blur be a repeating element, it might grow on me, but not like this on a stand alone shot)
Compostition wise I might have liked a bit less space on the rhs and a bit more on the lhs.
I suppose that large white area above his head is part of the cloning you did ? Either way, it's not something that caught my eye immediately, so certainly no problems with your editing.
I think the focus as you intended it, and the one as Chen suggested would both work frankly. Just two interesting different takes on the same shot, emphasizing different elements. With yours, it would be more his fired up face, with Chen's it would be more about the gun and the menace of the bullit about to exit.
pepperst 9 2.3k 4 Wales
5 Dec 2007 11:57AM
I think framing the guy on the left with the muzzle centre would look better, sharper focus on the face but I know the situation you were in shoot or miss-it.

I like the intended focus and think it would work with the gun in the centre as it would give off the sense of the gun being pointed at you and you looking at the soldiers face.

Well caught though.
strawman 12 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
5 Dec 2007 4:23PM
Thanks eveyone, I was undecided on this one. I decided on looking at it myself that next time I would try going for the gun sharp etc, but it was one of those moment shots, and to be honest his facial expressions were never as good again when I tried faster shutter speeds and different focus etc.

the bit I fixed was on the right, the top of the hat building came with the shot.

Still I enjoyed the day and your thoughts have given me something for next time.

so again thank you.
8 Jan 2008 5:10PM
great action shot, love the agression, andys0707
WelshKiwi 8 3.2k 2 Wales
10 Jan 2008 11:44PM

I saw it and for some reason didnt vote or comment. Then I couldnt find it again. I even posted a thread asking about it.

Fantastic image.

Lee Smile Heck I cant vote!!!!! WHY

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