Back Modifications (7)
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Perfect Calm

By MiqsPix
A favourite place of mine. I expected there might be a sunset and there was. On a cold January evening this year I was standing in cold marshland waiting for the ducks to finish splashing and go away. They didn't. Eventually I was so cold I had to take the shot!

Tags: Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature

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saeidNL 10 3 Netherlands
13 Apr 2012 4:29PM
Beautiful image,well done ,

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paskinmj 11 11 1 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2012 4:33PM
Great exposure and colours. I agree with Frank though, the cropping vastly improves the composition,
MiqsPix 9 43 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2012 4:50PM
Thanks. I have had a look at your mods but I am undecided. I can appreciate the panoramic aspect works but the colour seems to have changed too much for me. To me the sky now looks a little greenish and the colour contrast in the sky and water is not so vivid - on my screen! Thanks anyway. Smile
Trev_B 13 151 68 England
13 Apr 2012 4:53PM
A difficult one to critique Roger, as Frank says one way of presenting it would be to use the thirds rule, which works well. however the symmetry between the sky and water in your image with the central horizon to my mind works well just as well.

I was in the process of producing a mod using less sky when Frank beat me to it... however as I have already done one I'll upload mineWink

banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4138 Canada
13 Apr 2012 4:57PM
Welcome to Ephotozine Roger, and to the Critique gallery, the "learning Zone".

This is a fantastic shoot, beautifully exposed with wonderful light and colours. the tall grasses in the foreground look great, and there is no sign of any optical distortion caused by the wide lens.

Composing according to the Rule of Thirs as mentioned can complement a shot, but this is still terrific.

To assist with understanding the "rule" , which can be broken, but id best first understodd before deciding to ignore it, I have loaded you priginal as a mod with the thirds grid overlaid.

The secons mod is an alternate to Franks, showing that you can also take the approach of having more sky and a little less foreground. Both can work, and you may prefer one over the other.

As you are new, a few pointers:

Please load your exif data, or shot settings. We need aperture, speed, iso, lens, focal length, and camera model. If you dont know how to get this, just lets us know and we may be able to help. This allows us to provide the best possible feedback.

There are features in this gallery you may want to use: Theres a "Like" icon beside a comment; and theres the small "Nominate for Constructive Critique" link at the bottom of every comment. The Critique Team approves or denies submissions for constructive Critiques, and members can accrue points. Critique Team members cannot approve comments on their own feedback. When you provide constructive feedback, you can also start collecting points, which can mean you are improving to the point where you can see how to improve other members shots. To qualify as Constructive, the feedback has to improve you image, your skill, your knowledge of the photographic process, or post processing. Comments like nice shot, love the scenery, etc dont qualify.

Enjoy the site,


Steve-T Plus
13 56 66 England
13 Apr 2012 5:11PM
Pleasant scene with some good colours. If a crop is required it is from the bottom IMO to get rid of that muddy bit. Also I'd clone plane trail out. The tricky bit of the critique is the luminosity of the overall photo. Tricky because under exposed sunset shots seem very popular on the site. My personal preference is for good levels of detail in shadows and brighter skies so I would be tempted to brighten the whole image is a question of personal taste and trends Smile
mhfore 13 8 176 England
13 Apr 2012 6:46PM
Hi Roger,

Well done, your wait was worth it in the end and you've captured some good colours, I also like the foreground reeds and the composition works well.

Roger all that said I think the only thing this image needs, if anything, is a bit more strength. Most people I guess use elements/PS etc so I've made the adjustments using this software. Make a copy (as you do) and in the layers pallet select "Overlay" from the blend modes, this option alters the colours and contrast in a subtle way and gives it stronger look, remember you can always reduce the opacity if you wish, I didn't in this case as I wanted you to see the full effect. Then go to "Filters" and towards the bottom select "Other" then "High Pass" and set the amount to around 4 pixels, this will put a silver look over your image in layer's. Next it back to blend modes and select "Soft Light" you will now see the small branches at the top of the hedge sharpen along with other things of course, again remember you can always reduce the opacity.

Roger have a look, see what you think.

Take care
MiqsPix 9 43 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2012 12:05PM
Hi Martin and thanks for the comments. Judging from the replies I have had there seems to be a consensus that the image is lacking vibrancy and strength. I thought I had overdone it when I processed this as I don't like too much retouching as it eventually shows. I have an Intel iMac 21" and it seems to be ok in my view. I am anticipating that all of the subscribers here have calibrated screens and possibly understand RGB colour better than most. However I am prompted to follow your advice (I do use overlay layers but haven't tried High Pass filters, I shall have a look) and hope to continue posting images which will I hope gain some approval. Thanks again to all of you. Smile
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4138 Canada
14 Apr 2012 3:10PM
The iMac screen tends to make colours very saturated, even after calibration imo. (I do have the same one as you, but dont use it for photos)

On my non iMac calibrated screen the colours look fine, - they just look a little better more vibrant.

Steve-T Plus
13 56 66 England
14 Apr 2012 6:18PM
I do have a colour calibrated screen but have real problems with maintaining the correct brightness of the screen. This is due to the room I use for processing. Afternoon light will make things appear darker and I therefore tend to overcompensate for this. Bottom line for me is that online display is a bit hit and miss and so I prefer to judge the final outcome by using a print version. What is helpful though when making judgements about corrections is the histogram as this will represent the values of the pixels regardless of whether the screen is calibrated. When preparing my critique for this image I checked the range of values in your image. The value for your highlights was about 200 which places them in between midtone and highlight (values 128 to 255). About two thirds of the values in the whole image are between black and midtones with an average value of around 60-70. Whilst there are no right numbers for an image, the values do suggest where correction may be required i.e. to shift all the values from right to left on the histogram. One way of achieving this is by using the "screen" blend mode. Unfortunately, applying overlay (which is a mixture of multiple and screen) will take the darker values and make them darker and the lighter values and make them lighter - or in other words adds contrast. An overlay on this image takes the average value down to the 30/40 mark which is IMO too dark and does not make the image more vibrant. I do however think that vibrance can be achieved by lightening the image first, possibly with a screen layer, and then adding some contrast as suggested via a low opacity overlay layer. Hope this helps and supplements the comments above!

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