Back Modifications (4)
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Lamb no.17

By Twoflowers
This an unedited photo straight from my camera. I can see it is not very sharp, and it is probably in need of some editing, but I'm not sure how to do that yet.

Tags: Spring Sheep Lamb Livestock Wildlife and nature

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chase Plus
16 2.4k 623 England
21 Mar 2021 8:04PM
Quite a nice Mum and baby image but slightly over exposed on the heads.

This is a fairly small file at 254Kb you really should use the highest resolution you can to get the most from your image.

Looks like bright sunlight but difficult to tell as your exif data tells us that you took this at 11:25pm, maybe your am and pm need correcting on your camera.
Try to avoid very bright conditions, some cloud overhead would filter some of the brightness, so think about the conditions and what you are photographing at the time.
Did you use a tripod ?
I see from the info you used shutter priority which is sensible but you have very light subjects against a dark bg which can sometimes fool the camera, depending where you metered from, hence the camera setting +2/3 EV

Composition looks ok but I think you could have avoided the bit of the 3rd sheep if you had taken a couple of steps to your right.

This does need some basic sharpening and exposure correction. The high ISO may have hindered in that respect though, it tends to introduce noise into an image and reduce general sharpness.

Do you have access to an editing program ? the very basics would really help you.

I do like the way you have caught the Mum looking at you, very engaging.
chase Plus
16 2.4k 623 England
21 Mar 2021 8:21PM
I did do a mod where I addressed some of the highlights and calmed them down a little, perhaps that is what your image may have looked like in overcast weather conditions.
Added just a little sharpening, I would have removed the part sheep on the right but as that kind of editing is not where you wanted us to go ( from the information on your previous upload ), I resisted the temptation.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
21 Mar 2021 8:32PM
OK, I'll confine myself to the camerawork, which is where i tend to provide most suggestions anyway. No or minimal editing requires you to get more things right when you shoot, and it also needs you to get them righter. Good discipline, but hard.

So... A little positive exposure compensation is a good idea with a lightish subject. You used +2/3 stop, and it would have been worth shooting another frame at +1/3, so that the image was a little darker - that's one of the things that you can adjust a little in editing very easily, but getting it right in camera is always better.

The softness is, I think, because you used a very long zoom lens towards the telephoto end. You have a 50x zoom on there, but my advice would be to use anything beyond 5x with great caution - if you'd like a full explanation, please say when you respond. Essentially, you never get something for nothing, and the trade-off for a superzoom is in quality, and the extreme settings make the trade-off more obvious. It's possible that the camera won't deliver a much sharper picture than that in a real-world situation, though others may be able to say for sure.

And I really like the composition - they're both looking at you, and you've placed them nicely and powerfully in the frame.

dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 824 England
21 Mar 2021 10:28PM
Your request for advice on camerawork is good because getting things right in camera as far as possible is a noble aim. It will reduce any editing you may need to do. A few momemnts adjusting your position to obtain a good composition saves a lot of time later.
What I will say is that a crop or adjustmnet to colour balance are small adjustmnets in editing that are very useful. You can always revisit your images later but always work on a copy.

Camera swtings can make a big difference. This image ws takn in cloudy onditions and looks a little cold in tone. Rather than use Auto white balance try the Cloudy setting for a warmer look. I shall do a mod to show what I mean.

Composition wise, this is good. You have eye contact from both animals and the bond between the animals is clear.
The background is clear (though the bit at the top right could be cleaner if you were able to move to your right for a slightly different angle). The advice I'd give is always look around the edges of your frame and behind the subject for any distractions.
But you've done well here.
KarenFB Plus
16 5.9k 184 England
22 Mar 2021 7:41AM
I can see you've received lots of helpful advice above, so I can't really add to that! What I would say is, make sure you take as many photos of your subject as you can, using different angles, (getting down on their level, moving left and right) - then you will have several images to choose from. I may take 10 photos and only have 1 I'm happy with.

There is no need to pay a fortune on editing programmes (I believe GIMP is a free online programme, though I've never actually used it), but even the most basic ones can really improve your images - you will be able to crop closer to your subject, rather then zoom in. I have an old Photoshop Element programme. I mostly use the 'Lighting' enhancement and the 'Crop' tool. All minor tweaks to get the image I saw at the time.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
22 Mar 2021 8:34AM
I'll second Karen's advice to take plenty of pictures - both to ensure that you get a good frame every time of each subject, and also because practice makes perfect.

It costs virtually nothing with digital - lessons were costly (and feedback slow) when I learned to take pictures back in the days of film.

I have used Gimp, and though it's not as simple to use as other editing programs, it's very capable. The other bargain in the market is Affinity, usually around 50 for outright purchase, but currently half price. HERE is a link.
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2021 8:57AM
It's a sweet shot. In order to get better, it's a matter of practice and also of understanding your kit.

I'll just add one point to the above. If you look at the Exif in detail, you will see that your lens gives '35 mm equivalent: 23.9 to 1195.3 mm'. That means what your lens would look like scaled up to a full frame 35 mm camera. You were almost at full extent here, the 35 mm equivalent is around 1020 mm. Imagine over a metre of lens stuck on the front of a full-size 'professional' camera. That's what you were wielding, in miniature.

The advertising for such cameras tends to promise the earth, but they are not easy to use well. You sensibly used a fast shutter speed here, but you still need to be aware of stability problems. As the lens extends, the centre of gravity moves further and further from your hands, and the wobble factor increases exponentially. This sort of length does need a tripod! If you don't have one or don't want to use one, stick to shorter focal length.

Plus - I'm not sure if the camera has a viewfinder - if so, make sure that you use it! Hand-holding and composing on a viewing screen increases the wobble factor yet further, and quite considerably, because the camera is not braced against your body.

Do get rid of that exposure compensation setting, I suspect that it's left over from a previous outing!
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2021 10:37AM
PS I hope that in time you will look at image processing. Don't think of it as cheating. It's more the equivalent of processing and printing a film in a darkroom - the original take is the starting point. A digital file, even a jpeg where the data is already heavily edited down by the camera, includes a load of potential that is waiting to be exploited. The camera's 'brain' has had a go, it's then up to us for the fine-tuning.

By the way, I forgot to mention before - given the very small file size, I hope that you have your camera set to record top-quality files!
banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4314 Canada
22 Mar 2021 12:34PM

Its a nice enough shot showing mother and lamb.

IT IS sharp enough, quite acceptable; what makes it seems a bit fuzzy is that its overexposed.

I have uploaded two images; the first shows, using a Histogram, thats its overexposed, and where it shows its overexposed; you camera may have a histogram view you can look at after you take a shot to assess the exposure, and then adjust the exposure for a second shot, etc.

The second image is you unedited shot with exposure set to -1 from where it is at +2/3, therefore its as if you shot it at -1/3.As you can see its quite sharp enough!

Consider taking a shot with no compensation, assess, then make adjustments as required.

I hope this helps,


banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4314 Canada
22 Mar 2021 12:49PM
Ive just taken a look at the user manual for your camera, page 86 shows the Histogram, and how to use it.

pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2263 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2021 4:15PM
Good to see you back in the Critique Gallery, Lily Rose.

This is a charming picture of mum and her lamb, and you have nicely captured mum's protective nature as well as the lamb's smiling pose, showing no concern about your presence at all.

Compositionally, if you could have changed your viewpoint in order to avoid the little bit of another sheep in the background, that would have given you a nice clean backdrop for your subjects. Just moving a bit to the right would have done it.

But you did well to have some space beneath the lamb's feet, above mum's head, and particularly on the left, which is the area where some "negative space" works well, simply because both subjects are facing in that direction and the space allows them room to move or look into. It's a simple compositional guideline that generally works well with animals.
The image is fine without the back-end of mum, and I like the way you have thought about that. Mum's head is enough to tell us the story of her and her young one.

Another thing to remember is to focus on the eyes of your subject. You have already been given advice on getting a sharper image. My very first thought was the over-exposure on their heads, and I hope you will be able to recognise that and adjust for it in future. When shooting any white (or whitish) animals, you need to compensate for that, especially if the light is bright. Avoid the middle of the day, choosing early morning or late afternoon for best results, if that is at all possible.

mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2021 8:12AM
You have now received a lot of advice and information, hopefully tailored to your requirements. Can you please let us know if this helps you, if it's the sort of advice that you are looking for - and if you feel you are learning anything from the Critique Gallery?
1 Apr 2021 10:41AM
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions for my photograph. Sorry for the lack of replies to comments, but I do get very busy and try and reply when I have time to, so thanks for your patience. I have looked at the modifications you have uploaded and agree with the fact the photo is overexposed, so next time I go out with my camera I will try lowering the exposure when I take photos of lambs or sheep. When I next get out and have takes photos of sheep or lambs I will try to get them uploaded here.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
1 Apr 2021 1:24PM
I wonder if there are exams in the offing this year?

Thanks for getting back to us!
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.3k 2536 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2021 2:37PM
Thanks for coming back to us. I've added a couple of links on your latest upload, to articles on exposure compensation.

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