Back Modifications (2)
Views: 108 (51 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By maccers77
Take in ruislip. Shot @ 200mm from about 4 meters away. Some adjustments made in RAW processing increasing exposure and saturation.

Tags: Wildlife and nature Fungi on tree

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


achieverswales 7 8 101 Wales
27 Dec 2010 1:39PM
Like the shot but the large white area of snow in the B/G is very distracting!

Have a great New Year



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Paintman Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2010 2:03PM
I think you have to ask yourself a few simple questions before you click the button.

Is it in focus?
If I'm not using a tripod, is the shutter speed fast enough to stop camera shake?
Once the scene is composed have a look around the viewfinder or screen and ask, is there anything that is distracting or doesn't need to be in the frame?
Check your b/g doesn't interfere with your main subject.

The point of focus isn't quite on the fungi so it looks a bit out of focus. This could also be down to a small amount of camera shake. Generally the shutter speed should be no lower than the focal length of your lens if hand holding with no IS.

1/50th sec for a 50mm lens
1/200th sec for a 200mm lens, etc.

The b/g is as important as the fore ground so look to position the subject against a b/g free from distractions, including the colour and tone of the b/g. In this case it may have been better shooting against a darker b/g so the fungi and the snow on the fungi show up as a more coherent shape. At the moment the snow on the fungi is the same colour and tone as the b/g immediately behind it and therefore the shape is being lost in places. This confuses the statement the subject is to make in the photo. The message is lost. Keep it simple and reduce the amount of clutter in the photo.

Another way of reducing the impact of a cluttered b/g is to use a shallow DOF ( f1.4 to f4 perhaps ) and throwing the b/g completely OOF. The focus has to be spot on with a narrow DOF though and will spoil a shot if it isn't sharp at the point of interest.

Some of the tree to the right could be cropped and the left side could also be cropped as these don't add anything positive to the main subject, which is the fungi.

I will do a quick mod to show roughly what I mean about the crop.

27 Dec 2010 2:13PM
Thanks very much for the feedback Alan, very usefully! I really should have spent more time. I'll go back later in the week and try again.

Trev, you're right! I hadn't even notice it, but now i can't stop looking at it!
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3839 Canada
27 Dec 2010 2:30PM
This is a shot best taken in portrait form John, unless you have a really good composition to support a landscape format.

In this, theres nothing to see, or that adds to the shot for about 50% of the frame. The exposure and colour balance are good, with the snow being white.

The shot itself is a tad soft here, but Im certain the original is sharp. The softness is due to loss of detail during compression when re sizing for EPZ.

Ive cropped, sharpened and added a little contrast, added a small frame, flipped horizontally, as images often appear more pleasing when "read" left to right.

To re size properly:

First check image size; then chamge pixels per inch to 72; then set the longest edge to whatever is allowed (600 pix); then ensure the re sampling mode is set to Bi-Cubic; press enter. Save the show with a new name, and adjust the compression to give the required file size.

Then check sharpness at 100%. If it needs to be a little sharper, use the Unsharp Mask tool as follows:

Threshold = 3; Radius = 0.8; set the Amount slider all the way to the right to oversharpen, and then slide slowly to the left until its sharp, with no halos around edges. Then OK and you done, - but save again.

One addition to Paintmans recommendation for minimum speed for landholding, - its 1/(focal length * crop factor), so at 200mm its 1/(200 * 1.6) = 1/320, or next highest if this is a speed which is not available to you. You can increase ISO if necessary to allow the use of the higher speed.

I hope you like the mod, and find this helpful, and dont forget to provide your shot settings!


Grampy 8 507 71 England
27 Dec 2010 3:03PM
Maybe try keeping a small stepladder in the car ,s I feel that maybe a higher angle would help, upright crop as said but for a second dowload a good try.
27 Dec 2010 3:29PM
Thanks Willie,

Again, very useful! I had never thought about left to right being more pleasing, but I have to agree, it's a lot more comfortable to look at.

I also like the colour treatment you did on this, it looks a lot more natural!

Dad, I was actually crouching down for this photo as it's the layers that first interested me about the shot, and I think I would have lost that if I was higher. I'll give it a go though when I go for a second try!

paulbroad 10 123 1230 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2010 5:23PM
The original is quite good. The focal point does look a little forward and being out of focus is different to the inherent softness of a raw digital image.

I would go for the portrait format, and possibly an even lower viewpoint to make more of the fungus gills. A bracket fungus type I think.


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